I Liked My Other Support Group More

I Liked My Other Support Group More

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

10 Oct 2000, 20:19 #1

This letter was originally written illustrating the difference between the clinics I ran and other programs that existed at the time. The relevance of the concepts of this letter also applies to Freedom when compared to many other websites out there for smoking cessation. Our approach does not have universal appeal. People who really don't want to quit will find our philosophy a bit oppresive. People who do find their way here and really listen to the underlying message of treating an addiction as an addiction will find they will for the first time have the real tools to make long term smoking cessation a reality.

"I Liked My Other Smoking Clinic More!"

Almost 20 years ago when I was conducting one of my first Stop Smoking Clinics, one of the successful participants, a lady named Barbara, told me that she had once attended another clinic and liked it more than ours. I asked her how long she had quit for in that program and she said, "Oh, I didn't quit at all." I then asked her how many of the other people quit. She replied, "I don't know if anybody quit." I then asked, if nobody quit, why did she like the program more? She answered, "When I completed the program, I didn't feel bad about smoking!"

The task of any smoking clinic should be to help the participant break free from the powerful grip of the nicotine addiction. To do this, each participant needs to have a thorough understanding of both why he or she smokes and the consequences associated with maintaining use of cigarettes. Cigarettes are addictive, expensive, socially unacceptable, and deadly. How in the world can any individual or clinic realize these effects and minimize the significance to the point where a smoker doesn't feel bad smoking?

The natural impulse of most smokers is to deny the health and social implications of smoking. When he picks up a newspaper and sees a headline with "Surgeon General", he will read no further. When he hears a broadcast on radio or television about the dangers, he either totally disregards the message or maintains the false belief that the problem doesn't apply to him. But eventually, even his own body complains. He may experience physical symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, pains in chest, numbness in extremities, headaches, stomach aches, hoarseness, and a variety of other complaints. He will generally pass the blame to the weather, his diet, to his stress, to a cold or flu, to allergies or any other excuse he can muster up to protect his cigarettes.

Our clinic was designed to permanently destroy all rationalizations of smoking by the smoker. He may make up lots of excuses for smoking, but he knows that they all are lies. Our clinic will accomplish one of two goals. Either the smoker will quit smoking, or the clinic will **** up his smoking for the rest of his life. No longer will he be able to sit back at the end of a day and think to himself in ignorant bliss how much he enjoyed his cigarettes. To the contrary, if any thought of smoking is allowed to creep into consciousness, it will be anger over how stupid it was to inhale 20, 40, 60 or even more cigarettes that day, and how sad it is that he is probably going to do the same again tomorrow.

Why do we want to make the smoker miserable about smoking? Because maybe if he gets mad enough about smoking he will stop it. Sooner or later logic may motivate him to stop. Maybe he will do it on his own, or maybe he will come back to us for help. How he does it is not important; what is important is that he does quit. For, while the concepts we instill in him may make him miserable, not understanding them can cause more significant long term suffering.

If our clinic did what Barbara's first clinic accomplished--alleviating negative feelings toward smoking--it could result in the ammunition necessary to maintain smoking. Since cigarettes are responsible for over 400,000 premature deaths per year and the crippling of literally millions of others, alleviating the anxiety of smoking is not in the best interest of the smoker. Consider the physical, psychological, social, economical and any other personal consequences of smoking. Consider them all and NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!


Last edited by Joel on 25 Aug 2012, 16:11, edited 1 time in total.
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Patticake (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

11 Feb 2001, 11:01 #2

Happycamper, sort of what happened to me. I quit 1/17 and was really having a hard time. One Saturday while my husband was watching football , rainy weather, feeling blue, I decided to look around on the web and see if I could find something related to smoking cessation, BINGO, my guardian angel led me right to this website. If you have been reading Joel's Library one article says, "this program will do one of two things, this program will either help you stop smoking, or, it will **** up your smoking for the rest of your life". I am 58 , smoked 1-2 packs a day for 40+ years. I was scared to death to smoke, scared to death to attempt to quit. So far so good, I'am taking it one day at a time and I have made a Pledge to NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF. SMOKING IS NOT AN OPTION. Fantastic support group here, the very best. This is teamwork at its finest. Read, Read, Read. ImageImage
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

18 Mar 2001, 21:22 #3

I saw where a one person raised a concern about how they were reacting to certain elements of our site and another person who just drops in sporadically at best suggested an alternative site for assistance. One of her explanations of the benefit of the other site, they offered the NRT option. I just felt I should point out that most of the people here at Freedom do not live in a vacuum. They know of other sites and those sites policies. The reason they are here is because they have basically come to the conclusion that the methods used elsewhere are not right for them.

But again, we are not here to debate our approach compared to other sites. People are here because they want to be in an exclusively cold turkey site and, more importantly, a site that doesn't accept relapse as a legitimate occurrence. That is basically an implied contract of membership with us. If a person does want to be in an exclusively cold turkey site or one that rejects the legitimacy of relapsing, he or she is in the wrong place. We are truly sorry if somehow we misled him or her here. If he or she would like to post to us or email us and let us know that he or she feels that the site is wrong for them, we will be more than happy to accommodate him or her and remove them from our membership. This will give the person much more quality time to spend at his of her other site or sites of choice.

