Freedom - Your Journey to Comfort

Freedom - Your Journey to Comfort

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

19 Jul 2001, 08:17 #1

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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
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Last edited by John (Gold) on 18 Sep 2009, 12:29, edited 1 time in total.
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mirigirl (silver)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

19 Jul 2001, 11:03 #2

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All around the world!
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Thanks.
yqs Maz
Last edited by mirigirl (silver) on 18 Sep 2009, 12:32, edited 1 time in total.
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John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

06 Oct 2001, 21:25 #3

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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 18 Sep 2009, 12:40, edited 1 time in total.
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John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

12 Jan 2002, 04:15 #4

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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 18 Sep 2009, 12:41, edited 1 time in total.
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John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

09 Mar 2002, 22:56 #5

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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 18 Sep 2009, 12:46, edited 1 time in total.
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John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

17 Mar 2002, 06:44 #6

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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 18 Sep 2009, 12:50, edited 1 time in total.
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NevadaGal Gold
Joined: 19 Mar 2002, 08:00

23 Mar 2002, 15:11 #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.
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John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

24 Mar 2002, 01:00 #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
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

24 Mar 2002, 23:21 #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
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janetd (GOLD)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

25 Mar 2002, 01:20 #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
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