need tips for when the urge hits!!

lindalouFebruary 8, 2013

i quit smoking two nights ago. i have smoked for around 50 years and it is tough. i am using the patch, which seems to help a great deal, but......when i get the urge it is really powerful. i have been taking 10 deep breaths and drinking ice water. i have twizzler licorice, tic tacs, been brushing my teeth a lot. what have you (who have quit) done to help yourselves through this part? i am bound and determined to quit THIS TIME!!!!

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Hi Lindalou

Good for you. Allen Carr's book "Easy Way to Stop Smoking" was what worked for me. I smoked for over 40 years and I was smoking a large (25) pack a day. Coke and cigarettes got me through the day. I know it seems hard to believe but I read his book and stopped smoking when I finished it - threw out my cigarettes and ashtrays the same day. Truly I did! Can't really explain how it works except it seemed kinda silly to continue smoking after reading the book. That was in June of 2011 - haven't smoked since. No willpower or smoking cessation aids needed. I still do think about cigarettes but it's usually just a few seconds and the thoughts are gone - not a big deal at all. Anyways, it helped me maybe it could help you too.
Good luck

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 4:52AM
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I feel your pain. I quit 4 years ago with sheer will power. I kept envisioning black lungs and kept asking myself why in the world I wanted to kill myself and go broke doing it!!!

The other thing that helps is smelling someone who smokes. YUCK! I was a very conscientious smoker; NEVER smoked in a restauant or anywhere else in public. The smell gagged me when I smoked, but when I quit.....BLECH!

It is going to be torture for a while; but just keep telling yourself that you are saving your own life!!!!
Good luck!!!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 7:00AM
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No tips, since I never smoked. I'm glad I never started because I have no will power whatsoever and would never be able to quit. Sometimes I wonder if smokers really know how repulsive it is to non-smokers. That bad breath makes me gag.

I just want to send you my best wishes for staying strong until the urges are entirely gone. It will be so worth it. Strength!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 8:53AM
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The best tip I have to to get a e-cig, no pain and its almost like smoking.
Take a look at my page for information.
When I quit I just did 3 per day then 2 and none in 3 more days. My cough stopped right away! The e-cig will ease you out.

Here is a link that might be useful: e-cigs for beginners

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 8:58AM
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Here's a tip you've probably not heard before. If you get the urge to smoke, take a short brisk walk. It will get you breathing and help clear out your lungs. Plus, it will help with any weight gain.

I quit smoking about 15 years ago after smoking off and on for a long time. I had certain triggers that set off my craving. I learned what those were and it heped me quit. At the time I quit, I was smoking 4 -5 cigarettes a day. There was one point I was smoking 3 packs a day.

Keep it up! You can do it!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 9:29AM
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I lost my mom a couple of years ago when she was only 46 from lung cancer caused by 30 years of smoking. She is going to miss out on seeing her kids become adults and getting married, meeting her grandkids and enjoying the second half of her life, and her loss has left a huge hole in our family. Lung cancer is a horrible, horrible disease that I wouldn't wish upon anyone. It is not a pleasant way to die.

I am not saying this as some sort of guilt trip or scare tactic, but rather the truth of what can, and often does, happen because maybe it will help when those urges hit. I am so glad that you still have the opportunity to quit, and I hope you are one of the lucky ones who avoids serious smoke-related health problems. I can't imagine the strength it takes to quit something after 50 years so I wish you the best of luck!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 9:38AM
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When you think of a cigarette, visualize it filled with slurpy, ugly, nasty stuff that you'd NEVER want in your lungs. Make it as graphic as possible to disgust you and keep you centered. How you think and talk lets the brain react accordingly.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 11:32AM
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I quit on 2/2/05, after having smoked forever. I used the patch for one week. I cried for two weeks!! The thing that helped me the most was to drink a lot water with lemon juice. (I am not a lemon person...seldom even drink lemonade...but it really helped to "ease the pain".) Deep breaths are also helpful.

I told myself that I was not quitting--just taking a vacation from smoking--and could start again when I turned 80 (I was 57 at the time). My parents (former smokers) assured me that I would be "over it" by age 80. I still get the urge occasionally, but can't stand the smell now.

