Hi, my name is Jane Penrod. I live in Boise, Idaho and I am retired. I retired about ten years ago from the airlines where I worked for 36 years. Two days ago I had my 67th birthday, which means that I have been smoking for about 50 years. I started about the age of 18. I started because a friend of mine had come home from college and I overheard these two ladies at work talking about how sophisticated she looked and how nice she handled her cigarettes. I thought, oh, I want to be that too. So I started smoking.
Over the years I have tried every gimmick that has come along to quit smoking. I have probably spent as much money in trying to quit smoking as I have spent on cigarettes, that is until they went way, way, way up. Of course that didn't detour me either. I've tried poking holes in them. I've torn the filters off of them. I've tried hiding them in the car overnight. I've tried running out so I wouldn't have one in the morning. Unfortunately, that was a big incentive to get up and get dressed and run down to get a cigarette.
I had quit once before for a month by going to a counselor society. I didn't quit right away, but my big incentive for quitting was that I had fallen down and broken my jaw. I had my mouth wired together and I couldn't open it so that was a real good incentive to quit smoking. I really liked the feeling of not smoking so at the end of that one month, I thought, "This is so easy. I guess I'll have a cigarette and celebrate it." Consequently, I smoked for the next three years. I got so sick and tired of being sick and tired of smoking. I knew that I needed help.
I accepted the fact that I was addicted to the cigarettes in my mind. One cigarette is not enough for me. I needed help getting on the other side of the river, because I was on this one bank, and I wanted to cross that river and not ever want to come back again. I wanted some kind of an assurance that I wouldn't come back over to the smoking side. I opened up the newspaper and saw an ad for Positive Changes and called them. I had my last two cigarettes before I walked in the building for my 1st session, and I have not had a cigarette since. That was September the 22nd. I have been a non-smoker for over 8 months now. I am so happy.
I was smoking up to three packs a day before I quit. Not only was I smoking in the daytime, I was smoking in bed. I would wake up, reach for a cigarette, and I would smoke it. I had holes in my linoleum. I had holes in my mattress. This was getting real dangerous and I had to do something.
After my first session at Positive Changes, it's like I went to that other side of the river and I had no desire to go back over, because I know what it's like to smoke. What I didn't know is what it's like to not smoke, and so far I find it the most positive thing that I have ever done for myself. I have no cravings for cigarettes. Once in a while I'll have a thought of a cigarette, but I realize that I think it all the way through, and I know that having one cigarette will put me right back where I started. I figured if this didn't work, I wasn't even going to try again. This was my final effort. I am so happy to say that I'm on the other side, and I will never, never pick up a cigarette again.
The sessions and the people at Positive Changes have really helped me to realize that it was a mind behavior. I do believe that my addiction was of the mind and not of the body. My body was dying. I didn't realize that I smelled so bad until I had already quit. I hugged a smoker and thought, oh my, did I smell like that?
I sleep better since I've quit smoking,. I wake up and I'm rested. I don't require as much sleep. The main thing is I have a lot more energy and more stamina. Before, I was tired. I was constantly tired when I was smoking. I'm not tired anymore. I can actually finish the projects that I start. Now I'm back to gardening. Before I would always have to stop and have a cigarette and then it was difficult to get started again.
I guess the most important benefit I received from Positive Changes is the fact that I know they're here to help me if I should ever slip into that again, but I also know that something has changed within my thinking that allows me not to go back over on the other side of the river. I did this for myself and I no longer wanted to feel bad smoking around my grandson.
I would recommend Positive Changes to anyone who wanted to stop smoking. I know that I am a non-smoker permanently at this point in my life. I was in bondage to the cigarettes, and I'm not anymore. There's a whole new life that waits and whole new things that I can do now. I do want to add that one the things I enjoy the most is the fact that I can be around other people who smoke and it doesn't bother me. I can also not judge other people who smoke, because I know what it's like to be there. I don't seem to have substituted anything for smoking. I'm so glad to be free of the cigarettes.
* By following our smoking cessation program, 1 in 3 report a reduction in smoking in fewer than 3 weeks.
Results from a study commissioned by Positive Changes and performed by researchers at The Ohio State University.