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

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

Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

May 17th, 2003, 7:40 pm #1

Only our ex-members do!

We had a previous string that discussed this issue, but it was written at an earlier time when our policies were a lot more lenient. We felt it best that to avoid confusion we update that string. We don't have to use it often, but there are times when people apparently have not read Freedom's Relapse Policy and probably not much of Freedom's other materials and it ends up costing them their membership, as well as their quit.

To put in clearly and simply, post a relapse and we will pull the post and permanently pull your membership. There are no second chances at Freedom. Everyone made an agreement when applying to Freedom, that they were going to quit cold turkey and were dedicated to never take another puff! Well that is the price of staying a member now. Again, post a relapse and your membership is permanently pulled.

We bill ourselves as a no-nonsense board. We mean it. We are not right for everyone and we don't want to hold anyone here who thinks we are too serious. There are plenty of Internet sites that will support your quits. People who think relapses are understandable under the right situations are not going to be happy here.

If you think our policies are too stringent go to http://whyquit.com/whyquit/LinksKBB.html. There you will find links to other online support groups that will not enforce such stringent policies. We completely understand and we will harbor no ill feelings if you feel the need to leave us. But posting a relapse is trivializing the importance of quitting for anyone else here and that bothers us, for you are trivializing people's efforts who are fighting for their life. This we do take seriously and will rectify it quickly.

We are not here to coddle people who relapse. We are here to help people stay quit. Again the price of membership is total commitment. Considering this is a fight for your life, it is not too high of a price for anyone to pay. Failure at quitting is a relapse to a drug that has every potential to kill you. This is too high of a price to pay for a drag on a cigarette.

So if you want to feel better about a relapse, or help others feel better about their relapse, move on to another site. If you want to secure your quit and help all who are members here, you must never take another puff!

Joel

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
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



Just for the record, if a member loses his or her posting privileges, he or she still has the ability to read ALL of our message boards and ALL of the materials at www.WhyQuit.com. He or she can still put through the effort to quit and get ALL the information he or she needs from these sites, he or she just cannot actively participate at Freedom again. The way for a relapsed smoker to once again gain Freedom and to keep it is to never take another puff!
Last edited by Joel on April 23rd, 2011, 1:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

May 30th, 2003, 8:20 pm #2

[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF] [/font][font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]
[/font]

[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF][/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]Other videos related to relapse:[/font]

[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]
[/font]

[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]"Don't let a slip put you back to using"[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]"Get right back in the saddle?"[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]"I know I will quit again"[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]"I'll come for reinforcement when I need it"[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]"I've got my smoking under control"[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]"If I relapse I'll smoke until it kills me"[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]"Maybe a puff isn't that big of a deal"[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]"The only time I think of smoking is when I get one of your stupid letters[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]Are you ready for Freedom?[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]Is relapse a natural part of the quitting process[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]The law of addiction[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]The lucky ones get hooked[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]Who wants to go back to smoking?[/font]
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]You smoke because you're a smokeaholic[/font]
Last edited by Joel on March 20th, 2013, 10:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

July 12th, 2003, 7:43 pm #3

I was contacted by a person who has not been around for over eight months who did not know of this policy.
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Joined: January 10th, 2009, 12:13 am

July 13th, 2003, 1:41 am #4

Of course your members relapse. You just kick them out of they admit it, so they just stop posting. It's just a matter of semantics.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:58 pm

July 13th, 2003, 2:00 am #5

Perhaps this will get deleted, since it probably falls under the category of debating the policies of this board. Even so, I felt it was important to make a point. No, CarolynH, it is not semantics at all. In fact, it is a critical definition of membership in this group. You cannot relapse and still be a member (without lying to yourself and everyone else). You are no longer a member at the moment of relapse. It is not semantics when you lose your quit.


qwerty
82 days (2m, 3w, 0d, 12h)

NTAP
NTAN (Never Take Any Nicotine)
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:59 pm

July 13th, 2003, 2:07 am #6

Believe it or not, CarolynH, there are people who lose their quits who do rescind their membership. Perhaps, there are members who relapse and pretend it never happens. But please don't disrespect those past members who gave up their membership due to relapse and who were extremely pained, disappointed and upset that they had to leave this community and have lost all chance to regain entry. They were and are my friends.

