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Mary Ella’s Weekly Message
April 30, 2012
Remembering My Mom's Quit
When I was growing up, both of my parents smoked. My father was a chain smoker and quit cold turkey after his doctor advised it. I remember he sucked on sourball candy for several years to replace putting cigarettes in his mouth until he eventually got to the point where he considered himself to be a non-smoker.
My mother, however, continued smoking. She smoked about a pack a day until 20 years ago and made several serious attempts at quitting before she was finally successful. During a bout with bronchitis, she stopped smoking while she was sick. I was so thankful when she finally was able to quit for good.
My mom is about to celebrate her 87th birthday. She has COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. She has suffered a heart attack and has high blood pressure, kidney disease and poor circulation. Those are all diseases that are attributable to smoking. When the doctor asks if my mother has shallow breathing, she says no because she's so used to breathing with poor lung function. I see her struggling to breathe when she walks a short distance and it makes me so angry at the tobacco industry; they've knowingly addicted her and millions of other people around the world to their deadly product, all to make a profit.
It's almost Mother's Day and even if you aren't a mom, it can still be an occasion to spend time with people you love. If you're a smoker, the best possible thing you can do to protect your health is to quit smoking, and it's also the best thing you can do to protect the health of those who live with you. Freedom From Smoking® Online is the right place to do that! All of the support you need is there in the modules and on the Message Boards. There are many other participants willing to lend a hand and help you through the tough days. No matter what you're feeling, there is likely someone else who's felt the same way at some point and that person can help to lift you up when you need it most.
As you go through the week ahead, focus on these tips to remain smokefree:
- If you are using an FDA-approved medication to quit, keep using it according to the directions on the package. Review the Medication Chart to decide which one is best for you, and be sure to talk with your health care provider about it.
- Close those "back doors"! Make sure that you are not holding on to any excuses to continue smoking.
- Manage your stress . Sometimes this is easier said than done, but our relaxation exercises will help. Download them and listen to them daily.
- Reward yourself ! You're making a major lifestyle change and if you reward your positive behavior, you're likely to continue on that path. Celebrate all of the little victories.
- Review your list of reasons to quit often. Make sure your reasons are personal—the reasons YOU want to be smokefree.
Until next time, 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.