The Relapse of A "Social Smoker"

IrishLotus GOLD
IrishLotus GOLD

February 19th, 2003, 4:28 am #1

*WARNING- I did read the post regarding pasting from Word, but I believe this post may still end up a little screwy. I apologize in advance to anyone having difficulty deciphering my hyroglyphics.*

Although I have read quite a bit around here regarding the concept of "social" smoking (i.e.: Are there "social smokers?" and social smokers? are they real? ), I don't think I fully understood the term "social smoker" until now. You see, my boyfriend, a self-proclaimed "social smoker" who decided to quit as of 1/1/03, has since relapsed (C'mon...are you really surprised?).

RELAPSE SCENARIO: After two whole weeks of following my lead and maintaining a successful "never take another puff" quit, he was out one weekend with his smoking friends and had his first alcohol since he quit. Because he had still not accepted the fact that he is a nicotine addict (I'm an ADDICT! HooRAY!), he decided that he HAD to smoke while drinking. His junkie excuse?: "I can't do one without the other, because I never have". ANYWAY, He "triumphantly" announced that he planned to remain "quit" during the week, and that he had the "willpower" to allow himself ONLY to puff while drinking/on the weekends. I reminded him that soon after that first puff he would be back to full-fledged smoking, but he remained confident that he was different and that he could keep his smoking only to the weekends/while drinking. The crazy thing is that, even though I knew from my FREEDOM education that this was impossible, my inner-junkie and my personal belief in my boyfriend's "will-power" led me to actually secretly entertain the thought that, for him (a "social smoker") perhaps this was INDEED possible. HAH!

ANYWAY, as I said, he has been adamant about the fact that he is a "social" smoker, and that he only "needed" to smoke on the weekends when he was drinking alcohol. As I said, I knew in my heart that he is an ADDICT (just like me) and that just one puff would soon bring him back to his normal level of consumption (about a half a pack a day)...and then, this weekend...SWEET (although somewhat sour) VALIDATION!

Allow me to "break it down": Our Valentines' Day started off a bit rocky. (To make a long story a little bit shorter - we didn't end up getting our food and sitting down to eat until 11PM!) Throughout the entire, frustrating, evening (in traffic, in line, etc.) my boyfriend was EXTREMELY grumpy and miserable and although I was trying my best to look at the bright side of things (and be thankful that this year I actually HAVE a Valentine), he was doing everything he could to look at the gray cloud rather than the silver lining. I didn't understand what the heck was wrong with him, UNTIL, when we finally got out of the restaurant, he immediately rushed us to the store to pick up a pack of smokes! A-HA! FINALLY his grump all made sense! He was in severe nicotine withdrawal!

You see, for the last month or so, in order to prove to me that he is indeed a "social smoker", he had conditioned his inner-addict to wait until the weekend (apparently Friday night immediately following work) for a sickarette...And when he didn't get it he became VERY irritable! When I pointed out that he nearly ruined our Valentine's Day due to his nicotine withdrawal, he begrudgingly admitted, "his anti-depressants had run-out, and he felt he needed to 'self-medicate' with a cigarette" (well, at least he listens a BIT when I talk ). I reminded him that REAL reason he wanted ("needed") a cigarette was because his new weekend smoking routine has kept him actively addicted to nicotine.

THE LESSON: Although he still has not verbally admitted that he is an addict, I think that it has become abundantly clear to him that he is not/cannot be a "social smoker". This morning I watched him as he went outside with his morning coffee (in two feet of snow mind you) to have a cigarette. I smiled and thought, "gee it's Tuesday morning, and he isn't drinking alcohol…"social smoker" my foot!