We want people here because they want to be here. We want people here to reinforce their decision that quitting smoking was a good choice and that staying off is important to them. Real important to them in fact, one of the most important things they are doing and ever will be doing for their health and their life. We want people here because they want to remember for themselves and help others to understand that to stay smoke free they must never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

04 Apr 2001, 21:43 #4

Image We don't want to be the largest group on the Internet; we want to be the one that gives our members the best chance of success. Not everyone belongs here. But how do you determine if this is the best place for you or not? If your goal is to stay smoke free no matter what, this is the place. The best indicator that you belong is that since you joined in you have not taken a cigarette.

For those who have smoked and just figure they will start anew, be aware you broke an implied code that you basically agreed to at time of sign up. You are here on probationary terms now. We don't mess around with people quitting and starting over again over again. As far as we are concerned a post to the board that I have relapsed and now quitting again is not a cry for help, but a cry for attention. A request for help can take on many forms, but the one thing that must be followed to get that help here is that a puff is not taken, at least not until after you have put up a post and given people a chance to reply. If you want to relapse after that, it will always be your prerogative. But if you give us ample opportunity to respond this will likely not occur.

The way to know that you should stay here at Freedom is that you are committed to the concept that as long as you wish to remain an ex-smoker your plan is to never take another puff!

Joel
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GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

05 Apr 2001, 01:14 #5

ImageImageam dismayed by the number of people taking quitting so lightly lately and relapse even more lightly. this are your lives we are talking about...smoking a cigarette and relapsing is not at all like eating a piece of cake while on a diet. the latter is a temporary setback....the former is like sticking a gun to your head and playing russian roulette.

Linda
1yr/3mos
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John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

05 Apr 2001, 01:56 #6

Even when you can't see your arteries being clogged, smoking is causing them even more abuse than you sense occurring within your lungs. But unlike your lungs in which you can hear the decay and feel them slowly die, you can't hear or see the clogging going on within your arteries until the blockage is almost complete. Carbon monoxide is silently destroying the teflon like layer of cells that line the inside of every blood vessel in your body. Smoking destroys your good cholesterol (HDL) while helping gum up and permanently clog all your blood's plumbing.

Far more smokers are killed each year by those things that they can't sense happening inside their body (heart disease) than from those they can (lung decay and eventually cancer). We don't know that your very next cigarette will be the one that triggers your death, but we promise to always treat it like it will. The estimated 1,500,000 MIDDLE AGED smokers who'll die this year doesn't need to include you! If you want to get angry at Freedom for taking nicotine addiction and smoking far too seriously then do so but ..... if you like yourself at all ..... even a little bit .... or you like anything else about life ....... NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF !
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

26 Jan 2002, 22:07 #7

I have to laugh at myself here. I just put up a post saying that I don't tell people not to smoke. ( "Please don't smoke" ) Then I saw a person who joined here at Freedom who participates at other boards and goes to other professional sites and so I went looking for this one to point out that we really are different than other sites and wanted them to know that why they are welcome to read and go elsewhere, they should be cautious of the concepts being shared at other sites.

But then I got to the last line of this original post and it said to never take another puff without a comment before it of "if you don't want to relapse." The preceding sentence in the paragraph was to consider all the implications. I just seemed to have left out the connector between the two sentences.

Anyway, if anyone has an inordinate amount of time on their hands they can go through the whole quit library to see how many times I made this same mistake. It may not be an effort in futility either, you may get pretty reinforced by reminding yourself by the content of all the letters that your real goal is still to never take another puff!

Joel
Last edited by Joel on 19 Dec 2011, 19:53, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

29 Jul 2002, 20:30 #8

All the unconditional support, information and advice from many other groups can help insure that you will not feel "overly guilty" for relapsing. Follow our one basic single-minded guideline and you can help insure that you will never relapse and thus have nothing to feel guilty about. That one guideline is that to stay smoke free requires always staying committed to never take another puff!

Joel
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OBob Gold
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

16 Aug 2002, 09:17 #9

Freedom is a drug rehab support group for nicotine addicts. Our "golden rule" is simple, singular and effective: No nicotine.... ever.

Our members are addicts in various stages of recovery, who take the singular mission of this group deadly seriously. We're not always the "nicest" group of folks, because sometimes "nice" isn't what a recovering addict needs most. We are possibly the most honest, and almost certainly the most educated about this addiction. And, I believe you'd be hard-pressed to find a more caring group.

We're probably the most serious too, because this is a grave addiction. The decision about whether or not to take that next puff, is a decision that often has life and death consequences, and we treat it as such.

I believe Freedom's tools and approach give people who are serious about quitting smoking (and other forms of nicotine use) the best possible chance to succeed.

Image
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

01 Oct 2002, 07:00 #10

We are designed to accomplish one of two goals for our members. We are either going to share with you the understanding you need to stay smoke free for the rest of your life or we ar going to give you enough background understanding about the dangers of smoking and the full implications of being a nicotine addict to **** up your smoking for the rest of your life. Which path you choose is totally up to you. Just know that there is little chance of going back to smoking and experience any form of ignorant bliss. If you choose to stay smoke free just always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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