Joel
Joel

January 9th, 2002, 7:31 pm #11

Hello Mirigirl:

Its funny, you will hear many people say and feel sentiments like this the first few weeks into a quit. But over time many lose this feeling and start to think that quitting was no big deal. If ever asked how it was to quit they may even say that it was no big deal and begin to think that if they were ever to go back, they would just quit again. This is a form of complacency and complacency has killed many a quits.

An ex-smoker can get to the point that he or she looks back at smoking as being vile, disgusting, expensive, stupid, crazy, and many other derogatory terms. He or she may think that with what he or she knows and understands now that there is absolutely no way he or she could return to such an unwanted lifestyle. The ex-smoker then knows he or she is secure forever from relapsing--and then the final piece of the illogical puzzle falls into place--that if he or she hates smoking so much, and there is no way he or she will return to smoking--well then a puff here and there can't be a big deal because he or she is so resolute to remain smoke free. That is where the story often tragically ends.

Always remember these feeling of despair of the control of the addiction that you are expressing today. You are absolutely correct, you don't know that you have another quit in you. But we know for a fact that you have this one going right now and I suspect you are pretty sure you can make this one last through the rest of the day. This is the one you want to cultivate now for it is likely the one that has the best chance to work and it is definitely the one that has the best chance of avoiding the potentially lethal consequences of smoking.

For if this quit didn't take but maybe a few months from now or a few years from now the next one would, you still don't know that one of the cigarettes you smoked in that intervening time period didn't start up some deadly irreversible process. This factor again is another reason that you should do everything in your power to make this quit stick. To make this quit the quit that sticks and saves your health and your life always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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mirigirl (silver)
mirigirl (silver)

January 9th, 2002, 8:02 pm #12

Thanks Joel
yqs mirigirl
another nicotine addict
1 week 2 days Free
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marty (gold)
marty (gold)

January 9th, 2002, 9:03 pm #13

Joel, I think that last post of yours is even more powerful than the original in this thread.

I have often pondered how it is possible for members here, knowing all that they know about smoking, hating it as much as they do, can possibly relapse. Your second paragraph explains it perfectly. "...if he or she hates smoking so much, and there is no way he or she will return to smoking--well then a puff here and there can't be a big deal because he or she is so resolute to remain smoke free". Oh boy, I feel that the scales have fallen from my eyes.

This means that a relapser simply does not believe the Law of Addiction, they believe they can control their smoking, they believe they are the exception to the rule simply because their hatred of smoking will prevent them becoming actively addicted again. But this would be to suggest that addiction is a psychological problem, when in fact it is a strictly physical problem. Maybe there is something wrong with the way we explain addiction, or maybe we just don't have enough scientific knowledge to explain it better than we do.
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Joel
Joel

January 9th, 2002, 11:42 pm #14

Hello Marty:



Yes I think it was more powerful than the original post too. Actually I feel there are numerous strings that get brought up at times where the responses often offer more insight and important information than the original posts. I hope that people look over the longer strings to see the information in the responses.



As far as the physical vs. psychological aspect of the thread, well basically addiction is a physical problem that by its very nature creates psychological patterns and habits that exert influence once the actual physical need for nicotine is nonexistent. Giving into one of those triggers then reinstates the full physical need again. So in essence, the addiction creates the habit. Once the addiction is brought under control, the old habits still have the ability to trigger a thought. If an ex-smokers guard is down one of these triggers can cause them to take a drag. That action will cause a reinstatement of the nicotine abstinence syndrome and it's associated withdrawals. Now they are basically in a full blown drug relapse. This again is the physical addiction returned in all its glory spinning off the old habits again. It's a vicious and deadly cycle--one that an ex-smoker has only one way to prevent from ever starting again--which is to never take another puff!



Joel
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mirigirl (silver)
mirigirl (silver)

January 10th, 2002, 3:57 am #15

OK Guys - I'm scared now!!
Scared of relapse (again!) - scared of complacency - scared of being over-confident!
And maybe I need to be. My LAST quit here is very precious to me - as I'm sure it is for everyone.
I'm trying to get my head around what yous are saying: that an-ex-smoker can be so confident in their quit - and disgusted by smoking - that thinking the law of addiction doesn't apply to them - they pick up a cigarette!! Oh God - how do I make sure that doesn't happen to me??
I've been reading the Board everyday - and watching all the people turn Gold - and congratulations to all of you - and part of me thinks well - that could have been me if I had kept my quit! But it's not and I have to accept that and be happy and inspired by others.
Then there's the newer people to Freedom - some relapsing already - and that scares me!! So I gotta look out for myself and hang with the folks who really want recovery here! (Stick with the strength as they say)
Can you be scared and have some confidence in yourself at the same time??
Oh I think I just answered my own question: How do I make sure relapse from over-confidence doesn't happen to me? By Never Taking Another Puff!!
Hanging close-not puffing!
yqs mirigirl
1 week 2 days Free
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NPannie
NPannie

