Using Attitude to Reduce Anxiety

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

April 4th, 2001, 9:28 pm #1

Using Attitude to Reduce Anxiety[/size]
Can stress and anxiety be self induced? Can we make ourselves miserable on purpose? Of course we can! Throughout our lives we've experienced worry, fear, anger and irritability, only to find out later that our worries, fears and anxieties were either totally unnecessary or were over little or nothing at all.[/size]
During nicotine withdrawal after years of addiction, our self-induced tensions and anxieties can quickly become overwhelming. We can make them escalate to the point where we lash out against loved ones and friends, where we want to hit a tree with our bare hands, or where we put our heads under a pillow and scream at the top of our lungs. Our craves and urges don't cause us to relapse. If they did, few of us, if any, would ever break free from our addiction. What causes relapse is the tons of icing (anxiety) that we intentionally put on our cake (our craves).[/size]
Remember when we were first learning to swim and found ourselves in water over our heads. Did you panic? I did. If I had known how to swim would I have panicked? Of course not. Here at Freedom we teach smokers to swim and then we lead them into deep water. Once there, the smoker has only two choices - panic and relapse or remain calm and enjoy the swim.[/size]
Sadly, half of all current smokers will never learn how to swim in their sea of craves. Their addiction will end up costing them their lives. Many of us genuinely believe that time is running out and disaster is about to strike. Some of us are correct and bad news is just around the corner. Others among us think that plenty of time remains but after repeated attempts, we still remain slaves to our addiction. Don't panic! Instead, lets learn to become excellent swimmers. The more knowledgeable and skilled we become, the greater our chances of breaking free and remaining afloat.
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Be we need more than confidence in our ability to navigate challenge. Success is about putting confidence and understanding to work, about watching our abilities transform challenge into victory, and dreams into freedom. It's about siezing the prize at challenge's end, the extinguishment of another nicotine use cue, the return of another aspect of life! Recovery is about taking back life, one activity, time, place, person, season or holiday at a time. It's an amazing lesson in self-discovery, where we force ourselves to see a long hidden truth, that everything we did while nicotine's slaves can be done as well or better without it.

Self-induced stress, worry, anxiety and panic - don't let them steal the glory of your healing. Let's start reducing it today. If you repeatedly tell yourself that "quitting is hard or painful" will anxieties begin to build? Sure they will! If you begin telling yourself that you won't be able to make it through the next few hours or the remainder of the day, what will happen when your next crave arrives? Will you swim or sink? If you keep feeding yourself massive doses of negative thoughts there's a good chance that you'll sink. So why do we intentionally set ourselves up for relapse? Let's briefly stand back at look at recovery from an entirely different angle.
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Instead of our cup being half empty, let's concentrate on the truth that it's more than half full. If we keep telling ourselves that "stopping is hard" then unless we're intentionally lying to ourselves, it will be hard and we should expect it to be hard. True? Then why feed ourselves failure? Why intentionally breed destructive negative anxieties? Why allow such thoughts to fester in our minds until they begin oozing puss? Instead, throw that half empty cup away. Replace it with the cup of long overdue healing, new found pride, extra daily pocket money, a volcano of self confidence, the realization that challenge isn't bad but good, as it heralds an opportunity to reclaim yet another aspect of life.[/size]
Fight back with positive thoughts that look forward with hope and glory to this new beginning, to a homecoming where life not nicotine determines when and where our body's neuro-chemicals flow. Fill that cup with desire, with the reasons that motivated us to seek freedom! Focus on how far you've come and when you look back do so with honest eyes. See the nicotine users you notice today for what they're truly doing. They are not trying to tease you. They're not using because they like being addicted. They do so because they must, because a rising tide of anxieties begin to hurt when they don't. Combine knowledge, honesty and attitude.[/size]
Do you feel like you lost a close friend (a cup half empty) or realize that friends don't slowly kill friends, and that nicotine isn't a person but simply a chemical with an IQ of zero (half full)? Did you QUIT smoking, dipping or chewing (half empty) or did you decide to finally START living (half full)? Do you fear arrival of that next anxiety crave episode (half empty) or anticipate its arrival as golden opportunity to extinguish another nicotine use cue and reclaim another aspect of life (half full)? Will your next crave episode last forever (falsehood) or end in victory within a few minutes (the truth)? Will withdrawal never end (falsehood) or is it temporary journey of re-adjustment where withdrawal's intensity peaks within 72 hours and the brain physically re-adjusts to life without nicotine within 2-3 weeks (truth)? Do we continue to experience daily craves forever if we remain nicotine free (falsehood) or will our remaining un-extinguished crave triggers gradually become so far apart that we begin experiencing entire days without confronting ones (truth)? Do what can seem like almost constant thoughts of wanting to use nicotine never end (false) or, if willing to let go of false romantic use fixations will we someday in the not to distant future experience an entire day where we never once think about wanting to use nicotine (truth). [/size]
Did you truly find joy in being addicted to one of the most captivating substances on earth or is that just something we convinced ourself of in order to justify our addiction, our next fix, and to avoid the challenge of withdrawal? Will 5, 10 or even 20 temporary extra pounds actually kill you (if they happen at all), or is it more likely that failure to arrest thisr dependency will kill you instead? Is there really too much stress in your life to attempt to try and save it, or is that simply the uneducated drug addict's ignorance talking as they pretend that nicotine diminishes stress instead of actually making it worse? Do you tell yourself that your dreams and desire for freedom grow weaker with every passing challenge or see each victory as making you stronger and more determined to reclaim the balance of life?[/size]
Do you show fear that's breeding anxiety or see yourself enjoying previously untapped courage as you celebrate each dose of fresh healing air that now kisses your lungs? Do you have visions of going to the store and purchasing your next pack, tin, box or bag, or do you delight in the extra coins that are gradually building in your pockets? Are you missing the lingering smoke, crushing butts and dumping ashtrays or marveling in your new, ash-free world that's clean, bright and refreshing? Is your cup half empty or is it half full? We are what we think!
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Do you remember what it was like before nicotine took control? Remember the calm and quiet mind you once called home? Nicotine addiction is about living a massive lie. Ask yourself, what sense does it make being afraid to coming home, to a calm and quiet mind where you'll go entire days without once thinking about wanting to use nicotine? Is that a good thing or bad? Then why allow false fears to keep you inside the turtle's shell and deprive you of enjoying the beauty unfolding around you?