Good luck, and I will say a prayer that you are successful. The fact that you are determined to quit is 90% of the battle.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 11:33AM
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I do have a suggestion. When you are taking those
deep breaths....use 'guided imagery' or sellf hypnosis and keep seeing yourself as a 'non-smoker' doing the things you want to do without cigaretts.

I used hypnosis tapes without successs for a time, but the tapes DID teach me how to relax one muscle group at a time. focus..focus...focus. Yoga breathing helps too.

Best of luck....You will feel great in no time after you get past these first days.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 11:34AM
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I'm not a smoker but wanted to say "GOOD FOR YOU" for quitting!! My oldest son/DIL both quit, then went to a casino, thot "one won't hurt". Yep, both are hooked again. I'm going to try to find the book mentioned to send to them.

A friend, whom I didn't know had ever smoked, said what helped her was filling a straw (cut one in 1/2 is about length of cig) with peanut butter, jelly, cheese, anything of that texture. Suck on it when the craving gets so intense. She said she went thru a LOT of straws, but it sure helped her quit. Perhaps this tip will help you as well. I'd never heard of it.....

Good luck to you in your struggle!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 11:51AM
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I quit 11 years ago after smoking over 30 plus
years. I drank lots and lots of water and I still
do. Keep that water bottle with you where ever
you go. Our water tastes terrible so I do drink
bottled water and every bottle gets recycled.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 11:51AM
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I quit 2 years ago on the 10th of this month. I was a super HEAVY smoker, 3 packs/day!! Needless to say, I had a heart attack. I was in the hospital for a week and decided then and there that was the best time to quit. I couldn't smoke in the hospital. When I got out, someone brought me one of the e-cigs. That thing was my lifesaver for nearly a month. Not really "smoking" it, but just having it available for my hands and mouth. Now here it is 2 years later and I'm still smoke free. You can do it!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 12:22PM
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Good luck to you! I wish I had some magic tips to offer but unfotunately I can only say what worked for me. I had smoked for about 20 years. I was 4O or so at the time. My girls were always begging me to stop. One day I held a cigarette in my hand and just to myself, said "why am I letting something that small control my life?" I made my mind up that day! It's been a little over 40 years now, my DH continued to smoke until the doctor told him he had emphysema, which unfortunately was not soon enough. He is COPD, on oxygen 24/7. Not a good thing.

Again, I wish you luck. You can do it!!!!!!


    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 12:25PM
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My husband swears by the patch. Just used the generic cheaper one. He could not quit without it, he's been smoke free for like 9 years now! Now he is very ANTI-smoking! If he could quit, anyone can *seriously*! This man was so addicted to cigs it was ridiculous!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 12:30PM
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thank you all, so much. your encouragement is really heartwarming. i will re-read these posts over and over again. i really appreciate your taking the time to post these suggestions. goldedger, i just bought that book for my kindle so will read it immediately. again, thank you all so much!! i will succeed this time....i can feel it!!! :)

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 12:53PM
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I quit smoking (40+ years ago) when I accompanied my DH on a business trip. It was a wicked first week, but being away from home, away from all my everyday smoking triggers, really helped. Any chance you can go somewhere? Even just to get out of the house for a little while might help.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 1:03PM
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Lindalou, I forgot to mention that my son, who was in his late teens, when asked if he was surprised I quit, said "no, she's just that stubborn". Talk about brutal honesty....LOL

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 1:43PM
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I've never smoked, but just want to wish you all the best. You can do it. The only thing I have ever been addicted to were pain pills and Coke...Coca Cola. I went cold turkey and quit the pain pills. I quit the Coke too...but then I went back and started "using" Pepsi. Once past the withdrawals, I knew I'd never touch a pain pill again. However, I have cut the Pepsi down to one or (sometimes)two a day, and that is harder than quitting Hydrocodone.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 2:17PM
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HOORAY for YOU! I quit when we adopted our DS over 40 years ago. I 'only' smoked two or three cigarettes a day. I had no idea I was *addicted* until I quit and found myself checking our ashtrays at the end of a party, looking for a remnant cigarette I could smoke. Disgusting wake-up call!

