"I'm mad that I can't smoke anymore!"

Joel
Joel

August 7th, 2001, 8:25 pm #1

"I'm mad that I can't smoke anymore! It is so unfair." This statement was angrily expressed by a clinic participant while introducing himself to the group at the third session of his smoking clinic. He had been totally off smoking for two full days, and was absolutely disgusted about it. I asked him why he was giving up cigarettes if he was so miserable about the prospect of quitting.

His reply was quite incredible. In front of more than 20 people he said, "I have peripheral vascular disease. I have had gangrene on one foot three times and already have lost a couple of toes. I am going to lose that leg in the near future. To tell you the truth, I hope they take it off soon. It hurts so much all of the time. I hope they just take it off and give me an artificial limb that won't hurt anymore. My other leg is also affected, as well as both of my arms.

Do you know why I have to quit? My family begged and pleaded for me to stop when I was first diagnosed, but they finally gave up. They now say, 'Keep on smoking, Dad, but be forewarned--once you lose your arms, we are not going to buy or light your cigarettes for you. You can lie and cheat now, but you won't have a chance of sneaking then.' I couldn't believe they were telling me that. I immediately enrolled in the clinic. It is so unfair, but what choice do I have? I hate that I have to quit."

"Do you realize what you are saying?", I replied. You are mad that you can't smoke. But what is it that really is making you mad? The fact that you are going to lose a leg from smoking? No, you have accepted that quite well. In fact, you are looking forward to getting rid of the one quickly because it hurts so much. You are not even upset about losing the other leg, even though it would mean you would probably never walk again. Are you mad that you will lose your arms? No, that is okay with you, too. Sure, with no legs or arms you would be totally dependent on others, a complete cripple. But that still is not the basis of your anger. What are you mad about? You are mad at how unfair your children are because they are not going to let you smoke once you lose limbs." Without hesitation he replied, "Yeah, how could they do that to me?"

Some of the clinic participants looked on in disbelief at the exchange that just occurred. Some of them thought he was crazy. Others exhibited a sense of shame, for, even though their own conditions may not have been so graphic, they recognized his attitude in their own thinking and they were not very proud of that realization.

Two days later, the participant with peripheral vascular disease who had been so traumatized by the thought of quitting smoking was expressing great relief in being free from cigarettes. Once he beat the initial grip of addiction, he recognized just how irrational he was and the true destructive nature of his cigarettes. He was already feeling some physical improvements in circulation, and, in fact, had starting forming a thin layer of skin underneath a scab that he thought would never improve.

He was still exhibiting anxiety about not smoking, but now from a totally different perspective. He feared smoking and prayed that he would never again get caught in the grip of nicotine dependence. A dependence that he now recognized once controlled his thoughts and behavior to the point of his being willing to give up his limbs, independence, physical abilities, and even his dignity. He was completely justified in maintaining these fears. If given the opportunity, cigarettes would once again regain such control. But now, all he needed to do to insure that cigarettes would never again exert such a grip was to NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!

Added following video version of this string on October 2, 2012

Last edited by Joel on October 2nd, 2012, 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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pammers
pammers

August 8th, 2001, 12:32 am #2

All I can say,is WOW! The power of nicotine is downright scary.

Pam-13D,10h,43m,14s smokefree,336 cancersticks not smoked.
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zoo
zoo

August 8th, 2001, 1:11 am #3

It is so true. The addictions is powerful. It tries to trick you into thinking you want to smoke.


Never another Puff
,zoo
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Joel
Joel

August 23rd, 2001, 12:56 am #4

I thought some of our angrier people might identify with this one.

Aim your anger at where it should be aimed--cigarettes! They were controlling you, costing you thousands of dollars per year, making you smell like an ashtray, crippling you and were ultimately going to kill you. Are you mad that you can't smoke? You would likely be madder if you relapsed and had to "try" to quit again or just having to smoke until cigarettes accomplished their ultimate goal--your premature demise. Take whatever anger you feel and aim it at the source--you are breaking away from an addiction. Aim the anger at the source and your constant resolve will remain to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joanne Gold
Joanne Gold

October 19th, 2001, 9:16 pm #5

Quitting smoking is one of the most important health decisions we will ever make!

Don't be mad, be glad!
Last edited by Joanne Gold on July 16th, 2009, 3:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

January 1st, 2002, 6:21 pm #6

For anyone who may feel deprived of smoking or mad that he or she can't smoke anymore his or her's first New Years.
Also refer to Circulation thread for detailed description of above disease and other related circulatory conditions.
Last edited by Joel on July 16th, 2009, 3:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Cathie (Green)
Cathie (Green)

April 11th, 2002, 9:15 pm #7

This story had triggered a similar story of a man I met in Hospital in Germany. He was a wonderful man in his mid 40's with a beautiful family. He had 3 children who loved him dearly.

Anyhow, he had the same disease as was mentioned above. When I met him he had lost his right leg and his left foot. His hospitalization was a result of his left arm turning gangrene. I spent the majority of a year with this gentleman in hospital. I got to know him and his family well! After approx. 4 months of knowing him he had lost his left arm and the disease was working on his right. He had his family alter his wheel Chair so that a piece of metal would be suspended such that a lighter could be attached for him to use his stump to light cigarettes. His entire family smoked as well and all refused to realize that this disease was taking their father from them. On their visits to see him they would light his cigarettes not realizing that he would not live much longer.

