Freedom - Your Journey to Comfort

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

08 Feb 2003, 04:46 #31


" Out of respect for Freedom and what she has done for you, and others, we ask that as your quit matures into comfort and you begin to find the structure here at Freedom too confining that you act in a mature manner that ensures that all new arrivals will be able to enjoy the same life saving message that Glory Week shared with you! "
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

31 Jul 2003, 11:09 #32

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I know we don't say it nearly enough but to one amazing group of givers we offer a simple thanks!

Over the months and years many of you have invested mountains of time in reaching out while motivating, educating and supporting Freedom's newest generation and in return receive only the warmth of knowing that you'vee touched the life of a faceless brother or sister, in an ohhhhh sooooo special way. I wish there were more but the warmth you feel is truly justified as together you've been one awesome team!
You're touching and changing lives!
Last edited by John (Gold) on 18 Sep 2009, 13:18, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

09 Sep 2003, 08:08 #33

I just read Richard's diversion post to Parker's anything goes parade and the biggest smile came over me. You are one amazing collection of folks! Think about it - it isn't easy staying 100% focused 100% of the time on only one issue -dependency recovery - but each and every one of you do an utterly amazing job. Although clearly not enough, I know I speak for scores of dedicated givers who are devoted to helping the next generation of arrivals taste their own lasting freedom when together we say thank you, thank you, thank you for helping keep this very special place the amazing tool it is!

Last edited by John (Gold) on 18 Sep 2009, 13:17, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

09 Oct 2003, 02:01 #34

We're told every once in a while that we need to be more like other forums and let members do their own thing, that we're taking quitting far too seriously, or questioning how we can call ourselves Freedom when there is no freedom of general socialization, freedom of speech to engage in discussions about issues other than nicotine dependency recovery or prevention, no freedom to advertise, and absolutely no freedom to explore toying with the latest quick-fix magic cure.

They're right in every regard except one, we have no desire to try and be like anything other than what we are - an education, motivation and support tool that will always and forever put education first. We're a serious classroom first and foremost, we have to be as nicotine dependency is not some multiple choice exam where the price of failure is simply some bad grade on a report card. Here a failing grade - one puff - is often a death sentence. Above the door it says Freedom from Smoking, not freedom to exercise personal liberties.

Does the classroom have rules with some rather intense focus? Absolutely! Too serious? I don't think so. My second live clinic had fourteen participants. Two weeks later eleven had remained nicotine free and graduated. I just learned that one of the three who didn't graduate isn't doing well in her battle with lung cancer.

The more than four million graves being filled by tobacco each year contain the bodies of our bother and sister nicotine addicts, half having died during middle-age, each an average of 22.5 years early. If they had arrived here looking for a serious recovery tool and only clicked upon one or two threads before making their decision on whether to read further, what would they have found?

We thank each and everyone of you for ensuring that those who do arrive are greeted with the single-minded sense of serious purpose reflected by in the phrase "just one day at a time Never Take Another Puff!"

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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