My next-door-neighbor tried many things, but only hypnosis worked for her. Give yourself permission to try whatever will get you off tobacco.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 3:13PM
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I quit almost 3 years ago. I had quit several times before but only for a few weeks. I think the last time I was successful because I really wanted to quit that time. I used the patches until I had completed the first two steps of the patches and quit them because I knew I didn't need the final step because I could do it on my own. I still crave them but it doesn't last long. I've gained weight which I hate, because I have never had any weight problems. The Dr. says these extra pounds will come off but I wonder. LOL

Good luck. You CAN do it.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 3:23PM
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This litle essay seems to fit the subject. The players in this tale are not identified, but they are real, and this was a real event.

Daddy Quit Smoking

From the time I first became aware that I was an individual, my daddy used tobacco. I am not sure when he first started the habit; It could have been as early as his army days in 1917-1919. My first memories of his habit were about 1942. He, being a farmer, was strict about fire around a barn full of hay and in hay fields. When he was in those locations, he never lit up, instead, he chewed. To the non-user, smoking is bad enough, but a chewer is worse.

Typically, Dad kept only one form of tobacco. Naturally, it was the least expensive he could get. Money was scarce in our family in those times. If you had some pocket change, you were well off. It was reputed that our family could �pinch pennies� as well if not better than the neighbors. We could pinch a penny so hard that we left finger prints embossed in the copper! Dad bought pipe smoking tobacco in little cloth bags with a draw string. A pipe smoke was his favorite. When he chewed, he�d take pinch of pipe tobacco. On special occasion, he might receive a plug of Red Man chewing tobacco.

During the early part of the 1940s, we did not have a car. Our transportation was a 4 person buggy pulled by a team of plough horses. On Sundays, we�d pile into the buggy to attend church. Mom and Dad sat up front and my sister and I occupied the back seat. I remember those rides well. Why? Dad would pull out his sack of smoking tobacco and cop a pinch. On more than one occasion if the wind was in the right direction a loose flake of tobacco would fly back and score a hit in my eye. Wowee, that stung! It was enough for me to generate new swear words were it not for the presence of my parents and the fact that we were on our way to church. Eventually, tears would flush the offending nuisance.

After a long day and after supper, Dad would settle into his rocker and fire up a pipe of tobacco. After one or two pipes, he would be snoozing.

(For the uninitiated, the 3 meals of the day were named breakfast, dinner, and supper. After leaving home, I had to relearn names for the noon and evening meals.)

Mother disapproved of Dad�s tobacco habit, but had resigned to live with it. More than once, we kids heard mother wish that Dad would break the habit, but that was the one irritant that she did not harp upon with Dad. She�d mention it to him and then move on. This was the climate we kids knew while growing up. In 1954, I left home to work my way through college and soon after my sister married. It was after we had left home that Dad decided to quit tobacco. He did it in style. On one of my visits home, mother related how dad quit. Patterson Methodist Church had hosted an old time revival meeting. One night at the end of the meeting, the audience had been properly fired up and the Lady Evangelist gave the call for anyone who wanted to be saved or needed help to come forward. By Golly, Dad got out of his seat and went up the aisle. He asked for help to quit tobacco.

Arrangements were made and the Lady Evangelist arrived at our house at noon the next day. As Mom related, they squared off in the kitchen, Dad seated on one side of the table and the Evangelist on the other side with Mom over in a corner. The Lady and Dad held hands across the table and they prayed for the better part of an hour. After this session, the Evangelist left and Dad quit cold turkey!
I am not privy about all the circumstances leading up to this momentous event. Had Dad already decided to quit and took the opportunity to do it in style? I never met this Lady, but I heard from my friends that she was beautiful. They described her as "stacked". Whatever the case, I got to hand to Dad, he successfully quit tobacco. The irony of it all is that Mother had chipped at him for a lifetime and then he quits with a one hour visitation by someone else. Maybe there were other forces at work after all.

It is my opinion that with this act, Dad extended his life by several years. For 2 years afterward, Dad kept a dish of hard candy where the ash tray had been. He�d take a piece of candy when the urge was bad. He gained weight, but managed to lose it as the urge to use tobacco ebbed.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 1:52AM
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I quit a 50 year addiction with the help of Allan Carr's book and The Quitnet. Talk about "tips for when the urge hits" The Q is devoted to that--not preachy but forums, much like GW, for and by people quitting and helping each other to stay motivated. That is where I read about his book.

