Freedom - Your Journey to Comfort

Freedom - Your Journey to Comfort

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

July 19th, 2001, 8:17 am #1

The title says it all! This journey leads to comfort for all of us. As it does, the seriousness of the site and the tremendous focus maintained here will gradually evolve from being exactly what you needed during Glory Week to exactly what you don't need as comfortable and relaxed ex-smokers. It almost a paradox. The sign on the door says "Freedom from [Nicotine]" but once you grow into a somewhat relaxed ex-smoker it's natural to want it the sign on the door to read "Freedom to Relax, Let Our Hair Down a Bit, Loosen Up and Have a Bit of Fun!" "The path was long, at times intense, we made lots of friends along the way and now we just want to tone things down a bit!" It's normal for oldbies to feel like things are just too structured - because for many of them they truly are!

Freedom is a unique blend of education and support but almost all of us see our education mission as coming first. In fact it must, for without a solid quit education our success at supporting an uneducated member is in serious doubt.

We recently had a couple of posts posted at Freedom that had nothing whatsoever to do with quitting smoking. In response Joel reminded members that non-smoking related posts were not appropriate at Freedom. A couple of our oldbies were not happy with this position even though we made it as clear as possible that if it's quit related it's fine and that if ANY member EVER feels that their quit is in trouble, to post their heart out! That's what we're here for!

Our content rules are simple - if it's a recovery related post, it's fine - if not, then it is not acceptable! And recovery is pretty broad to include all member recovery related posts, milestone threads, daily stat parades, tobacco/nicotine medical articles and studies (please get stories and links approved by a manager first), relapse prevention, and every other subject covered by the titles of Freedom's message boards, including youth prevention!

Also we don't use Freedom to engage in opinion debates regardless of the topic. Debate divides people and creates teams. All are needed if today's mission of helping each member and visitor remain nicotine free is to succeed. If members have a question or want to express an opinion then all the managers' email addresses are available at the click of a mouse. You may not like the answer but it will be honest and frank.


We understand the desire to socialize and to want Freedom to relax things a bit as you move along but we refuse to let it happen. Each new arrival deserves the same deadly serious forum that existed when we arrived. Many here understand the comfort development concept and the growing desire to share some relaxing time with those who made the journey with them, but they don't appreciate the fact that the rebellious spirit is a normal development (almost like teens who feel the need to move out and get away from mom and dad's house rules). We'd love for nothing more than to shut Freedom down for the weekend and take all of our members out to the beach, a movie or for a Hot Fudge Sunday, but for every comfortable oldbie Freedom graduates we have a Glory Week newbie walking through the front door. We can't leave!

When the time comes where any member's recovery evolves to the point that they feel that Freedom is simply too strict in staying on message then there is absolutely no reason why they can't spread their wings, take some time away from Freedom, or find an online place that is designed for socialization, and maybe even invite their Freedom friend along with them. It isn't necessary to disrupt Freedom's focus or try and burn the house down just because you're ready to enjoy your new life. We want our Oldbies around but not if they're growing hostile to their confines.

You can always come back and post when you need your batteries recharged or you feel like sharing your vast library of recovery wisdom with Freedom's next generation of newbies. It isn't necessary to say things that can't be taken back in order to justify your departure. or your displeasure with the tremendous focus we will continue to maintain. We're not like any other site, it's by choice and we each knew it from day one!


We're far from perfect and we know it. We make mistakes now and then and we know it. It's extremely easy to find fault with all of us and the longer we're around each other the more human we each become. Out of respect for Freedom and the education and support this forum has provided you, we ask that as your recovery 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!

