Freedom - Your Journey to Comfort

Joanne Gold
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! "
Reply

John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

31 Jul 2003, 11:09 #32

Image
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.
Reply

John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

09 Sep 2003, 08:08 #33

Image
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.
Reply

John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

09 Oct 2003, 02:01 #34

Image
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!"

Reply

Joel
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.
Reply

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

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
Reply

John (Gold)
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
Reply

John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

12 Nov 2003, 20:05 #38

Image

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.Image

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
Reply

John (Gold)
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!
Reply

John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

09 Jan 2004, 10:36 #40

Image
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.
Reply