YQS-
Lotus
Not one single stinkin puff for 4 Months 3 Weeks 4 Days 13 Hours 27 Minutes 30 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 4426. Money saved: $1,106.71.
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valeriescleanGOLD
valeriescleanGOLD

February 19th, 2003, 4:38 am #2

Thanks Lotus for that VERY entertaining and most educating read. Yeah, being a member here at Freedom, I saw what was coming at the end of your story. Good reminder to All of us here that nobody is exempt from the Law of Addiction.
yqf,
Valerie
1 Month, 2 Weeks 3 Days-Freedom is awesome!
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Rickgoldx5
Rickgoldx5

February 19th, 2003, 4:59 am #3

Lotus,
Am I ever glad I don't have to go through that misery again unless I choose to!
Smokers are welcome to it!
Thanks so much for reminding why I never want to take another puff again!
Rick
Nine months, two weeks, 9 hours, 44 minutes and 53 seconds. 23232 cigarettes not smoked, saving $3,473.75. Life saved: 11 weeks, 3 days, 16 hours, 0 minutes.
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Jordan(Silver)
Jordan(Silver)

February 19th, 2003, 5:03 am #4

Hi Lotus,

While your boyfriend was in denial about being a social smoker, my husband was sure that gradual withdrawal would work for him. I tried to tell him that it would be too hard to do gradual, to just go cold turkey, but he did'nt listen. He's tried gradual withdrawal for the past few months. Well it did'nt work! He's back up to his old level of smokeing a pack and a half a day right now.

There's no such thing as a social smoker!
Quitting by gradual withdrawal is too torturous for most of us addicts.

Cold turkey all the way to Freedom!!!

Maybe one day our men will listen to us the first time we try to tell them something eh Lotus?!


yqs, Gena (bronze) 5 months and two weeks free
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IrishLotus GOLD
IrishLotus GOLD

February 19th, 2003, 5:07 am #5

You said it Gena...I suppose the best way can do is just to keep on "leading by example". One day they will listen, I'm sure. Until then, leave the painful withdrawal symptoms to them and let's just keep on enjoying the comfort in this beautiful bronze limo!
YQS-
Mary Kate
Just realized...21 weeks today!
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OBob Gold
OBob Gold

February 19th, 2003, 5:11 am #6

You must be dating my doppleganger. Flashback: 1/1/00. Bob quits smoking. Flash forward 10 days. Bob decides to smoke over drinks. Forward another 2 days. Monday. Bob decides that he'll just smoke on weekends while drinking. Forward 10 days. After 5 days of not smoking, 2 nights of smoking (making an excuse to go to the pub on Saturday night for the primary reason that he wanted to smoke), Bob decides that, in addition to the weekend smoking, he can allow himself the odd one during stressful times Monday - Friday. Forward another 10 days. Bob's smoking at old levels just for this one stressful week. Back to weekend smoking next week. Forward another 10 days. Bob's still smoking at his old levels. Maybe next week. Forward another week.... Still smoking, getting frustrated. Realization of failure beginning to get hard to ignore. Maybe he'll quit for his birthday in July. Forward to July.... Nope, still smoking... maybe 1/1/01. Forward to January, 01..... Still smoking.... attempted several quits, all of which ended in the ashpit of the social smoking dream and/or the stress-relief smoking fantasy.

Forward another year. Bob finds Freedom. Discovers he's an addict. Quits for good. Goes to pub, and has some trying experiences early on, but uses strategies derived from Freedom education to get through them, confident in the truth that the triggers were finite, and that he would eventually be able to be social both without smoking, AND without being bothered by cravings. Forward a few months. Bob socializes, works, plays, celebrates, mourns, drives, stresses, drinks coffee, leaves long meetings, goes fishing and camping.... all without nicotine or its withdrawal symptoms, and almost always without even thinking about it.

Bob is now a social person. Bob was always a social person. I was never a social smoker; just a plain old addict smoker.

Thanks for the memories, Lotus. I hope your boyfriend takes less time than I did to figure it out.

YQB,

Bob
Time not smoked: 1 Year 1 Month 1 Week 6 Days 8 Hours 10 Minutes 32 Seconds
Smokes not toked: 4912
Cash not spent: $1,228.02
Life, self-esteem, smell, taste, health, happiness saved: Priceless
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IrishLotus GOLD
IrishLotus GOLD

February 19th, 2003, 5:58 am #7

Me too, Bob, me too. Specially since he thinks this ongoing hacking cough he has must be due to some sort of allergin in his house (*ahem* tobacco smoke) or maybe the cold, and the fact that his doctor has reminded him that without a spleen he is especially prone to infections in his lungs (including bronchitis, menagitis, and pneumonia) and my guess is that his smoker's lungs won't do too well fighting off these types of (possibly deadly) infections , etc...