09 Oct 2003, 03:54 #35

Hello John:
I am sorry to hear about your clinic participant. This is a story that I have encountered many many times over the years. The longer I have been in the field the more often I encounter this kind of news. I just brought up a post that contains a story of one such clinic graduate, also named John, titled Past FAILURES. That story illustrates the point that whether or not the woman had succeeded in your clinic may not have made a difference in this particular case, being that she was in your clinic within the last year and very likely had cancer at the time she was quitting. But there is a possibility that your clinic was not the only attempt that she had ever made and if one of those earlier attempt had succeeded it may very well had made a real difference.
When I first started doing smoking clinics I didn't take the work I was doing any where as serious as I do today. Back then I knew the statistics of what smoking was doing, but they were still only statistics to me. By that I don't mean that statistics just say what a statistician wants them to say and were somehow not really true. Deep down I knew the numbers were real. But they were only numbers to me. As the years progressed though those numbers became people I knew. People like John in this story. I can put names and faces to almost every disease imaginable caused by smoking now. The stark reality of the devastation that smoking causes has strengthened my resolve to try to help prevent other such senseless losses. I suspect the same thing happens to you and each of our members as they become witnesses to the senseless loss of people they knew and cared for too.
So as this thread discusses, we take our mission serious here at Freedom. We hope each and every one of our members take their personal battle with cigarettes as seriously as we take our mission here at Freedom. I hope each and every member realizes that their early efforts here to sustain their own quits should be viewed an an effort to save his or her own life. I also want our longer term members who stick around to help assist others to know that they are also participating in an effort to help save the lives of all other members who participate here and even those people who just read here who never joined up. We take what we do here seriously because we realize that what we are doing is trying to help everyone who reads here to save their own health and their lives by staying totally committed in the decision that they made to never take another puff!
Joel
See also Our Mission Statement and Diversions. They are both strings that cover in depth the concept of keeping our site seriously focused on smoking cessation issues.
Last edited by Joel on 18 Sep 2009, 15:32, edited 1 time in total.
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09 Oct 2003, 04:08 #36

John, there are a few other points I want to make about the situation here with your clinic participant. I just popped up a few strings that touch on issues this story raises. Those posts are: "I have smoked for so long and so much, what is the use in quitting now?"

What A Relief, I Think I Have Cancer!

I smoke because I am self-destructive

Those are for the benefit of people reading here who may think to themselves what's the use in quitting now. For your clinic participant and for others like her who may have been diagnosed with cancer or any other major disease caused or aggravated by smoking, the following two articles are important.





Quitting smoking key to fighting lung cancer
By [url=mailto:dwahlberg@ajc.com]DAVID WAHLBERG[/url]
Atlanta Journal-Constitution Staff Writer


ORLANDO

-- Smokers who quit live longer than those who don't, even after a lung cancer diagnosis, a new study has found. The study, presented Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, found that twice as many lung cancer patients were alive two and five years after diagnosis if they quit smoking, and many more nonsmokers also were disease-free.

The finding, by Greg Videtic of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, is significant because doctors often have a hard time convincing patients to give up cigarettes after learning they have lung cancer.

Patients feel the damage is already done, or they view smoking as a stress reliever to get them through the difficult news of learning they have cancer.

"Many people have a defeatist attitude," said Dr. Carl Tahn, an oncologist with Emory University's Winship Cancer Institute. "They think, 'I already have cancer, why shouldn't I keep smoking?' . . . Studies like this give them a reason to quit. It's never too late to quit."

Tahn said he encourages all his lung cancer patients to quit smoking but only about one-third do.

Dr. Paul Scheinberg, chief of pulmonary medicine at St. Joseph's Health System in Atlanta, said he has persuaded nearly 90 percent of his lung cancer patients to abandon cigarettes.

He tells them to think of smokes as cancer food.

"If patients want to keep feeding the cancer while trying to oppose it, the feeding will probably win," Scheinberg said. "They have to get in the mind-set that the cigarette is not their best friend, as they've been accustomed to. It's a betraying friend."

Donna Belmont-Lehr, 56, of Roswell was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2000. She had smoked for nearly 40 years and had quit three times only to start again. But Bemont-Lehr hasn't had a cigarette since two weeks after learning she had cancer. She shows no signs of recurrent cancer, and she credits nicotine patches, chewing gum, big bags of suckers and a new outlook on life for helping her quit.

"It was the reality of the fact that I wasn't infallible," she said. "I don't intend to go back to smoking, but I don't say I'll never have another cigarette. I just take it day by day."

Experts say quitting smoking allows lung tissues to get healthier and chemotherapy drugs to work more effectively while enabling patients to better withstand the side effects of chemotherapy.