January 10th, 2002, 5:09 am #16

Dear Mirigirl,

Yep, you are right on! You answered your own question. Never take another puff and you will continue on living a smoke free life. It is the only way for us addicts to defeat the addiction - we have to never pick up a cig again. Most of my family smokes, so these darn cigs have been around while I've been going thru this change in my life. I can remember about 3 months into my quit, I picked up a pack out of curiousity that someone had left laying around, and I swear, an electric jolt pulsed thru my arm and I dropped them really quickly. I knew that I couldn't have just 1, not even just 1 puff. Only 1 zillion if I ever light up again.

You never can quit too soon. Hang on to this nice smelling, better way of life - it gets easier and easier to not want those smokes. Just make it thru this minute, hour, day, and then pat yourself on the back tomorrow morning for a job well done! Distraction is helpful early on - if the thought strikes, find something else to occupy yourself. Just do not pick up a nasty cig!

Hang in there - you can do it! Sending a big hug your way,
YQS,
Nancy
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Juanjuanjuanjuanjuan200
Juanjuanjuanjuanjuan200

July 21st, 2002, 10:39 pm #17

A few months ago I went to the doctor. It turnded out I had not the 20 illnesses my hipocondriac self keeps telling me to suffer. The doctor said you have to stop smoking. And made a worriesome face, in silence. I got exams I never had to do ever in my long, still young, and smokers life. His face, my feelings, my new digestive problem, my conscience told me to seek and accept that cigarette was killing me, and that that thing could happen as johns. As the one described above. Soon, or too early, too soon.

I ve smoked since my 16 years, so ( How should one said?, was a smoker, is an exsmoker, "had been" has a continuity that scares me)...so I smoked for 26 minus 3 years of a quit that I lost. 3 years of a quit and lost it easily, so easily, having to spend 8 years of a ****, of low self esteem, being convinced that I was weak not being able to fight and get rid of an addiction, that I my self had already beaten. I spare to you how the related illnesses and personal disasters that I blame on me, or on me having a problem, have shaped my life on the last 8 years.

I am not presuming of not having problems since I quit, I am saving to my shrink the big ones. I understand that I am here at freedom to quit, to keep this quit. I undestand that relapse is a monster, a devil, a mistake, a life threatening action, a self destroing behaviour. But it could look to me as a party, a joy, a minute of happiness, a success, a wonderful dream because I am an addict. And whatever that scary word means, is sure it will produce on me a total relapse, a full 25 cigarrettes a day season of who knows how many years long. No please. Not for today at least. I will never take another puff. Ni una calada más.


Juan
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

August 10th, 2002, 8:54 pm #18

Noni, at age 32, and Bryan, at age 33, both
thought that there was plenty of time left too!
Click their photos to read their stories
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Joel
Joel

September 13th, 2002, 6:28 am #19

For Freebird:

Or maybe more importantly for anyone reading Freebird's post and thinks to himself or herself that if he or she relapses, he or she will "simply" quit again. Everyone here must always do everything he or she can do to keep this quit going--there is no guarantee that you have another quit in you. The only guarantee when it comes to quitting smoking is that you will stay free as long as you always stay committed to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

March 12th, 2003, 5:07 am #20

For CF:

Make sure to read the one right above this one. (Post 50)
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ComicForces GOLD
ComicForces GOLD

March 12th, 2003, 5:22 am #21

Thanks so much Joel.... That story touched me and hit me hard the first time I read it.... I read it again, will keep reading it, and will keep in mind.

The fact that we may not be capable of starting a "NEXT QUIT" until years and years later is a very scary concept.

