Is Relapse a Natural Part of the Addiction Process?

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

18 Jul 2001, 18:51 #11

I am bringing this one up for the same reason stated in the above post in this string. With many people likely looking in for the first time, understanding that relapses are totally unnecessary is of paramount importance. Anyone can quit on his or her first attempt, or if you have had numerous previous attempts that failed it is because you didn't understand one simple premise-that you are a drug addict. Nicotine is the drug, and now if you treat nicotine for what it is--an addiction, you will be able to get control back of your life and be able to choose to keep that control as long as you always understand that to stay free you must never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

30 Jul 2001, 19:50 #12

Another important post pointing out the importance understanding nicotine addiction. Also for the benefit or our newer members, make sure when strings like this come up with more than 15 replies, go back and read the first few (hitting the "first" link just under the last post) as well as the latter ones. There is often good information in the early posts too which may be missed. If a string is long there is a pretty good chance that it elicited some pretty good discussion and something in the early posts can sometimes really make a difference for you.
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pammers
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 18:56

04 Aug 2001, 03:29 #13

Image yup,that's why this is the site for serious quitters,you don't tell us it's ok to relapse and pat us on the back.This site is exactly what I needed.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

30 Aug 2001, 22:16 #14

Image I have to say I am always nervous when I bring up posts after we find out that a person has relapsed so that the individual is not seeing these posts as a personal attack. I bring them up to teach the person as well as everyone else reading it that learning and understanding the messages are key to success, for all concerned. As you can tell from today's case, we have been having behind the scenes correspondance with the person involved and I know that she will understand the reasons for the flooding of the relapse prevention message.

We walk a tightrope here and how to best balance the needs of the individual as well as the needs of the whole community. It is not always easy. We want to support the individual without undermining the group as a whole.

A relapse is a horrible thing for a person to go through and will result in the person either having to quit again or smoking again till it cripples and kills then. Often it turns out to be a combination of both options: quitting--suffering; relapsing--suffering; quitting again--suffering; relapsing again--suffering; getting diagnosed with a disabling disease--suffering; quitting again--suffering and still having the disabling disease that still causes--suffering, eventually premature death--end of suffering.

There are two ways then to end the cycle of addiction above, dying or keeping in practice our one simple rule--if you want to stay smoke free never take another puff!

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

10 Sep 2001, 04:59 #15

Image for our newest members
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John (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

26 Oct 2001, 18:45 #16

It's not just other support sites teaching their members that relapse is normal and expected, almost all major site non-profit and governement health sites pound this concept into smokers' minds too. With the arrival of over the counter nicotine replacement therapy, and its dismal 90% failure rate at six months, experts are left with little choice but to to sell nicotine addicts on the concept of expecting failure. It's crazy!

Successful uneducated cold turkey quitting is, in my mind, a product of trial and error. Smokers can come to comprehend and appreciate nicotine's true power through the school of hard knocks and millions do exactly that each year. For many it only takes one relapse to catch on but for folks like me, we can lose a dozen hard fought quits and still not understand why.

Education is the key to immediate undestanding. For hard-headed three pack a day addicts like me, finding and reading materials like Joel's Library is like hundreds of flashbulbs going off all around me. What quitter in their right mind would attempt three full months of gradual nicotine withdrawal via nicotine replacement threapy if they knew that in they could have all the nicotine out of their body and begin feeling their recovery in less than 72 hours? Very few if any! YQB John Image
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

28 Nov 2001, 20:41 #17

Image I know I just brought this one up yesterday, but it addresses an issue I touched on in a response in the string "My First Post - Trying Again" earlier today.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

26 Dec 2001, 19:52 #18

Is it natural to lose a quit around the holidays? No it is not! People lost quits around the holidays for unnatural reasons--they put a burning weed in their mouth and light it. What can be more unnatural a behavior than that?

You will never be watching a National Geographic special showing monkeys, gorillas or any other primate in the midst of a burning jungle or forest,running to the edge of the flames with rolled up tobacco in order to inhale the smoke to calm their nerves from the destruction of their habitat.

Only a human would stand outside watching their home burn from a fire that they may have caused from a cigarette and think to himself or herself how much he or she needs a cigarette now to calm his or her nerves.

Smoking is unnatural, and relapsing around a holiday too. Relapsing is an unnatural act that will never happen as long as you always remember that you were born a non-smoker with the inherent knowledge that inhaling smoke is bad for your survival, and can be that way again and stay that way again as long as you always know to never take another puff!

Joel
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knowbutts (Gold)
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:25

26 Dec 2001, 23:33 #19

What Joel has written here is just a joy for me to read. Its so simple. You never could have told me before I came here that cold turkey was the easiest way to quit but that's been my experience.
On my last so called quit I used all the aids available zyban, the patch, gum, hypnosis you name it. I would stroke myself after every "slip". At other sites they say " oh thats ok don't worry. As long as you don't go back to regular smoking you'll be all right."
Well thats bull, because I know now that what I was calling a quit was really two years of tortured continuous withdrawal from nicotine. Daily emotional turmoil and mental squirming exhausted me. I was always angry and feeling deprived.
After finally surrendering to my addiction and hating myself for it I found this site by accident.
I sat up all night reading. Every experience I had had with smoking and quitting was here. It wasn't that I hadn't heard a lot of the info before. It was the way it was presented. Facts logically presented minus the wimpy **** with not one iota of space left for squirming.
That line "never take another puff" at the end of every message left me slack jawed in front of my computer. That line and the law of addiction in black and white are just inescapable and accompanied by the firm but kind support I have received they've made it possible for me to remove the power from every crave and trigger. I don't see how I could ever really delude myself that way again. Relapse really doesn't have to happen.
If you've never been addicted I guess you won't understand but if you have been you will.

kb
6 weeks 4 days not one puff
thank you freedom for telling the truth
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

27 Dec 2001, 01:35 #20

Hello KB:

I see you got through your first Christmas Eve with you quit intact. Congratulations. That was just one of those things you had to experience to believe it was possible. No matter how many time I told you or thousands of people told you that it could be done, it is only by living through such situations that you really believe in the possibility, or said more accurately, the reality that your life can go on without smoking and everything you did as a smoker you can do as an ex-smoker.

The only reason you lost those earlier quits on past Christmas Eve's is because you took a puff on past Christmas Eve's. You know better now and just recognize that you have the knowledge to survive all future holidays, weddings, funerals, floods, hurricanes, tornados, ship wrecks, acts of terrorism, job losses, promotions, births, anniversaries, hospitalizations, retirements, coronations, inaugurations, elections, political coups, new homes, new cars, automobile accidents, court appearances, jail time, parole, winning lotteries, losing bets, favorite sporting teams winning championships, favorite teams blowing the season, loss of a pet, taxes, graduations, getting straight A's, flunking out of school, suffering the worst embarrassing moments, winning the Noble prize, or experiencing some other major accomplishment that you will reflect on as the proudest moment of your life. Surviving everything is possible with your quit intact as long as you always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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