"I made a conscious decision to smoke."

Joel
Joel

10:18 PM - Apr 22, 2002 #1

A couple of years ago in our earlier days at Freedom, a member wrote that she made a conscious decision to smoke after experiencing a horrendous day. Since we no longer have people posting relapse excuses, I thought it would be good to bring up the response from back then, as a tool to help our current members think through any such thoughts. Do many people actually desire to go back to smoking or make the conscious decision to relapse?

You said you made a conscious decision to smoke. Does this mean you made a conscious decision to go back to full-fledged smoking, your old quantity, maybe even more? Do you mean to say that you wanted to maintain that full quantity, paying thousands of dollars a year, and tens of thousands of dollars over your lifetime in support of that addiction? Do you mean you mad a conscious decision to go back to constantly smelling like a cigarette? Do you mean that you were making a conscious decision to stand outside in subzero weather, tropical down pours, or unbearable heat waves, just to sneak a few drags when in some hostile environment that is restricting your smoking? Do you mean that you made a conscious decision to be viewed as a social misfit or outcast, shunned or ridiculed by others? Does it mean that you made a conscious decision to accept all these consequences with the idea you would smoke until cigarettes would slowly cripple you? Do you mean to say that you made a conscious decision to smoke until you would eventually leave your family, friends, basically all your loved ones behind, because you were going to smoke until cigarettes killed you? Was that your conscious decision? I am not trying to be harsh or insensitive here. I am just trying to clarify that when a person has a bad moment and relapses saying to themselves that they made a conscious decision to smoke, it is usually an untrue statement. They don't make a conscious decision to smoke; they make a conscious decision to have a cigarette. These are two completely different decisions. It is easy to make a conscious decision to have a cigarette, when you think that is where it will end. Thinking in terms of limited quantity or limited time smoking is fantasizing about smoking. This fantasy will be a person's downfall.

Now in fact you are being forced to make a decision. Your body is going to demand it. The decision now is are you going to be a full-fledged smoker, under the criteria above, or are you going to quit again? If you don't make a decision and take action, the decision is already made. You are a smoker again. On the other hand if you decide to quit, then you may have to put up with the initial withdrawals and the struggles that accompany stopping smoking. Neither option is optimal, but one, as bad as it seems, is clearly better than the other is. One may be miserable; the other is potentially lethal.

You started your post that this was the worst day of your life. If it is the day you go back to smoking, this may not be an inaccurate assessment. If it is the a day you almost lost a quit but got it back and never smoked again, well then in retrospect you will probably realize that today was a day that had bad components. But in the grand scheme of things it was the day you permanently quit smoking and in that real sense it was a good day too. This may be hard to see now but in time, smoke free time; this may become a very realistic assessment.

This is a fight for your health and your life. Give it your all because the alternative is cigarette smoking and if cigarettes are given the opportunity, they will take your all. To keep your Freedom, your health and your life you must understand that your quit is contingent on knowing that to stay smoke free you must never take another puff!

Joel

Related videos:

Intentional relapses

Who wants to go back to smoking?
Last edited by Joel on 8:23 PM - Nov 20, 2014, edited 2 times in total.
Quote
Share

michelleM(Silver)
michelleM(Silver)

1:29 AM - Apr 23, 2002 #2

Joel,
Thank you for posting this thread. This is the first time I have seen this but it is not the first time I heard that statement. I too told myself a few times that I want to make a consious decision to resume smoking. I tried to convince myself that that was what I really wanted. If it hadn't been for the truths I learned through this website and much soul searching I just might have bought that statement hook-line and sinker. The truth is if I would have made that fatal move then I would have ironically made a choice to enslave myself to a relentless and ruthless master, nicotine. The truth is that I have a choice each day to smoke or not to smoke and I love having that choice. When I was a smoker I had no choice just as you so eloquently pointed out nicotine made my decisions. Whenever that nasty lying junkie thinking creeps into my head I fight it the only way I know how with the TRUTH.

