Past FAILURES

My3Sons (Green)
My3Sons (Green)

June 22nd, 2002, 10:50 am #11

Thanks for thinking of me Joel but I'm not exactly sure how this one makes me feel. I'm now feeling terrified that I didn't make it in time! I understand what your intent here is but now that I've quit.....

I guess it would have been fine if I hadn't known it was three years (or 5-10 before detection!). I've been to the Dr. and had the x-rays, lung tests, blood tests, etc.. and all is well. I guess one of my strengths in my quit was that I was feeling like "phew...I made it"! "my kids aren't going to watch ME die of Lung Cancer!" "I'm NEVER taking that risk again" I was able to quit for reasons other than just fear this time...fear just makes me panic and we all know what that does, especially when it's a fear over something that I NOW have no control over. I feel almost hopeless now, like I'm doing this for nothing simply because I relapsed while using NRT. I guess I'm trying to say that Fear may have brought me to the quit but it's not what's going to keep me here. Fear leads me to panic and if I have no control over it it leads to hoplessness thus leading do depression so why bother!

If you're amidst a quit now, there HAS to come a point when you stop dwelling and kicking yourself for a lost quit. By relapsing I took a serious risk, can I do anything about it now? No. I have no choice now but to move on and stay positive about THIA quit and remember what I've learned from the previous one. I actually DID learn from the last quit that I can't take another puff, even though I had been told. That IS something people eventually have to learn for themselves, even though it's the hard way. How many times did your kids have to do something before they realized you were right?

Just for curiousity, how many people really do quit the first time they try?

Colleen
One month, two weeks, four days, 21 hours, 49 minutes and 47 seconds. 1497 cigarettes not smoked, saving $224.59. Life saved: 5 days, 4 hours, 45 minutes.
One is too many and a million is not enough!!
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Joel
Joel

June 27th, 2002, 6:45 am #12

For those fearing success in quitting just know there is something to be more afraid of--the fear of failure at quitting smoking. Failing to quit will cost a person his or her Freedom, his or her health, and over time, his or her life. To keep the fear of failure from becoming a reality always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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Lilac (Bronze)
Lilac (Bronze)

September 1st, 2002, 10:42 pm #13

My husband quit smoking 20 years ago. In truth it was after a heart attack and his "quit" was instigated, he says, by my incessant nagging at him to quit which ,he says, was worse than not smoking. Whatever caused him to quit, he never complained , not once, was never grouchy or ,in fact, showed any emotional or physical withdrawal symptoms at all.. He, several times, through the years threatened to start smoking again unless I "cut down". He never asked me to quit altho' he worried about the consequences you have described in this message.. I asked him many times through the years if he ever wanted a cigarette. He always said, "Sure, I could smoke a cigarette anytime and probably enjoy it but I don't want one and so what would be the point?" He has been very supportive of my effort to quit. Only once did he express what I know must be his true feelings. He said, " You 've quit smoking , I don't see what all the fuss is about." He had a 48 year smoking history and quit smoking when he was 60. I hope he has beat the odds.lung wise. It is too late to reverse the heart damage but stopping smoking seems to have given him an extra 20 years plus and he is still going strong.. Lilac
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Joel
Joel

October 9th, 2002, 8:15 am #14

There is only one thing more dangerous now that a past failure and that is a future one. Future ones are totally avoidable now as long as you always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

December 21st, 2002, 1:07 am #15

One of our newer members, a person who had just about three weeks off smoking just posted that he or she had relapsed and would be back when he or she had achieved 72 hours without smoking. It is apparant that the person did very little reading here at Freedom, for he or she did not even read that the relapse policy had changed. Pretty amazing considering it had changed over a month before the person ever joined Freedom.