Why ruin what we have already accomplished? (Don't ask me why I'm using the term "we" instead of "me"....)

thank you for the reminder, and for reading my post.
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kate2000
kate2000

March 19th, 2004, 1:22 am #22

Hello everyone,
Im so glad to have this site, I read lot from here. not much into the posting. After reading this one I feel I have to reply. My husband and I quite smoking 2 yrs ago, he started smoking again , about 5mth in to our quite. I started again after a yr and a half into it, after the summer I found this site and quite again for the last time ( I do hear what Joel says here, I don't know if I have another quite in me)
The more I read on here, the more I resent my husband for not quiting, I'm getting very worried that he wont be around for all the things he is planning in his life. I don't what to nag him about quiteing. I just am beginnibg to think that he is very selfish (sp) , and would rather smoke and shorten his life the spend it with us. I'm feeling very torn here. I luv him very much, and to watch him do this to himself and us......well is tearing me apart.
The more I read on here the more, the more I resent him, but I need to read for my quite, I just think of the money we could be saveing for a trip, stopping the movie so he can smoke, it is getting to me...........please help.............Kate
I 'ts been 2mth 2 weeks for me
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

April 12th, 2004, 8:05 pm #23


We're told that this addiction to smoking nicotine claims half of all adult smokers. We're told that roughly five million of us will pay the ultimate price in 2004. We're told that the average price will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 5,000 days of life. We're told that for each of us who smoke ourselves to death each year that about 20 others are already living inside bodies that have been permanently diseased by our addiction. We're told that breaking nicotine's grip can be harder than quitting heroin or cocaine. We know that the total price we're been paying for this amazing chemical is sick.

But we now also know the law of addiction, we know what we're up against. We know that no subconscious crave episode will last longer than 3 minutes, that all that matters is the next few minutes and that each is within our ability to command. We know that the glory and dopamine ahhhhh achievement sensation that will flow following our next victory will have been earned and is 100% ours to enjoy. We know it's a healthy sign that life, not nicotine, is once again determining flow of more than 200 neurochemicals inside our mind and body.

There's no need to engage in playing complicated false rationalization and minimization games inside our conscious mind. Instead, we can embrace moving through each challenge to sample the fruit of victory beyond. You're going home and there is no force, location, emotion or circumstance on earth that can again compel you to put nicotine inside your brain. Today is all that matters and the healing it reflects is yours for the taking. Only one rule, no nicotine today - Never Take Another Puff! John
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NSMBill
NSMBill

August 28th, 2004, 2:02 am #24

Has there been any studies on the effects of on-again-off-again smokers? Surely the shock of starting, quitting, starting, etc. must do something to the body. And does the relapsed smoker enjoy any benefits at all from having gone a month or year without smoking?
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GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)

October 14th, 2004, 1:45 am #25

Once you have quit smoking, understand your very life is contingent on understanding the importance of knowing to never take another puff!
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GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)

October 21st, 2004, 2:51 am #26

Once you have quit smoking, understand your very life is contingent on understanding the importance of knowing to never take another puff!
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Joel
Joel

February 5th, 2007, 11:16 pm #27

This is a situation that people who have an easy quit should be aware of. Some times quits go easy--really easy, and then the person assumes that he or she must not have really had an addiction. As it says in the string Every Quit is Different.:
It is possible that you won't have any major symptoms this time. I have had a lot of four pack a day smokers who smoked 40 plus years who toss them with minimal withdrawal. The reason they never tried to quit before is they witnessed people who smoked one fourth of what they did go thorough terrible side effects and figured, "If it did that to them, it will kill me." But when the time came, their quit was easy in comparison.
You may find that this quit will be relatively easy. Stranger things have happened. But if it does, don't think this didn't mean you were addicted. The factor that really shows the addiction is not how hard or how easy it is to quit. What really shows the addiction is how universally easy it is to go back. One puff and the quit can go out the window.
If a person has an easy quit, and then relapses down the line with the idea that it is no big deal, he or she will simply quit again, the person may be in for a real shock. The next quit may not be easy and in fact, the person may never be able to muster the strength to successfully quit again.

You don't know if you relapse that you will ever be able to quit again, but you should know that you will never have to worry about this risk as long as you continue to stick to your personal commitment to never take another puff.

Joel
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Joel
Joel

March 22nd, 2007, 8:48 pm #28

New video that touches on the concept of this string:

Video Title:

If I go back to smoking I will smoke until it kills me

Dial Up Version: www.whyquit.com/videos/ifigoback.wmv 1.58mb

High Speed Version: www.whyquit.com/videos/ifigoback_bb.wmv 4.35mb

Length 5 minutes 11 seconds

Created 2-25-07
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Joel
Joel

May 24th, 2007, 3:40 am #29

Many years ago I had a man in my clinic named John. John was a pretty high profile public figure, in his early 40's who had many great accomplishments in his life. He came to my clinic, lasted a few days and lost the quit. He was in the middle of a high profile media situation and just decided he needed his focus and the stakes of what he was involved with at the time were just too high to deal with withdrawal. John explained this to me, and promised he would return again one day when things would be better. Well, I have heard this hundreds of times before, and while occasionally people do return, it is not the majority and probably not even a significantly high percentage. Being that I was having 50 or more people at a time in these clinics, I couldn't spend much time dealing with those who were not quitting.

