Is Relapse a Natural Part of the Addiction Process?

Is Relapse a Natural Part of the Addiction Process?

Joel
Joel

March 12th, 2001, 8:15 pm #1

Most other boards, and in fact most professional programs and nicotine addiction experts see relapsing as a normal part of the addiction process. In a way we are out on a limb here at Freedom and Turkeyville. We don't accept relapse as a normal process of addiction. We see a relapse as a natural process of not understanding and/or accepting ones own addiction. For if the true implication of a relapse is understood, any sane and recovering addict would choose not to relapse.

Every recovering nicotine addict here has the tools in place not to relapse, which is why he or she is a recovering addict now and not an active user. He or she understands full well, up to this point in time that he or she could not control quantity of cigarettes or duration of the relapse. If nicotine is readministered, the relapse will take on a life of its own, and has the full potential of taking your life in the process.

If you keep that understanding and keep in practice our one simple principle, a relapse is not going to be a natural occurrence and in fact, a relapse is going to be an impossibility. For as long as you follow one simple principal, you will never be able to go back to smoking. The principle, is just remembering if you want to keep control of your addiction never take another puff!

Edited 11-29-11 to include new video version:

Last edited by Joel on April 11th, 2016, 11:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Joel
Joel

March 12th, 2001, 8:22 pm #2

Don't 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, 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
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NYPam(GREEN)
NYPam(GREEN)

March 13th, 2001, 9:43 am #3

 

Joel, When I start thinking "junkie thoughts" I realize how close to the edge I am getting.... I look for a safety net... and I hear my mind scream...
Never take another Puff!!
It has worked for me so far!

pam
Two months, one week, three days, 13 hours, 28 minutes and 45 seconds. 1739 cigarettes not smoked, saving $395.63. Life saved: 6 days, 55 minutes.
Last edited by NYPam(GREEN) on May 18th, 2010, 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

March 31st, 2001, 9:50 pm #4

Those selling nicotine need relapse in order to stay in the nicotine business.
I've given enough already! I refuse to give any more Knowing that the nicotine receptors in my mind have been permanently altered and that I'll always be just one puff away from returning to a heavy 3 pack a day smoker (or maybe more), doesn't make the complete comfort and total calmness that I've felt for the past 20 months any less comfortable or or any less calming. The truth doesn't hurt, it empowers.
Last edited by John (Gold) on May 18th, 2010, 4:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

April 1st, 2001, 9:36 pm #5

I see Zep brought this up yesterday (thanks Zep) but I think it is an important one to bring up today. No one should ever see relapse as an inevitability. It is only going to happen to an individual who loses sight of the fact that they are nicotine addicts. They were the day they quit, they still are today, they will be nicotine addicts for the rest of their lives. The addiction will become asymptomatic, almost may seem like it is no longer there. But it is, and if ever given the opportunity it will take you down tobacco road again with all the horror and tragedies that go with being a smoker. To stay on the road to Freedom instead your must prevent relapse and the devastations that go with it. To do this you must always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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gonecold (Silver)
gonecold (Silver)

April 27th, 2001, 1:03 am #6

In my mind I still think I will relaspe. I am only 3 weeks into my quit.
I cannot afford to look down the road to next week , next month or next year.
I'm only looking at today, and trying to stay true to myself, to Never Take Another Puff.
One day at a time.
Hopefully with enough "one days, it will get easier.
I consider it a major victory when I have gone through the day without , caving in to the NicoDemon.

This site has been a great help, thanks to all who have shared their own experiences.


Jon
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GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)

April 27th, 2001, 1:25 am #7

Dear Jon,

If you tell yourself you will relapse....then you will! Please tell yourself that you WON'T relapse and you won't.

Keep reading and remember that attitude and determination play a huge role in a quit. Information about your addiction....and in fact learning that you are indeed an addict, should keep you from ever taking another puff and that one puff is the only difference between success and failure. It could also be the difference between life and death.

keep up the great job...and just take it one day at a time.

yqs,

Linda
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mals
mals

April 27th, 2001, 2:52 am #8

If I look back (it's only been three weeks since I quit)to my smoking days - they seem very far away. Sometimes it seems like quitting wasn't that hard at all. If I take another puff then I cld always quit again. Right??? WRONG!!! Those were terrible days. Writhing pain, nauseous mornings and horrible crying spells. I do not crave a cigarette at all - the only thing that remains is the illusion of fun. It is but an illusion. A mirage.

Can I really afford to fall prey to that again? Yes I can.

It feels good to keep moving on and adding the days since I quit. Like someone pointed out - it is a challenge - a challenge worth loving and living for. Feels great to have accomplished something great. A relapse wouldn't hurt anyone but ME.
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S Sweet
S Sweet

May 12th, 2001, 12:59 am #9

for a friend that i know is reading
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Joel
Joel

July 3rd, 2001, 8:51 am #10

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
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Joel
Joel

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
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Joel
Joel

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.
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pammers
pammers

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.
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Joel
Joel

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
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GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)

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

for our newest members
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

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
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Joel
Joel

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.
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Joel
Joel

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
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knowbutts (Gold)
knowbutts (Gold)

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
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Joel
Joel

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
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cando(bronze)
cando(bronze)

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.
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ThreecrowsGold
ThreecrowsGold

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!)
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

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
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Joel
Joel

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
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mirigirl (silver)
mirigirl (silver)

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.
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