Is Relapse a Natural Part of the Addiction Process?

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

July 18th, 2001, 6:51 pm #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
Quote
Like
Share

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

July 30th, 2001, 7:50 pm #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.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: January 7th, 2009, 6:56 pm

August 4th, 2001, 3:29 am #13

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.
Quote
Like
Share

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

August 30th, 2001, 10:16 pm #14

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
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: December 19th, 2008, 12:00 am

September 10th, 2001, 4:59 am #15

for our newest members
Quote
Like
Share

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

October 26th, 2001, 6:45 pm #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
Quote
Like
Share

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

November 28th, 2001, 8:41 pm #17

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.
Quote
Like
Share

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

December 26th, 2001, 7:52 pm #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
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: January 7th, 2009, 7:25 pm

December 26th, 2001, 11:33 pm #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
Quote
Like
Share

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

December 27th, 2001, 1:35 am #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
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: January 12th, 2009, 10:08 pm

December 27th, 2001, 4:07 am #21

Thanks again Joel !That's why your the MAN!!!candoOne month, one day, 15 hours, 4 minutes and 46 seconds. 474 cigarettes not smoked, saving $94.88. Life saved: 1 day, 15 hours, 30 minutes.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: December 19th, 2008, 12:14 am

December 27th, 2001, 9:20 am #22

I just celebrated my first Christmas in 29 years without a cigarette. How did it feel? GREAT. This was the first year I did not HAVE to tell my kids to wait until I had had my coffee and cigarette to open presents, or have to excuse myself after the family dinner to go outside for a smoke or worse yet, during my closet smoker years, take that walk around the block and pray that no one wanted to come along.

Relapse is not acceptable. I needed to know that when I came here and believe it or not, even though I still sometimes fantisize about smoking again when I turn 70, I know in my heart I will NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF because Joel and John said so...lol

Happy Holidays everyone, and to all a good night...

Liz aka threecrows, clean for almost 6 months (no patch could do that for you!)
Quote
Like
Share

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

January 3rd, 2002, 8:10 pm #23

There is no middle ground.
We only have two choices.
1. Take a puff of nicotine and relapse
2. Continue to heal
Quote
Like
Share

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

March 6th, 2002, 11:49 pm #24

One of our newer members wrote about us all being human and almost inferred there can be slips. He is right on one count--we are all human--and one of the things that go with being human is that we are mortal. That is the concept that every ex-smoker had better hang on to, our mortality.

A RELAPSE is not a slip. A slip though is a RELAPSE! A relapse is a loss of a quit. It means a person either has to "try" to quit again or go back to smoking until it cripples or kills them. These are both lousy options but one is sure a whole lot worse than the other.

Again, our message here at Freedom is now, has always been, and always will be--DON'T RELAPSE! You must throw certain words or concepts out of your vocabulary when it comes to addiction. Just, only, puff, accident, sneak, boo-boo, lapse of judgment, mistake, blunder, slip or any other similar meaning word trivializes the real issue here--you are a drug addict and readministering nicotine is a DRUG RELAPSE!

Relapses will only occur if you minimize the implication of relapse. Stay focused on the ONLY way to succeed at being nicotine free is to never take another puff!

Joel
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: December 19th, 2008, 12:00 am

March 7th, 2002, 2:47 am #25

For my Freedom
I Never Take Another Puff!
yqs mirigirl
Last edited by mirigirl (silver) on May 18th, 2010, 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Like
Share

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

April 23rd, 2002, 12:32 pm #26

I agree that relapse is not an option. I am a junkie, if I ever smoke again I will not quit. I feel this is true. I do not wish to die. I tried quitting smoking once long ago when I was younger. I had no ill health, also no support. My quit failed, it is now ten years later. I now have heath issues and if I wish to have any chance at a fairly normal life I must consider myself an ex-smoker! I cannot go back to smoking and say to myself, theres always tomorrow! I messed up but I'll quit again.! If anyone reads this who is considering quitting, please do it now . Don't let failing health make the decision for you. I'm so angry with myself for not following through the first time I quit. I would be so much better off today! And this time I am armed with so much information and I have so much help I know I will make it one day at a time.
Quote
Like
Share

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

April 23rd, 2002, 6:56 pm #27

Hello Marie Ree:

I never say smoking or relapsing is not an option. I have whole strings addressing this issue. Below is one of them and some excerpts from it. Smoking is an option--just not one that should ever be pursued by anyone wanting health or a quality life. Just wanted to clarify this all important point. The option for all is to relapse and face all the consequences associated with smoking or to stay free by always remembering to never take another puff!

Joel

Smoking IS an Option

For anyone working under the false perception that smoking is not an option. Smoking is an option, just not an option that anyone would want if they considered the full ramifications of all the problems that go with smoking. It is an option that will make you slave to a drug, smell awful, be a social outcast in many circles, cause many people to question your overall intelligence, will rob you of your money, your health and eventually your life. To pursue the other option of staying smoke free is as simple as always remembering to never take another puff!