Three year later John does return to the clinic and does quit smoking. He did great his second time around. Not only did he quit, but he became a regular volunteer for me, coming to many clinics as a panelist to help people first quitting. He also sent in lots of people, probably 15 to 20 over the next couple of years.

About three years after John's quit, he was going in for a physical and to his surprise there was a small spot on his chest x-ray. When it was biopsied they found out John had cancer. He was about 48 at the time, in the peak of his career, still had children of school age and now was facing this terrible diagnosis. It was a horrible shock to many people. As is often the case with lung cancer, it was a fast deterioration. Within a year and a half John had succumbed to the disease.

I went to John's funeral--it was huge. There were hundreds and hundreds of people there. Many I knew, some because of their high public profile, but more because John had sent in so many people to the clinic in the time period that he was off smoking. Even after the diagnosis he was still sending people in.

One of the men there was from one of the recent clinics and had told me how tragic this was that John had lost his life and how his lost quit was probably the reason. To be realistic I told him that it is possible that if John had quit the first time in the clinic it may not have made a difference. He basically found out he had lung cancer three years after he quit, and that lung cancer could be present for 5 years or even 10 years without presenting symptoms or even showing up on the x-ray. Being that the day I met him was about 6 years before the diagnosis, it was not totally improbable that at that time the cancer had already been initiated and was silently growing.

The man then proceeded to tell me that my clinic was not the first clinic John had tried. That in fact, 10 years before joining that first group with me, he and John had gone to another local clinic together to quit and both in a matter of days wrote it off as a bad time to quit--but knew they would both quit again one day.

Well John was right, he did eventually quit again one day. But it turned out to be over 16 years later. Now the odds were quite different--if he had quit that first time around he probably would never had developed the disease that ultimately cost him his life.

The lesson here needs to be once you have a quit going, do everything in your power to make it last. While you are seeing people come back who just seem to be quitting again, if you relapse you just don't know you will ever get the strength or desire to quit again, and that even if you do, you don't know whether something won't go wrong in the interim period before the next quit.

John is not the only person I know who fits this profile--I know lots of them--people who could have had extra years and extra decades who lost them by minimizing the implications of not quitting or of relapsing. Once you have a quit smoking, understand your very life is contingent on understanding the importance of knowing to never take another puff!

Joel
"If I relapse I'll smoke until it kills me" 1.58mb 04.4mb 05:11 02/25/07
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

February 9th, 2008, 2:08 pm #30


The World Health Organization is now predicting that 1 billion smokers
could lose their lives to smoking before the end of the century.
There is no guarantee any of us could ever come this far again, none!
If you have 72 hours under your belt then you're through the hardest part.
Baby steps, patience, let the healing continue!
Still just one controlling principle .... no nicotine today!
Yes you can, yes you have, yes you are!
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,
John (Gold x8)
Last edited by John (Gold) on January 1st, 2010, 3:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

February 26th, 2008, 3:19 am #31

From: Joel Sent: 2/5/2007 10:16 AM
This is a situation that people who have an easy quit should be aware of. Some times quits go easy--really easy, and then the person assumes that he or she must not have really had an addiction. As it says in the string Every Quit is Different.:
It is possible that you won't have any major symptoms this time. I have had a lot of four pack a day smokers who smoked 40 plus years who toss them with minimal withdrawal. The reason they never tried to quit before is they witnessed people who smoked one fourth of what they did go thorough terrible side effects and figured, "If it did that to them, it will kill me." But when the time came, their quit was easy in comparison.
You may find that this quit will be relatively easy. Stranger things have happened. But if it does, don't think this didn't mean you were addicted. The factor that really shows the addiction is not how hard or how easy it is to quit. What really shows the addiction is how universally easy it is to go back. One puff and the quit can go out the window.
If a person has an easy quit, and then relapses down the line with the idea that it is no big deal, he or she will simply quit again, the person may be in for a real shock. The next quit may not be easy and in fact, the person may never be able to muster the strength to successfully quit again.

You don't know if you relapse that you will ever be able to quit again, but you should know that you will never have to worry about this risk as long as you continue to stick to your personal commitment to never take another puff.