Post Operative Complications

Most people, when thinking of smoking risks only think of diseases directly caused by smoking. But smoking can play a major risk in treating diseases and injuries that in a true sense are not caused by or have anything to do with smoking. I am referring to the risk of postoperative complications.

Many doctors will hold off doing elective or non-essential surgeries for as long as possible in order to give a patient time to be totally smoke free. This is not a practice done for arbitrary reasons. Surgery is much riskier to perform on a smoker.

Your risks of complications of anesthesia or postoperative complications are much higher while you smoke. These complications can be serious, making you suffer much longer and possibly putting your life at risk. The longer you are off prior to surgery, the lower the risk becomes.

One cardiologist I worked with in smoking cessation programs over 25 years ago studied the risk of postoperative complications at the hospital where he was then chief of cardiology and thoracic surgery.

At that time he found that in non-smokers the postoperative complication rate was 1 in 50. Smokers had a rate of 1 in 3. If the surgeries were elective and they could wait for the patient to quit, he found that if the smoker would quit for just a week, the rates were 1 in 12. Of course it wasn't as good as a person who had been off for years but it was far superior to current smokers.

The longer people were off the closer the rate became to non-smokers levels. The important thing is to quit as far ahead of any procedure as soon as possible. The only way to get maximal benefit of longest-term cessation prior to any future surgery is to stay smoke free today and for as long as you live remember a day at a time to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

09 Oct 2003, 04:59 #37

Thanks Joel. I love the part of this work where we get to see so many find that rich inner sense of happiness and contentment that comes from just returning to being themselves again. I know it not only fuels my spirit but the spirit of a host of utterly amazing givers here at Freedom. Although expected, the list of victims we each knew continues growing and that part we could each do without. I too once thought your focus a bit too serious but with each passing year I've come to appreciate a bit more how you became the serious giver you are. Thanks so much for all you've taught me. John
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

12 Nov 2003, 20:05 #38



Thanks Linda. New members need to understand that part of Freedom's education process is in realizing that your needs will naturally change and evolve over time. It is very normal to begin feeling that the tremendous constant focus here, on the ABC's of nicotine dependency recovery, is simply too confining. We know that and we want you to know it too.

Although rough, I admit, it sort of equates to high school or even university graduates hanging around six-graders. If you like teaching or sharing what you've learned with the next generation of new arrivals it's fantastic and you'll fit right in. If you want to use Freedom as a wonderful resource to return to and recharge your batteries from time to time by interacting with those still in early recovery, you may not recognize all the new names but upon return but your common bond, education, wisdom, and your stats or color club will announce your arrival and hopefully always make you feel right at home.

But when the emerging you finds comfort, or recovery becomes manageable, and you develop an urge to use this learning and support institution as a social playground of sorts, or would like to see the focus ease up, we ask that you either resist the urge or alternatively take it to one of thousands of internet forums that don't have a life or death objective, that have few rules, and are designed for general socialization.

Freedom is unlike most other forums and we've each known so since day one. Other than celebrating color club accomplishments in which we all remain united by being just one puff away from relapse, there are no divisions or clubs in this forum along any political, religious, national or even social lines.

One of the unique beauties of this place is that we are an amazing education and support team united behind a single concept of helping each other remain nicotine-free today.

Almost none of Freedom's givers have time to respond to all the needs expressed here each day, together, as a team, we do a pretty awesome job of covering member needs. Our lives limits what each of us can give and many wonderful gifts are given each day by those who only have time for a single post or possibly two.

I know we don't say it enough but thank you, to each of you, for helping keep this forum the highly focused and valuable recovery resource that it was on the day that each of us arrived.
Thank you Freedom!