Reading here is important to avoid any confusion about our policies. Reading here is even more important though to avoid any confusion about nicotine addiction. What you don't learn about nicotine addiction can kill you. It is pretty obvious that this person has not learned that the only way to keep a quit alive and himself or herself along with it is to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

January 6th, 2003, 11:08 pm #16

I saw where a new member wrote about how she had numerous past quits that were blown between one and six months and was wondering why. There is no mystery here, a person loses a quit between one and six months for the same reason other people lose quits at ten years or at ten minutes after quitting--they take a puff on a cigarette. To stay free is as simple as always knowing to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

April 26th, 2003, 11:48 pm #17

For anyone thinking about going back to smoking for a short time period.
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MsArmstrongKIS
MsArmstrongKIS

April 26th, 2003, 11:58 pm #18

Thanks Joel! I have been doing less reading at Freedom than I used to and this morning I knew it was time to go for another dunk in the truth tank and not lose focus on what it really means to go back to smoking. Finals may only last a month but maintaining an active addiction could last for many, many years and eventually cause a premature death while I was still working hard at whatever those finals lead to for a career.

It would be too big a loss and too big a risk to make it worthwhile. Amazing how quickly I can forget. . .I like to think I'm too educated to ever take another puff, but the lessons do lose their edge after time if you don't come in for some reinforcement. And I think my quit is younger than I like to give it credit for.

John's story in this post really hits home. . .

Alex
I have chosen not to smoke for 2 Months 1 Week 5 Days 18 Hours 29 Minutes 26 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 1148. Money saved: $287.08.
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Joel
Joel

April 27th, 2003, 12:03 am #19

I'm glad you read this Alex. I was looking for another post on a similar topic to bring up. Then I saw it had John's story in that post too, titled I know I will quit again. Give it a read anyway.

Joel
Last edited by Joel on August 10th, 2011, 1:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

July 14th, 2003, 8:40 pm #20

Freedom's Relapse Policy
Freedom's relapse policy is simple. Once we understand the law of addiction it deprives us of any legitimate excuse for relapse. Any member who intentionally relapses shall permanently lose posting privileges.
NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF
Last edited by Joel on June 15th, 2010, 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

October 16th, 2003, 6:49 pm #21

Quitting is truly a fight for your health and your life. As long as you never lose sight of this and you will always stay motivated to stick to your commitment to never take another puff! Joel
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Joel
Joel

November 13th, 2003, 7:42 pm #22

The Law of Addiction
Administration of a drug to an addict will cause reestablishment of chemical dependence upon the addictive substance.

Freedom's Relapse Policy
Freedom's relapse policy is simple. Once we understand the Law of Addiction it deprives us of any legitimate excuse for relapse. Any member who relapses shall permanently lose posting privileges.
NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF


Quitting is truly a fight for your health and your life. As long as you never lose sight of this and you will always stay motivated to stick to your commitment to never take another puff!



Joel
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Joel
Joel

December 15th, 2003, 9:06 pm #23

I've noticed a number of new members mentioning that they have had numerous quits in the past that didn't stick. I thought this is an important article for these people to read highlighting the fact that quitting is not a process that you want to repeat over and over again. This quit will stick as long as you stay totally committed this time to never take another puff!
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GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)

January 18th, 2004, 5:41 am #24

From: Joel Sent: 12/15/2003 8:06 AM
I've noticed a number of new members mentioning that they have had numerous quits in the past that didn't stick. I thought this is an important article for these people to read highlighting the fact that quitting is not a process that you want to repeat over and over again. This quit will stick as long as you stay totally committed this time to never take another puff!
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Joel
Joel

November 8th, 2005, 6:23 am #25

A member just put up a post in which she mentioned that she was a little skeptical of a friends motivation to quit because he was putting off the date. This letter expresses how I too have felt that same skepticism, although there are time when people will surprise you. Unfortunately, as this story illustrates, delaying tactics sometimes results tragic results:

John explained this to me, and promised he would return again one day when things would be better.
Well, I have heard this hundreds of times before, and while occasionally people do return, it is not the majority and probably not even a significantly high percentage. Being that I was having 50 or more people at a time in these clinics, I couldn't spend much time dealing with those who were not quitting.