Joel

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V
V

September 3rd, 2009, 4:06 pm #32

Thank you this thread helped. I am at just over 72 hours cold turkey, saying I can always quit again.
I must accept the fact I am addicted. All or nothing.
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hwc
hwc

September 4th, 2009, 2:21 am #33

I was on day 3 when I decided to quit smoking. Day 1 was a test to see if I could go 24 hours without smoking. The last time for me was when Nixon was President. I was pretty surprised that I the world didn't come to an end when I went 24 hours without nicotine. So I figured it must have been a fluke, and I'd try for day 2 to find out. When I got to Day Three, I knew that I could quit smoking. That, of course, was a little scary, but it was also exhiliarating. Kind of like walking out of prison, I guess. So, I simply said, that's it. I'm done. If I don't seize this moment when I've already got two days in the bank, I'll smoke til it kills me. Putting off quitting is just a fancy way of saying "I have no intention of quitting".

People here are hesitant to ask newbie quitters in the first day or two make a permanent decision. Sometimes all a quitter can manage at that point is hour by hour and that's fine. However, at your stage, it sounds like you are ready to make the personal commitment to never take another puff. Once you do that and really embrace it as a joyous moment when you have accomplished something you've only dreamed about, I think you'll probably find a lot of the craving melt away, or at least become more manageable. It's the internal "should I or shouldn't I" debate with each crave that is pure torture. Once you've already made the decision, not open for debate, then the game changes. You feel a crave, you know you aren't even going to consider smoking, so you find a way to deal with that particular crave. You might even embrace the crave. Get mad at it. Taunt the crave. Trash talk the crave. Ask it if that's really its best shot. Have some fun with it, because you already know you aren't going to smoke and a crave isn't going to kill you.

You are doing fine. Just keep truckin. No better time to quit than now.
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FreedomNicotine
FreedomNicotine

January 1st, 2010, 9:39 pm #34

For those a few hours into their quit who are starting to question whether they should continue:

Many years ago I had a man in my clinic named John. John was a pretty high profile public figure, in his early 40's who had many great accomplishments in his life. He came to my clinic, lasted a few days and lost the quit. He was in the middle of a high profile media situation and just decided he needed his focus and the stakes of what he was involved with at the time were just too high to deal with withdrawal. John explained this to me, and promised he would return again one day when things would be better. Well, I have heard this hundreds of times before, and while occasionally people do return, it is not the majority and probably not even a significantly high percentage. Being that I was having 50 or more people at a time in these clinics, I couldn't spend much time dealing with those who were not quitting.

Three year later John does return to the clinic and does quit smoking. He did great his second time around. Not only did he quit, but he became a regular volunteer for me, coming to many clinics as a panelist to help people first quitting. He also sent in lots of people, probably 15 to 20 over the next couple of years.

About three years after John's quit, he was going in for a physical and to his surprise there was a small spot on his chest x-ray. When it was biopsied they found out John had cancer. He was about 48 at the time, in the peak of his career, still had children of school age and now was facing this terrible diagnosis. It was a horrible shock to many people. As is often the case with lung cancer, it was a fast deterioration. Within a year and a half John had succumbed to the disease.

I went to John's funeral--it was huge. There were hundreds and hundreds of people there. Many I knew, some because of their high public profile, but more because John had sent in so many people to the clinic in the time period that he was off smoking. Even after the diagnosis he was still sending people in.

One of the men there was from one of the recent clinics and had told me how tragic this was that John had lost his life and how his lost quit was probably the reason. To be realistic I told him that it is possible that if John had quit the first time in the clinic it may not have made a difference. He basically found out he had lung cancer three years after he quit, and that lung cancer could be present for 5 years or even 10 years without presenting symptoms or even showing up on the x-ray. Being that the day I met him was about 6 years before the diagnosis, it was not totally improbable that at that time the cancer had already been initiated and was silently growing.

The man then proceeded to tell me that my clinic was not the first clinic John had tried. That in fact, 10 years before joining that first group with me, he and John had gone to another local clinic together to quit and both in a matter of days wrote it off as a bad time to quit--but knew they would both quit again one day.

Well John was right, he did eventually quit again one day. But it turned out to be over 16 years later. Now the odds were quite different--if he had quit that first time around he probably would never had developed the disease that ultimately cost him his life.

The lesson here needs to be once you have a quit going, do everything in your power to make it last. While you are seeing people come back who just seem to be quitting again, if you relapse you just don't know you will ever get the strength or desire to quit again, and that even if you do, you don't know whether something won't go wrong in the interim period before the next quit.

John is not the only person I know who fits this profile--I know lots of them--people who could have had extra years and extra decades who lost them by minimizing the implications of not quitting or of relapsing. Once you have a quit smoking, understand your very life is contingent on understanding the importance of knowing to never take another puff!

Joel

Last edited by FreedomNicotine on June 19th, 2013, 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

September 28th, 2012, 4:09 pm #35

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