Joel
Joel

July 13th, 2003, 6:36 am #11

Hello Carolyn:

I think if you look at the responses that you are getting here, our members do not see their desire for Freedom as a game of semantics. In fact, being a member here is not a game at all. It is a commitment that hopefully each and every person who has applied for membership takes seriously.

I think you are missing what the title of this post means, that our members do not relapse anymore, only our ex-members do. It come down to defining what it means to be a member of Freedom? A member is a person who can post on our board. Thats it, the only perk or benefit that comes with membership is the ability to post on our board. Post a relapse and that benefit is gone.

We have plenty of non-posting readers at Freedom who are every bit as successful and every bit as welcome to access everything we have to offer information wise. Again, the only difference between a member and a non-member is the ability to post.

If a member posts that he or she has relapsed, he or she is no longer going to be a member. The post will be pulled, the membership of that person is going to be deleted, and this string is going to come up saying we have one less member that day because a person posted that he or she has relapsed. That person will no longer be a member of Freedom.

More important though is that person is no longer going to be free from nicotine. A person can lie to us and to the board but he or she can't lie to his or her own body. The person is now a relapsed smoker and had better be willing to accept the consequences that go with being a relapsed smoker. Because whether he or she wants to accept the consequences or not, he or she is going to have to live with the consequences, which means he or she is either going to some day have to go through withdrawal again in an attempt to break free or he or she is going to go through smoking again until it cripples or kills him or her. To avoid the consequences of relapse is still as simple as sticking to the commitment that you hopefully made to yourself the day you joined up at Freedom to never take another puff!

Joel

Fer0104
Fer0104

September 6th, 2003, 8:28 am #12

okay, i´m a newbie, this is only my first week, but i do want to get a little something into this string, since i do agree that this is the core of freedom, and the core of our definitive quits here. actually this has to do with another concept - the "one day at a time" - and this conversation i had today with a friend who is a permanent withdrawal-addict, since she smokes a couple of cigarettes everyday. i was actually telling her how my commitment to "never take another puff" makes it easier for me to deal with my craves. since i know i will "never take another puff", why bother with entertaining the thought of a crave, why even think about it? well, she then mentioned that that wouldn´t work for her, that she can´t think in terms of "never', that she has to take "one day at a time". well, that´s when i saw the dual aspect of this question. it has to be one day at a time, it has to be manageable, specially during crave crisis, but it has to be forever. that commitment to not relapsing, that certainty of not wanting to go through withdrawal again has to be there. i tell you i can hardly wait for the time when i´ll go through a week without thinking of cigarettes. truth is i can´t be sure that it will come, but i´m going to believe in it, and i´m going to work for it. how? with the red hot adherence to my commitment, and the support of my family at freedom. to tell you the truth, it even crossed my mind not to post, not to write, not to access the site, not to think about this anymore, just forget about cigarettes, forget i was ever an addict (i still am, right?).....but that would be simply fooling myself, and that´s exactly what my quit is all about - STOP FOOLING MYSELF, and i´m afraid i have to agree that relapsing is fooling yourself, and that´s why i also agree and believe that members don´t relapse, or else, you´re still playing games - and you´re not even playing with the members or staff on this site - i´m afraid you´re merely playing with yourself. i´m so thankful (yeah, yeah....so maybe i could have done some other way, but i didn´t) to my support family at freedom that i can only understand, feel, and take to heart the premise that relapsing without posting is a slap in everybody´s face. well, i wouldn´t do that. and since i´m sure that reading and waiting for the support would stop me from relapsing, i haven´t felt the need to aske for help yet. maybe i will - i know i will if it ever comes to that. but all i really wanted to say is that to me it´s absolutely crystal clear that the commitment to non-relapse is the key, and that´s why once you´ve become a member that option is simply not available. fernando.

Joel
Joel

September 10th, 2003, 6:56 pm #13

For anyone who thinks of themselves as a "serial quitter."

Joel
Joel

September 28th, 2003, 1:36 am #14

The primary benefactor of this policy is each and every member himself or herself. We have made it very easy for each and every member to have a clearly defined spelled out battle line. No longer does a person have the luxury of thinking, "Well if I relapse, I'll go to Freedom and quit again." We have in effect destroyed what to some people can be a very persuasive argument supporting a kind of junkie thinking.
Again, for the majority of people here this policy poses no threat and makes the each and every members mission here that much more clearly defined. It was what their intent was the day they first signed up to Freedom. To stay a member of Freedom, and more important, to keep the health and life saving benefits of staying a successful ex-smoker is as simple now as just remembering to stay totally committed to never take another puff!