The above photo is of Kim and Kelly, two loving sisters and givers here at Freedom who remind us of the importance of victory today. You can learn more about Kim at http://whyquit.com/whyquit/A_Kim.html
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

22 Dec 2003, 20:43 #39

Happy Holidays Freedom!
If it seems like activity here on the message board is a bit off, new arrivals fewer and that hardly any members are celebrating a Golden anniversary, welcome to December at Freedom where historically things have always tended to slow down a bit.
Contrasted with January, by far Freedom's busiest month of all, December with its parties, traffic and gift shopping is a month fewer nicotine addicts dedicate themselves to starting the new year well into recovery. Instead, they tend to wait on the arrival of the new year as their not so subtle reminder that they should contemplate cessation.
If you are just beginning this amazing temporary journey of adjustment take comfort in the fact that holiday emotions won't ever again be a trigger for you! You are breaking those feeding cues. In truth chemical withdrawal timing and sequencing during December is identical to every other month of the year. The differences are the number of excuses available to the junky mind or the rich field of psychological recovery opportunities available to the healing mind. We are what we think!
We just wanted to let members know that we do continue to keep the forum's focus focused upon cessation during the holidays, that there is absolutely nothing wrong, what you're seeing is normal, and you need to get ready for our traditional early January flood of new members. Rest up your fingers as they'll need us!
To stay on the healing side of our dependency requires following just one rule, no nicotine today, Never Take Another Puff!
Happy Holidays Freedom!
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

09 Jan 2004, 10:36 #40

With so many new members it's probably a good time for reflection upon the fact that your needs will gradually evolve while Freedom's mission remains the same. For every comfortable graduate leaving the back door, an embattled newbie enters the front.

Once the gradually emerging you begins growing comfortable it's very likely that'll you'll begin seeing this forum in an entirely different light. We want you to know that a feeling that things are beginning to seem far to structured is normal, expected a very natural part of the online recovery experience, and a good sign!

Please know that it's ok to take the celebration and bonds established here elsewhere to sites with almost no structure that are devoted to socializing. We are not against our members having a fantastic time and letting their hair down. If fact this site exists to help extend life expectancy so that you can make years of additional wonderful memories. What we need your help doing is maintaining the focus of the forum so as not to stray from the serious message present on the day you arrived.

The tone and tenor of this forum could not be what it is without the combined efforts of all. Awesome teamwork is highly evident over the past few days. Many of you have gone above and beyond. I'm sure you've caused many on the receiving end to feel obliged to do the same for the next generation. It's amazing how that works. Together we can!
Thank you Freedom and Happy New Year!
Last edited by John (Gold) on 18 Sep 2009, 13:20, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

23 Jan 2004, 23:13 #41

Thanks Freedom!
A sincere thanks to each and everyone of you for helping keep Freedom an achievement oriented forum whose sole objective is in helping every member stay nicotine free today.

None of us have the time needed to daily address the needs of new arrivals but from the newest Newbie to the most seasoned Oldbie, together we form an amazing team!

The fact that Freedom has no distracting or devisive social clubs or cliques and that every message posted remains focused upon the mission at hand evidences the seriousness and oneness with which each us take our mission.

May every generation of new arrivals find the same dedicated spirit and focused support that thrived when we arrived!
NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
Last edited by John (Gold) on 18 Sep 2009, 15:38, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

31 Jan 2004, 01:26 #42

Thank You BSG
(Bronze, Silver & Gold)
Members!

Just a quick thanks to all of our BSG members who have helped make Freedom the nicotine dependency resource it is. Layer upon layer, generation upon generation, you've stepped forward and left your footprint upon the lives and life expectancy of others. What I hope you don't think is that we, the managers, have abandoned you or are not greatly appreciative of all you do. If we seem a bit less visible in recent weeks it isn't because we're not working beside you but that we are each dealing with increased demands upon our time resulting from the tremendous growth and success that each of you have helped foster.

Word is slowly spreading about this amazing place you've each helped create. There are now many days when the emails needing prompt attention just don't stop arriving. Imagine having Linda and Joanne's email boxes as they took care of the tremendous influx of our January members while insuring each was nicotine free and off to a solid start.