Three year later John does return to the clinic and does quit smoking. He did great his second time around. Not only did he quit, but he became a regular volunteer for me, coming to many clinics as a panelist to help people first quitting. He also sent in lots of people, probably 15 to 20 over the next couple of years.

About three years after John's quit, he was going in for a physical and to his surprise there was a small spot on his chest x-ray. When it was biopsied they found out John had cancer. He was about 48 at the time, in the peak of his career, still had children of school age and now was facing this terrible diagnosis. It was a horrible shock to many people. As is often the case with lung cancer, it was a fast deterioration. Within a year and a half John had succumbed to the disease.

I went to John's funeral--it was huge. There were hundreds and hundreds of people there. Many I knew, some because of their high public profile, but more because John had sent in so many people to the clinic in the time period that he was off smoking. Even after the diagnosis he was still sending people in.

One of the men there was from one of the recent clinics and had told me how tragic this was that John had lost his life and how his lost quit was probably the reason. To be realistic I told him that it is possible that if John had quit the first time in the clinic it may not have made a difference. He basically found out he had lung cancer three years after he quit, and that lung cancer could be present for 5 years or even 10 years without presenting symptoms or even showing up on the x-ray. Being that the day I met him was about 6 years before the diagnosis, it was not totally improbable that at that time the cancer had already been initiated and was silently growing.

The man then proceeded to tell me that my clinic was not the first clinic John had tried. That in fact, 10 years before joining that first group with me, he and John had gone to another local clinic together to quit and both in a matter of days wrote it off as a bad time to quit--but knew they would both quit again one day.

Well John was right, he did eventually quit again one day. But it turned out to be over 16 years later. Now the odds were quite different--if he had quit that first time around he probably would never had developed the disease that ultimately cost him his life.

The lesson here needs to be once you have a quit going, do everything in your power to make it last. While you are seeing people come back who just seem to be quitting again, if you relapse you just don't know you will ever get the strength or desire to quit again, and that even if you do, you don't know whether something won't go wrong in the interim period before the next quit.

John is not the only person I know who fits this profile--I know lots of them--people who could have had extra years and extra decades who lost them by minimizing the implications of not quitting or of relapsing. Once you have a quit smoking, understand your very life is contingent on understanding the importance of knowing to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

May 23rd, 2006, 9:06 pm #26

I originally wrote this article before we had our current relapse policy at Freedom. People cannot relapse and simply join back up at Freedom now. All a relapsed person can do is read what we have to offer. This may not be such a bad thing though--there is a pretty good chance that if the relapsed member had spent his or her time reading the first time around he or she would never have relapsed.

The example in this story is still an important one, hitting home the point the importance of making this quit continue to succeed by simply sticking to the personal commitment you made when you joined up at Freedom to never take another puff.

Joel
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Gold Massabe2006
Gold Massabe2006

May 23rd, 2006, 9:22 pm #27

Joel,

Thankyou so much for this wonderful website and your insightful and motivational articles. Having just read this about quitting too late, it only re-enforces my committment to quit. I can only prey that it is not to late but know that I read your articles everyday and they give me a renewed strentgh to stay with my quit.

Thankyou,

Dave - Free and Healing for Fifteen Days, 11 Hours and 21 Minutes after 20 years as a nicotine addict. I have extended my life expectancy 1 Day and 1 Hour, by avoiding the use of nicotine 309 times that would have cost me $54.19.
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Joel
Joel

July 10th, 2006, 9:36 pm #28

I saw where the term "practice quits" was referred to on the board. Didn't want any members to get the idea that there is a "practice quit" option here at Freedom. As it says above:

I originally wrote this article before we had our current relapse policy at Freedom. People cannot relapse and simply join back up at Freedom now. All a relapsed person can do is read what we have to offer. This may not be such a bad thing though--there is a pretty good chance that if the relapsed member had spent his or her time reading the first time around he or she would never have relapsed.

