Did you quit smoking (or chewing) nicotine cold turkey?
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Hello gang at WhyQuit,
I am GOLD today, but I am not a member. Thank all of you for your support and education this past year. I smoked for half of my life and I am only 35. I was a closet smoker for the past 10 years after a heart problem was diagnosed. Only my husband and a couple of friends knew my "secret". I would tell my hubby that nothing short of a 30 day rehab program could get help me stop.
My eyes were opened after I found you doing a search on the web about quitting smoking. My yearly physical was just a couple of weeks away and I could not stand the thought of going back in still smoking. I was always embarrassed because what sane person would smoke after being diagnosed with heart problems. I still lurk around the website and still find valuable info. If I ever win the lottery I would love to advertise your website everywhere.
Thank you all!!!
One year and one day today! I will be 39 next week and this by far will be the greatest birthday gift I have ever been given myself. I have achieved a great milestone. How? Not by patches, lozenges or medications no way. Simple -- educating myself on nicotine addiction. After my father passed away of small cell lung cancer (which was directly related to a lifetime of smoking) I could not look my children in the face without being ashamed of myself. I vowed then that they will never have to put me down due to cigarette smoking.
I had been preparing myself to quit for a year, my fathers passing was the final push for me to take action. I found the "Why Quit" site and it was truly a God send. I think I stayed up for 4 hours that first time I accessed the site. After reading, I truly understood my addiction to nicotine. I discovered at a logical level why I smoked. For the first few months of my quit I continued to frequently review the "Why Quit" site, it was my support and continues to be so. A quit is a lifetime effort, one that needs to be taken care of everyday.
Time and time again I see that guy with a group of friends trying to get a quick smoke in before going into a restaurant. At a shopping mall parking lot, guaranteed to see at least one Mom standing outside of her car in the cold while her family waits inside for her to finish a smoke. That was me just over a year ago!! Seeing these things stand as vivid reminders of my addiction and make me realize what a slave I was to nicotine.
All the money I saved, I spent it on my children. All the time I wasted, that time is spent with my children. No one hears me say anymore, "Wait until I finish my cigarette". I don't miss looking for a lighter, or a smoke, or stress out about when I need to get my next pack. Heck, I found betters things to do. Cold Turkey is truly the way to go. If you study the material on the Why Quit" site and educate yourself you will quickly learn how to deal with nicotine addiction and how to prevent relapse. You have to want it though. When you can acknowledge yourself as a nicotine addict you can then start the healing.
God Bless "Why Quit"
Never ever take another puff
I never thought that I could go one year without a puff. Today is the day I can honestly say I have gone one year without a puff. Your website was one of the main tools that helped me achieve this goal !! I have recommended your website to everyone who has shown interest in wanting to quit. I still refer to this site for help and motivation. The battle has been won for me. Thank you !!!!
Dear Joel and anyone else involved in WhyQuit.com,
I quit smoking one year ago today and I just want to write to say thank you for your work you do in maintaining this site. The information here was truely a blessing for me in my quit. I found the information, essays, testimonies and resources here invaluable. Sometimes I still can't believe I finally did it. But then I can, because all I did was never take another puff. It works!
With sincere thanks,
A quitter for life,
Alta loma, CA
I attribute my quit to my family:
In January 2005 our family met in Las Vegas for Super Bowl weekend. After spending a lot of time with my daughters, they commented to my wife about my breathing seeming to be labored. My wife confirmed to me that she had also been noticing the same thing recently, but didn't say anything so as not to upset me. Since my daughters asked her to, she decided to let me know.
At age 52, and after smoking for over 25 years, and having a grandfather and an aunt both die of emphysema, what my family was telling me, scared me! I promised them that as soon as I returned home, I would once again try to quit.
As I had promised, upon returning home, I dug through my drawers, and once again pulled out the remaining nicotine patches, and nicotine gum left over from the last time I tried to quit. I would guess I had tried to quit over ten times using all available methods during my 25 year smoking run, none of them lasting more than a few months.
Anyway, driven by the prospect of emphysema, and just plain old hating smoking and tired of being the "odd man out", I was determined to try yet again. On the evening of February 10, 2005 I sat with my wife on our patio and smoked my last few cigs. As I did, I asked her to help me. I told her that I would sleep late and would she please round-up all smoking paraphenalia (ashtrays, lighters, butts and 2 fresh cartons I had just purchased on a recent cruise), and dispose of them somewhere away from home so there would be no chance that I could find ever them.
