Returning Member Login
Mary Ella’s Weekly Message
June 11, 2012
June is full of graduations at every level, from kindergarten to middle school, high school and beyond. Graduation is significant. It means that one has accomplished something important and is moving ahead to something new. It marks the beginning of a new chapter in someone's life. It's the same with the FFS Online graduates, isn't it?
Think back to your first day of school. Were you eager to get started? Scared? Afraid to leave home for a classroom filled with other kids you didn't know? Participants enter the FFS Online program with the same kind of mixed emotions. Some are excited to find the program and set a quit date, others enter our virtual doors with some anxiety; they've tried to quit before and wonder if this time will be THE time. Some are angry with themselves for ever having started to smoke. As people start the program and work through the lessons, they learn about new coping techniques and new ways of doing things. They experiment with the activities that are assigned. They visit the Message Boards and find themselves surrounded by others who are experiencing some of the same feelings. Friendships begin to form and they often find buddies or BFFs in the program.
Just like with school graduations, we have graduations in the FFS Online program. We consider the FFS Online graduates to be those who have completed the modules and become smokefree. Many of our graduates stick around for a while, as you have certainly noticed.
Without program graduates, the FFS Online program would lack vital community support. Our graduates stay to reach out to "newbies" on the Message Boards. They offer encouragement, advice, a pat on the back and sometimes get tough if someone goes astray. At the same time the graduates offer support, they receive support as well. The FFS Online Community becomes a comfortable place to reinforce their decision and resolve to remain smokefree. They become mentors to those just starting out.
We hope you'll stick around for a while when you graduate. Some folks stay briefly, others a long time and some just pop back in occasionally to celebrate their long-term success. No matter where you are in the continuum, you play an important part in the success of the program. Thank you for being here, for reaching out, for moving through whatever rocky emotions you may have felt at the beginning, and for reaching your goal of becoming smokefree. Cue up that great "Pomp and Circumstance" music and give yourself a huge pat on the back. You deserve to be proud of your accomplishment and to celebrate it!
If your Quit Day is this week, remember the 4 D's when you have a craving to smoke:
- Delay. The urge will pass, whether you smoke or not.
- Deep breathe. It will help relax you.
- Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated (eight, 8-oz. glasses a day).
- Do something else—get up and actually do something to distract yourself.
I’ll see you on the Message Boards! :-) Mary Ella
Don’t forget: If you're in the Premium program and want help fast on the Message Boards, put "HELP NOW" in the subject line of your post. If you're looking to offer help, watch for those, "HELP NOW" posts and alert your other FFS Online buddies to offer some assistance as well.