I quit on 9/3/09 and discovered Q about a week later. Someone had posted a link to posts made on 9/11/01, and instead of a lot of people giving up their quits that day, I saw people helping each other stay strong, smoke free, and passing info to those without access to media. A really nice community. And it also keeps track of our stats. Good luck. You can do this. Sandy

My Stats: (I never dreamed I could do this)

1255 days, 12 hours, 15 minutes and 38 seconds smoke free.

50220 cigarettes not smoked.

$8,785.00 and 12 months, 23 days, 15 hours of your life saved.

Your quit date: 9/3/2009

Here is a link that might be useful: Quitnet

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 12:19PM
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joyfulguy does as indicated earlier.

When you get the urge, have a stick of celery, carrot, etc. to work on ... or, if worse comes to worst ... chew on a toothpick.

Learn which were your triggers, and try to alter your routine, as possible, to avoid them.

ole joyful ... with family history of lung weakness, dad moved to prairies and had 40 good years in that drier climate.

P.S. I got clots on lungs a couple of years ago ... might have been the end of me had I, who started to smoke about 16, not decided about 6 mos. later that, not liking either the taste or, being frugal from way back, the cost ... should quit: and did.

o j

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 3:34PM
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You are in my thoughts and prayers, and you WILL be able to stop smoking. Fortunately for myself, at age 15--in the mid 40s when smoking was very "cool" and the "in" thing to do-- my first attempt ended in a choking fit and I never tried to do it, again!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 6:05PM
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it was our christmas present from dh in 1985...after banning him to the bathroom to smoke, think he just quit because he knew he could...a co-worker of his, sent him to hypo-theraphy, but didn't last...and he hated the gum...

he's gotten so he can't stand the smell. and we both can be driving and if the windows are down and smell it, up they go...i'm glad he quit when he did as we have 4 kids and they all have allergies and one asthma...and with 9 grands we sure don't need them exposed!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 7:39PM
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My husband HAD to quit after getting emphysema! He had smoked for most of his life. Now he has to take two inhaler things twice a day. And he won't be able to fly to FL see our only grandson graduate from high school and go to Dartmouth.

My daughter didn't want to make him worse by smoking around him so she did a lot of research on the e-cigaret and that helped her quit very quickly. Because of her my sister-in-law got an e-cigarette and was able to quit. You can start with nicotine and gradually cut down. They have many delicious flavors. And they don't stink! You don't smoke ~ you vape.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 10:00PM
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My DS got the e-cigs to quit. He said he feels better, doesn't wheeze and doesn't stink.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 10:06PM
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lindalou - different things work for different people so you just have to find the right fix for you.

Back in 1990, I quit after a strep throat for 2 years but it was made easier because I got pregnant with my last child. After she was born I fought the temptations until finally giving in to it. It was hard because I never really wanted to quit smoking, but knew that I should. I would have a cigarette in one hand and an asthma inhaler in the other.

I have tried the patches and also chantix. Sometimes I would take the patch off, smoke a cigarette, then slap the thing back on. It got worse when I was scheduled to go to the lower dose. Sometimes I wouldn't even bother to take the patch off but would smoke anyway.

Last January I finally ordered an E cig. I used it for a short time, on and off, then put it aside until June. It took some getting used to but now I loooove my e-cig. Now, I have traded one addiction for another. But, I seldom use my asthma inhaler and can actually hold my breath for more than 20 seconds.

I am proud that I no longer smoke cigarettes but I see an e-cig as a crutch. DH, who quit by way of the patches 3 years ago, would like me to give up the e-cig but I have no plans to do that. No, it doesn't look pretty, or ladylike, and I am always careful if I'm driving that I don't use it when I can be seen. I live in a small town and don't want people to think I'm hitting a crack pipe or something! :)

I have not had a cigarette since Father's Day and I'm happy with how easy it has been. Sometimes I use e-liquid with no nicotine, sometimes with low nicotine. I still get those pangs for nicotine sometimes.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2013 at 11:46PM
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I quit cold turkey 5 years ago. I used hard candy and sunflower seeds. My tongue literally bled at times from the salt. Even now I would love a cig, esp when out with friends, but I remind myself how far I have come. I know one single draw will have me smoking again and I NEVER want to have to quit again.


