Good news, our members don't relapse anymore...

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

21 Jul 2006, 15:41 #91

From above:

I saw where a member wrote tonight that because of a tragic situation she was thinking she should just smoke and quit again once she got through the bad time period. We have designed Freedom to take care of such logic. You cannot relapse with the intention that you will just come back and quit again. Relapsing is a commitment to smoke and forever forgo participating at Freedom again. Harsh you may say. Well yes it is, but it is because you have to be harsh with yourself if you are going to keep on top of this addiction. Give cigarettes and inch and they will take your life. If you want to stay smoke free always remember why you first committed and are still committed to never take another puff!

Joel


Freedom's New
No Relapse Policy
(Implemented November 2002)

Freedom's relapse policy is about to undergo additional evolution. Athough every visitor to the site will have 100% access to Freedom's over 130,000 archived posts, to Joel's entire library and to all of our resources at WhyQuit, any future relapse will disqualify that member from again participating in the group. The rule applies across the board, to me as well as you. Not only will this destroy any junkie thinking that my mind might have been able to muster in time of crisis about being able to return, the new policy will not permit me to return if I should relapse.

Not only is there no legitimate excuse for relapse at Freedom, there is no relapse at Freedom. This isn't a matter of asking members to value their group participation and use that as justification for not relapsing. That's akin to a quit crutch. It's a matter of asking each of us to value this forum as a serious site, to honor the principles upon which its built, and to respect the right of others to find sanctuary in one little corner of the earth where nicotine has no voice.

If any of you have questions about our new policy please send us an email. Thanks!

Freedom's Managers

All of Freedom's management team thought this one out long and hard. This policy may seem intimidating to someone just thinking about applying. But for our existing members this policy should pose no threat or inconvenience. After all, the primary vow that people have when joining up at Freedom, and the primary principle that keeps our members nicotine free is the promise that each and every makes to himself or herself each and every day not to take a puff. As long as this promise was made in good faith, if each and every member keeps the promise he or she has nothing to be afraid of.

We want people first thinking of applying though to think long and hard of whether we are in fact the best support group to sign up for. If a person does not feel totally one hundred percent committed to make this quit be the last quit he or she is ever planning on having to make, he or she might be better off exploring other support groups before joining in. As John has stated, a person lurking has access to all of the materials at WhyQuit.com, my library and even the Freedom message board itself. The only difference is that members can post and non-members cannot.

This policy offers up two big advantages. The first is to the group as a whole. Every person coming here is now guaranteed that the board is always going to be focused on people who are successfully off smoking. There will be no need to spend time consoling relapses or trying to help a person rationalize a relapse. Again we had the advantages of that principle already covered in our There is no legitimate reason to relapse thread.

But 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!

Joel

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

26 Jul 2006, 20:34 #92

The following text lifted from the old thread discusses the advantages of our no relapse policy, both for a group as a whole as well as each individual member. Saying that if you relapse that we want you to come back again is taking away a major incentive not to relapse. Everyone reading such a message will think that we don't take relapsing too seriously so why should they? Read the text below, I think you will get the idea of how the relapse policy protects everybody.

Joel


I saw where a member wrote tonight that because of a tragic situation she was thinking she should just smoke and quit again once she got through the bad time period. We have designed Freedom to take care of such logic. You cannot relapse with the intention that you will just come back and quit again. Relapsing is a commitment to smoke and forever forgo participating at Freedom again. Harsh you may say. Well yes it is, but it is because you have to be harsh with yourself if you are going to keep on top of this addiction. Give cigarettes and inch and they will take your life. If you want to stay smoke free always remember why you first committed and are still committed to never take another puff!

Joel

This is also from the old string:

I pulled a string earlier from a person who wrote her first post at Freedom asking if she should reset her quit meter. Boy did she pick the wrong group of quitters to ask that question. I thought I better bring this one up in case anyone else ever faces a similar dilemma. For the record, it is said often at most sites that whether or not you reset your quitmeter is up to you. We agree--if you relapse it is up to you whether or not you reset your quit meter. If you want to fool yourself and try to fool the rest of the world that you are successfully smoke free go right on ahead. But don't waste Freedom's time with such foolishness. Post your relapse and your message will be gone in a flash along with your membership.