Joel



Ex-smokers do always have the option to take a cigarette.
But there are only two legitimate reasons for taking a cigarette or a puff now.
1) You want to go back to full-fledged smoking until it cripples and kills you.
or
2) You enjoy withdrawal so much you never want it to end.
If this is the case just take one puff every third day,
withdrawal will last forever
Last edited by Joel on April 11th, 2013, 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Like
Share

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

October 9th, 2002, 8:10 am #28

For Lydia:

I am so happy to be bringing this up to help an individual prevent a prelapse as opposed to bringing it up to point out that his or her relapse was entirely avoidable.
Quote
Like
Share

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

October 23rd, 2002, 9:31 pm #29

From: Joel.             Sent: 7/2/2001 7:51 PM
  With many medical professionals scanning our site I thought this would be one of particular value to emphasize. Relapse is a state that should be avoided at all costs. Messages like "don't let a slip put you back to smoking" is all but assuring that recovering addicts are going to think that "slipping" is acceptable. A slip is a relapse and a relapse hold potentially deadly consequences. So don't give the message of not to let a slip put you back to smoking, rather deliver the message that to stay free from smoking, don't slip. In other words to stay free always remember to never take another puff!




Joel
Last edited by Joel on April 5th, 2011, 10:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Quote
Like
Share

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

December 20th, 2002, 2:05 am #30

From: Joel.                 Sent: 12/26/2001 5:52 AM
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!

Last edited by Joel on April 5th, 2011, 10:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Like
Share

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

March 21st, 2003, 10:46 pm #31

The last paragraph of Joels post #63 says it all for me.
Rick
"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!"
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: January 9th, 2009, 11:23 pm

March 21st, 2003, 10:55 pm #32

I also like #63 because it reminds me of something that I did about a month ago. I was outside on my front porch smoking and I put the smoke out in a flower pot that had not been watered in months. About an hour later I was inside and walking upstairs and smelled something burning - couldn't figure out what it was. I stuck my head outside to see if a neighbor was burning leaves and saw smoke coming up from the flower pot.

That really got to me - what if that had happened before I went to bed - I could have killed myself and my whole family. So I put out the smoldering pot with some water and promptly lit another cigarette to calm my nerves.
Quote
Like
Share

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

May 18th, 2003, 8:55 pm #33

I wrote the text below over a year ago on an earlier post on this string. I think it is an important supplement to this post:

One of our newer members wrote about us all being human and almost inferred there can be slips. He is right on one count--we are all human--and one of the things that go with being human is that we are mortal. That is the concept that every ex-smoker had better hang on to, our mortality.

A RELAPSE is not a slip. A slip though is a RELAPSE! A relapse is a loss of a quit. It means a person either has to "try" to quit again or go back to smoking until it cripples or kills them. These are both lousy options but one is sure a whole lot worse than the other.

Again, our message here at Freedom is now, has always been, and always will be--DON'T RELAPSE! You must throw certain words or concepts out of your vocabulary when it comes to addiction. Just, only, puff, accident, sneak, boo-boo, lapse of judgment, mistake, blunder, slip or any other similar meaning word trivializes the real issue here--you are a drug addict and readministering nicotine is a DRUG RELAPSE!

Relapses will only occur if you minimize the implication of relapse. Stay focused on the ONLY way to succeed at being nicotine free is to never take another puff!

Joel
Quote
Like
Share

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

December 24th, 2003, 9:38 pm #34

For people who think it is "natural" to relapse around the holidays. "Common," maybe but "natural," not by a long shot. The only way to naturally relapse is by administering nicotine via nicotine water, gum, patch, inhaler, lozenge, or any other product that some enterprising company comes up with, as well as by using any non-burning tobacco product, and by forgetting that for burning tobacco products that the only way to stay smoke and nicotine free is to never take another puff!

Joel
Quote
Like
Share

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

February 17th, 2005, 8:49 pm #35

Never get the impression that relapsing is a normal part of quitting. Relapsing is only normal for people who don't understand addiction or don't believe they themselves are addicts. But everyone who has spend a few minutes reading here at Freedom is a nicotine addict. If not, you would never have found us in the first place or you would have written us off as being off the wall when reading your first few post or our welcome pages.

Once you joined up you were making an acknowledgement of your state of being at that time, and addicted smoker. That state is never going to leave. Once an addict, you will always be an addict. But over time, it will become an asymptomatic addiction, hence, no visible signs, no real need. But your body is permanently altered and if you ever let your guard down for a second a relapse is going to be a reality. Nobody knows if they are going to have another quit in them. But as long as you follow one simple lesson here, you will never have to worry about another quit. That rule is to stay smoke free and reap the health and lifesaving benefits that go with being smoke free you must never take another puff!

Joel
Last edited by Joel on April 5th, 2011, 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Like
Share