Acknowledge the negative--but dwell on the positive


April 7th, 2002, 11:08 pm#1

It's amazing how many people do the exact opposite of this when it comes to life in general and smoking cessation in particular. If you dwell on the positive side of not smoking you will stay forever resolute to never take another puff!


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Last edited by Joel on September 11th, 2015, 1:50 pm, edited 4 times in total.

mirigirl (silver)

April 7th, 2002, 11:25 pm#2


love this - thank you Joel - yet again - this saying has helped me so many times - wish I knew how to make it into a bumper sticker!!:-))

yqs mirigirl

Three months, one week, 1 hour, 35 minutes and 2 seconds free and healing

2426 cigarettes not smoked, saving $873.97. Life saved: 1 week, 1 day, 10 hours, 10 minutes.

wcsdancer (Gold)

April 8th, 2002, 12:39 am#3

Joel, I thought about this a while and the thing is...I can't think of any negatives related to quitting smoking? The way your life improves without smoking is overwhelming. EVERYTHING is better. I can't imagine relapse because I wouldn't want to give up all the great things I've added to my life becoming smoke free. It has improved my relationships, my health (in hundreds of ways), my self esteem, my bank account, my appearance, and my future. Who would want to give up all of that?!? Certainly not me !
Forever grateful,
4 Months 4 Weeks 1 Day 13 Hours 42 Minutes 17 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 1794. Money saved: $403.84.


April 8th, 2002, 12:50 am#4

Hello Candy:

People still get occasional thoughts for cigarettes after they quit. The first few days people are having actual physical side effects. The first few weeks people are having awkward moments of not knowing how to start an activity or how to finish an activity or how to move on to a new activity without smoking. These can all be real effects and considered "negative" by the person.

But when contrasted by the overwhelming majority of positive reations from quitting, these negatives pale in comparrison. I just don't want people to think that it is easy for a person like you to stay off because all you feel is good when at the time they may still feel some sadness or remorse. They too can stay off and likely feel better overall if they follow the advise here of acknowledging the negative and dwell on the positive. If they do this over time the negatives will eventually almost cease to exist and the positives will continue to accumulate and they will stay on this path as long as they know to never take another puff!


Roger (Gold)

April 8th, 2002, 1:38 am#5

Good Post Joel,

This is so true in life. I have always been a positive person throughout my life except when it came to beating my addiction for so many years. I spent my entire life trying to convince my children this one principle.
If The Mind Can Conceive It
Then Believe It,
Where would we be as a society today if so many of our reasearchers, doctors, inventors and visionaries believed they could not conquer disease or land a man on the moon. I hate to think all of the what ifs.
It took me over 35 years to believe in myself enough to quit. Better late than never I guess.

wcsdancer (Gold)

April 8th, 2002, 1:51 am#6

Joel, now I see exactly what you mean. I must say that it wasn't easy to quit or to go through the first couple of months. And I do still have intermitent challenges. But the cravings, triggers, and urges, have proven to me the seriousness of this addiction.

My gratitude for overcoming this horrible addiction overrrides any of the negatives tugging at me. I do face them, examine them, conquer them, and then remind myself that they occur due to healing. The hardest moments also brought me the greatest sense of accomplishment when I worked through them. I've gotten use to seeing the "negatives" as positives....proof of healing and reasons to stay free of nicotine.

I'm always grateful when a newbie admits their pain and struggles. It reminds those of us with more comfort where we came from and where we are to return if taking just one puff. I hope all new quitters will realize that it really doesn't take very long to start collecting the enormous benefits of a nicotine free life. And my wish for us all is that we hang on to this freedom for dear life.

Thanks for throwing us the life rafts! *Candy*

improud (golder)

April 8th, 2002, 8:42 am#7

Joel i wish I could be as positive in other areas of my life as I am about this quit and never taking another puff.

SweetLorraine (Gold)

April 8th, 2002, 11:17 am#8

Hi Joel, Love the post acknowledge the negative but dwell on the positive - attitude does make a huge difference.

I can attest that I quit for all the wrong reasons, but I was determined to suceed and sought information to help me quit for as long as necessary then I planned to go back to "enjoying" myself smoking.

With that attitude quitting wasn't all that much fun. Slight understatement - but once free of nicotine and able to absorb small amounts of education and brand new sets of ah hahs began happening . I'd never considered myself a nicotine addict but I saw my future in the isolation of the widowed smoker and I loathed the image. Who wants to acknowledge that they are as appealing as a dirty ashtray? But essentially that is what I had done to my body. Once free of nicotine I was able to evaluate my own addiction a bit more realistically.