Oh, and one other thing I asked her "Please dear, no matter what I say over the next 30-60 days, DO NOT TRUST ME TO BE ALONE!" Do not allow me to go get a gallon of milk, a newspaper, walk the dog......NOTHING ALONE! I retired that evening, and my wife complied.
I chewed so hard for the next couple of days, that my jaw hurt! Upon going to bed on Valentines day (2/14/2005) I felt that nicotine craving yet again, so decided to chew another piece of gum before retiring, then it hit me!!! WHAT AM I DOING? HOW WILL I EVER QUIT? ALL I HAVE REALLY DONE IS CHANGED THE DELIVERY SYSTEM! I'M AN INTELLIGENT PERSON.....SOMETHING JUST DOESN'T SEEM RIGHT HERE!
So, while chewing that piece of nicotine gum, instead of watching TV, I got on the internet and did a search on quitting smoking......That's when I found it!!! WWW.WHYQUIT.COM
I read for over 4 hours straight that night, and didn't get to bed till after 2 AM. I was thrilled and had new hope, because what this website was saying made sense.....what was I thinking? You want to quit, just get rid on the addiction......NICOTINE! (I couldn't wait to start)
The next day, I told my wife that the patches and nicotine gum must go. I need to go "COLD TURKEY" and I will be going through 3 rather unpleasant days. Needless to say, the next 3 days,uh, 3 weeks, were some of the absolute worst times ever in my life! I still could not ever imagine life without cigarettes, but trusted what everyone on www.whyquit.com was telling me......"IT WILL GET BETTER". I spent hours upon hours reading, reading, and re-reading everything on the website, then I started all over read it all again!
I had many, many times when I felt I just could not do this....It will never get better, I thought! But I stood fast and never ever cheated....not even once! NTAP !!!!!
I had a very bad quit, but stuck with it! Cut back on coffee and drank plenty of juice! Did a lot of heavy breathing, walking, and showers! Had many "Smoking Dreams", but I'll be darned if things didn't start to get better! Just a little at first, but it started getting easier!
It all started for me after about 3 months....believe it or not but the cravings were gone, and I only thought about smoking 50 times per day......down from about 5000 times per day!
By 6 months every once and a while, a complete day would go by and I would never even think of a cig! I started to really feel like I could do this. My last smoking dream was about a year ago!
Somewhere between 6 mos. and 1 year I acheived complete comfort!
Guess what?......after 1 year I was able go through days and even weeks without even think about smoking!
I see others smoke, sit next to them in the casino or bar.....no effect! (Well, maybe I feel a little sorry for them)
I have now been quit for almost 2 years, and have COMPLETE ABSOLUTE COMFORT....No cravings, No thoughts, just a lot more time on my non-stinky hands! I am loving every minute of my quit, and my family is so very happy.
After a full year went by, my wife finally threw those 2 cartons, which she had very well hid, (just in case) into a constuction dumpster.
I tell you newbies the honest truth. It was not easy, probably one of the hardest things that I have done in my life, but it is not only possible to live and function without smoking, it is the greatest feeling ever! You can breath so much easier, you are so proud of yourself, and it it probably the best present you can give to youself, and your family!
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE CONNECTED TO WWW.WHYQUIT.COM
Sincerely and ever so thankfully,
I read and studied everything I could on WhyQuit.com and on March 13, 2004, I quit and have never taken another puff...no regrets, no cravings....only so much better health, more money in the bank and my doctor is so very proud of me (but not as proud as I am of me!!!!)
I smoked for over 20 years and had quit numerous times but had always went back. I really wanted to quit..but, you see, I wasn't armed with the knowledge it takes to quit and stay quit for good. I thank God every day for this site and have sent unknown numbers here to read and study everything on WhyQuit, so they, too, can have the freedom I experience each and every day.
Before I quit, I was getting sick a lot, was short of breath on stairs or walking, just tired all the time. Now, I work out every day and walk an average of 7 miles per day (with no shortness of breath) it has helped lower my bad cholesterol, it has lowered my blood pressure, I have boundless energy and my doctor says that I have definitely improved my health and the chances for living a good, long life! I know that if I can do it, so can you! Read and study everything - and Joel says it best - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!!!!