Remember, just one hit of nicotine and up to 50% of our brain's a4b2-type acetylcholine receptors quickly become occupied by nicotine molecules. Beneath any dizzy or burning cessation, the brain's dopamine pathways will be stimulated. Although we may walk away from relapse thinking we've gotten away with it, you can bet the family farm that our brain will soon be begging for more. Lots of lessons shared here at Freedom but just one amazingly simple principle determining the outcome for all ...no nicotine today ... none! I leave you with this ....
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If you're TRYING to stop using then try is what you'll do.
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Keep telling yourself this is HARD and it will be.[/size]
Believe craves to be INTENSE and intense shall be your ride.[/size]
Ponder excuses for a FIX and you may eventually use them.[/size]
Keep thinking you will RELAPSE, and relapse you just might.[/size]
Keep believing you will FAIL, and chances are you will.[/size]
If you still WANT to be an ex-user, you're mind has yet to heal.
[/size]
[/size]
When READY for your freedom, freedom you shall find.[/size]
View this challenge as WONDERFUL and fulfillment will arrive.[/size]
See the GLORY of today, then glory it will be![/size]
Praise the HEALING of your body and set your spirit free.[/size]
Inhale the JOYS of today, feel the spender of the journey.[/size]
Yet be TRUTHFUL of the past to protect here and now.[/size]
BELIEVE yourself an ex-user, an ex-user you shall see.[/size]
NO NICOTINE TODAY and freedom it shall be.[/size]

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Breathe deep, hug hard, live long![/size]

John (Zep)
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Last edited by John (Gold) on July 21st, 2009, 3:08 am, edited 2 times in total.
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tammer
tammer

April 4th, 2001, 11:45 pm #2

ZEP!!!!


What a great article....I just read it this morning and I totally relate to this one! It is definitely my attitude that is going to determine whether I succeed or not and this sums it up in a nutshell! THANKS from the bottom of my heart!

This one is definitely going in my notebook for reading and re-reading!
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Theresa
Theresa

May 28th, 2001, 2:34 am #3

Thank you Zep for this one!
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Patsy (Gold2)
Patsy (Gold2)

May 28th, 2001, 3:26 am #4

for this article. It is just what I needed today because I feel like
Last edited by Patsy (Gold2) on July 21st, 2009, 3:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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SunshineRay
SunshineRay

May 28th, 2001, 2:11 pm #5

I recall reading the verse before and loved it so I printed it out. didn't recall the whole posting tho ... right up my alley, miss stressed out/excuses here! Well, my mind's a changing and so are my lungs, thanks to Freedom and Zep's monologue.