Looking at smoking without the smoke screen there's no rational reason to ever take a single puff. Having achieved that insight - pitefully obvious to a sane person but a completely incomprehensible notion to an actively using addict - then the question becomes not should I quit or how can I stay quit but how to I make this the best possible experience? I look for all the good things about quitting I emphasize the benefits and minimize the negatives - what negatives? There really aren't any drawbacks to quitting - it's a classic win-win move.

Thanks for taking the time to educate all of us.

yqf Lorraine

LA 1

April 8th, 2002, 1:50 pm#9


How very much I appreciate your knowledge and insight regarding the power and intricacies of this addiction. I love the title of this "post" and all that it stands for...thankfully, you are not advocating the unrealistic "rose-coloured glasses" technique. Rather, you are encouraging each of us to acknowledge the challenges, and focus on the "good" that lies on the other side of them. The power of having made it through to the other side of our challenges (whatever they may be) is indescribable. Challenge...grow. I think that's a life theme.

I continue to be very grateful for your understanding of the quit process. Earlier in this thread you stated,
The first few weeks people are having awkward moments of not knowing how to start an activity or how to finish an activity or how to move on to a new activity without smoking.
Exactly! I'm feeling pretty good today...but I know this process/challenge of learning how to live as a non-smoker will continue to take some time. It's great to know you are out there guiding us along!

Two weeks, two days, 1 hour, 17 minutes and 30 seconds. 321 cigarettes not smoked, saving $115.58. Life saved: 1 day, 2 hours, 45 minutes.

Geo (Gold)

August 29th, 2002, 7:33 am#10

One thing that helped me to dwell on the positive through the hardest times is my quit meter. That little row of numbers at the bottom of my screen. I watched those numbers tick by, every one of them a major accomplishment! One hour, one day, one more week gone by without a cigarette and getting always easier. It is amazing how fast the numbers go by. They helped me to focus on what I was getting instead of what I was giving up. The quit meter is a great tool I highly recommend it.
I once wrote a list of the pro's and con's of smoking. The only pro I could think of was that it fed my addiction!
Staying positive is the way to go! Thanks again Joel.
One year, eleven months, four days!


December 17th, 2002, 6:31 am#11

You couldn't do a more positive thing for yourself.

Personally, it hasn't been easy, but the solid focus, and educational tools here at Freedom have made me so much stronger, and that attitude is affecting my whole life for the better. As far as I am concerned, there are NO negatives about quitting smoking.......only TEMPORARY discomfort.

I want to thank Joel, and all here at freedom, for helping me to gain MY freedom.

Peach X

John (Gold)

January 7th, 2003, 10:38 pm#12

Regardless of whether the next few minutes are the most comfortable yet or in the end prove to have been the most challenging of your entire recovery, they are 100% doable! Whichever moment does in the end prove to have been your most challenging of your recovery will likely someday be looked back upon with a deep sense of pride. As one of our members once reminded us, "it's our birthright to be free" and there's only one rule - no nicotine - Never Take Another Puff! John

michaela Bronze

February 20th, 2003, 6:41 am#13

I guess my double green victory post can go here as well:

Hi everyone,

2 has been 2 month since I have quit . A bumpy road locking back, many tears and mood swings...but clean lungs, no more ashtray breath and no more evenings in the garage. No more whistle sounds from my hurting lungs when I lay in more guilt feelings to myself and the abuse I put my body through. Yes many times the addict in me wanted to go back...there were inner struggles...times I thought perhaps I should do it "later" when I am stronger. But I am here today...2 month smoke free...happy every time I see an ad on TV about things that help you quit smoking...because I already did it:)

I feel free !!!


Shinelady Gold3282003

May 14th, 2003, 9:17 pm#14

Thanks Joel,

I like to embrace the positive attitude, as well. If we could learn to smile instead of mourn , every time we crave a cigarette, we will find the job gets easier and easier. Personally, I am learning to do just as you say "acknowledge the negative and dwell on the positive".
I'm learning to love my life. Thanks Joel and everyone who make "Freedom" a great place to be. I come here to dwell on the positive effects this journey will have on my life.
One month, two weeks, one day, 14 hours, 43 minutes and 30 seconds. 1864 cigarettes not smoked, saving $269.18. Life saved: 6 days, 11 hours, 20 minutes.