And if we think our demands have risen sharply they're nothing compared to the multitude of directions that Joel is being pulled. I don't know how he does it.

Thanks to each of you for picking-up the slack during January. It feels great to click upon a new member's thread and not only see that their expressed concern has been addressed and appropriate references given but that recovery concerns invisible to the untrained eye are also being caught and discussedd.

Think about it. It's almost frightening. Our BSG membership is very likely the most knowledgeable group of ex-smokers assembled together anywhere on the planet. Be proud of what you've done.

Like any institution of learning and support, the impact of your sharing, caring and teaching is being felt far far beyond your screen. To all of you amazing givers who've moved beyond the early challenges comforted by the focus concept of taking recovery just "one day at a time" we say thank you!! Remember, no matter how far our comfort carries us, our arrested dependency travels with us. To us it's as simple as .... Never Take Another Puff!

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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

10 Feb 2004, 10:59 #43

Please Read Our Courtesies
If you're looking in and considering joining us here at Freedom please be sure and read Our Courtesies as Freedom is unlike any other cessation forum you may visit. We're a family oriented recovery site, discussions are limited to prevention and recovery related issues and we take our mission deadly serious. With smoking having a 50% adult kill rate we have to. Sincere thanks!
Last edited by John (Gold) on 18 Sep 2009, 15:35, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

15 Feb 2004, 22:20 #44

I found this thread while responding to a question this morning and I am embarrassed to say it is one I had never read! Thanks to all who have come before me to provide such a wonderful resource for quitting and staying quit!

John you mentioned in several posts how helpful it is to have the BSG (Bronze Silver and Gold) Members posting and addressing new members' concerns before the managers do. I just wanted to remind you that the management of this group over the last 5 years has made it so EASY to do! Even though there are over 200,000 posts available now, finding just the right thread to point someone to when it is needed is incredibly simple, which is definitely a testament to the organizational skills of the management here!

Thanks for the group, thanks for this thread, thanks for the way the sites are laid out (I always consider Whyquit.com to be joined at the hip to Freedom and consider it one big site) and especially thank you for giving us the trust to go forth and post. The rules for posting are reasonable and certainly help with my quit as it reminds me that if I need help with other issues offlne, I need to go to the many places available to deal with those issues and if I need help with not smoking then I need to be right here!

Thanks again, hope to be around to help out for a long time to come!

yqb, David - Free and Healing for Three Months, Nine Days and 20 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 6 Days and 6 Hours, by avoiding the use of 1800 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $135.58.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

28 Feb 2004, 02:51 #45


Thanks David. If we could start over again we'd probably change a few things, like the name to Freedom from Nicotine. I'm afraid that GSK's November assertion in Tobacco Control that 36.6% of all nicotine gum users are now chronic long-term users is just the beginning as more intense forms of nicotine delivery move into the market. It won't be too long before their speed and punch come close to the experience of inhaling nicotine laden smoke.

Again, we want to thank each of you for helping make Freedom more potent than you found it by making recovery experience a permanent part of the posting landscape.

Also a very special thanks to all our BSG givers. This place just wouldn't have been the same these past two months without your collective wisdom. We've had more WhyQuit & Freedom traffic in Jan. & Feb (over 3 million hits) than we had in all of 2001. Although wonderful, it can be a bit overwhelming at times.

Thanks Freedom!
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

04 Mar 2004, 19:12 #46

We're told every now and then that we need to be more like other forums and let members do their own thing, that we're taking recovery far too seriously, or questioning how we can call ourselves Freedom when there is no freedom of general socialization, freedom of speech to engage in discussions about issues other than nicotine dependency recovery or prevention, no freedom to advertise, and absolutely no freedom to explore toying with the latest quick-fix magic cure.