I respect the people at this site way too much to lie to them. If I lose my quit, I'm out. It would be disrespectful of the other members for me not to do this. And I have way too many people at this site that I care deeply about to do that.

Janet
One Year Seven Months
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Joined: December 19th, 2008, 12:00 am

July 13th, 2003, 4:28 am #7

Carolyn,

Relapse not only can cost us our membership, but it can cost us our lives. It is not a matter of semantics. It's a matter of statistics. One out of every two people who never quit smoking risk losing their lives to a smoking related illness.

Relapse, even one puff, can change the course of our lives forever. There are many here that can very well attest to that fact as well as people whom we come in contact with in our every day world.

But none of us here including managers, members and even lurkers, ever have to fear losing either our ability to post or improve our health as long as we remember why we cannot ever take another puff.

Linda
3 and a half years free and not about to throw this freedom away for anything or anyone.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:58 pm

July 13th, 2003, 4:56 am #8

Hi Carolyn,

Your brief post has DANGER written all over it. As I read, "if they admit it", I'm getting that you think there's a whole lot of choice about whether to admit a relapse or not. My perception is that you may believe that it would be possible for a member to maybe have a cigarette, simply not admit it, and then go on posting as if nothing had ever happened.

Truth time. If one didn't have a full understanding and acceptance of the nature of nicotine addiction, I could see how they might think this would be so. Freedom doesn't have spy cameras in the homes of its members, or informants skulking in alleyways. How would Freedom know?

The answer is irrelevant. The truth is that nicotine is FAR less forgiving than Freedom's managers. A puff, and it's over (one puff files, the). The quit is gone. For some, it's slower than for others (the lucky one's get hooked!), but for something like 97%, (John, I couldn't find the exact number, and I know you have it somewhere), one puff leads directly to a return to smoking at former levels of consumption or higher.

So, Freedom's policy is irrelevant. Ask yourself.... why would somebody who had returned to smoking - taking on the health risks, the financial costs, and the damage to their self-esteem - spend their time hovering over their keyboard chatting away to a bunch of people who had found freedom from that addiction. The relapsed member is separated from the group by far more than simple posting priveledges. The relapsed member is in a different place entirely. They're a smoker; Freedom's membership is not. They're influenced at regular intervals throughout every day by the relentless cycle of withdrawal - fix - withdrawal - fix - withdrawal - fix.... Freedom's membership is not. The relapsed member is a recommitted slave to a deadly drug. Freedom's members are not. What smoker, in their right mind, would hang around a serious group of ex-smokers, chatting away about how great it is not to smoke, or offering advice to those that don't smoke?

The policy is pretty simple. Actively-using nicotine addicts are absolutely the worst people from whom an ex-smoker can seek support. Hence, we don't have actively-using nicotine addicts on the board. Yes, it's possible for an actively-using nicotine addict to lie and defy the rule, but I can't imagine the actively-using nicotine addict who would.

Stick to your commitment to remain nicotine-free... the commitment that brought you here in the first place, and for which you put yourself through the difficulties of withdrawal..... and you'll never be faced with watching your membership in the community of freed nicotine addicts (whether Freedom members, or not), slip away with each ensuing puff, each ensuing pack, each ensuing year....

Bob (18 months as a FREE addict)
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:58 pm

July 13th, 2003, 6:10 am #10

In your own words, Carolyn:

"Accepting that we are nicotine addicts is the key to our freedom. If we ever forget that, we can become complacent and think we can have just one."
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

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
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Joined: January 7th, 2009, 8:12 pm

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.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

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

For anyone who thinks of themselves as a "serial quitter."
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

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!
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:58 pm

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
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Joined: December 19th, 2008, 12:08 am

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.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:58 pm

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
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

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!
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:58 pm

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
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:58 pm

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

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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:59 pm

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
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

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!
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:58 pm

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.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:58 pm

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.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

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!
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