We is Zep anyway, is he still around, noticed his name isn't up with Managers anymore...gone on a well deserved vacation? Hope all is well.
sunshine 3d, 11h, 11m I have chosen not to smoke!
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

May 28th, 2001, 7:24 pm #6

I'm here Sunshine and my new start in life (what some call a quit ), along with Freedom, is doing just fine : ) It's you we're worried about. How many quits do you have left in you? Are you serious this time? Breaking free should be a serious yet temporary process and period of life. I may have had a dozen prior failed attempts but each was done in ignorance and darkness. Your blood is nicotine clean again Sunshine but do you have the resolve to keep it clean, go the distance and get on with life as a comfortable ex-smoker? Let comfort arrive and see if you don't like it a whole lot more than when relapse arrives. I think you will : )

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long, John (Zep) : )
Last edited by John (Gold) on July 21st, 2009, 3:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

July 10th, 2001, 5:55 pm #7

Attitude touches every aspect of recovery, including the vocabulary we use in our minds to describe our journey (we are what we eat). In fact, it would be great if we could get by without even calling it a "quit" because the word "quit" implies that something is being given up. Frankly, there is nothing of value being given up. In fact, the more than 100 neuro-chemicals that nicotine controlled already belonged to you. Even the love in our heart, although nearly impossible to see at first, we get to bring it with us! It seems to me that instead of constant focus on quitting our focus should instead be on this whole new start in life! I tried substituting the word "start" in many posts, early in Freedom's life, but it wasn't easy. Most read something like this - "Congratulations on your wonderful new start in life!"

If you make a serious list of all the things you feel you're giving up or "quitting" and then analyze it carefully, you won't find very little meat on those bones - in fact probably none! If you do have a few items remaining on your list, we strongly encourage you to share them as part of your next post so that we can all help you sort them out. Just slide them in as part of your thinking - we'll do the rest!

Another line of vocabulary words to toss out are "slip," "cheat" and "just one," "just once!" We don't "slip" and light a fire between our lips, it's done on purpose and we call it "relapse." We can't "cheat" with a real addiction because its bite just won't let go. And there is no such thing as "just one puff" as our brain's priorities teacher simply don't operate that way. If it did we'd each be able to starve ourselves to death, forget romance anddie of thirst.

I may have remained nicotine free for two years but inside my brain remains all the circuitry and wiring necessary to process and sustain my former three pack-a-day dependency. You don't get to awake and energize just a portion of it, as though you were turning on the lights in a single room in the house. The whole house turns on and the addict is back!


See relapse for what it truly is - the intentional and complete defeat of all your glory and possibly suicide!
Last edited by John (Gold) on July 21st, 2009, 3:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Breathing Easier (Gold)
Breathing Easier (Gold)

July 11th, 2001, 10:24 am #8

Thank You Zep!
I am printing this one for my journal and I know it will surely help me make it to bronze! Positive Attitude Always Required...What a Concept to Remember...We must always be on Guard.
Breathing Easier,
1 Month, 3 Weeks, and 42 Minutes of Positive Attitude Later!
Last edited by Breathing Easier (Gold) on July 21st, 2009, 3:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

August 4th, 2001, 12:54 am #9

How many times would you have already smoked by now during a normal day before your quit? Isn't it amazing that all, or most, of those events, times or locations have passed today and you didn't once have a triggered crave!! What emotions have you experienced today (stress, happy, sad, worry)? Isn't it amazing how all, or most - if still a newbie - of those emotions didn't having your craving a cigarette! It only gets better.

An amazing recovery is ongoing inside your mind, lungs, circulatory system and ever cell in your body. Four thousand less chemicals are being fed into your system. The abundant supply of water you're drinking (half your body weight in ounces) is helping flush and clean your systems! It only gets better! Let the healing continue! YQB Zep : )
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

August 31st, 2001, 8:39 pm #10

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From: Deb Sent: 8/5/2000 12:59 AM
Zip, What an attitude booster. WOW! I still hear your word ringing in my ears. Hope you don't mind but I'm going to have to copy this one. Has I'm reading your post I'm reminded of all the other area's of life that are affected by our attitudes. Half-full or half-empty. Positive or negative. And the amazing thing we are the ones who get to choice how it will be in our own situations of our life. And the results of our attitudes are no ones but our own. I think this is a lesson that every child should learn and be reminded of frequently. For at times it's so easy to blame things on the other guy or statements like "I knew I couldn't do it. WOW! This is good. Thanks big brother Zip. Big, big Hugs, and Breathing deeper then ever! Quit sis, Deb I have been Quit for: 2M 2W 1D 23h 29m 1s. I have NOT smoked 3079, for a savings of $428.00. Life Saved: 1W 3D 16h 35m
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From: Nora (Gold) Sent: 8/11/2000 10:13 PM
Zep, this message was one I needed tonight! I wasn't sure what was wrong but after reading this message again, I think I was afraid of reaching the 1 week point tomorrow. Funny isn't it how we can create anxiety for ourselves. Thank you so much for being there for us. I think I printed this post before but do not see it right now so am printing it again. I need to get all my printouts into a book.