    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 12:08AM
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When I quit I learned one thing: You will NOT quit until YOU WANT to quit. That's the number one thing. What works for one won't work for another. Money was a big motivator for me. At the time I decided to quit I knew I was going to be quitting my job soon and the discounts I got on cigarettes would end. And at one point I was around 5 packs a day and just went, nope, won't be paying that much. I liked the taste of a cigarette (and do to this day) but it simply was not worth it. Smoking is more habit than anything else. Break your routine. I quit smoking at home first, then quit at work, then quit in the vehicle. That was the toughest part. Get in and reach for a smoke. But when I did a simple adjustment like moving the cigarettes to a different pocket and started noticing my hand in an empty pocket, I realized just how much it's habit. Working in the garage really gave an urge. But when I realized it was the habit it became much easier to deal with.

Like with a diet or many other things, what works for one isn't for everyone. You need to find your motivator and use it to your advantage. Once I truly decided I WANTED to quit, the quitting part wasn't very difficult. The tough part is convincing oneself that you want to quit.

Good luck finding what works for you. Once you do, you're almost home.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 12:20AM
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thanks, everyone. day three and still not smoking. i am reading alan carr's book and using the patch. the urges don't seem to be quite as strong as the first 2 days. i will do this!!!! :)

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 2:11AM
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When I am tempted, my mantra is, "I'm a puff away from a pack-a-day!" That eliminates the urge quickly!!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 8:26AM
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What Wanda VA said..LOL I can't even remember when I quit but I think it was at least 10 years ago now and it was the umpteenth time I tried...

Funny thing is that it bothered me for a week or so and then, every now and then and before long, it was like I couldn't believe I was ever a smoker and it was so wonderful to be out from under that curse...;you know the one that always told you that you needed a cig and the one that made you light up just from know, pick up the phone, dial, light a cigarette, pour a cup of coffee and light up...

    Bookmark   February 10, 2013 at 4:34PM
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thanks, everyone. day three and still not smoking. i am reading alan carr's book and using the patch. the urges don't seem to be quite as strong as the first 2 days. i will do this!!!! :)

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 4:02AM
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Congratulations on three days-That is an accomplishment!! I am not a smoker, but I am a snacker! I am trying to keep my hands busy, hoping that will help?

My MIL was a heavy smoker for nearly 30 years or so. She used a prescription drug, maybe Chantix? and she has quit for about 5 years.

Maybe there is a pattern to your cravings? A certain time of day, food/drink, an activity or group of friends?

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 10:10AM
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I quit in 1995. What helped was the patch. Maybe you need to add more of the patch to help with the urges. After a few days I would remove the patch to see if I could handle the urge, but if not, I kept them on. I did cut the patch each week and just weened myself off them. I would also think of the money wasted on inhaling dead air. That thought really helped me. Good luck to you and I hope you succeed.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 3:53PM
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Congrats on the three days!!

Keep up the good work, Linda lou ...

... and think of what you'll be able to splurge on, after while, with all of that money you've saved!

But ... don't spend it all, early on - save some for that extended retirement ... that'll likely include cruises ... travel, etc. due to the improved ealth that you'll be enjoying ...

... for longer!

ole joyfuelled ... and fuel yourself with some joy, as well

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 5:11PM
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thanks, for the encouragement, everyone. it really has been helping me. when i get an extra strong urge, i come here and re-read this thread. i am walking the dog a lot more often, eating carrot and celery sticks, popping tic tacs and crocheting a scarf. i am over the worst of the coughing and sneezing fits i was having the first two days. my taste and smell is improving. i am actually feeling so much better. i will succeed this time, for sure!!! thanks, again...:)

    Bookmark   February 11, 2013 at 7:38PM
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thanks, for the encouragement, everyone. it really has been helping me. when i get an extra strong urge, i come here and re-read this thread. i am walking the dog a lot more often, eating carrot and celery sticks, popping tic tacs and crocheting a scarf. i am over the worst of the coughing and sneezing fits i was having the first two days. my taste and smell is improving. i am actually feeling so much better. i will succeed this time, for sure!!! thanks, again...:)

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 4:50AM
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