Toast (GOLD )

May 20th, 2003, 8:14 am#15

"Regardless of whether the next few minutes
are the most comfortable yet or
in the end prove to have been
the most challenging of your entire recovery,
they are 100% doable!"

OBob Gold

June 20th, 2003, 5:23 am#16

Negative: Head's fuzzy, I didn't sleep well last night, and I've had several strong cravings today.


Positive: This is the temporary healing that comes with the wonderful decision I finally made. There's comfort in my future, I don't stink, and this gift I'm giving myself is going to contribute to my health and longevity. Despite some discomfort today, I haven't been forced to take my hourly poisons, and what an enormous accomplishment that is after 20 years of slavery. And, it's only going to get better!


Gr8fulGirl Silver

June 20th, 2003, 5:29 am#17

Thank you for this one today OBob!


June 20th, 2003, 6:11 am#18

This is really good advice!! It's so simple and yet so easy to forget. Great reminder...
Negative: last night I went through craving after craving, and questioned my strength.
Positive: I made it through all of that!! Today was much better. I actually had someone tell me I smelled good! I can't remember the last time that happened! Usually, I smell like cigarettes, but not anymore. My breathing is getting better and I'm not constantly feeling guilty about having just smoked a cigarette! I can focus on other things, like arriving to school on time instead of taking every last minute to fit a cigarette in before some event.
I have been free from nicotine for 6 Days 9 Hours 15 Minutes 45 Seconds.
Last edited by wagongirl on March 20th, 2009, 1:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

Shinelady Gold3282003

November 24th, 2004, 9:44 pm#19

a favorite of mine. This thought helped me to get where I am today in my quit. It's a short , simple thought that is easy to grasp , but says it all. Put it together with never take another puff and you have a win win situation.
One year, seven months, three weeks, five days, 15 hours, 50 minutes and 23 seconds. 24266 cigarettes not smoked, saving $3,506.25. Life saved: 12 weeks, 6 hours, 10 minutes.
Last edited by Shinelady Gold3282003 on March 20th, 2009, 1:37 am, edited 1 time in total.


April 10th, 2005, 10:07 am#20

Negative: Moody, cranky, ready to rip my fellow humans' heads off, gaining weight.

Positive: Someone at work today asked me how long it had been since I quit. I was able to proudly tell him: "Three months and almost a week!" with a big old grin on my face.

FYI, all that negative stuff (well, except for the slight weight gain, which I'm working on) was within the first week or so of quitting. While I have had my triggers and stress every day, none of it matters, because I already know that smoking will just make it worse!

Feelin' good at 3 months+,


April 14th, 2005, 8:37 am#21

That is very well said and so true.
In my previous quit attempts I have been concentrating on my 'suffering', being sad about loosing something. Example, when others had a cigarette break after lunch, I would be thinking that I can't join them anymore. Every time when urge for a cigarette became strong I would listen to that and in a way make the wanting to smoke into something important.
This quit (day 8 today) has been different from the very first hour. I have conciously been extremly positive and have decided to simply ignore anything which appears negative. Because there is nothing negative about quitting this deadly ugly nasty addiction!!! By quitting smoking I can only win, short term and especially long term. Now I have acknowledged every little thing which has been good: already the first morning I didn't have that horrible taste in the mouth, the skin looks healthier already after this first week, my clothes don't smell, I can meet with nonsmoking friends without worrying about how and when to get nicotine, I can actually enjoy a movie without taking cigarette breaks, on. There are so many things to be happy about - big and small. It has helped me a lot during this week to remember that.


April 16th, 2005, 3:15 am#22

My sentiments EXACTLY!

Lisa - Free and Healing for Eighteen Days, 14 Hours and 55 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 18 Hours, by avoiding the use of 223 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $39.14.

May 30th, 2006, 7:29 am#23

You have achieved freedom from nicotine and now it's all about adjusting and learning to live without that constant nicotine fix.

That is such an incredibly positive fact.

No matter what is going on in your day always remember that you are free.

Adjusting is doable, one trigger, one crave, one day at a time.

Keep on educating your brain, keep on acknowledging your freedom.

Never stop celebrating!


December 14th, 2006, 4:44 am#24

Thanks to everyone involved in this site.

I am feeling very positive about this, my forever quit.

The negatives are so appalling it proves how powerful nicotine is that so many ppl continue to suffer.

I will suffer no more.

Sharon x (quit for good 4/12/06)