Your quit sis

Nora

Six days, 11 hours, 9 minutes and 25 seconds. 193 cigarettes not smoked, saving $15.42. Life saved: 16 hours, 5 minutes.

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From: twovees (Gold) Sent: 8/16/2000 8:57 PM
Thank you, Zep. I noticed you posted a picture of a turkey, which I almost was. Not even completed day 2 and I was thinking about how nice it would be to just have a couple of drags. Instead of doing that, I came to my computer to read, and Lo and Behold, there was your post about unbearable cravings. It was at the top of the list. JUST IN THE NICK OF TIME.

Vivian: One day, 20 hours, 55 minutes and 59 seconds. 93 cigarettes not smoked, saving $6.13. Life saved: 7 hours, 45 minutes.

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From: Aphrodite Sent: 8/16/2000 9:01 PM
Dear Zep,

Thanks,

I stayed late at work tonight and needed this reminder to breathe deep berfore I get into the car for the drive home..

Iris

p/s what's with the turkeys? Find a more winning symbol!! I like your soaring eagles better. ;-)
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

August 31st, 2001, 8:40 pm #11

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From: laila Sent: 8/18/2000 11:21 AM
I really like this one too :-)

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From: Roswitha Sent: 9/7/2000 7:40 PM
Thanks Zep,

Bevor I hade a chance to read your post I was ready to get back on Zyban,but I will try one more day without Zyban and replace it with positive thinking,I don`t know how to thank you .

LOTS OF HUGGS FROM ROSWITHA
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From: Christiana (Silver) Sent: 9/22/2000 7:56 AM
Hello Hello, It never occured to me, that instead of getting weaker with each passing thought or craving to use i was getting stronger. silly me, and i have been trying to figure this out since 1986, and smoking the things since 1962. ok i get it, is my glass half empty as i think it is too late, and why bother, or half full, and no it is never to late, and i can respect what health i have left, and even get feeling better than i have in a while. Later Christiana
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From: Shelley Sent: 1/30/2001 1:58 PM
Zep, I guess maybe keeping my positive attitude is helping me a lot with this quit---I am having more trouble with depression and tiredness--but I would rather sleep my life away than smoke!!!! Seeing the rough time some of the quitters ahead of me are having will help me prepare for the worst, just in case it happens. This place is a Godsend for me---I get lots of "lightbulbs"--ideas that I can use to stay quit. Thanks to all...lol
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From: Hal(Silver) Sent: 1/30/2001 4:28 PM
I saw this at another site and it really helped me:
Cravings:
Smokers and ex-smokers both get cravings.
The smoker smokes to push the cravings away temporarily.
The ex-smoker accepts the minor discomfort of craving to get the reward of not smoking.
One trtades short term relief for long term misery.
The other accepts short term discomfort for long term freedom
I'm glad I am making the latter choice
2M2D1H, 2522 not smoked at age 69 Never a puff, never.
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Treese (Silver)
Treese (Silver)