I'm currently working in my city for a smoking ban in all public places....I have become very vocal for saving the lives of smokers and non-smokers alike.
I can honestly say that it didn't take long into my quit where I didn't even think about having a cigarette anymore and I really started to feel sorry for those still running outside in the cold, rain, and snow to light up....that used to be the old me...but never again!
Good Luck and God's Blessings to all of you and to you, Joel, for being so passionate about helping all of us overcome this horrible addiction!
I had my last cigarette on November 14, 2005. Today I have been nicotine free for one year and one month.
I started smoking when I was 14 years old and I automatically felt that "awwee" sensation. I had a failed quit attempt at the age of 30. I allowed myself to smoke when I drank, and when I was with my mother (who smokes). I ended up quitting and starting over and over again. I was constantly withdrawing and then getting addicted. I gained around 90 lbs in addition to getting my addiction back full fledged.
I worked on losing the weight I gained for the next three years and lost the 90 lbs. However, in spite of walking an hour to 2 hours a day I still was getting sick quite frequently.
I went on a hiking date in late October of 2005. It was at a high altitude and I had to stop about every 30 minutes to catch my breath. A hike that probably should have taken 5 hours took us 8 hours. I was with a non-smoker and at the end of the hike I had to "feed" my junkie and I sucked down a cigarette. I sat there with him and I came to an epiphany. My smoking was keeping me separated for getting close to others; it was a way to escape situations, avoid conflict and my withdrawals from nicotine kept me from being present in the moment (was always wondering when I would get my next fix). I decided to quit and I did so 14 days later.
I have felt so physically healthy since I have quit. I have gained about 30 lbs, but I am leveling off and learning to control what I eat.
I feel like a different person. I feel that since I quit smoking I'm capable of accomplishing more then I used to imagine. Many more doors have opened in my life. I have become much more optimistic/positive about my life and what I can do. My perspective of the world has changed.
I was one of those "committed smokers". I smoke everywhere I legally could. I felt it was my right as an American to smoke. I felt superior to other addicts, my drug didn't intoxicate me, I was somehow "better." I now realize how wrong I was.
I have also become a believer in 12 step programs. The Serenity Prayer has become one of my mantras. However, I have also learned that all you have to do is [relearn how to do] everything without nicotine. At times this has seemed overwhelming, but I am getting my sea legs. As one of the members has said I have spent sometime on the "Lido Deck" in nicotine free comfort.
I wanted to let those of you who have quit recently know, as others told me, it will get easier!! Listen to those who have quit before you, it will happen. One day you will wake up and it will feel "normal" not to use nicotine. In fact, it will fill you with joy and serenity. I am getting there myself and though it isn't always easy, it is simple!!
My friends and family where fairly supportive in the beginning, but over time a lot of the ones who smoke seem to resent the fact I have quit for good. I have had one friend who quit a few months before me criticize me indirectly by saying she doesn't always have to talk about her quit. I wonder sometimes if she is a "smokeless smoker", like a "dry drunk". Many others have surprised me with their support and encouragement, and I am so grateful for there love and empathy.
Most of all I have to thank all of the members, managers, and Joel for your support. You have all been my anchor so many times. I have made the journey alone, but at times you all have carried me. God bless you all and NTAP!!!
My dad called to inform me a childhood friend George had died the night prior. George and I were the same age 39. My father did not have the details of his death. So in the next couple of days I hopped in my car and drove to Georgia for the funeral. Once I got there I was told George was on the toilet and fell over and died from a heart attack. I also found out that George had a heart attack a couple of years prior. What was sad about the situation, even after his first heart attack he kept smoking cigarettes. My biggest fear of my addiction to cigarettes was not being able to stop smoking on my death bed. I did not want to be George. Here this guy knows he is truly killing himself and he still smoked.
While I was attending George's funeral I got a call from work. One of the guys that works for me had died in a motorcycle accident. He had just returned from Iraq and went home to West Virginia. So now on my way back to New Jersey I had to stop off at another funeral. On my way to the second funeral, I thought about ORM (Operational Risk Management). I thought about the unnecessary risk I was taking by smoking cigarettes. I might as well have been on that motorcycle doing 150 mph. I decided on that drive from Georgia to West Virginia I was going to quit once I got home to New Jersey.