TerrysDaughter Green
TerrysDaughter Green

September 28th, 2003, 2:04 am #15

I just want to say that I am GLAD that we are not allowed to relapse and have a membership with Freedom. If it weren't for that unbending rule, I would have relapsed by now.

I know I would have. Because the addiction would have whispered "You can quit again on Monday. You just need a smoke or two to get you through this stressful time." The addiction HAS whispered that to me, several times.

It was the unbending LAW of Freedom that attributed to my staying quit. I admit there are many other aspects to my staying committed to my quit. But this is definately one of them. Allowing me to relapse would make it too easy for me to relapse.

This is the hardest thing that I have ever done. I don't like it a good portion of the time. But I love it every minute of it because I do feel free. I can BREATH.

Thank you for being so strict with us. Expect more and you will get more. From others and from yourself.

Live in the moment

TerrysDaughter

FreedomFlyer
FreedomFlyer

October 29th, 2003, 6:50 am #16

I think the policy is as it should be. We are not playing around, this is simply a matter of life and death.

B
8 months 1 week of fredom.

rebmiami green
rebmiami green

November 5th, 2003, 6:47 am #17

Just like Terrysdaughter #18, the policy has helped me resist urges and craves also. I could tell myself that relapse is not an option, but if I was allowed to come back, the inner junkie would have a weapon: it would say, nobody could make it through this much stress, start over tomorrow. Now it can't say that.
Cheers,
Edson

Joel
Joel

November 9th, 2003, 9:37 pm #18

I think Candi will appreciate this one: The primary benefactor of this policy is each and every member himself or herself. We have made it very easy for each and every member to have a clearly defined spelled out battle line. No longer does a person have the luxury of thinking, "Well if I relapse, I'll go to Freedom and quit again." We have in effect destroyed what to some people can be a very persuasive argument supporting a kind of junkie thinking.

For the majority of people here this policy poses no threat and makes the each and every members mission here that much more clearly defined. It was what their intent was the day they first signed up to Freedom. To stay a member of Freedom, and more important, to keep the health and life saving benefits of staying a successful ex-smoker is as simple now as just remembering to stay totally committed to never take another puff!

CandidCandiSilver
CandidCandiSilver

November 9th, 2003, 9:45 pm #19

Thanks Joel ~ must be the reason I am an active member of Freedom rather than one of the other online groups, even though I had to wait 72 hours to join!! This junkie needs for the back door to be nonexistant!!

Thanks for all that you share and all that you do for this group!

God Bless,

Candi

OBob Gold
OBob Gold

November 10th, 2003, 3:28 am #20

Or to look at it another way, the back door is there, but it's miserable on the other side, and it only opens one way.

Smoking "is" an option


Golddabler1
Golddabler1

November 24th, 2003, 9:12 am #21

thanks joel,bringing this one up shows me that this board mean business and they have teir eye on the ball

Joel
Joel

December 2nd, 2003, 9:00 pm #22

I just deleted a post and ended the membership of a person who had joined a couple of months ago and lasted only eight days. The person has since quit again and is now 29 days into a quit. For that we are very happy and we hope that the person continues to read here and at WhyQuit.com and continues to find us a valuable resource. Unfortunately the person did not remember the relapse policy we have in place here at Freedom, for in the post the person wrote that he or she was not sure if the relapse would jeopardize his or her position in the group. We want this message to be clear and understood by all.

If a person takes a puff on a cigarette, or administers nicotine via any NRT source at any time after joining, that person did two things. First, the person through away that particular quit. This is something that he or she may be able to get back. The person may quit again immediately, or it may take days, months or maybe even years. What also may happen though is that the person may never get the strength, desire or opportunity to quit again. Smoking may go on to take the person's health and ultimately the person's life. This is not a rare and unlikely outcome. It happens to millions of people every year.

The second thing that is done when a person takes a puff or administers nicotine and lets us know about it is that they permanently lose posting privileges. While we can't predict if a person who relapses will ever quit again, we can predict that the person will not be able to post again. This is totally non-negotiable and non-debatable.

Again, as stated above, the primary benefactor of this policy is each and every member himself or herself. We have made it very easy for each and every member to have a clearly defined spelled out battle line. No longer does a person have the luxury of thinking, "Well if I relapse, I'll go to Freedom and quit again." We have in effect destroyed what to some people can be a very persuasive argument supporting a kind of junkie thinking.