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

09 Sep 2006, 08:07 #93

There was an issue brought up in a post today that was indicative of the kind of lies smokers tell themselves in order to rationalize smoking. It made me think of this commentary we use at Freedom explaining how we limit the kind of lies that can be shared by actively addicted smokers here at Freedom.

From above:

From: Joel Sent: 6/13/2004 7:42 AM

Don't worry, no one else has relapsed that we know of. That is not why I am popping up this post. The reason I am commenting here is because I had an email last night from a person who was questioning the logic of our relapse policy.

I think that the person thought that it was a policy that was impossible to enforce because a member could actually relapse and just say nothing or even lie about it and we would never know the difference. We have addressed this issue before at Freedom. Here is a post from back in April of last year after another member raised the same question at the board.

Reply


From: Joel Sent: 3/4/2003 5:00 PM

Wow you mean a smoker might lie when they relapse. Never thought of that one. Now that you mention it, I should have realized this. You see, sometimes when I do corporate clinics one person will have really blown a quit big time, but tell others from the group that they just smoke occasionally and seem to have it under control.

In fact sometimes the successful ex-smokers around the person figures that if the person smoking is saying that he or she can control his or her cigarettes, maybe the successful ex-smoker can do it too. So the successful ex-smoker takes a drag. He or she basically has blown his or her quit now.

But sometimes that person when caught smoking will lie about it to another from the group, saying something like, "Sure I smoke every now an then now, but I have it under control." Then the person they are telling their lie to blows his or her quit. Pretty soon they are all outside freezing together in the smoking section by the loading dock lying to each other how they will be quitting smoking one day.

I guess that is a little harder to do at Freedom, to relapse, say that you just had a slip and are now fine. Because we seem to have this insane rule that says if you say you slipped you are out for good and can never post about it. How in the world can you influence others to blow their quits with that kind of lie? Guess you will just have to find another site that takes relapsing as a matter of fact and no big deal. Luckily you will still be able to read information here and Freedom and WhyQuit if you are ever able to muster the strength to attempt a quit again. You just won't be able to influence anyone else.

There is no lying to your body though. The only way to stay smoke free is to honestly believe in your commitment and keep in force your promise to never take another puff!

Joel

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

27 Sep 2006, 00:20 #94

Sadly, I am bringing this one up today because a member did smoke. The person made a post basically saying that even though the member knew it was against the rules and would be pulled, the post could help others. After all, a person who smokes can pass along the "valuable" insight of how bad he or she feels for having taken a cigarette.

I am going to lift a couple of comments made in this string in the past. They address this issue:


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!

Joel

From above:
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!


Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

26 Apr 2008, 03:34 #95

I saw where a newer member was admiring another member who was quitting while dealing with a rather stressful time period. It worries me when I see comments like this because it makes me think that the person possibly feels that he or she may not be able to quit or stay off when encountering such stresses, or that it takes some extraordinary effort for people to quit or stay off under stressful times. That is not a philosophy that is really accepted here at Freedom. We feel that people can quit and stay off of smoking no matter what other situations they may encounter over their lifetime.

I am going to kick up a few other posts with this comment that all apply to this concept. It is crucial for all who read here to accept the fact that they will be able to stay off smoking under all times as long as they make and stick to a personal commitment to never take another puff.

Joel

FreedomNicotine
Joined: 06 Dec 2008, 16:58

25 Jul 2010, 11:53 #96



From above:


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?[font=ARIAL, HELVETICA, 'SANS SERIF'] addresses this concept. Here is our comment from that string that points out that we are coming from a different slant on this issue.[/font]

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!

Last edited by FreedomNicotine on 25 Jul 2010, 12:53, edited 4 times in total.

FreedomNicotine
Joined: 06 Dec 2008, 16:58

25 Jul 2010, 13:20 #97

From above:

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!