September 1st, 2001, 11:15 am #12

HI ZEP! I AGREE THAT ATTITUDE PLAYS AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN MANY THINGS A PERSON DOES, AND YES, PARTICULARLY IN KEEPING A QUIT GOING. I WANTED TO SAY THAT IF IT WASN'T FOR THE ARTICLES HERE I VERY WELL MAY HAVE BLOWN MY QUIT AS OF YESTERDAY. " THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED": MYSELF AND STAFF WERE HELD UP AT GUNPOINT AND IT WAS THE MOST HORIFYING EXPERIENCE ANYONE CAN GO THRU. I'M STILL THANKING GOD THAT WE ARE ALL OK. WE ALL WENT TO THE POLICE STATION AFTERWARDS. AS I GOT OUT OF THE CAR, I THOUGHT, IF I WERE STILL SMOKING, I WOULD BE SMOKING AT LEAST 2 OR 3 RIGHT NOW!!. (ONE THING I DID NOTICE THO, WAS THAT I DIDN'T THINK OF CIGS UNTIL ABOUT 1 HOUR AFTER THE "INCIDENT". IF I WERE STILL SMOKING, YOU KNOW I WOULD HAVE BEEN LIGHTING UP IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE THIEF LEFT THE BUILDING) LATER THAT DAY I HAD SOME JUNK THOUGHTS ABOUT HAVING THAT NOTORIOUS "JUST ONE" TO HELP ME RELAX. I WAS SO UPTIGHT AND NERVOUS. BUT THE WORDS KEPT COMING TO ME THAT SMOKING IS NOT GOING TO MAKE ANY SITUATION BETTER - ONLY WORSE!!! ACTUALLY, TODAY, I FELT EVEN WORSE THAN YESTERDAY, BUT AM PROUD TO SAY I MADE IT THRU, STILL SMOKE FREE. THIS WAS A BIG, I MEAN BIG STEP FOR ME AND I WANTED TO TELL YOU ALL ABOUT IT THAT I MADE IT BECAUSE OF ALL THE EDUCATION I RECEIVED RIGHT HERE AT THIS SITE!!! I AM GETTING STRONGER AND STRONGER EVERYDAY AND ANOTHER THING THAT KEPT GOING THRU MY MIND FREQUENTLY WAS TO TAKE ONE HOUR, ONE DAY AT A TIME!!!!!!!! THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN, FOR I WAS ABLE TO TALK MYSELF OUT OF BLOWING THIS GLORIOUS QUIT OF MINE. TREESE@ 2MONTHS 6DAYS, 2HOURS
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MareBear GOLD
MareBear GOLD

August 1st, 2002, 9:58 pm #13

This is a great thread John. I just copied the first post & emailed it to a friend who wants desperately to quit --she told me "I've gotta stop. I get so stressed that I feel like that's what gets me thru without exploding half the time on people. What can I do about the stress thing?" So I sent her this thread...any other ones I can send her? She has a young daughter and she doesn't smoke in her presence...I think she is ready but she doesn't know how to deal with her junkie thoughts--she probably still believes them.
Thanks,
MareBear
Not a puff for: 2M 3D 12h 15m. Cigarettes NOT smoked: 1290, saving me $199.98. Life Saved: 4D 11h 30m.
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Roger (Gold)
Roger (Gold)

December 2nd, 2002, 12:49 pm #14



It's been too long since this thread has seen the light. It just might help someone see the light!!!!!
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Joel
Joel

December 8th, 2002, 11:53 pm #15

If you quit with a lousy attitude and sustain a lousy attitude, you can expect to have a pretty lousy time of it. If you quit with a good attitude, well during withdrawal you "may" possibly still have a lousy time but at least you will have a good attitude about it.

After the initial withdrawal and normal readjustment period though, your attitude is going to make a huge difference on how good you will feel and how comfortable you will get. Everyone here must understand that by quitting you are not depriving yourself of one or even a few good cigarettes--you are ridding yourself of full-fledged smoking and all of the consequences that go with all of your cigarettes.

The consequences include the costs, the smells, the accidental burns or fires, the social awkwardness, the looks and stares, the constant withdrawal or nicotine poisoning episodes experienced from oversmoking at times because you are not able to smoke on your time table but rather having to smoke when the resistance of those around you is minimal, the health effect and the life-threatening implications that go with being a smoker.

Keep focused on the fact that quitting smoking is a good thing that you have done for yourself--something you likely wanted to do for a long time but never quite knew how to do until you finally realized that all it really take to stay successfully smoke free is just knowing to never take another puff!

Joel
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michaela Bronze
michaela Bronze

December 27th, 2002, 8:19 am #16

Thank you this is just what I needed today:)

Michaela
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Shinelady Gold3282003
Shinelady Gold3282003

May 29th, 2003, 11:01 am #17

When you're READY for your freedom, freedom you shall find.
View this challenge as WONDERFUL and fulfillment will arrive.
See the GLORY of today, then glory it will be!
Praise the HEALING of your body and set your spirit free.
Inhale the JOYS of today, feel the spender of the journey.
Yet be TRUTHFUL of the past, to protect the here and now.
BELIEVE yourself a ex-smoker, a ex-smoker you shall see.
NEVER take another puff and freedom it will be.

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long
John R. Polito
So beautiful is the thought portrayed here. Thanks!!
yqs, sue
Two months, 5 hours, 9 minutes and 14 seconds. 2448 cigarettes not smoked, saving $353.58. Life saved: 1 week, 1 day, 12 hours, 0 minutes.
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