Call Me A Quitter

Call Me A Quitter

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

07 Jan 2001, 08:08 #1

Yesterday when I was online feverishly trying to process applications and answer emails, I saw a past clinic graduate show up in my buddy list. I flashed off a quick email to him telling him to drop by Freedom and make a post. My reasons was he was a long-term ex-smoker, 12 years now. Most of the responses you see here at Freedom are from people off two years or most actually much less. Then is not surprising since most people here quit in online experiences and we have only been around about a year and a half.

So I figured hearing from people off longer time periods will help to make people realize that longer term quitting is a real possibility and that even after more than a decade, the importance and gratitude felt by people for quitting smoking is deep and heartfelt. I am a little embarrased posting this letter for John laid more praise and credit on me than on his own resolve. This was truly his effort and his victory. Just as it is for each of you, off for a day or off for a year, you each are responsible for your quits. Again, we try to supply education and understanding here, but you are all supplying the motivation and the effort. Take a bow everyone, you are all smoke free and healthier fot it.

Joel

Just call me a "quitter!"

I began smoking when I was 15 years old and smoked through age 50. Over those 35 years, my smoking habit grew from two cigarettes a day as a youth to something over 3 and a half to 4 packs a day as an adult. As a teenager and young adult not much was known about the effects of smoking. In fact, the only thing my mother could say is that "smoking will stunt your growth."

To me, smoking became a chemical addiction and an emotional habit. Inside my deepest thoughts, I knew smoking was absolutely going to "kill" me. In fact, I had this dreaded picture in my head: I saw myself craving a cigarette and taking another puff through a tube in my throat as I lay in a hospital bed dying of cancer. I decided many times to stop and in some cases was able to stop for a day or two. It seemed the more I tried to stop, the more I seemed to smoke. I tried every type of stop smoking program known to man. I tried nicotine patches and nicotine gum, hypnotism, biofeedback and a wide variety of Smoke Enders programs. Hypnotism worked briefly once lasting a few days. But, once I returned to smoking and tried hypnotism a second and third time, it had no affect on my worsening habit.

It is still difficult for me to intelligently discuss or try to describe the utter stupidity and despair one feels when hooked on cigarettes. As a well educated, senior executive of a fortune 500 corporation, I could never rationalize this dark side of my life. In the business world, I truly felt brilliant, vibrant, highly motivated and deployed my gifts with a keen sense of self-discipline. Yet, with all my mental prowess's and business acumen, I could not break this deadly habit. I was hopelessly adrift in a sea of private despair with no way out. Thank goodness I never got into any kind of drugs or things would have been much worse. In Joel's program, I sat next to someone who told me he had beaten a cocaine habit but still was having trouble trying to stop smoking. Another person, a heart surgeon, confided in me how he would sneak into a closet next to the operating room just to get a few puffs.

For me, Joel presented a, comprehensive smoking cessation platform that addressed smoking habits from a chemical, mental, emotional and psychological point of view. He was able to help us break down and compartmentalize our habits into definable and treatable functions. Joel's smoking cessation program was the one and only program that totally cured me of my smoking habit. After many untold years of trying, I was able to not only stop smoking but importantly, permanently quit and "never took another puff."

After smoking for 35 plus years, I remain totally smoke free for some 12 years now. In my heart, I know I do not deserve to be alive for all the systemic damage I did to my mind and body. The fact that I am alive today is nothing short of a miracle as far as I'm concerned. And, Joel Spitzer is a saint who quietly walks this earth helping people such as myself come through the torrid experience of trying to stop smoking.

So, just call me a "quitter" who is grateful to be alive and talk about it!
Last edited by Joel on 16 Mar 2009, 22:55, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

16 Jan 2001, 07:31 #2

Different people handle this differently. Some call themselves non-smokers, some call themselves ex-smokers, some call themselves quitters. When it comes down to it, all that is important is that you never take another puff. How you describe to others is your choice. That is the nice thing about being an ex-smoker or non-smoker or a quitter. You have lots of choices, you are basically in control of your destiny. Smokers, people currently feeding their addictions have lost control, they have relinquished it to a pharmacologic agent whose only intent is to keep the smoker smoking until death. Keep control of your own health and life, never take another puff!