I got home to New Jersey at 0400 in the morning on 15 May 05. I smoked my last cigarette at 1200 in the afternoon. Two days into my quit I could not take it anymore. I was about to smoke a cigarette. I needed outside support. Luckily, I got on the Internet and I found WhyQuit.com. I started to educate myself on nicotine addiction. WhyQuit saved my quit! Getting educated on nicotine addiction save me from smoking another cigarette.
The one thing that I did initiate on my own was cutting out lifestyle triggers to help my quit. I stopped drinking alcohol and coffee. I started going to the gym and working out.
I did it! My story is nothing out of the ordinary. Every bit of what I went through was mirrored by the stories shared on the forum and this web site. I elected to not join Freedom because I would probably post once and never get around to it again, but I have spent much time there learning. I quit smoking 11-11-05. This was the same day I stumbled on to this site while I was seeking info on quitting New Years.
I never before had the real damage smoking causes pointed out. After seeing the Brian fellow lying on his death bed holding a picture of himself and his son, I could not ever again justify smoking. I had previously visited the Phillip Morris site because of the cigarette commercials on TV telling about all the good info on quitting. I swear after reading there I felt okay about smoking. They made it seem as though cancer and the other horrible things only happen to a few unlucky. They put emphasis on quitting all the ways that didn't work.
I am very grateful to everyone involved here. I was a pretty light smoker, but the difference in the way I feel cannot be put into words. Quitting is cool. You don't want to be tired, wrinkled, and weak before it's your time. Try it for a year. If you don't like it, I hear starting back is a piece of cake.
I just wanted to make contact and let people know it is more than possible to quit smoking using a nicotine- free "cold turkey" approach. I tried so many times to quit using gradual cessation methods. They didn't work for me.
A while ago, I got sick with a bad flu and decided to try again (for what seemed the hundredth time). Luckily for me, I found this web site which is anything but unclear about the right goal and what is needed to quit nicotine and stay stopped for good.
3 years 2 months and 6 days later, I am still crystal clear that it is not "fun" or "enjoyable" to just have that one cigarette.
Last Friday night, I went to a party for a woman who is 49 years old and is the single parent of 3 kids. She is dying of lung and secondary liver cancer. I met her children (the youngest is 13) and realised that this could (still) be my child. It is and must be a motivator to treat ourselves better..and those we love.
I still have times when smoking preys on my mind, but I control and decide what happens in my life. But the momentary desire to hurt myself in this way, is not enough to make me unbend
We are valuable, powerful and deserving of far more than sticks of poison trafficked to us by some company who feels OK about giving us ill health and likely death in exchange for profits.
I hope you find the clarity to see what has eluded you about this dependency and wish you the resolve to just "kick it" and not be controlled any more.
Therese has stopped using nicotine for 3 years, 2 months, 6 days, 7 hours and 1 minute (1163 days).
Last year at this time, I was a home-based worker for a notable high-tech telecom company. Due to the expansive layoffs reaching back to 2001, I was doing the work of 5 people, and using cigarettes to make up for sleep. I'd smoke 2 packs at work...one seemingly right after another. Then I'd go home and smoke cigarettes out of my wife's pack. On November 12th, I had just finished my 3rd 20 hour shift that week (which I never got compensated for overtime due to being a salaried worker). I contracted the flu and strep throat at the same time. It was 7 days before I had the strength to barely get out of bed, but when I did... I decided that I needed to quit.
A big phenomenon of quitting smoking for me has always been loss of work ethic, and a foggy head. I've always had a motivational drive that's brought me success throughout the years; especially when I was in the military, and then on into the civilian world. Those side effects scared me because it might very well cost me my job, and then thereby the food on my family's table if I didn't stay on the ball.
When I went back to work, my "Give a Damn broke" so to speak...where I had always been known as a person with a great attitude. I can remember thinking, "this isn't me", and "where is that hard-charging soldier that used to grit it out?" This threw me into a deep depression, and I broke.
But fortunately, that's when I found WhyQuit.com. I have a technical mind, and am a human sponge when it comes to information. I had finally found the technical publication to quitting smoking!!!! It was like someone turning on the light, and suddenly there was no mystique about what my body was going through. When you take the mystique out of it, it's cold hard science.