Michelle,
I have chosen not to smoke for 3months, 1week, and added 5days, 2hours, and 35min to my life.
Quote
Share

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

10:13 AM - Aug 03, 2002 #3

In a forum where there are no excuses for relapse, it would seem that those who present them have either somehow missed all postings regarding the groups philosophy or the group is being toyed with. Maybe there is a third possibility. More than once I've hoped so.
Quote
Share

Sophy(Silver)
Sophy(Silver)

9:51 AM - Oct 10, 2002 #4

What Joel wrote in this thread is SO powerful. I had a bad day three days ago and was hounded by a powerful urge to smoke, the likes of which I hadn't had for more than two months. The kind of reasoning that Joel lays out -- that taking that first puff is a decision to take back the WHOLE stinking, poisonous, disgusting nightmare of enslavement  -- that was the kind of thinking that I was able to go through to remind myself that I really did NOT want to smoke, that I really wanted to keep my quit. So I made a conscious decision NOT to smoke and to keep my quit. I know that the fact that I've read this post and so many others like it, till it is engrained into my thought processes is a key reason why I am still smokefree and nicotine free today. WoooHOOOO! Thanks to Joel and John and everyone here at Freedom for helping me learn the true value of my precious quit and how to nurture and keep it. Keep choosing life and keep the quit. ---Sophy, Day 152 of freedom
Last edited by Sophy(Silver) on 12:39 PM - Mar 08, 2013, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Share

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

1:56 AM - Mar 21, 2003 #5

A few things that come with one puff of nicotine:
  • Trading places with your now arrested dependency
  • The chemical obligation to attempt to intentionally smoke yourself to death
  • A 50% chance of succeeding, while depriving yourself of roughly 5,000 days of laughter, love, friends, family, and life.
  • A 25% chance of killing yourself of 22.5 years early
  • Spending countless thousands of hard earned dollars/pounds in your bid to deprive yourself of life while remaining a chemical slave
  • Even greater odds of damaging your body so badly that the quality of your final years of life on earth are substantially diminished.
  • Returning to your chemical world where with each passing year you will become more and more of a social outcast, while possibly needing to smoke more tobacco, and stinking even worse.
  • A remaining lifetime of hourly obedience to the urges and craves created by a constantly falling blood serum nicotine level.
Go back in your mind to day one of this journey. Do you remember all of the reasons that motivated you to embark upon this quest for freedom? How many reasons were on your list? Think hard - 5, 10, 15, 20? Have even one of those reasons changed? Must all your dreams fail now or are the next few minutes doable?
Delay is your friend! There were hard times for all of us but we each took a deep breath, thought about our dreams, and reflected upon the full consequences of smoking just one puff of nicotine. It doesn't take strenght to continue but vivid dreams in the front-seat of our mind! You're going home! Today is doable! We're with you in spirit!
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long! John
Last edited by John (Gold) on 7:05 PM - Nov 20, 2014, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Share

Joel
Joel

12:38 AM - Oct 08, 2003 #6

A member put up a request for someone to shake her into keeping her quit. I am bringing up a few posts to accommodate this request.
Quote
Share

Rickrob53 Gold
Rickrob53 Gold

2:03 AM - Jun 04, 2004 #7

(sometimes the first threads in the string can be missed)
From: John (Gold) Sent: 3/20/2003 9:56 AM
A few things that come with one puff of nicotine:
  • Trading places with your briefly arrested dependency
  • The chemical obligation to attempt to intentionally smoke yourself to death
  • A 50% chance of succeeding, while depriving yourself of roughly 5,000 days of laughter, love, friends, family, and life.
  • A 25% chance of killing yourself of 22.5 years early
  • Spending countless thousands of hard earned dollars/pounds in your bid to deprive yourself of life while remaining a chemical slave
  • Even greater odds of damaging your body so badly that the quality of your final years of life on earth are substantially diminished.
  • Returning to your chemical world where with each passing year you will become more and more of a social outcast, while possibly needing to smoke more tobacco, and stinking even worse.
  • A remaining lifetime of hourly obedience to the urges and craves created by a constantly falling blood serum nicotine level.
Go back in your mind to day one of this journey. Do you remember all of the reasons that motivated you to embark upon this quest for freedom? How many reasons were on your list? Think hard - 5, 10, 15, 20? Have even one of those reasons changed? Must all your dreams fail now or are the next few minutes doable?
Delay is your friend! There were hard times for all of us but we each took a deep breath, thought about our dreams, and reflected upon the full consequences of smoking just one puff of nicotine. It doesn't take strenght to continue but vivid dreams in the front-seat of our mind! You're going home! Today is doable! We're with you in spirit!
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long! John
Quote
Share

malapela gold
malapela gold

6:30 AM - Aug 15, 2004 #8

Joel,

Thank you for posting this again. I've been feeling this "conscious decision" thing creeping into my head. I don't want to go back to what I have been for so long, a smoking addict rather than a non-smoking addict. I tried to find times today when I would have had one of those "bad" cigarettes - the ones you really don't want but just have anyway, i.e., in the car when the kids are in the back seat and you have to hang it out the window. I was also walking along to my son's football game and thought that I would normally be looking for an oportunity to light up. I would have had to hide a bit because of the kids all around and the sports atmosphere and all. It wouldn't have been enjoyable and I would have felt bad.