The example in this story is still an important one, hitting home the point the importance of making this quit continue to succeed by simply sticking to the personal commitment you made when you joined up at Freedom to never take another puff.

Joel
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Joel
Joel

February 21st, 2007, 6:04 pm #29

From above:

A member just put up a post in which she mentioned that she was a little skeptical of a friends motivation to quit because he was putting off the date. This letter expresses how I too have felt that same skepticism, although there are time when people will surprise you. Unfortunately, as this story illustrates, delaying tactics sometimes results tragic results:

John explained this to me, and promised he would return again one day when things would be better.

Well, I have heard this hundreds of times before, and while occasionally people do return, it is not the majority and probably not even a significantly high percentage. Being that I was having 50 or more people at a time in these clinics, I couldn't spend much time dealing with those who were not quitting.

Three year later John does return to the clinic and does quit smoking. He did great his second time around. Not only did he quit, but he became a regular volunteer for me, coming to many clinics as a panelist to help people first quitting. He also sent in lots of people, probably 15 to 20 over the next couple of years.

About three years after John's quit, he was going in for a physical and to his surprise there was a small spot on his chest x-ray. When it was biopsied they found out John had cancer. He was about 48 at the time, in the peak of his career, still had children of school age and now was facing this terrible diagnosis. It was a horrible shock to many people. As is often the case with lung cancer, it was a fast deterioration. Within a year and a half John had succumbed to the disease.

I went to John's funeral--it was huge. There were hundreds and hundreds of people there. Many I knew, some because of their high public profile, but more because John had sent in so many people to the clinic in the time period that he was off smoking. Even after the diagnosis he was still sending people in.

One of the men there was from one of the recent clinics and had told me how tragic this was that John had lost his life and how his lost quit was probably the reason. To be realistic I told him that it is possible that if John had quit the first time in the clinic it may not have made a difference. He basically found out he had lung cancer three years after he quit, and that lung cancer could be present for 5 years or even 10 years without presenting symptoms or even showing up on the x-ray. Being that the day I met him was about 6 years before the diagnosis, it was not totally improbable that at that time the cancer had already been initiated and was silently growing.

The man then proceeded to tell me that my clinic was not the first clinic John had tried. That in fact, 10 years before joining that first group with me, he and John had gone to another local clinic together to quit and both in a matter of days wrote it off as a bad time to quit--but knew they would both quit again one day.

Well John was right, he did eventually quit again one day. But it turned out to be over 16 years later. Now the odds were quite different--if he had quit that first time around he probably would never had developed the disease that ultimately cost him his life.

The lesson here needs to be once you have a quit going, do everything in your power to make it last. While you are seeing people come back who just seem to be quitting again, if you relapse you just don't know you will ever get the strength or desire to quit again, and that even if you do, you don't know whether something won't go wrong in the interim period before the next quit.

John is not the only person I know who fits this profile--I know lots of them--people who could have had extra years and extra decades who lost them by minimizing the implications of not quitting or of relapsing. Once you have a quit smoking, understand your very life is contingent on understanding the importance of knowing to never take another puff!

Joel

***Important Clarification***

I originally wrote this article before we had our current relapse policy at Freedom. People cannot relapse and simply join back up at Freedom now. All a relapsed person can do is read what we have to offer. This may not be such a bad thing though--there is a pretty good chance that if the relapsed member had spent his or her time reading the first time around he or she would never have relapsed.

The example in this story is still an important one, hitting home the point the importance of making this quit continue to succeed by simply sticking to the personal commitment you made when you joined up at Freedom to never take another puff.

Joel
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Nico157
Nico157

July 26th, 2007, 3:13 am #30

Joel,

Thank you for sharing this story. It is one of many that have really touched me and have helped me understand the thruth about (the dangers of) my addiction.

Nicoline
1 month 5 days
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Scarecrow 9 17
Scarecrow 9 17

October 29th, 2007, 9:40 pm #31

I had to respond here, Joel. Coincidentally, my neighbor shared his story with me yesterday. You see, I apologized for snapping at him over a week ago, explained I had quit smoking and he just happened to be the one to set me off that day (I am fine, now, Sal-Gold sent me some great articles!! Thank you Sal!!)

