Is Relapse a Natural Part of the Addiction Process?

Joined: 12 Jan 2009, 22:08

27 Dec 2001, 04:07 #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.
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:14

27 Dec 2001, 09:20 #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!)
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

03 Jan 2002, 20:10 #23

There is no middle ground.
We only have two choices.
1. Take a puff of nicotine and relapse
2. Continue to heal
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

06 Mar 2002, 23:49 #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
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

07 Mar 2002, 02:47 #25

For my Freedom
I Never Take Another Puff!
yqs mirigirl
Last edited by mirigirl (silver) on 18 May 2010, 16:25, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

23 Apr 2002, 12:32 #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.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

23 Apr 2002, 18:56 #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 11 Apr 2013, 17:40, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

09 Oct 2002, 08:10 #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.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

23 Oct 2002, 21:31 #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 05 Apr 2011, 22:28, edited 3 times in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

20 Dec 2002, 02:05 #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 05 Apr 2011, 22:30, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

21 Mar 2003, 22:46 #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!"
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Joined: 09 Jan 2009, 23:23

21 Mar 2003, 22:55 #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.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

18 May 2003, 20:55 #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
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

24 Dec 2003, 21:38 #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
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

17 Feb 2005, 20:49 #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 05 Apr 2011, 22:34, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

20 Mar 2005, 20:18 #36

No member here should ever 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, they would never have found us in the first place or they would have written us off as being off the wall when reading our requirements for joining.

Once you joined up you were making an acknowledgement of your state of being at that time, an 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 05 Apr 2011, 22:35, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:01

10 May 2006, 10:55 #37

I spoke to an acquaintence yesterday; she had quit smoking around the time I did; but she told me yesterday that she relapsed....but it was so matter of fact:

Good morning
How was your weekend?
By the way, I relapsed.
Oh well,
Couldn't believe that I did it.
I'll just have to quit again.
Someday. I'll set another date.

I was sad for her, but I think she wanted sympathy from me. But I had none.

One day at a time and Never Take Another Puff!

aunt valeria
I have been quit for 2 Months, 2 Weeks, 2 hours, 25 minutes and 34 seconds (75 days). I have saved $206.52 by not smoking 1,502 cigarettes. I have saved 5 Days, 5 hours and 10 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 2/23/2006 7:30 PM
Last edited by auntvaleria on 18 May 2010, 16:37, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

17 Dec 2006, 01:28 #38

Hello Joel

I did know I was a nicotine addict but, have only in the last few days here, understood addiction properly.

I always thought, OK I can have a puff here or there - not realising I was prolonging the agony.

Knowledge is so powerful.

Sharry.
I have been quit for 1 Week, 5 Days, 10 hours, 34 minutes and 15 seconds (12 days). I have saved £37.31 by not smoking 186 cigarettes. I have saved 15 hours and 30 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 04/12/2006 07:54
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Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

11 Oct 2007, 02:04 #39

Truely understanding adiction to nicotine has shown us all that if we relapse we will go back to smoking all and some of our origional habbit.

and then we would want to stop again because we know the damage we are doing.

so then we would stop - no way to constantly withdrawing from nicotine again!!!!!

Joel you have taught me well - i know i will never take another puff!

thank you

jakki

I have been quit for 1 Month, 19 hours, 48 minutes and 7 seconds (30 days). I have saved £231.18 by not smoking 924 cigarettes. I have saved 3 Days and 5 hours of my life. My Quit Date: 09/09/2007 23:15
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Joined: 11 Nov 2008, 19:22

06 Apr 2011, 01:29 #40

Contrary to the lessons here at Freedom, conventional wisdom at most other websites teaches visiting quitters/smokers that "smoking is a chronic relapsing disorder." But need it be?  We know that half of adult smokers are losing 13 (male) to 14 (female) years of life expectancy.  What the below study reports is that the percentage of all smokers who who are able at some point in their life to arrest their dependency, what this paper calls remission.  It found that figure to be 83.7%.  Contrary to conventional wisdom, 100% of us can break free and 100% stay free so long as all nicotine remains on the outside.  John



Probability and predictors of remission from life-time nicotine, alcohol, cannabis or cocaine dependence: results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions

Addiction. 2010 Nov 16. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2010.03194.x. [Epub ahead of print]

Lopez-Quintero C, Hasin DS, De Los Cobos JP, Pines A, Wang S, Grant BF, Blanco C.

Abstract

Aim:  To estimate the general and racial/ethnic specific cumulative probability of remission from nicotine alcohol cannabis or cocaine dependence, and to identify predictors of remission across substances.

Design:  Data were collected from structured diagnostic interviews using the Alcohol Use Disorder and Associated Disabilities Interview Schedule-DSM-IV version. Setting  The 2001-2002 National Epidemiological Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) surveyed a nationally representative sample from US adults (n = 43,093) selected in a three-stage sampling design.

Participants: The subsamples of individuals with life-time DSM-IV diagnosis of dependence on nicotine (n = 6,937), alcohol (n = 4,781), cannabis (n = 530) and cocaine (n = 408).