Joel
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Gaby
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:13

16 Jan 2001, 09:26 #3

That is a very inspirational story, gives me shivers up my spine and a hope in my heart that one day I too can say that I have quit for 12 years. Thank you for sharing your story...Gaby
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DesertRat
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

17 Jan 2001, 02:53 #4

Twelve years -- wow! I'm hanging on to my 15+ days like it's gold (or should I say like it's the life preserver that it is). I want to be constantly aware how grateful I am that I am not smoking. And I'm grateful to Quitter and Joel and all the rest of you people out there who have been keeping me so inspired the last few days. Boy, what a support group -- everyone should feel really proud.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

16 Feb 2001, 00:09 #5

I saw where one a new member was concerned about an upcoming business trip as well as future upcoming trips. I remember that being a concern of the person who wrote this letter for he was a big traveller for business purposes when in the clinic. Well many years later and I bet tens of thousands if not over a hundred thousand flying miles later, business traveling and vacationing, travelling has been accomplished and not smoking is still an exciting part of his new life. Whether at home, at work or even abroad, you all will face these fears of how will this or that go without smoking. But you will succeed as long as you stay focused on the importance of your quit. You will have one new trial after another and hopefully, get through it successfully and hopefully you will all take great pride and self-appeciation for the gift you have given yourself when you quit. To keep this quit a permanent fixture in your life, always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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marty (gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

17 Feb 2001, 01:21 #6

That does it for me. After 11 weeks, I have no problem with not taking another puff TOMORROW, but next year somehow feels far more difficult to be certain of.

I had been worrying about a business trip next week, but after all the ideas and thoughts that have been presented to me on the board, and as the trip gets nearer, I'm getting less and less worried.

That letter from a 12-year quitter really helps to give me long-term confidence. Thanks.

Marty
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Tessa
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:05

17 Feb 2001, 01:29 #7

I pray that I will stand strong and 12 years from now I hope there will be no smokers to tell my story to....... What a wonderful
thing to have smoking be somrthing done in the olden days!!! Tessa
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

06 Apr 2001, 20:05 #8

For Happycamper (see the article I am astounded at my stupidity) and for Rory.

Rory, I may have contact with this person once every three months or so, sometimes even longer stretches pass. Many of my clinic graduates from over 20 years ago I may have only annual or semiannual contact with, and some, because of lost numbers or having moved out of the area, I may never see. But often I run into people who I have not seen or heard from for years who are not smoking and ever so excited to see me and share the news. Are they daily thinking of me or the clinic? I sincerely doubt it. But I can see by their reactions that not smoking is still a big deal to them, a major life accomplishment. Do I feel bad that I haven't seen them in years? Not at all, I am thrilled that the lessons we shared with them stuck and they were strong and secure in their quits. I feel the same way about all our members at Freedom and hope that one day everyone will gain such Freedom.

The way to achieve this kind of personal success is still be always remembering to never take another puff!

Joel
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Jac (Gold)
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 20:25

06 Apr 2001, 22:00 #9

It's refreshing to know that there are a number of people who have been smoke-free for many years. When I first ever thought of quitting some years ago, I attended an introductory session to a smoke cessation clinic. I asked what was the success rate and was told that it was 25% at 6 months. There was no statistics after that period. Needless to say that this put me off as 25% success over 6 months was a very poor record.
When I quit last year, it was in coordination with my physician and the postings on this Freedom board. Thank you Joel and all of those who supported me throughout the difficult times.
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Victoria
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 18:59

07 Apr 2001, 21:11 #10

Dear Q,
Thank you for presenting your story. It allows me to see that people that our society tends to place on pedestals (all the better for us to later throw rocks at) are equally vulnerable to being seduced by powerful addictions. We blighters down here in the trenches hear about such, more in terms of an urban myth than straight from the heart. Your passion bespeaks a credibility not to be dismissed.
More importantly, it displays a role-model of success.
Thank you also for showing me how many different are the measures of it.
Victoria.
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