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Your Recovery is Not Dependent Upon Posting
We encourage every member to be careful about thinking that your recovery is somehow dependent upon anything but "you" continuing to remain nicotine free. No one's recovery is contingent upon having electricity in their house, a working computer, access to the internet, or posting privileges here at Freedom or anywhere else for that matter, as is clearly evidenced by the one billion comfortable ex-smokers out there who quit without participation in any formal program. What each of their recoveries were contingent upon was getting to that day when they stopped putting all nicotine into their body. Yes, Freedom is a wonderful recovery tool but please don't allow it to become a crutch. If your computer crashes today you'll be just fine so long as nicotine doesn't find its way into your brain.
|From: Joel||Sent: 2/8/2004 11:28 AM|
| Hello David: |
We have no problem with our members learning from each other's past relapses. We are just making it impossible for them to learn from the future relapse of any member. You are right that other programs recognize that relapses happen to people with drug addictions. We know people relapse too. We just don't see it as a natural or more importantly, an inevitable event. Our post Is Relapse a Natural Part of the Addiction Process? addresses this concept. Here is our comment from that string that points out that we are coming from a different slant on this issue.
Most other boards, and in fact most professional programs and nicotine addiction experts see relapsing as a normal part of the addiction process. In a way we are out on a limb here at Freedom. We don't accept relapse as a normal process of addiction. We see a relapse as a natural process of not understanding and/or accepting ones own addiction. For if the true implication of a relapse is understood, any sane and recovering addict would choose not to relapse.
Every recovering nicotine addict here has the tools in place not to relapse, which is why he or she is a recovering addict now and not an active user. He or she understands full well, up to this point in time that he or she could not control quantity of cigarettes or duration of the relapse. If nicotine is readministered, the relapse will take on a life of its own, and has the full potential of taking your life in the process.
If you keep that understanding and keep in practice our one simple principle, a relapse is not going to be a natural occurrence and in fact, a relapse is going to be an impossibility. For as long as you follow one simple principal, you will never be able to go back to smoking. The principle, is just remembering if you want to keep control of your addiction never take another puff!
|From: Joel||Sent: 3/24/2004 1:32 PM|
| There was a post from one of our members today who was relating a story from a past gold member who had lost his or her quit. I thought the commentary I am going to attach below kind of addresses this practice too. |
Basically if a member relapses and another member finds out we are going to ask that the current member leaves this second hand story off the board. When a person relapses he or she has lost his or her posting privileges and has basically lost his or her voice at Freedom. No one should be giving the relapsed smoker a new voice here.
Does the relapsed person have a valuable message to pass along? Not really. All of our members already know or strongly suspect how they would feel if they were to relapse. Many of our members know from their own past experiences. They can tell you all about it and how from the past experience that they know that they want to keep their quits and are now living proof that up to this point in time they have been able to keep this quit going by simply sticking to their new commitment to never take another puff!
It is understandable that some will see Freedom's relapse policy as overly harsh, uncaring and unsupportive. Frankly, we see it as entirely the opposite. If we don't treat our members' relapse, health, life expectancy, and smoking's 50% kill rate seriously, then what legitimate grounds do we have to expect them to do the same? In our minds, absolutely none.
Even upon relapse I take comfort in three factors. First, I'm confident that their time with the group will have permanently burned the law of addiction into their mind as restated by four simple words ... Never Take Another Puff!
The very act of depriving them of the right to post in a nicotine-free forum hopefully tells them that we took their life seriously even if they didn't. It may or may not seem like a big deal to them at the time but a loss of posting privileges pales in comparison to the real losses and risks that they have intentionally reintroduced back into their life
Lastly, I take comfort in knowing that every Freedom, Joel's Library and WhyQuit resource available to you is still available to them as well, with just one exception. As for that one exception, there are a host of wonderful support forums across the Internet filled with quitters having dreams no less than ours. Our links page to free support sites can be found near the bottom under Support on WhyQuit's main page. They'll find that a number of support groups host complete copies of Joel's Library and see his work being openly shared within the group.
Yes, we actually expect members to succeed and truly believe that there is no legitimate excuse for relapse - none. It's our only substantive demand upon every member - that you take your life as seriously as we do.