Measurements:  Cumulative probability estimates of dependence remission for the general population and across racial/ethnic groups. Hazard ratios for remission from dependence.

Findings:  Life-time cumulative probability estimates of dependence remission were 83.7% for nicotine, 90.6% for alcohol, 97.2% for cannabis and 99.2% for cocaine. Half of the cases of nicotine, alcohol, cannabis and cocaine dependence remitted approximately 26, 14, 6 and 5 years after dependence onset, respectively. Males, Blacks and individuals with diagnosis of personality disorders and history of substance use comorbidity exhibited lower hazards of remission for at least two substances.

Conclusions:  A significant proportion of individuals with dependence on nicotine, alcohol, cannabis or cocaine achieve remission at some point in their life-time, although the probability and time to remission varies by substance and racial/ethnic group. Several predictors of remission are shared by at least two substances, suggesting that the processes of remission overlap. The lower rates of remission of individuals with comorbid personality or substance use disorders highlight the need for providing coordinated psychiatric and substance abuse interventions.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 ... x/abstract

Other interesting findings quoted from the full-text of this study:
  • The cumulative probability estimates of dependence remission within the first year of dependence onset were 3.0% for nicotine and alcohol, 4.7% for cannabis and 8.6% for cocaine.
  • The cumulative probability of remission a decade after onset of dependence was 18.4% for nicotine, 37.4% for alcohol, 66.2% for cannabis and 75.8% for cocaine.
  • Life-time cumulative probability estimates of dependence remission were 83.7% for nicotine, 90.6% for alcohol, 97.2% for cannabis and 99.2% for cocaine.
  • Half the cases of nicotine, alcohol, cannabis and cocaine dependence remitted approximately 26, 14, 6 and 5 years after dependence onset, respectively.
  • The differences in the rate of remission across substances may be explained, at least in part, by the speed at which physical, psychological and social adverse consequences manifest after the onset of dependence.
  • Among individuals with nicotine dependence, 81.6% of Whites, 89.7% of Blacks, 61.9% of Hispanics, 57.7% of Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders and 38.9% of American Indians or Alaskan Natives remitted at some time in their life-time (log-rank test = 23.7, P < 0.01).
  • Half of nicotine dependence remissions occurred approximately 24 years after onset of dependence among Whites, 35 years among Blacks, 16 years among Hispanics, 8 years among Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders and 13 years among American Indians or Alaskan Natives.
  • According to the adjusted models (Table 4), a diagnosis of nicotine dependence increased the likelihood of remission from cocaine dependence.
  • A previous diagnosis of alcohol dependence decreased the probability of remission from nicotine or cannabis dependence.
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Joined: 13 Nov 2008, 14:04

29 Nov 2011, 15:08 #41

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em
Joined: 21 Mar 2012, 13:31

26 Mar 2012, 22:31 #42

I couldn't help but notice the difference between the number of "green" members and the number of "bronze" members listed. I have been doing very well with my quit. Excellent, in fact. I can manage my craves and not cave in. But now I am wondering, is there something that happens between one and three months in the quit that I should be worried about? Do the cravings return with a vengence or something? How worried should I be???
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Joined: 13 Nov 2008, 14:04

26 Mar 2012, 22:45 #43

I wrote this a few years back in another member's string:




"It is funny because I have started to worry about people here relapsing, I would hate anyone here to take a puff. "




Related strings:




Where is...?

Good news, our members don't relapse anymore...

again My Support Group is Responsible!




From Buddy Systems




No one here should ever feel contingent on any one person or even on the whole board. The board cannot be a crutch. For technical reasons, your computer can break, you could lose power, your Internet connection can go down, or MSN can take Freedom down for maintenance. There have been times where Freedom was unreachable for hours and I even think at some point we had days where it was almost impossible to get into Freedom.







If you feel tied to the board for success your quit can be jeopardized by a technological glitch. If you are tied to any one person--that person could lose their Internet connection, or relapse, or get sick or may even pass away. There are just too many variables if your quit is tied to another that can undermine your quit.







Freedom is a tool to help you with your quit. We are giving you an addiction education. But you need to keep these lessons with you, incorporate the education into your general knowledge and way of life. Your success is contingent on you and you alone. Your quit is contingent on only you remembering that to stay smoke free you must never take another puff!




From crutches Crutches to Quit Smoking




I saw where one newer member wrote to another longer term member that the newer members needed him or her here. This is not the case. This string talks about how even Freedom itself should not be used as a cructh, let alone any specific member. It is dangerous to feel that your quit is contingent on any specific person or group. Your quit is only contingent on one person and one person only and that person is you. Your quit will continue to succeed as long as you stay totally committed to never take another puff!







From Misery Love Company




You are responsible for your own success or your own failure. The fact is if every one of our Managers relapsed, if I took up smoking and if every other member relapsed too, it would not justify your going back to smoking. It would not give you a legitimate reason to take a cigarette.
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Joined: 13 Nov 2008, 14:04

26 Mar 2012, 22:59 #44

From the string "Where is...?" referred to above:

I just saw a case of one member asking where another member was since he or she had not posted in a few weeks.