If you have any comments or criticism that you'd like to share please DO NOT post it to this message but email it to us instead. Our new members deserve a tranquil site and each of you know that we don't tolerate disruption. We did it for you, we do it for them! Thanks!
John
Last edited by John (Gold) on September 18th, 2009, 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Share

mirigirl (silver)
mirigirl (silver)

July 19th, 2001, 11:03 am #2

All around the world!
Thanks.
yqs Maz
Last edited by mirigirl (silver) on September 18th, 2009, 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Share

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

October 6th, 2001, 9:25 pm #3



The Evolution of Our Recovery Needs

It's my opinion that with past generations at Freedom we didn't do a very good of preparing members for the normal online evolution that occurs as they each transitioned from the often powerful early struggle with the challenges of physical nicotine withdrawal, through reconditioning the bulk of their crave triggers, and then watching as they learned to cope with their smoking thoughts and memories, before arriving at a point where complete comfort was there new norm in life. It wasn't because we didn't want to teach this important lesson. It was because it took time for us to appreciate that fact that the online recovery experience adds an entirely new deminision to nicotine cessation.

Recovery is a temporary journey of re-adjustment where daily nicotine ups and downs become a thing of the past. It's a journey toward becoming completely comfortable with natural brain dopamine stimulation.

I take this time now to once again remind each of you that as comfort begins to arrive that it's natural and normal not to need the intense daily recovery focus that is maintained here at Freedom. Once you master the ABCs of recovery it's hard to find joy in learning them again and again, over and over.

Many of you will continue to find tremendous pleasure in helping the next generation of newbies share our glory, but don't feel badly if you don't. You're normal too! All we ask is that each of us try our very best to undertand the natural evolution of our online cessation needs, and that we each do our very best to ensure that Freedom always remains 100% focused on helping our brothers and sisters still in bondage find permanent freedom from nicotine. Our deep and sincere thanks! We truly are a team and together we can make a difference!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,

John : )
Last edited by John (Gold) on September 18th, 2009, 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Share

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

January 12th, 2002, 4:15 am #4


Let's each dedicate ourselves to ensuring that Freedom
always remains as focused, as it was on the day we found it.
We can have fun while remaining focused !
Last edited by John (Gold) on September 18th, 2009, 12:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Share

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

March 9th, 2002, 10:56 pm #5



Thanks Freedom!
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! It's beautiful! May every generation of new arrivals find the same dedicated spirit and focused support that thrived when we arrived!
NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF, DIP or CHEW!
Last edited by John (Gold) on September 18th, 2009, 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Share

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

March 17th, 2002, 6:44 am #6


Thank You Freedom!

You can't begin imagine the pride that Freedom's managers and directors feel in knowing that so many of you who have become such skilled givers and educators! You make it easy for us to feel comfortable while being away and taking care of issues in our own lives. To arrive back at the boards and pull up an hour old distress thread only to find that the guidence, support, focus and advice is as good as it gets, brings big smiles to silent faces. Please don't ever feel that your efforts, dedication and tremendous focus are not fully appreciated because they are! We're a team, there is no "I" in T.E.A.M. We should each take comfort in the fact that together we're far stronger than when standing alone!
Last edited by John (Gold) on September 18th, 2009, 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Share

NevadaGal Gold
NevadaGal Gold

March 23rd, 2002, 3:11 pm #7

Yep, this attitude is what seperates you from the rest... thanks to all who keep it this way...


NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!!
One week, 23 hours, 10 minutes and 53 seconds. 79 cigarettes not smoked, saving $5.18. Life saved: 6 hours, 35 minutes.
Quote
Share

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

March 24th, 2002, 1:00 am #8



Thank you Nevada Girl! One of the most challenging aspects of managing Freedom truly has been in dealing with member expectations as they begin growing comfortable in their quits. The most important lesson that I hope all new members obtain from this thread is that it is normal, expected and natural for them to begin feeling like Freedom's tremendous focus is far too strict once the anxieties associated with quitting subside.

Since 1999 Freedom's managers have collectively dedicated almost ten years of their lives and tens of thousands of hours - the vast majority in working behind the scenes - toward ensuring that each new arrival finds serious, focused and high quality education, motivation, counseling and support. The managers have only one request when it comes to the evolution of each member's online cessation experience. Should any member ever begin to feel the need to contest, control, play games, alter, amend, bend, or otherwise change Freedom's focus, rules or management, accept it as a true sign of healing (and graduation) and move on with your life !