For the majority of people here this policy poses no threat and makes the each and every members mission here that much more clearly defined. It was what their intent was the day they first signed up to Freedom. To stay a member of Freedom, and more important, to keep the health and life saving benefits of staying a successful ex-smoker is as simple now as just remembering to stay totally committed to never take another puff!

DlunyGOLD
DlunyGOLD

December 2nd, 2003, 10:16 pm #23

Thanks to Joel and all the managers for keeping the group grounded in its primary purpose!

I do get confused when I look at older posts that talk about relapsing. Thank you for making relapse "not an option" IF we want to stay a part of the group with posting privileges! It makes it much easier for me to stay focused on my goal which is to Never Take Another Puff!

David - Free and Healing for Twenty Five Days and 16 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 1 Day and 13 Hours 30 minutes, by avoiding the use of 450 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $33.79.

rebmiami green
rebmiami green

December 3rd, 2003, 12:40 am #24

Nothing has hammered home to me the seriousness of really quitting as hard as the relapse policy on this board. It is as if I exchanged places with my addiction. I was behind bars wishing I were free and it was calling the shots. Now I have put it in the cage and I am free. It has probed every square inch of the cage for a loophole or an exception (and since it lives in my own mind, it got to use four years of legal education and five years of trial law experience to aid it in the search). Knowing that I don't get a hug and a mug if I relapse has taken away the "well you have gotten this far once, you can jump right on and do it again any time now" loophole.

Thank you.
Edson

45 days of Freedom after not using hundreds of nicotine delivery devices and saving scads of dollars.

Joel
Joel

December 6th, 2003, 8:03 pm #25

The primary benefactor of this policy is each and every member himself or herself. We have made it very easy for each and every member to have a clearly defined spelled out battle line. No longer does a person have the luxury of thinking, "Well if I relapse, I'll go to Freedom and quit again." We have in effect destroyed what to some people can be a very persuasive argument supporting a kind of junkie thinking.

For the majority of people here this policy poses no threat and makes the each and every members mission here that much more clearly defined. It was what their intent was the day they first signed up to Freedom. To stay a member of Freedom, and more important, to keep the health and life saving benefits of staying a successful ex-smoker is as simple now as just remembering to stay totally committed to never take another puff!

Michelle72482
Michelle72482

December 7th, 2003, 5:23 pm #26

For Joel. You and the other management do such a great job....This is a great policy. It works!!!!

mctomandlynn
mctomandlynn

December 10th, 2003, 10:17 am #27

I'll have to say that originally I thought this relapse policy too strict and almost cold. It almost makes one feel that if they relapse, what's the use of trying to quit again? Where will the support come from?

As I have gone further into my quit and have seen some discussion of other support groups with more lenient relapse policies I have been tempted to check them out. I haven't because, bottom line, I am afraid that in face of a real hard time someone will inadvertantly support a relapse. In other words, I have grown to understand the need for the "tough love" approach to this support group. Relapse is not OK. Besides, you are not turning them out completely, they can still benefit quite a bit from lurking (I did for about a month).

For what it's worth, I support the policy.

Toast (GOLD )
Toast (GOLD )

December 10th, 2003, 11:06 am #28

As a person who has been a member long enough here to remember before this relapse policy was put in place, I'd like to share a few comments.

When this policy was put in place, I wasn't sure it was such a good idea. I admit I thought it might prove discouraging to some very sincere people. There were a few people on the boards before this policy who relapsed and then came back with a vengeance, and I certainly benefited from their presence and contributions. There were many before this policy who relapsed and didn't come back posting at all, and I'm certain that this was because of the strict and focused purpose of this board. Truly, it took a special breed of person to admit relapse here and humbly ask for help again.

As time has gone by, I've grown to accept and even find comfort in this policy. It is not exclusive, as I had feared at first. Anyone can read and learn here. And the only person who suffers from this policy suffers by their own actions, namely relapsing and losing membership.

Since this policy has gone in effect, I've had the opportunity to interact with a few folks who've since relapsed. I can tell you that you cannot predict who they will be either. When they joined and participated they were as hopeful and sincere and scared as the rest of us starting out. And they still deserve every resource to help them succeed in quitting smoking. Only here, as a requirement of membership, the first and lasting way we show our dedication to keeping out quits is by not actively using nicotine.

Everyone of us who posts and all the good folks who read here, member or not, can take away so very much valuable information! I challenge you to find a topic that has not been addressed, an experience that is not shared by at least one other person, an insight that does not support or further another person somehow.

