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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!
Please Read Our CourtesiesIf 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!
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.
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."
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!
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!
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! JohnI 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!
Yes, this is ...deadly serious businessThere 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)
Freedom is DifferentIf 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!
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!
Our Sincere Thanks!What you see here at Freedom truly is a team effort and a gift from countless caring and sharing hearts. Tended and cared for by a growing army of highly educated and seasoned volunteers, all of us extend our sincere thanks to all new arrivals as you travel and explore Freedom's well-beaten paths. May future arrivals always find the same deadly serious lessons and highly focused support that was present when we arrived.There is absolutely no reason why the entire Class of 2006 cannot still be healing and free in 2007. Still just one guiding principle for all, no nicotine today, Never Take Another Puff!"Your" Team
Our sincerely thanks to each of you for helping maintain Freedom's focus on the life and death task at hand. Focus is an easy thing to lose. Our goal is really rather simple. Should a visiting smoker, frustrated by their Internet search and dying for cessation insights, click upon any Freedom thread, that they will immediately realize that we're as "lively serious" as the the deadly serious risks they face. Thanks to each of you for working to help keep Freedom the highly focused forum that was present when we arrived! Still just one binding principle ... no nicotine today, Never Take Another Puff! John
Why Freedom Doesn't Do BirthdaysWhy would any forum whose focus is devoted to nicotine dependency recovery be opposed to its over 3,000 members each starting a new thread to celebrate their birthday, a wedding anniversary, a divorce, a new job, our pet's birthday or the birth of child or grandchild?Imagine being a 25 year heavy smoker who started young and that unknown to you, you are now less than 48 hours away from a massive heart attack that would add your name to the list of over four million claimed by smoking this year. Imagine somehow being able to sense that time was running, hearing about an online forum called Freedom and deciding to take a look.Imagine arriving and clicking upon the top thread and stepping into the middle of a birthday party. Imagine scrolling to the bottom of the party, clicking on the "Next Discussion" link and arriving inside a 30th wedding anniversary celebration. Imagine clicking "Next Discussion" once more and landing in the middle of a job hunt discussion. Three tries, three strikes, as you find no help or insight into how to help save your own life. Imagine growing discouraged, turning off your computer and two days later being found dead on the bathroom floor with a half-ash burned cigarette lying on the tile beside you.Freedom's subject matter posting rules are designed to keep the focus on recovery. This forum exists so that each member might enjoy thousands of extra days of life and scores of wonderful celebrations. But if we each bring those celebrations here then the effectiveness of the very tool that is helping enhance the prospect of years of additional celebration will soon be lost.Why would any of us intentionally attempt to diminish this forum's appeal to those desperate to break nicotine's grip upon their mind, health and life? Why would any among us intentionally try to dilute the life-saving message being shared? I don't think we would. What happens is that a growing sense of comfort makes it easy to forget the early challenge and just how deadly serious this battle is.We beg each of you to resist that natural inclination to want to celebrate life's other milestones in a place reserved for nicotine dependency recovery. Sincere thanks. Only one rule, no nicotine today, Never Take Another Puff!John
We fully appreciate that the forum's focus rules constrain natural desires to socialize and divert. Our sincere thanks to each of you for understanding that for many here this is statistically a life or death period in their life. Time has run out and failure means becoming a statistic. If at times we seem far too serious, please forgive us as over the years we've seen what happens when time runs out.
John (Gold x7)
Part of our responsibility here at Freedom is to prepare member expectations for those magic days when these quickly healing brains, pumping out natural dopamine "aaah" memories, so bury or displace nicotine "aaah" memories that it becomes hard to appreciate why this place continues to stay so intensely focused on the early challenges.
When you think about it, it's a wonderful problem to have. As the time between challenges continues to grow, we sincerely thank each of you for making sure that each new arriving generation finds the same focused and intense support that was present when we arrived. Still just one rule for each of us ... no nicotine today!
John (Gold x8)