Thanks for the email about the Addictions 101 link too! I'm on my way to repair it now!
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long! John
Quote
Share

Joel
Joel

March 24th, 2002, 11:21 pm #9

This is really an important string. I am embarrassed that I never read it quite thoroughly before. The 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
Quote
Share

janetd (GOLD)
janetd (GOLD)

March 25th, 2002, 1:20 am #10

This thread is my Editor. I suppose that I could contrive a way to intertwine a personal situation with my Quit but I do not want to dilute the focus of Freedom or my Quit. Why would I want to change that which I already love and has helped me and so many others? True, we have a good time here and perhaps appearances can be deceiving. But if anyone questions just how serious we are, a quick trip to the Wall of Remembrance should put things in perspective.

Thanks for this thread, John, it is one of my favorites.

Janet
Quote
Share

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

April 19th, 2002, 8:21 pm #11

Sometimes when things get a bit slow here at Freedom - normally around the weekends, holidays, springtime or world crisis, there arises almost a natural temptation to try and MAKE something happen, whether in the form of celebration, distraction or crisis. In the early days of Freedom's existence I felt it too! But, we thank each of you for avoiding such temptations. It's ok when things slow down a bit. Freedom remains strong and here for all, should the need ever arise!


It's wonderful when our membership takes a collective deep breath or a bit of time to enjoy the depth of their healing or the world around them! It's why we're here. These are special times for all of us, and once beyond the early challenges we each need to take care not to become slaves to a new master - a computer screen!


Things may seem a bit slow at times but we're here if and when you need us! Still just one rule determining which side fo the bars we'll spend the balance of life ... no nicotine just one day at a time!

John - The Gold Club
Last edited by John (Gold) on September 18th, 2009, 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Share

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

April 24th, 2002, 11:01 am #12

I'm constantly amazed at how so many previously nicotine dependent humans can be in one place, at one time, and get along so well together. Understanding the anxieties associated with recovery and withdrawal, you'd think we'd be at each other's throats but it just doesn't happen! It's beautiful! Freedom is what it is because of the collective efforts of hundreds of wonderful STARTERS (quitters with positive attitudes). It's all your fault!

Keep in mind that every now and then communications may seem to break down and a member ends up feeling slighted after reading shallow words on a deep screen that may or may not not reflect the same spirit or tone with which the sender sent them. If you ever feel badly regarding anything that you see or feel here at Freedom, please take the time to either send the person a quick email or email the managers and let them know. Life is too short to spend even one sleepless night on a toss-turning pillow!

Also, we encourage all of you to not rely upon hearsay when told by third parties how the managers think our why they reacted in a given manner. If you ever have ANY questions, we'll each do our best to provide honest and frank answers. Again, all we ask is the courtesy of an email. Thanks again to each of you for making Freedom the powerful tool that it has become! It's all of us as there is no "I" in T.E.A.M. !
Quote
Share

misledfairy
misledfairy

April 25th, 2002, 10:30 pm #13

I came upon this post whilst pottering around, and I just want to say a great big thank you to all the "Givers" I only hope that one day I will be able to help others the way I have been and in fact am still being helped, lots of love to all of you.
Naymor xxxx
Quote
Share

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

May 9th, 2002, 12:36 am #14



Thanks Freedom!

As Freedom's pool of skilled graduates continues to build, the support workload gets a bit lighter on each of us! It's wonderful seeing so many seasoned graduates drop in now and then to check on the well-being of Freedom's newest generation, while recharging their own batteries! It's also inspiring seeing so many staying on and lending a hand with the daily concerns and needs of those following in their footsteps.