They're right in every regard except one, we have no desire to try and be like anything other than what we are - an education, motivation and support tool that will always and forever put education first. We're a serious classroom first and foremost, we have to be as nicotine dependency is not some multiple choice exam where the price of failure is simply a bad grade on a report card. Here a failing grade - one puff - is very possibly a death sentence. Above the door it says Freedom from Smoking, not freedom to exercise personal liberties.

Do this forum's rules demand focus? Absolutely! Too serious? I don't think so. My second live clinic had fourteen participants. Two weeks later eleven had remained nicotine free and graduated. One of the three who didn't make it recently died from lung cancer. They tell us that 4.9 million of our brother and sister nicotine addicts smoked themselves to death last year. If they had arrived here looking for a serious recovery tool and only clicked upon one or two threads before making their decision on whether to read further, what would they have found?

We thank each and everyone of you for ensuring that those who do arrive are greeted with the single-minded sense of serious purpose reflected by in the phrase "just one day at a time allow the next breath to continue the healing."

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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

14 Mar 2004, 03:25 #47



Thanks Freedom!
As each new generation of members weave their glory into Freedom's ever expanding fabic this tool grows in value for new arrivals willing to read, learn and grow. If you're new to the group we strongly encourage you to explore, find and smile as you discover a most amazing fountain of wisdom that was deposited here with your arrival in mind. Like those that came before you, the glory is 100% yours!
Last edited by John (Gold) on 18 Sep 2009, 13:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

15 May 2004, 06:23 #48

Thanks Freedom!
A sincere thanks to all of you for helping keep Freedom an achievement oriented forum whose sole objective is in helping every member stay nicotine free today! From the newest Newbie to the most seasoned Oldbie, together we form a powerful team! The fact that Freedom has no distracting or devisive social clubs or cliques evidences the seriousness and oneness with which each us take our mission! May every generation of new arrivals find the same dedicated spirit and focused support that thrived when we arrived!
NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!

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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

13 Jun 2004, 05:03 #49

This is really an important string. IThe real strength at Freedom is how it always stays focused on smoking cessation-even in the face of other major issues that may happen over time. I suspect at times people have areas in their lives that seem so important or so integral to their well being that they sometimes think that not smoking is of secondary importance. Or, sometimes a person may feel that they need to bring up personal problems at Freedom that seem of great importance to them because this is where they got so much help in what seemed such an insurmountable problem as quitting smoking. But such actions will dilute the power of Freedom.

What Freedom is so good at doing is getting a person who may be so distracted by other problems to come here and refocus their thoughts-that even in lieu of other big issues, not smoking still needs to still be given the utmost priority. The person's actual life depends on it.

A person's thought sometimes may be, "How can I quit smoking and not be able to discuss this lifestyle, personal issue, specific problem or belief which is so much an important part of my life right now?" This same question could be asked about issues involving things like family values, abortion, politics, religion, gambling, drinking, drugs, premarital or extramarital affairs, sexual orientation, gun control, child rearing problems, caring for the elderly and a host of other real life issues. Each and every one of our members does this everyday-we live our other areas of our life and deal with many issues of major importance and still reserve a little time at Freedom to focus on the importance of not smoking.

This same effort is crucial to sustaining a quit, while here at Freedom or even when people have moved on, keep not smoking a number one priority. To keep your Freedom, your health and your life always stay focused on the bottom line importance of knowing to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

10 Aug 2004, 05:59 #50


Thank You Freedom!

I know we don't say it enough but thanks to each of
you for helping keep Freedom's focus focused on
helping each member remain nicotine free today!
Last edited by John (Gold) on 18 Sep 2009, 13:22, edited 1 time in total.
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31 Oct 2004, 21:33 #51


Freedom!

Although each passing day transports each of us further and further from once vivid memories of active daily dependency and from the early challenges of this temporary journey of re-adjustment, no matter how comfortable we become or how much we forget, our arrested dependency travels with us. The common bond between each of us is that we remain just one powerful puff of nicotine away from trading places and again vividly smelling, seeing and recalling what the endless cycle of feedings and our own self-destruction was like.


