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Sarah Thomas from Westfield, Massachusetts
Hello, my name is Sarah Thomas. I'm a makeup artist and I live in Westfield, Massachusetts. I smoked almost a pack a day for 9 years. All I could think about was when I was going to have my next cigarette. It would control me all day long. Finally, thanks to Positive Changes, I'm in control. I was smoke free after my first session there in March of 2005. The program is great, much better than trying to quit cold turkey and having all the stress and cravings. Positive Changes made the process so easy. It was absolutely worth the price in order to be smoke-free in the future. I'm a lot more at peace with myself.
It was always a nuisance trying to find time to go out to smoke, or to be at work and wonder when I could take a smoking break. I'd go to the movies and worry about when I could sneak out and have a cigarette. I felt out of control. It's an awful feeling, like you can't control your own actions. I felt embarrassed by my smoking habit. It's very hard to smoke in public anymore, because everyone walks by and sees you. It was especially hard when children were looking at me, because I knew I wasn't a good example. I'd kind of hide my cigarette and feel ashamed. I tried to quit smoking numerous times, but I never got past 48 hours. My physician put me on medication a couple of years ago. That helped me cut down a little, but then I went right back. I've tried cold turkey. The cravings always got to me.
I know people who have been successful with hypnosis, so one day I looked in the phone book for a hypnotist. That's how I found Positive Changes. It took a couple of months of thinking before I actually made my decision. When I finally called, they were so nice to me that I decided to go in and talk to them. The center was beautiful. There were testimonials on the walls and books full of other people's success stories, so I had no doubt it would work for me. There was no sales pressure at all. Everything was explained well. I was a little surprised by the price, thinking about it as one lump sum. In reality, though, I spent way more than that on cigarettes. I was sure I'd also save a lot of money on doctor bills.
I was a little scared of hypnosis because I'd never done it before, but it's so calming. I felt so comfortable. I was also a little bit skeptical at the beginning, but hypnosis helped me eliminate my cravings and urges for tobacco. I started to realize I could really quit. It was a little challenging at first, because I live with someone who still smokes. It was tough to have it right in front of me every day, and I had a few cravings the first couple of days, but the hypnosis helped me. Now I'm able to look at it without a problem, and the smell turns my nose.
I started noticing other changes within a week. I'm more physically comfortable. I can breathe so much better. My food tastes better, my senses are better'¦everything's different. I no longer have pains in my chest. I thought I'd gain weight, but I didn't. Hypnosis helped me drink more water and want to exercise more, so it actually did the opposite for me. I even eat better foods because I feel healthier. I feel in control now. It's amazing! I don't need or want cigarettes. I can look at other people having them and it doesn't faze me. I'm more relaxed and I definitely have less stress. I no longer have to constantly worry about when I'm going to have a cigarette or stress about having the money to buy cigarettes.
I'm satisfied with my results. My leisure time is more enjoyable, and I make better use of my time. Instead of sitting around at night smoking cigarettes and watching TV, I read books and do other things that are better for me. I'm definitely saving money. When I buy something with the money I've saved from not buying cigarettes, I'll be able to look at it and know that's my reward for quitting smoking. Now that I've stopped smoking with Positive Changes, I don't think I'll ever go back. I have all the reinforcement from my program to help me. I'm sure I'm done for good.
I saw my doctor when I was two weeks into the program. He was really, really happy for me. I'll be excited to go back and tell him where I'm at now! My friends and family are so proud. My boyfriend is proud of me. All of my friends are smokers, and now they're considering quitting because they see it's possible. I'd absolutely recommend Positive Changes to everyone who wants to stop smoking. Becoming smoke-free wasn't stressful or awful like I thought it would be. It was enjoyable to go to my sessions. Hypnosis is definitely safe. It's the most relaxing thing I've ever done in my life, more relaxing than a massage.
Positive Changes was a smart investment. I had very low self-esteem when I started, but Positive Changes gave me more confidence and self-esteem. I feel good about myself. I'm proud of my accomplishment' it's probably one of my biggest accomplishments ever. I give Positive Changes at least 90% of the credit. Obviously, I need to give some to myself for going in and doing the program. Without it, though, I wouldn't be smoke-free today. If you're thinking about going to Positive Changes, I want to encourage you to go. It works differently for everybody, but it'll work for anyone. It worked for me!
* 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.
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