Immediately I adjusted my caffeine intake, forced myself to sleep 7-8 hours a night (both attributable to my foggy head), took a month-long vacation which included a weeks get-away with my wife at a spa resort, and I got away from that slave driving company (both attributable to my broken work-ethic). Most important of all, I discovered I had two kids (hahahaha).
Looking back, I had another addiction... I was a work-aholic!!!! The sad, stark reality was that my addiction to cigarettes, and my addiction to work kept feeding off of each other. When I took one away, the other suffered just as much.
Now I have my life back, and it was this website that kept me going in my darkest hours.
I thought that you might be interested in my angle on quitting smoking...I'm sure that others might be having the same problem.
Today was one year since since I chose to quit cold turkey. I had smoked at least 2 packs a day for 10 years and often more than 2 packs. I had smoked to some extent for 13 years. I hated smoking for a long time, but for almost no reason, other than hate, I decided to stop, almost spur of the moment, on a Sunday night. I was watching Sopranos, and had to pause the show in order to go outside, freeze my butt off, and smoke a cigarette. I decided right then, that night was the last. I chain smoked for the next 3 hours, finishing my last cigarette at 11:57pm. Then I immediately went to bed. The first couple weeks were tough, real tough, but my resolve was stronger. I read a lot, researched a lot, stayed busy on my computer, started a blog, and read more about quitting. It was tough, then I blogged and read some more. Now, a year later, I am much better off for sticking it out. It wasn't always easy, but definitely worth it.
Thanks to WhyQuit, and to Blogger (NateQuit.Blogspot.com), the 2 most helpful, mind absorbing, thought distracting ways I stayed sane(ish) for the first 2 weeks.
I never made the connection with my name and 'winning over the ash' until you pointed it out :-) Talk about a blind spot! Thanks for pointing it out though, it has become another metaphor for me in my journey towards health by never taking another puff.. Please post this message for others who may benefit in the same way I have.
My quitting journey has reached a very important milestone. I have flowed into gold a few days ago. In my last mail / post, I had mentioned that while completing 6 months was a chest-thumping achievement, at 11 months it felt as if I was peacefully drifting towards gold. Now, that I have achieved the one year mark, the feeling is really wonderful and difficult to express. I will attempt to share it with you.
Imagine if you will, a house of feelings. It stands tall before you with a welcoming door of acceptance, to which you now have the key. The windows are large where you sit and view the peace, serenity and pure experience. The walls remind you of the firm resolve that you once never thought you were capable of, yet now it is tangible beyond doubt. The roof is high, symbolic of the positive feelings and simple joys of everyday life, unclouded by smoke. All around the house is a lovely lawn of good practices in sleeping, eating, working, exercising that get built around this edifice of a nicotine-free existence.
So if you desire to enter such a heavenly abode, then there is one sure-fire way to do it. Never take another puff, and sooner rather than later, you'll get there!
Many many thanks to Joel, John & all the wonderful people @ WhyQuit/Freedom who made it possible! God bless you all.
PS: My name is also the name of a Hindu god and it is a month in the Hindu calendar.
I quit smoking on October 10, 2005. I smoked for 30+ years, 1 1/2 to 2 packs per day. I was 45 years old. My daughter was expecting her first child, my first grandchild. I cannot believe it has been a year already. I want to thank everyone here at WhyQuit.com. I could not have done it without this site.
When I decided to quit, I decided the best way was to quit cold turkey. I don't really know why, it just made sense. About one week into my quit, I was searching for support and found this site. I have been coming back regularly. I have laughed, cried, studied and learned from this site. I did not ever become a member, but I benefitted just the same. My granddaughter will never know me as a smoker. New people have started working in my office and they cannot believe I ever smoked. I see people smoking now and I just feel very sorry for them (my husband included). Thanks again and I know everyone says this but, if I can do it, anyone can. NTAP!!! It's that easy.
I want to thank everyone behind WhyQuit.com as your creation helped me immensely in quitting. I couldn't have done it without you guys, the knowledge available on your site prepared me on what to expect. Most helpful was the explanation regarding waking up in the middle of the night with a taste of just having smoked. Happened to me 3 times, the first time was the worst.
I am 37 yrs old now, used to smoke 25 a day, have been smoke free since 7/31/2005 and just finished my first Half Marathon last Sunday. ALL THANKS TO WHYQUIT TEAM!!