Then he told me HIS story. He started smoking @ 14 (same as me) and quit @ 34. Great, except 13 years later, he took a puff of his cousin's cigarette. You know what happened next - his addiction was back to full blown after a THIRTEEN YEAR QUIT!!! What a waste of a good quit! 3 years later @ 50 he was diagnosed with esophagus cancer. (So from what Joel wrote, this would not have happened had he held onto his quit.) The Dr.s removed his esophagus, 1/3 of his stomach and stretched up his remaining stomach to form a 'new' esophagus. He endured 18 mos of radiation & chemotherapy and has now been cancer free for 7 years. He explained how his incision started in the front in his belly and went up through his chest, across his shoulder and around down his back. I, of course already had the mental image of Kim's Lung cancer surgery scar in my mind's eye, so I could picture his scar pretty well. My point? Well, I was personally moved enough to REALLY understand the importance of Holding on to your Quit - there is nothing more important you can do for yourself. Simply (not easily) Never Take Another Puff!!

On a quick upbeat note: A girl that I've been talking to about quitting since I quit (she's only 22) was thinking of quitting and I have been genlty leading her to your websites - I saw her yesterday and she informed me she was 7 days into her quit!! I was so proud and happy I almost cried!! I, of course told her to come here and READ, READ, and then READ some more!! Joel & Mgrs, I cannot thank you enough for helping me to learn how to save my own life and hopefully a few others along the way!

Proud to say I am Lisa J - I have not puffed poison for One Month, Eleven Days, 21 Hours and 9 Minutes, I saved 2 Days and 21 Hours of my life, by choosing to NOT PUFF on 838 Death Sticks which saved me $230.75. I proudly reclaim my Good Health and my Life!!! Peace. Out.
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moiralives
moiralives

December 18th, 2007, 11:11 pm #32

Joel,

I just want to ad to this sad story about John my own experience of how "past failures" can rob you of the present.
My dad died of emphysema last year in September.
Throughout my childhood we endured my fathers quits and relapses.
He was a pharmacist and he worked with addicts of other substances in both his business and in community. He understood about consequences of relapses. Over the decades he smoked cigarettes, then pipes, then cigarettes again; quitting for weeks, sometimes years. He went onto chewing gum, sticking on patches and who knows what else before he finally quit too late to enjoy his retirement.
He was free from nicotine for about 5 or so years and on his first trip to Europe with mum he caught a flu virus that turned into emphysema.
After they returned my wonderful dad's life contracted to a couple of rooms in our family home and to the beautiful views that he slowly became afraid to go outside as he struggled to breath. He knew what was happening more than me, he hid it from us as best he could. My mum was his sole care taker in the last few years, we had to sell the country home, move closer to town for doctors,etc.
I am so sad he is not around for my little boy who turned 3 this October.

Past failures do rob you of the present, I am holding onto my quit for dear life.

Moira- smober - 4 weeks, 1 day, 22 hours - free forever
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

August 5th, 2008, 11:38 am #33

Most other boards and most other people would take offense at that past line, referring to the last lost quit as a failure. But for all practical purposes that is what it was. Even quits that last for years or decades are failures if a person loses it. We don't want anyone minimizing this fact, for those who do often have the attitude that if they relapse they will simply quit again. The fact is you don't know that the person will quit again, or that they will quit in time to save his or her life.
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

September 16th, 2008, 4:59 am #34

Strengthen your understanding of recovery and why you relapsed in the past (you did not know or believe the Law of Addiction applied to your use of nicoitne) by reading this and many of the great articles on the Prevent Relapse message board.