Due to unforseen complications or so the family thought, (the doctor's know it was inevitable), he developed an infection that spread throughout his entire body. He died on the operating table when they attempted to amputate the rest of his left leg and his right arm. He was a dear friend to me and I will miss him. I have not thought of this for many years. Possibly because I chose not to remember as I was still smoking up until 10 days ago. Most people fear lung cancer but we need to keep reminding ourselves that that is not the only disease we could have developed should we have continued to smoke.

The doctor's had told him that if he had stopped smoking they might have been able to control the infection and prolonged his life. He chose the cigarettes over seeing his family grow up! That is the power that nicotine has over us--Always remember that.

His family quit smoking shortly after his funeral.

Cathie
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Joel
Joel

April 11th, 2002, 9:38 pm #8

Hello Cathie:
We have another current member who had personal family experience with Buerger's Disease. Both her grandfather and his identical twin brother lost limbs and then their lives with the disease. In her particular case, there were also lots of respiratory problems, specifically emphysema and many of her past and current family lost their lives at quite young ages. Even now, when I talked to her the other day, most of her family are still smokers, even after witnessing such total devastation over the decades. I am sure she will come in later and add some of her personal insights.
Your point of just worrying about lung cancer is important. We actually lose more people to cardiovascular diseases from smoking than we lose from lung cancer from smoking. I am going to put up a new string (I might have had it up before but I can't seem to find it) titled "If they ever cure lung cancer I am going back to smoking." It talks about this very issue. Also below is a link to a more detailed explanation of the cardiovascular risks.

Joel
Smoking and Circulation
Last edited by Joel on July 16th, 2009, 3:09 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Joanne Gold
Joanne Gold

May 21st, 2002, 1:51 am #9

Last edited by Joanne Gold on July 17th, 2009, 1:59 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Joanne Gold
Joanne Gold

June 25th, 2002, 11:46 am #10

Last edited by Joanne Gold on July 17th, 2009, 1:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

July 11th, 2002, 12:30 pm #11

Last edited by Joel on July 17th, 2009, 1:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

June 27th, 2003, 8:13 am #12

For Melissa
Last edited by Joel on July 17th, 2009, 2:20 am, edited 2 times in total.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

July 28th, 2003, 9:15 pm #13

As shown in this eye opening piece, "fear" can serve as a motivating factor causing those dependent upon nicotine to seek help in breaking its chemical bond upon them, but it's a long long way from true "desire." A desire to heal and be healthy and a fear of failing health may sound similar but when it comes to serving as the mind's basic or sole core motivation, one is invited while the other can often feel coerced.
In relying upon fear as a motivational foundation, the tools needed to overcome fear are courage and strength, two factors of very little value to successful quitting where dreams and desire are key. In fact courage and strength are factors that can allow the recovering addict to feel they can amend, rewrite or somehow put themselves above the law of addiction. "I'm stronger than that, I'm brave enough to try, I can handle one puff!"
We see fear at work in pregnancy where the new mom-to-be feels forced to quit out of fear of harming the unborn life inside. Feeling deprived for so many months, once the baby is born and the risk of harm removed, new mothers often quickly relapse within minutes, hours, or days of giving birth. She had probably tried quitting before using her own personal core motivations or at least dreamed of doing so. Instead of seizing the opportunity to live-out her own long held dreams, she put the interests of her unborn child first and in their mind and once she felt the baby was safe, her motivation evaporated.
We each have plenty of honest core motivations of our own including freedom from chemical bondage, our basic health, healing a badly damaged body, pride, confidence and self-esteem, and a 50/50 chance of seeing roughly 5,000 extra sunrises. Coercion, fear, money, and the desires of doctors, friends, or loved ones can serve as the initial motivations that get us searching for answers and even serve as minor factors that make nicotine relapse uninviting but they are not the inner core personal motivations most likely to serve as solid foundations for engaging the remainder of life without experiencing chemical relapse.

Regardless of what brought us here, to be reading and learning, there will always only be one rule, no nicotine today - Never Take Another Puff!

John
Last edited by John (Gold) on July 17th, 2009, 2:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

January 14th, 2004, 4:14 am #14

For Ron
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

August 31st, 2004, 9:26 pm #15

New European Union Warning Label
Did we once willingly accept a 50/50 chance of
surrendering roughly 14 years of life for a chemical?
Were we really so different from the mad quitter above?
Last edited by John (Gold) on July 18th, 2009, 4:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

February 20th, 2006, 2:09 am #16

Last edited by Sal GOLD.ffn on July 18th, 2009, 4:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

October 19th, 2006, 7:47 am #17

Smoking and circulation (which includes information about Buerger's Disease - a disease exclusive to smokers)
Last edited by Sal GOLD.ffn on July 17th, 2009, 2:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

June 10th, 2007, 11:34 pm #18

From: Joel. Sent: 8/22/2001 11:56 AM
I thought some of our angrier people might identify with this one.
Aim your anger at where it should be aimed--cigarettes! They were controlling you, costing you thousands of dollars per year, making you smell like an ashtray, crippling you and were ultimately going to kill you. Are you mad that you can't smoke? You would likely be madder if you relapsed and had to "try" to quit again or just having to smoke until cigarettes accomplished their ultimate goal--your premature demise. Take whatever anger you feel and aim it at the source--you are breaking away from an addiction. Aim the anger at the source and your constant resolve will remain to never take another puff!
Joel
Last edited by JoeJFree Gold on July 18th, 2009, 4:41 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Joined: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

September 20th, 2008, 11:10 pm #19

Last edited by Sal GOLD.ffn on July 17th, 2009, 2:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

October 2nd, 2012, 10:08 pm #20

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