Keep up the good work!
After smoking for 24 years and attempting to quit many times using nicotine replacement products, I finally quit smoking using the only free method I know of. I have not smoked for nearly 1 year and 10 months. I quit cold turkey using the American Lung Association's quit smoking program and reading everything I could about the dangers of smoking. This included WhyQuit.com.
Basically I wanted to make just the thought of smoking so disgusting that I would never go back to it. I still visit the sites sometimes just to reaffirm the reasons I quit and why I never want to go back to that place of being controlled by nicotine. If I can quit smoking then I know anyone who puts their mind to it can quit as well with the right supports. Good luck.
I did, I did it, I did it. YEAH! That is what Dora and my two year old twins would say. I did it and so can you. Just admit that you are an addict, educate yourself and never take another puff. I really thought that the "comfort" that I read about would never come, but it kicked in for me around 4 months. After one year of not smoking, I can say that it was clearly the best decision of my life to quit smoking.
I am still trying to get over the fact that I ever started AND that I hid (or at least tried to hide) my smoking from everyone around me. I was hurting myself and lying to my family. So when I quit, I did it on my own............only sort of - Although I never became a member at whyquit.com, I read at the site every day in the beginning. I read quite a bit for the first 3 or 4 months. Then, it hit me, the whole smoking thing went to the back of my mind. Of course, I know that I am an addict and I will never smoke again, but I rarely think about it.
Please, if you are reading this....take a peak, consider your options: (1) bondage to smoking and eventual death OR (2) Freedom to live your life without needing a fix. You can do it if you Educate yourself and Never Take Another Puff. Help is available if you need it.....just look at the board. Thanks to this site for helping to change my life for the better!
When I first found your site I promised myself that if I quit for a year I would write you. Even though I normally don't write sites, ever. It didn't matter, I never thought I would quit for a year.
I found your site by accident, searching for something to help my struggle of quitting, that I thought I would lose, once again. I never officially joined your site but would come back to it when I felt weak and thought I was in danger of starting back up again. I would do this sometimes in the middle of the night, on random afternoons and whenever I thought I was not going to make it. I would do this often through tears. I would do it again and again. I would read the articles and letters people had written.
All your articles and advise were so right on target and told me just what I needed to hear when I needed it most. I would have never used or thought of all these guidelines on my own. I would have never thought that an article could say exactly what I needed to hear when I needed it most. I am not a good rule follower, but I followed your rules.
I, normally, would have talked myself into the fact that someone had made me mad, or I was happy and going to celebrate, or there was too much going on in my life, or I could have just one, or that a cigarette was my best friend and I couldn't really get along without one, or that somehow I deserved to smoke. I would have seen someone else smoking on TV or in a car and I would have thought that I should be able to do that too. All the things that destine you to doom when you are trying to quit.
I have now stopped smoking for over a year and want to thank whoever Joel is and who ever keeps this site up and running. I have not had even one cigarette. I have not even held a cigarette in my hand.
To all of you out there who are running across my random letter, like I ran across many others, you can do it!! Follow what this site says. Do not fall into thinking you can become a casual smoker. Never, ever have even one. Don't listen to people who tell you they smoke randomly and casually. I was not a part time, smoker. I was not a casual smoker, I was hard core. If I can do it, you can do it. Let go of all of your triggers (I didn't drink coffee or talk on the phone for a month!!) for the time being, they probably aren't that good for you anyway. Keep up the hard battle. It takes a long time, but you will feel better! You will feel lousy for quite a while before you feel better, but you WILL feel better.
Thank you so much for being out there. Keep up the good fight.
It will be 2 years nicotine free November 22,2006. I am so amazed that after 40 years of smoking and many attempts to quit I finally can say that I will Never Take Another Puff, no matter what. WhyQuit.com was a big tool for me. Thank you all so much !!
I have been quit for 2 Years, 8 Months, 1 Week, 2 Days, 16 hours, 54 minutes and 35 seconds (983 days). I have saved $5,902.22 by not smoking 39,348 cigarettes. I have saved 4 Months, 2 Weeks, 1 Day and 15 hours of my life. My Quit Date: 1/3/2004 8:40 PM
Below are links to other victory messages arranged in groups of twenty