I had to think, "Hey, thank God I don't have to do this anymore. This is great."
No matter how many times in the day I feel deprived I can always remember dozens of circumstances where I'm glad I'm free.

John Two weeks, two days, 6 hours, 30 minutes and 33 seconds. 455 cigarettes not smoked, saving $68.34. Life saved: 1 day, 13 hours, 55 minutes.
Quote
Share

GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)

11:39 AM - Dec 08, 2004 #9

lifted from above:

You said you made a conscious decision to smoke. Does this mean you made a conscious decision to go back to full-fledged smoking, your old quantity, maybe even more? Do you mean to say that you wanted to maintain that full quantity, paying thousands of dollars a year, and tens of thousands of dollars over your lifetime in support of that addiction? Do you mean you mad a conscious decision to go back to constantly smelling like a cigarette? Do you mean that you were making a conscious decision to stand outside in subzero weather, tropical down pours, or unbearable heat waves, just to sneak a few drags when in some hostile environment that is restricting your smoking? Do you mean that you made a conscious decision to be viewed as a social misfit or outcast, shunned or ridiculed by others? Does it mean that you made a conscious decision to accept all these consequences with the idea you would smoke until cigarettes would slowly cripple you? Do you mean to say that you made a conscious decision to smoke until you would eventually leave your family, friends, basically all your loved ones behind, because you were going to smoke until cigarettes killed you? Was that your conscious decision?
Quote
Share

JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

10:43 PM - Jan 28, 2007 #10

.......when a person has a bad moment and relapses saying to themselves that they made a conscious decision to smoke, it is usually an untrue statement. They don't make a conscious decision to smoke; they make a conscious decision to have a cigarette. These are two completely different decisions. It is easy to make a conscious decision to have a cigarette, when you think that is where it will end. Thinking in terms of limited quantity or limited time smoking is fantasizing about smoking. This fantasy will be a person's downfall. Now in fact you are being forced to make a decision. Your body is going to demand it. The decision now is are you going to be a full-fledged smoker, under the criteria above, or are you going to quit again? If you don't make a decision and take action, the decision is already made. You are a smoker again. On the other hand if you decide to quit, then you may have to put up with the initial withdrawals and the struggles that accompany stopping smoking. Neither option is optimal, but one, as bad as it seems, is clearly better than the other is. One may be miserable; the other is potentially lethal.

You started your post that this was the worst day of your life. If it is the day you go back to smoking, this may not be an inaccurate assessment. If it is the a day you almost lost a quit but got it back and never smoked again, well then in retrospect you will probably realize that today was a day that had bad components. But in the grand scheme of things it was the day you permanently quit smoking and in that real sense it was a good day too. This may be hard to see now but in time, smoke free time; this may become a very realistic assessment.

This is a fight for your health and your life. Give it your all because the alternative is cigarette smoking and if cigarettes are given the opportunity, they will take your all. To keep your Freedom, your health and your life you must understand that your quit is contingent on knowing that to stay smoke free you must never take another puff!

Joel
Quote
Share

Joel
Joel

12:02 AM - Sep 10, 2007 #11

I saw where a member wrote in two posts that she almost lost her quits. I am going to assume that this wording meant that she almost decided to smoke. This string and the post  "I think I have decided to go back to smoking" " seem appropriate to bring up in lieu of this thought. They could have been written as "I almost made a conscious decision to smoke," or "I almost decided to go back to smoking." The same commentary in both strings would still apply.
Last edited by Joel on 10:22 AM - Apr 25, 2012, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Share

Joel
Joel

2:46 AM - Oct 27, 2007 #12

Video that ties in well with this string:
Video title Dial Up High Speed Audio Length Added
Who wants to go back to smoking? 2.61mb 25.9mb 1.05mb 07:05 09/28/06
Quote
Share

JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

2:20 AM - Nov 06, 2007 #13

".......when a person has a bad moment and relapses saying to themselves that they made a conscious decision to smoke, it is usually an untrue statement. They don't make a conscious decision to smoke; they make a conscious decision to have a cigarette. These are two completely different decisions. It is easy to make a conscious decision to have a cigarette, when you think that is where it will end. Thinking in terms of limited quantity or limited time smoking is fantasizing about smoking. This fantasy will be a person's downfall."
(Part of Joel's original post.)
Quote
Share

forza d animo
forza d animo

9:55 AM - Nov 16, 2007 #14

The first paragraph of Joel's reply to this person who "made a conscious decision to smoke" lays bare the ignorance with which that decision was made and also sheds light upon a very important premise. If we are aware of the consequences of one puff, we can make a conscious decision NOT to smoke.

While the decision to remain nicotine free is not always easy, because we are, after all, addicted to nicotine, when the temptation arises, when we crave just one puff, what we know, must win out over what we feel or we may doom ourselves again to the endless cycle of smoking tobacco to prevent withdrawal.

While we may not recognize it early in our recovery, we were never victims of circumstance when we relapsed. We were victims of our own ignorance of nicotine addiction. When someone relapses, they are seeking relief. We must understand that nicotine offers no relief except to temporarily stave off withdrawl.

Make a conscious decision to live nicotine free.
Make a conscious decision to learn as much as you can about nicotine addiction.
Make a conscious decision to never take another puff.

Joseph
3x Gold
Quote
Share

JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

11:18 PM - Nov 27, 2007 #15

It doesn't "just happen". Some outside agency or 'other person' does not swoop into your conscious rational brain and take control.
Losing control is still a choice to do so.
Who's to blame?
It is always a conscious decision to use. The mistake made in the past by many of us is in believing we can live the addict's ideal and control the quantity. Be honest with yourself. We cannot control the quantity or quit anytime we want to. We are addicts. That's how we ended up learning at this place called Freedom. The only thing we can control is what we choose to put in our body - or not. That is essentially our Freedom of Choice. Freedom to choose. Freedom to not use.
Don't kid yourself. It's always been and always will be within OUR ability to make a single CHOICE and not take a puff.

Joe J Free cause I choose to be.
Last edited by JoeJFree Gold on 1:24 AM - Feb 15, 2010, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Share

FreedomStaff
FreedomStaff

10:25 AM - Apr 25, 2012 #16

[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF].......[/font]when a person has a bad moment and relapses saying to themselves that they made a conscious decision to smoke, it is usually an untrue statement. They don't make a conscious decision to smoke; they make a conscious decision to have a cigarette. These are two completely different decisions. It is easy to make a conscious decision to have a cigarette, when you think that is where it will end. Thinking in terms of limited quantity or limited time smoking is fantasizing about smoking. This fantasy will be a person's downfall.[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF][/font][font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]Now in fact you are being forced to make a decision. Your body is going to demand it. The decision now is are you going to be a full-fledged smoker, under the criteria above, or are you going to quit again? If you don't make a decision and take action, the decision is already made. You are a smoker again. On the other hand if you decide to quit, then you may have to put up with the initial withdrawals and the struggles that accompany stopping smoking. Neither option is optimal, but one, as bad as it seems, is clearly better than the other is. One may be miserable; the other is potentially lethal.[/font]

[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]You started your post that this was the worst day of your life. If it is the day you go back to smoking, this may not be an inaccurate assessment. If it is the a day you almost lost a quit but got it back and never smoked again, well then in retrospect you will probably realize that today was a day that had bad components. But in the grand scheme of things it was the day you permanently quit smoking and in that real sense it was a good day too. This may be hard to see now but in time, smoke free time; this may become a very realistic assessment.[/font]

[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]This is a fight for your health and your life. Give it your all because the alternative is cigarette smoking and if cigarettes are given the opportunity, they will take your all. To keep your Freedom, your health and your life you must understand that your quit is contingent on knowing that to stay smoke free you must never take another puff![/font]

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

Joined: 2:04 PM - Nov 13, 2008

7:58 PM - Dec 11, 2015 #17

Related video: Intentional relapses
Quote
Like
Share