But maybe Freedom isn't for everyone. Maybe the strictness and focus feels confining to some. Maybe some long for more social or personal interaction. No system, support or style is going to be everything to everyone. Luckily, there is a whole world beyond here to have these other needs addressed. I take was serves me from here, contribute hopefully in a meaningful way within the structure, and go on with my smoke-free life. A small matter for all the priceless education, support and honesty I've been blessed with here.

Freedom has given me the tools to live beyond my addiction! I can honor that by abiding by the rules.

Melissa
30 months

richard This is It GOLD
richard This is It GOLD

December 10th, 2003, 1:23 pm #29

I'm with Melissa....

This policy is harsh on the relapser.... or those harbouring thoughts of relapse.

But I know for a fact, it's very existence has prevented relapse of at least a large handful of members.

Along with Melissa, I've also "lost" some friends on here.... long time (gold) quitters who have relapsed - who know all the laws of addiction... and, even in the face of Melissa and I and others offering support outside of Freedom's confines..... are still under nicotine's control. I've also "welcomed back" a few (two I recall), who relapsed and quit again before the policy was in effect..... as Melissa says, a rare breed indeed (by the way... they're both now "GOLD").

If this policy, as it has shown often to do, prevents the early or seasoned quitter from taking that first puff...... it is wholly justified.

There are countless less serious quitting sites littering the internet....

I'm glad, especially after 21 months membership, that I stumbled across this one first.... (even if toast does come burnt or unbuttered from time to time).... through it I KNOW I'll never take another puff...... and have no fear of this policy.











Oh, and did you know England won the world cup

Joel
Joel

December 10th, 2003, 8:02 pm #30

Richard is right, this site is going to be hard on a relapser. They are going to likely feel real bad that they lost their membership posting privileges . But lets face it, smoking is going to be much harder on them than we are. We can only take away their right to post--smoking over time is likely going to take away their right to breath and their right to live.


Melissa is right too, that we are not the right site for everyone. We are fully aware of that. There are sites where many smokers wanting to quit will feel much more comfortable. There are lots of other sites where people who are pretty sure that they won't be able to make their quit last will find themselves much more at home and much happier, at least in the short-term. The post

I Liked My Other Support Group More

Jery9282
Jery9282

December 10th, 2003, 10:22 pm #31

Joel, I fully understand! Right On. jery

W1LSON
W1LSON

December 10th, 2003, 10:47 pm #32

I too want to say that I support the policy. It has more than once deterred me from slipping, cheating, or what ever else we want to call a relapse. Freedom is not for everyone, neither is cold turkey, but it's working for me. There are plenty of other sites out there with more lenient relapse policies that also support alternative methods of quitting. I must admit I've looked at some of them. They were not for me.

What has made this quit possible for me is the realization that I am ADDICTED to nicotine. That really is what it's all about here. For an addict to reintroduce an addictive substance into his or her body is just not acceptable. There IS no excuse for relapse.

Wilson - Free and Healing for Two Months, 11 Hours and 47 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 8 Days and 12 Hours, by avoiding the use of 2460 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $219.46.

Juanjuanjuanjuanjuan200
Juanjuanjuanjuanjuan200

December 10th, 2003, 11:55 pm #33

Yes indeed.
Juan
Current member.
A year and a half of surprising myself. NTAP, Ni una calada más.

GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)

January 1st, 2004, 12:21 am #34

We apologize for pulling a string today with numerous responses because we just realized that it was a person whose membership had been accepted last January, relapsed and had just begun a new quit .

That person is now 7 days into a new quit. For that we are very happy and we hope that the person continues to read here and at WhyQuit.com and continues to find us a valuable resource.

Everyone made an agreement when applying to Freedom that they were going to quit cold turkey and were dedicated to never take another puff! That is the price of staying a member now. Again, post a relapse or begin a new quit and your membership is permanently pulled.

Linda

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

January 1st, 2004, 1:17 am #35



To the new arrival our relapse policy may seem harsh but please know that we do work behind the boards with a number of relapsed members, that each of them are still just as free as you to read, learn and grow from all happening here at Freedom, and that each and everyone of them now fully understands the law of addiction and what it takes to remain free today.

Yes we take recovery by every member very seriously but if you think that we play hardball then you need to stop and think about just how hard smoking plays. If it takes depriving a nicotine addict of posting privileges to help briefly focus them on smoking's potential to deprive them of life itself then that's a pretty solid trade. With expectations conditioning playing such an important part of recovery we can not allow this forum to serve as a revolving door to relapse.

The next few minutes are entirely doable and there is only one rule, no nicotine today! John