The only way that a forum such as Freedom could possibly stay as serious and focused as it is, is with the cooperation, desire and caring of each and every member! Although you each take tremendous pride in your individual accomplishments, you also have a right to feel an immense pride in the critical education and support roles you've played in the lives of so many others

John - The Gold Club
Last edited by John (Gold) on September 18th, 2009, 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Share

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

May 24th, 2002, 10:00 am #15

Back in my early days I used to find time to visit other support groups. In fact, before Freedom was born I posted at three different forums almost daily. I loved it! I'm sure that I wasn't half as good at supporting others as my ego thought it was, but still, it was a wonderful feeling trying my best to help newbies get over those big big bumps. Deep in my mind I kept saying, if I can do it, anyone can!


Anyway, I don't have time to visit other sites anymore - none - but for those who do I strongly encourage you to not attempt to impose our beliefs on those engaged in quitting by other means. The bottom line is that a nicotine patch quitter who makes it, is just as quit, and just as proud, as you or I! They are our brothers and sisters and we root for them like we root for each other!


What I want to say is thanks, thanks, thanks! I don't have to visit other forums to know what's happening out there. Freedom is different - very different - and it is because you've made it different. It would only take a couple of members to disrupt the focus of any forum, including ours!

It's amazing what you've created! It's amazing to watch so MANY wonderful and skilled givers! I know I speak for all the Managers and Joel when I say, thank you Freedom! Thank you!
Last edited by John (Gold) on September 18th, 2009, 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Share

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

June 8th, 2002, 1:26 am #16



Thank you Freedom!

I just read through the replies to a rare happening around here -- Joel starting a daily parade (LOL) -- and I couldn't help but leave with the feeling that our member really do understand and appreciate the tremendous focus and seriousness maintained by the entire group. Thank you, thank you, thanks to each and every one of you!
Last edited by John (Gold) on September 18th, 2009, 1:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Share

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

July 4th, 2002, 3:23 am #17

A SPECIAL TRIBUTE thread was just started by one of Freedom's newer members and although the tribute is wonderful, Freedom has members from probably 50 or so nations around the globe, and there are literally thousands and thousands of un-smoking related causes for which we could start legitimate and well deserved tribute threads. To start a daily milestone parade with a theme is one thing but to see our membership starting tribute threads is entirely another. It's a slippery slope that gets into all other nation tributes, disaster tributesm, birthday tributes, anniversary tributes, or even pet tributes.

Our mission is critical - to save lives. If a new two pack a day smoker arrives looking for serious help and they're just one month away from that first cancerous cell developing, and the very first thread they click on is a 911 or U.S. tribute, what are the chances they'll stay? What are the chances they'll live. Please think about it. Thanks John
Quote
Share

Slycat
Slycat

July 4th, 2002, 4:14 am #18

Hi John:

Didn't mean to offend anybody by my post. I have deleted it.

Also I was just remembering that wonderful post that Joel wrote about Memorial day a while back when I wrote about the 4th of July today....


Thanks...Judy
Quote
Share

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

July 4th, 2002, 4:33 am #19

Judy, it's not a matter of offending anyone, it's a matter of what we're about here at Freedom. If you go back and look at our threads on 9/11, and how we responded here at Freedom, we made it a special point to stay on message. Tobacco will kill four million the year. That's a lot of folks. Thanks.
Quote
Share

Slycat
Slycat

July 4th, 2002, 4:36 am #20

Hi John:

No I have never looked at the posts from 9/11. I will read them...

Thanks...Judy

And Yes, Smoking does kill 4 million people a Year and that is what we are here for......
Quote
Share

Slycat
Slycat

July 4th, 2002, 4:38 am #21

ONE MORE THING JOHN:

I am not sure where those Threads Are...

Can you please post them for me???

Thanks...Judy
Quote
Share

Joel
Joel

July 4th, 2002, 4:46 am #22

Hello Judy:

I didn't see the post you did about the 4th of July so I am limited to what I can say about it. The post I did about Memorial Day was really taking the opportunity of the holiday to do a little historical education about smoking and the toll that it took on American soldiers who were in fact some of the earliest victims of smoking related diseases because of the way cigarettes were given relatively freely to the soldiers of World War I and World War II as part of their rations.