Joel

mikodo
Joined: 30 May 2010, 23:22

26 Jul 2010, 05:18 #98

Joel wrote:From above but applicable again today:

I saw where a newer member was admiring another member who was quitting while dealing with a rather stressful time period. It worries me when I see comments like this because it makes me think that the person possibly feels that he or she may not be able to quit or stay off when encountering such stresses, or that it takes some extraordinary effort for people to quit or stay off under stressful times. That is not a philosophy that is really accepted here at Freedom. We feel that people can quit and stay off of smoking no matter what other situations they may encounter over their lifetime.

I am going to kick up a few other posts with this comment that all apply to this concept. It is crucial for all who read here to accept the fact that they will be able to stay off smoking under all times as long as they make and stick to a personal commitment to never take another puff.

Joel
I read this, and found it very thought provoking. Geri and I, last nite, were discussing getting a divorce. Something that would be very difficult financially, with just my one income for both of us to live on. Today, I worked a double shift (16 hour day), and thought about our conversation, throughout the day. I never once wished for a cigarette all day, until I came home and came online. Then, and only then, did a thought of having a cigarette, come to mind. I have had this happen before, after coming to the Freedom board. So, that is just me; working out some old association cues, that is part of my healing.

What really is wonderful, is that this old post by Joel, springs up on the board; just as I was thinking about being/going through a stressful time in my life, while in cessation. So pertinent... I am sure, that even contemplating, what Geri and I are, would have sent me, neck deep into a carton of cigarettes in the past, and as recently as just 2 months ago! Now, I feel differently. I had that smoking thought, I mentioned earlier, let it pass, found this post, and everything is OK; no more thoughts.

So, I am amazed at this quit I have going; I just don't really know why, I am getting/learning what I need, to be able to feel, that I will be able to remain quit, this time. It is probably an easily explainable phenomenon. I am sure if I analyzed it enough, I would come to a satisfactory explanation, as to why this is happening. What is making this happen, is what I find inexplicable? Like, why is this post, reposted today; seemingly, exactly when, I needed to read it? Curious!!!

Anyways, on that thing with Geri and I; don't worry about it; we are not! We'll find the answers. I am just am truly amazed, that I am doing it, without feeling the need for nicotine, by continuing to get what I need, to remain in cessation...

Exceptional circumstances, happening, everywhere!

Mike
Last edited by mikodo on 26 Jul 2010, 06:18, edited 1 time in total.

Johnnie
Joined: 17 Aug 2010, 16:35

30 Oct 2010, 23:03 #99

Sometimes my studies on this site come down to reading about the ruling policy here--and the more I read about it, the happier I am with it. The more time I invest in this community, the more important it becomes to me...and the more clearly I understand why we have no safety nets: because they encourage falls. Here we're surrounded by winners. And if we learn by modeling our behavior on that of those who've succeeded...there's no better place to be. Freedom comes with a price that's well worth it.
Gratefully Gold

I escaped from the prison of smoking on August 14, 2010.  
[font]The best revenge is quitting well![/font] 

Marty
Joined: 18 Jan 2009, 22:05

31 Oct 2010, 09:16 #100

Johnnie wrote:Sometimes my studies on this site come down to reading about the ruling policy here--and the more I read about it, the happier I am with it. The more time I invest in this community, the more important it becomes to me...and the more clearly I understand why we have no safety nets: because they encourage falls. Here we're surrounded by winners. And if we learn by modeling our behavior on that of those who've succeeded...there's no better place to be. Freedom comes with a price that's well worth it.
That's very insightful. Johnnie. What you're saying is that the policy in itself is actually a positive aid to the way people approach their quits.

I agree absolutely with that, but I'd like to add something to the bit I've bolded in your post. It's not that we have no safety nets, it's that we have a different kind of safety net. What we say to people is "Don't wait until you fall, come here and talk to us when you start to wobble, but before you fall of the rope".

People who fall into regular circus safety nets often still get hurt, because it's a long fall of maybe 30 feet or more, Our safety net is much higher - it's just an inch under the tightrope, and you just have to reach your foot out to touch the safety net and steady yourself.

Congratulations on your own quit. Just a couple of weeks to BRONZE is a terrific achievement, and it you're looking pretty steady on that tightrope    Image

Marty
Fast approacjing a puffless decade