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A crutch is anything that you lean heavily upon in order to support or motivate your effort to break nicotine's grip upon your life. If your effort is dependent upon any crutch, what will happen if the crutch is for some reason removed? Why allow your health and very possibly our life to depend upon any person, place or thing other than you!Eating lots of extra food that must lead to substantial weight gain, major lifestyle changes that would eventually tire anyone, a quit smoking exercise program that can be interrupted by weather or injury, an uneducated quitting buddy who statistically has an 88 to 90% chance of relapsing within 24 weeks, the support of family and friends who are not drug addicts themselves and can not in fairness be expected to appreciate the magnitude or duration of chemical nicotine withdrawal or psychological recovery, or even leaning too heavily upon any support group to keep your motivation strong.This is your quit and the list of reasons on your reasons list all belong to you! The next few minutes are doable and you'll be the only one doing them! If you have only quit for one hour be proud of your accomplishment as no one hour during this temporary journey of adjustment called "quitting" is any more important than another. Baby steps, just one hour, challenge and day at a time! This is doable if we simply NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF! John
|From: Joel.||Sent: 11/27/2002 6:01 AM|
| Did you ever notice how we can do days, weeks or sometimes months without a single person feeling the need to post an SOS or a 911 or a totally miserable day and then all of a sudden, we see one after another all at the same time? Well yesterday seemed to be one of those days where negativity just seemed to be abound. |
For all of our newer members, go look at posts from two day ago, and last week and last month and see how many look like yesterday did. It is important that you realize what you were witnessing here then was not the norm. Don't walk away with the idea that longer term quitters are not in constant withdrawals and also know that most are not in constant internal battles with chronic thoughts either. What you were witnessing was a few people having a bad day.
Over the years I have done two types of Stop Smoking Clinics. The first is community based, and the other is corporate based. In the community based programs, we would normally get anywhere from 10 to 60 people. While a few may know each other before hand, most are strangers when first meeting at the clinic.
In the corporate based programs many people come in already knowing each other, or, meeting co-workers who they may never have talked to before and then seeing these people throughout the day during the clinic and then for as long as both parties stay in employment of the company.
There is a real danger in the corporate setting of two phenomena's occurring. First, the buddy system that we talk often about here at Freedom--where if one buddy fails the other follow suits, because the two people start to feel contingent on one another. Sometimes this is even a bigger problem when the whole group is a big buddy system, and then numerous people could be lost all in one swoop.
The other phenomena though that can be a real danger in such systems is where one or two people are having a bad day, possibly having nothing to do with quitting smoking, and then start to spread the word of negative feelings that they are now experiencing some horrible effect from quitting smoking. Then as soon as something goes awry in another person from the group's day, again, likely having nothing to do with quitting smoking, and the person starts to feel angered or upset by the external situation, he or she now thinks too that his or her feelings are some quit smoking effect. Pretty soon the whole group is scared and their quits are now in jeopardy. This can happen in community groups too, but usually on a smaller scale for groups rarely form long lasting bonds and have regular contact with each other.
It is crucial that everyone who reads here understand that throughout their lives they are going to have bad days. This is not because they are ex-smokers, it is because they are human beings. It is even broader than that, it is because they are living organisms. Our environments will effect our moods. Be it weather problems, stresses with family members, problems at work, shifts in the economy, issues in the world that effect the peace and stability of nations, and a host of other problems that plague mankind, life continues after people quit smoking and it is imperative to recognize that you are going to have bad days as an ex-smoker. But you must recognize that you were going to have most of those same days if you were a current smoker and you would likely have had some of those same days if you had never been a smoker.
Also you should note that while many of these bad days would have been happening no matter what your past or current smoking status had been, by having quit smoking you are in fact averting a whole lot of really bad days that smoking would have induced. Examples would be the day you have a smoking induced stroke, or the day you have a heart attack, or the day that a routine x-ray shows a spot that turns out to be more than a technological glitch. These days, while bad in themselves are the start of a time period which may make your current problems seem small and totally insignificant in comparison.
Then there are the problems of the bad days when withdrawals are just a tad worse as a smoker, because the environments you are in are not allowing constant smoking. These days are happening a lot more often for people too as more and more cities, states and even whole countries are starting to implement smoking restrictions in more public places.
Then there are the bad days when smoking becomes a greater economic hardship, because the price per pack all of a sudden jumps significantly. Then there are the bad days when you burn some piece of clothing, furniture, or maybe your whole house down. That last one would be a particularly noteworthy bad day--especially if you had pets or family members in the house who did not get out.
Smoking does have the one advantage of pretty much insuring that you will have less bad days of life though. It does this by killing you earlier than you were really intending to go. Unfortunately, this also limits your number of good days too and it will normally leave your loved ones with a lot more bad days than they would normally have had if you did not smoke.
Freedom is a lot more like the corporate based clinics because we all have the opportunity to stay in touch and share experiences over the long-term. While this allows our members the ability to share experiences and help to reinforce each others resolve, it also carries the additional risk of the spreading of negative experiences and having it appear to be effects of having quit smoking. It is crucial for our members to be more discriminating that this. When you are having bad moments to be able to look around and surrounding circumstances and try to determine if other areas of your life may be responsible for certain physical or emotional reactions.
If you come to the conclusion that absolutely nothing is wrong in your life or in the lives of others around you that can be accounting for some bad feeling--congratulations are in order for you have reached a state of paradise and bliss that most of mankind has been seeking since its inception and has never been able to attain. Although if this is the case, there is a chance that you may have lost a little touch with reality.
Life goes on after you quit smoking--accept that fact. It is indeed what you were hoping for when first quitting--that your life would go on as it did before, maybe even better. While you may not be happy with the way everything is going in your life at any given moment, if you really examine the benefits to your health and to your life of no longer having to maintain an expensive, dirty, dangerous and deadly addiction, you will at least always be a little happier by the fact that you made and stuck to a commitment to never take another puff!
No Crutches - Especially Ones Likely to BreakFreedom's almost 40% six-month continuous nicotine cessation rate may sound rather amazing and it may very likely be the highest Inter net recovery rate in the world, but it still means that the majority of all new members will relapse.
Although it's great to see new members encourage and support each other, it is extremely dangerous to psychologically link their quest to yours. Root for each other, pull for each other but also know with every fiber of your being that your recovery belongs only to you and that their relapse will not stop you from completing this temporary journey of adjustment and tasting lasting comfort.
There was always only one rule, no nicotine today! John
The uneducated and unsupported quitter has roughly 1 in 20 odds (5%) of succeeding in remaining nicotine free for one year. Two new quitters buddying-up can all too easily become heavy reliance crutches for each other, which if one relapses spells relapse for both. Why lean upon a crutch with 95% odds of breaking? If we want to have another quitter support us in this journey it makes sense to select a person who does not face substantial odds of craving, caving and relapsing themselves.
Millions of words here at Freedom but just one guiding principle determining the outcome for all ... no nicotine today, Never Take Another Puff. John (Gold x5)
Many of us have lived this Joel lesson in prior quits. Every now and then we'll see it here at Freedom, where two quitters are leaning so heavily upon each other that when one encounters trouble they both do.
It is ok to quit with friends or loved ones. It is ok to offer them support and encouragement along the way. What is extremely riskly is in allowing them to become your key source of motivation.
In your mind, insulate yourself now. See yourself as being fully able to continue on regardless of whether or not they relapse. Picture yourself, if need be, being the leader and fully willing to go the distance to show your smoking friend or loved one that life without nicotine is entirely do-able, and far far easier than living an endless stream of mandatory chemical feedings.
Let this be your loving gift of you to you. Hold it close and protect it above all else.