Quality support is a beautiful self-discovery and reinforcement trade between those still in physical recovery and heavy subconscious reconditioning, those waiting on conscious fixations to dwindle from often to rare, and those who've found that deep rich inner calmness and mental quiet that was impossible to savor while more than 200 of our body's neurochemicals rode an endless roller-coaster of highs and lows, as we each struggled to keep pace with nicotine's two-hour chemical half-life within our bloodstream. We also have some recovered members for whom the circumstances of life, fading dependency memories, and the arrival of conscious junkie thinking is beginning to create a serious need for quality reinforcement. And then we have our "reluctant quitters," those who, for whatever reason, insisted upon clinging to and taking with them a few romantic fixations about the chemical they left behind, that likely require a bit more ongoing long-term reinforcement than most.

Although crisis or temptation may arrive at a moment's notice for any of us, the challenge before each group varies greatly in intensity, frequency and duration. Although crisis or challenge at six months can pose an immediate and very real threat, intentionally causing Freedom's new quitters to believe that your challenge compares to what they are going through is wrong, misleading and can actually deprive many of them of their desire and motivation to continue.


It is impossible to again experience the symptoms of chemical detox six months after ending all nicotine use. Impossible! It is also almost impossible to postpone encountering and reconditioning all but our most remote or seasonal subconscious triggers for six months (unless in a coma).
Yes, a crisis or event can thrust any of us into a situation where thoughts of smoking again briefly take center stage in the mind. Yes, having not fought any such battle in weeks or months may catch us off-guard and feeling unprepared but to compare a brief period of challenge to what a newbie is going through is like calling a gust of wind a full-blown hurricane. It just isn't right.
It's rare when we see a seasoned member try to convince new members that they've got it just as tough as them, but it does happen now and then. The crisis of a long-term quitter can be every bit as real as any moment of early challenge. But I hope all of our long-term members at least try to remain mindful of the full scope of the early challenges and take care to be as factual as possible about how long it had been since they last experienced such conscious fixation, the time of onset, and the intensity and actual duration of their challenge. Doing so will provide our newer members with honest perspective that hopefully leaves most smiling in envy over having such infrequent encounters.

It is normal to feel that in order to connect with new members that we need to somehow convince them that we vividly remember what they are going through. Frankly, it's hard to do. The mind suppresses the hurt, anxiety and pain of life, just as it should. Imagine what it would be like inside these minds if it didn't.


Instead, what the new arrival needs and begs is for us to tell them exactly what it's like to go for hours, days, weeks, months, or, for a few of us, even years, without ever experiencing anything that they would remotely classify as a crave.

The moment you begin feeling you've forgotten the early challenge and no longer have anything to offer is the moment when your potential offering becomes greatest. It is exactly what they yearn to hear - that recovery is temporary and it does get better. They want to hear about our boring craveless day and how we wish we could vividly remember and relate to what they're going through but that we find it increasingly difficult to do so.


Again, we don't ever want to discourage any long-term member from returning and posting in time of challenge but only ask that we make such posts as factual as possible. Although I have not had anything that any newbie would consider a crave since December of 2001, I promise to return and post should junkie thinking ever begin occupying this mind.

I know any such post would likely have newbies smiling but they need to understand that although everything is relative and it was only a gust of smoke-filled wind blowing through my mind, that I deeply cherish my freedom, healing and health, that encountering such a gust would scare the heck out of me, and that I would never hesitate to turn to each of you to help set me straight.
We know that we don't say it often enough but sincere thanks to each of you for helping keep Freedom's focus as intense and single-minded as it was when we arrived. Millions of words but only one rule ... just one day at a time ... Never Take Another Puff, Dip or Chew!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long! John (gold x5)
Last edited by John (Gold) on 18 Sep 2009, 13:25, edited 1 time in total.
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15 Nov 2004, 10:01 #52