In the Summertime post I did today, where I started to talk about the 4th of July holiday, I again tried to make the message all inclusive--it was not that we were trying to get every one at Freedom from all countries to honor or celebrate an American holiday--rather I was trying to get everyone at Freedom to appreciate every day as not smoking as Independence Day no matter what date of the year it is and no matter what country you are from.

That is the trick in trying to keeping the board focused--not to ignore the world happening around us but to try to use events that happen around us as a backdrop for delivering a message that reinforces people to stay smoke free.

I do cover the 4th of July Holiday because it is one day that often creates strong triggers for some people when it comes to smoking. Some people remember lighting fire crackers with cigarettes when they were first starting smoking. Many people remember smoking while watching fire works and if this is there first year being smoke free this specific activity will be a trigger. People get together with certain people at picnics and parades that only happen once a year on the 4th of July so these events too may be triggers. Again, the reason for bringing up the holiday is not to celebrate the event--it is to prepare our members and lurkers who may be facing such events to be ready for thought if they happen for these activities may indeed be triggers.

Again, everyone here should be celebrating tomorrow their day of independence--not because it is an American holiday but because of the fact that they stayed independent for one more day, and will stay independent every day in the future as long as they always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
Quote
Share

Slycat
Slycat

July 4th, 2002, 5:00 am #23

Hi Joel:

Thank you for the wonderful response.

Yes, you did talk about the soldiers in that thread and how smoking had affected so many of them. I in return talked about my father and how he started to smoke in the war. It was a wonderful Thread and it was not just about the holiday.

Yes, we do have to direct all the threads here to give everybody support in their quits. That is the most important thing here. Yes I deleted my thread because it was more geared towards the Holiday rather than smoking. Although I did mention about being smoke free during the holiday... It was not enough...

John has explained everything to me and I do thank you both for being the backbone in my quit.... For both being there for me when I need you.....

Thank You.

Judy
Quote
Share

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

August 24th, 2002, 6:17 pm #24

A struggling visitor is knocking at the door. It's day two of his quit and he has arrived at Freedom with doubts flooding his mind. Two rather intense anxiety crave episodes so far, he has three to go to make it thought the day. As with over 4 million other smokers this year, both time and opportunities have run out. Unless successful today the heart attack next month will be fatal. His mind has tried to convince him that his last two minute crave anxiety attack was more like two hours long. He is giving his all while knowing almost nothing at all about quitting. The first thread he clicks upon turns out to be a birthday party. Desperate, he decides to try another. This time his anxieties are greeted by a comfortable and highly successful six month quitter describing in great detail how horribly brutal their day has been. Discouraged, he turns off his computer, relapses, and dies.

There are thousands and thousands of wonderful social forums on the net that were designed and created to share and comfort their members when life gets rough, or to celebrate and share when things are good! It's what they're all about. The groups are sorted by age, sex, location, hobbies, political philosophy, religion, occupation, and hundreds of other categories. Here are a couple of links:
If any of you would like to discuss our policies with the managers please do so by email and not on the Boards. We know this isn't easy. We sincerely thank all of you for helping keep the focus here at Freedom on our mission - freeing those dependent upon nicotine! I know I speak for all the managers is saying THANK YOU FREEDOM!
Last edited by John (Gold) on September 18th, 2009, 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Share

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

October 13th, 2002, 4:24 am #25

Thank You Freedom! As you may have noticed, over the past couple of weeks we've had some rather major construction work ongoing at WhyQuit that has occupied vast chuncks of time of not only the managers but of some of our more seasoned graduates too. Although we've kept one eye on thing, there really is little to be concerned over as Freedom's newest newbies are always surrounded by some of the most educated and skilled cessation givers anywhere on earth! Thanks to all for helping Freedom maintain its focus! Today is doable!
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long! John : )
Quote
Share