Today when I signed in, I saw that I have 1234 days of freedom. I am sure that people who are just starting their quits, look at that number and think…YIKES, REALLY? I certainly would have early my quit. I smoked for 47 years except for pregnancy breaks and some short term failed quits that I was not prepared for. (Talk about a BIG number). My strongest trigger was anger and, in truth, that was HARD to prepare for because I don’t get angry every day. I did not know how to deal with my anger. I wanted to stomp my feet and have a tantrum, I wanted the object of my anger to realize that he or she was stupid. When I look at that, I laugh because those are the hallmarks of an adolescent mind that has not learned how to deal with anger one day at a time. Just like quitting smoking. I stopped my development when I started smoking, at age 17. I had to learn how to deal with anger as an adult. I could scream into a pillow, punch said pillow, allow myself to just tell the person that they had made me angry and then step away, the ONE thing I could NOT do was to SMOKE. Once I knew that and accepted it completely, it really did get easier. Smoking never did anything FOR me but I can tell you that it did lots TO me. I have COPD, I am short of breath except at rest and even at rest, sometimes. If I had not ever smoked, I would not be here. I was tested along with several classmates in a biology class and I remember the professor RE-testing me because he could not believe the results. He said, “You have REALLY big lungs.” Just what every 18 year old college freshman wants to hear. When I had that SAME test after quitting smoking, my lung capacity was dismal. If you are quitting smoking and struggling, keep in mind that your lungs will thank you, you children will thank you, your partner will thank you, you will thank yourself. Come to think of it, YOU are the only one who matters…you will find out things about yourself that you really never had a chance to discover when you were smoking…GOOD things. You will be able to embrace your new self with a confidence that you can now grow in to. Hang in there, it gets easier, I promise.