Middle-School Nurse Using Our Work
It may be difficult at times to understand Our Courtesies and Freedom's constant request that the language used in all posts be suitable for reading by children and teens. It has always been our dream that Freedom will grow in use as a window that our young can look into to learn what nicotine dependency and recovery are all about.
Today we received the below e-mail that Joel thought it might help some to better appreciate our language concerns if shared. As WhyQuit gradually moves deeper into youth dependency prevention our contacts with youth groups continue to increase. We again thank each of you for keeping the language in your posts suitable for young and old alike.
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long, Freedom! John

I am a school nurse at a middle school, and I used your website to create a presentation on smoking prevention and smoking cessation. The students have responded even better than I expected. I want to thank you and the families who shared their stories for taking time to create this website. I really feel that some of these children will choose not to smoke because of your efforts. Thank you!
xxx, RN
Last edited by John (Gold) on 18 Sep 2009, 15:43, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

02 Dec 2004, 10:03 #53

Yes, this is ...
deadly serious business
There was a time here at Freedom when tough love was the rule, when words of new members where seen as the eye to a junkie mind and each member did all they could to lay it on the line as openly, honestly and sometimes as bluntly as possible. With half of adult smokers smoking themselves to death, each an average of 5,000 days early, this is no place to take offense to the extremely serious business at hand.
We wish it wasn't so serious, but it is. We wish we never again received word that another member or former member has died, but we will. We wish we had more time for pleasantries but most of us don't and many here give above and beyond, some for years.
Everyone here is here to help you. We ask that you check your sensivities at the door as we do not expect our members to walk on eggs in teaching and supporting our members. In fact, in times of apparent crisis you'll often see them make some extremely creative arguments in trying to pull the member though. It may not pretty or appear kind, we're human and we make mistakes, but we promise you one thing, we'll do our best to help you stay free today.
Millions of words but only one rule ... no nicotine today, Never Take Another Puff! John (Gold x5)
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

03 Jan 2005, 00:59 #54

Freedom is Different
If you are a new arrival to Freedom, looking in and trying to compare what you see here to what you'll find at other forums it's really rather simple. This is one place on the Internet where the actively feeding nicotine addict gets no voice. We each already know most of the excuses used by the nicotine addict in order to justify that next fix and the time for games is over.

If you're looking for a fun filled place to make lots of new friends, a place that celebrates birthdays, anniversaries, hundreds of national or religious holidays, or where each new world current event gets discussion, focus or tribute, this isn't it.

But if you're looking for a place that attempts to take your freedom, health and life expectancy as seriously as the risks posed by your addiction warrant, then you're in the right place. The risk that continuing dependency upon smoking nicotine will permanently impair or cripple your mind and health is tremendous. The risk that smoking will deprive you of 13 to 14 years of life is 50%.

Only in a drug addict's mind is an exchange of 5,000 sunrises for one chemical a rational trade. If you're not afraid to explore an addict's mind then you're in the right place. We ask that you check your ego at the door as words are the only window we have to the junkie mind. Honesty may feel like tough love but do expect our members to notice and explore every potential denial minimization, rationalization and blame transference they see, even if wrong. It's what we do.

This can be the most amazing adventure you'll ever make if only you'll open your mind to the possibility that the real quitting took place on the day nicotine took control. Millions of words here at Freedom but all boil down to one rule that determines the outcome for all ... no nicotine today, Never Take Another Puff, Patch, Dip, Drink, ****, Lick or Chew!

Last edited by John (Gold) on 18 Sep 2009, 13:26, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

27 Mar 2005, 21:00 #55

Thank You!

We know we don't say it enough but without a half a decade of educated and caring givers here at Freedom -- givers whose insights live on long after their own personal challenge subsides -- this site would not have evolved into the empowering resource it is today. Simple truths seem to have a way of building on each other. Thank you Freedom!
Freedom's Managers
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