Once you become nicotine free your future success as an ex-smoker is assured by never taking another puff.
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FreedomNicotine
FreedomNicotine

November 8th, 2009, 1:00 pm #35

***Important Clarification***

I originally wrote this article before we had our current relapse policy at Freedom. People cannot relapse and simply join back up at Freedom now. All a relapsed person can do is read what we have to offer. This may not be such a bad thing though--there is a pretty good chance that if the relapsed member had spent his or her time reading the first time around he or she would never have relapsed.

The example in this story is still an important one, hitting home the point the importance of making this quit continue to succeed by simply sticking to the personal commitment you made when you joined up at Freedom to never take another puff.

Joel

At times we get past Freedom members return to quit again after they have relapsed. Some only had a few days into the last quit, others had significant time periods into quits before losing them. I am glad that they found their ways back to Freedom, but I want to make sure that they understand and that everyone else here understands the seriousness of the past failure.


Most other boards and most other people would take offense at that past line, referring to the last lost quit as a failure. But for all practical purposes that is what it was. Even quits that last for years or decades are failures if a person loses it. We don't want anyone minimizing this fact, for those who do often have the attitude that if they relapse they will simply quit again. The fact is you don't know that the person will quit again, or that they will quit in time to save his or her life.


Many years ago I had a man in my clinic named John. John was a pretty high profile public figure, in his early 40's who had many great accomplishments in his life. He came to my clinic, lasted a few days and lost the quit. He was in the middle of a high profile media situation and just decided he needed his focus and the stakes of what he was involved with at the time were just too high to deal with withdrawal. John explained this to me, and promised he would return again one day when things would be better.


Well, I have heard this hundreds of times before, and while occasionally people do return, it is not the majority and probably not even a significantly high percentage. Being that I was having 50 or more people at a time in these clinics, I couldn't spend much time dealing with those who were not quitting.


Three year later John does return to the clinic and does quit smoking. He did great his second time around. Not only did he quit, but he became a regular volunteer for me, coming to many clinics as a panelist to help people first quitting. He also sent in lots of people, probably 15 to 20 over the next couple of years.


About three years after John's quit, he was going in for a physical and to his surprise there was a small spot on his chest x-ray. When it was biopsied they found out John had cancer. He was about 48 at the time, in the peak of his career, still had children of school age and now was facing this terrible diagnosis. It was a horrible shock to many people. As is often the case with lung cancer, it was a fast deterioration. Within a year and a half John had succumbed to the disease.


I went to John's funeral--it was huge. There were hundreds and hundreds of people there. Many I knew, some because of their high public profile, but more because John had sent in so many people to the clinic in the time period that he was off smoking. Even after the diagnosis he was still sending people in.


One of the men there was from one of the recent clinics and had told me how tragic this was that John had lost his life and how his lost quit was probably the reason. To be realistic I told him that it is possible that if John had quit the first time in the clinic it may not have made a difference. He basically found out he had lung cancer three years after he quit, and that lung cancer could be present for 5 years or even 10 years without presenting symptoms or even showing up on the x-ray. Being that the day I met him was about 6 years before the diagnosis, it was not totally improbable that at that time the cancer had already been initiated and was silently growing.


The man then proceeded to tell me that my clinic was not the first clinic John had tried. That in fact, 10 years before joining that first group with me, he and John had gone to another local clinic together to quit and both in a matter of days wrote it off as a bad time to quit--but knew they would both quit again one day.


Well John was right, he did eventually quit again one day. But it turned out to be over 16 years later. Now the odds were quite different--if he had quit that first time around he probably would never had developed the disease that ultimately cost him his life.


The lesson here needs to be once you have a quit going, do everything in your power to make it last. While you are seeing people come back who just seem to be quitting again, if you relapse you just don't know you will ever get the strength or desire to quit again, and that even if you do, you don't know whether something won't go wrong in the interim period before the next quit.


John is not the only person I know who fits this profile--I know lots of them--people who could have had extra years and extra decades who lost them by minimizing the implications of not quitting or of relapsing. Once you have a quit smoking, understand your very life is contingent on understanding the importance of knowing to never take another puff!


Joel
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