I am lifting the comment below from the string ""Come share your strength, come recognize your vulnerabilities?"". In it we explain how we never want to put any undo pressure on any member to come and post. It is up to each and every member himself or herself to post whenever he or she wants to. We do hope though that members and non-members alike stop on by and read every now and then as time permits. Keeping ones own quit strong and secure is of paramount importance by all people who have quit smoking.


The practice of asking where a particular member is putting unwanted pressure on that person to post. It is also setting up a situation that can pose a real problem. There are times when a person is gone for weeks or even months at a time. If another member puts up a post asking where is so and so, there is a good chance the person will never see it and thus not respond. This can set up the perception that the person relapsed. There are times when this may be the case, but there are just as many times if not more where it was not the case. Actually, as I think back to the times when we have seen a post like "Where is what's his name," in most cases we knew the person was still off smoking, but it is not up to us to report on any specific member. Whenever we see posts come up asking about another member we are going to pull that post.


I should also point out that there are people who occasionally leave Freedom who are still not smoking. As some people grow more comfortable in their quits (see Freedom - your journey to comfort - a highly focused forum) they find our style of operation to restrictive. Sometimes a person will pull his or her own membership because of our structure, at other times we have pulled posting privileges of members because they were trying to shape Freedom's style into one that was more relaxed and social and better fitting their current state of being. Such actions though will weaken the level of focus that we keep at Freedom and we believe that level of focus is more important than the enjoyment of any particular person or even groups of people. So there are times when a person is no longer a member and thus cannot respond to a request for information. If a person is no longer a member it may mean many things and there is no way to know for sure. Even at times when we know the status of an individual the managers won't divulge that information unless that member or past member expressly tells us that they want us to pass along his or her information.


In summary, it is impossible to know for sure the status of a person who is not posting. When it comes down to it though, the only one person any member should be focusing on is himself or herself. The people who any member should be giving assistance to or looking to support are people who are expressly asking for such help. Put all available time you have into securing your own quit and put any extra time you have at the site into helping our new members or even a longer-term member who is asking for help. As I said, it is impossible to know for sure the status of a person who is not posting. The only thing that you can know for sure though is that your quit will stay strong and secure whether you are a member or not, or, whether you ever post or not just as long as you always remember to stick to the commitment you made to yourself to never take another puff!


A member posed the question of what if a person all of a sudden doesn't post for a long time. Should we all assume the person went back to smoking. I think the following commentary addresses this issue:

Actually, the majority of our successful quitters don't post all that often. We often see where a person is celebrating turning silver or gold or off multiple years who drop in and say, "I don't post much anymore but I still drop by and read regularly. Spending time reading is probably more likely to help a person secure his or her quit than posting. When it comes down to it, our real wish is for each individual here is to keep his or her own quit secure.


Now there are people who are long-term quitters who are in fact frequent posters. We really appreciate all of the work and help of these people who do stick around. You can tell from the posts of these people that they are well beyond the point of feeling insecure about their own quits. They know not to get complacent and they do want to help. If a person has the time and desire to be there for others they are great assets to our board. But for people whose time might be limited, we want them to put their time into securing their own quits more than trying to secure others.


There is one thing that makes our goal a little different than many Internet based sites. We don't want people to sacrifice time from other areas of their lives and getting hooked on the board. (See Crutches and Freedom - your journey to comfort - a highly focused forum) In the beginning few days this is common, where new members really do spend an inordinate amount of time reading and learning and trying to strengthen their resolve. This is during the time period when many people do find their lives centered around not smoking. Over time though, life should not need to be centered around not smoking, it should be centered around living your life. Being really successful means that you have developed the ability of being with family, friends, doing your job, and meeting your normal day to day demands without constantly thinking about smoking or about quitting.


Over the long-term not smoking should still be looked at as a big deal and a major accomplishment but you shouldn't have to spend more than a few minutes on any given day reminding yourself of this fact. (see ""I am not going to smoke today!"" and Take it one day at a time. We don't want new members or people first looking at our site who are just considering quitting to think that quitting smoking is going to be a major time commitment or something that is going to consume the rest of their lives. Quitting smoking is going to buy you lots of time and allow you the ability to live your life to the fullest.


We know not everyone has time to stop by and write everyday. Some people don't have time to write every week or even every month. But do try to find the time to stop by and read every once in a while. Taking a few minutes to read can help to secure your quit. Securing your quit can help to buy you years and maybe even decades of extra time of a healthier and higher quality life. Make a point of stopping by every now and then to to read and strengthen your commitment and resolve to never take another puff!


Joel
 
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Joined: 13 Nov 2008, 14:04

26 Mar 2012, 23:04 #45

"...is there something that happens between one and three months in the quit that I should be worried about?"




Craves and thoughts that occur over time




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