"You must be dating my doppleganger". ( Silly Bob) I think so...the pattern sounds oddly familiar...let's see, two weeks of smoking only on the weekends with friends and alcohol, ten days later, finding excuses to drink during the week so that he can smoke then too, ten days later, smoking when he bought his new truck (cause it is "stressful" to make such a big purchase, you know), fast forward ten days, smoking in a blizzard with his morning coffee. (Can you say, "Addict"?)

Actually, I feel relieved to have personally unearthed this "social smoker" myth once and for all. To tell you the truth, the idea that there might actually be such a thing as a successful "social smoker" was actually acting as a bit of a trigger for me...for a while there I found myself actually getting jealous of his ability to "contain" this drug. What a laugh! I'll tell you though, I think the fact that I have been responding to all of his junkie thinking with the simple phrase "that's because you're an addict" is starting to sink in. Hopefully sonner rather than later.

Lotus
21 AMAZING weeks!
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Joined: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

February 19th, 2003, 7:25 am #8

I don't whether to laugh or cry.
Yes, I do.....
Sal
One month, six days, 16 hours, 25 minutes and 53 seconds.
753 cigarettes not smoked, saving $131.89.
Life saved: 2 days, 14 hours, 45 minutes.
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BillW Gold.ffn
BillW Gold.ffn

February 19th, 2003, 7:59 am #9

Hi Lotus!

I'm sorry to read about the little learning experience you've been involved with. Your boyfriend has just emailed me, and authorized me to say that you are right, and that he really is an addict..... He further asked that you discretely print out some good informative Joel articles and threads (Good heavens!!!! NOT this one!), for your own use, of course, and discretely leave them lying around for him to find and read when you arn't there.... and arn't watching.... and won't know he read them..... He wanted me to emphasize that both he and I will deny this conversation ever took place, now or at any time in the future..... And while he greatly appreciates your frustration in his failure, he asks me to very descretely remind you that your real final aim is to get him to be smoke-free.... so you can keep him around for a long time.....

This posting will self destruct in one hour......

BillW One year, one week, three days. 11262 cigarettes not smoked, saving $2,224.32. Life saved: 5 weeks, 4 days, 2 hours, 30 minutes.
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kensensei gold
kensensei gold

February 19th, 2003, 9:29 am #10

Thank you for the very inisghtful story Lotus. And to Bob--VERY well said! I doubt there is anyone at Freedom with whom your story does not resonate. Through all of college it was gonna be just weekends, or just papers, or just with my buddies from home, and it never, ever, was. Then beginning in November of last year I went through a string of 5 or 6 quits (each one was the ONCE AND FOR ALL LAST QUIT EVER) each of which disappeared because I decided that I was strong enough to have just the one: because I'm really stressed right now, because I have to stay up late tonight, because whatever.

Because we all think that WE are different. We would hardly be human if we didn't believe that we were unique and special. And goodness knows, we ARE all unique and special, in many, many ways. But the junkie inside of us skews that fact into believing that the simple, uncontrollable chemical forces of addiction don't apply to US. Of course your boyfriend thought that he could be a social somker, Lotus. It is just the teeniest tiniest leap from being a well-adjusted person who has a healthy self-image to believing that nicotine doesn't affect you the way it affects everyone else. It takes the education that we get here at Freeom to realize that believing we can be social smokers is tantamount to believeing that we can be social breathers or sleepers or drinkers of water. Sure everyone else needs oxygen to survive, but not ME. I can just use it when I want. My body won't go into hypoxia and do everything it can to get oxygen into the bloodstream when I stop breathing for more than a couple of seconds.

Anyway I don't mean to ramble. I have a friend here who is "only allowing herself to smoke in social situations," so these issues have been on my mind lately, too. Trying to explain to her what I have learned here has been totally fruitless. She, of course, CAN be a social smoker. SHE is different. She is the one person on earth that can do it. Well, it up to her to learn on her own. She knows that I am happy to try to help her if I can, but I'm not gonna force all this down her throat. I'm too busy enjoying my own quit anyway.

Ken
5 weeks, 3 days
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richard This is It GOLD
richard This is It GOLD

February 19th, 2003, 1:25 pm #11

Good stuff, Ken..... with that post of assured enlightenment you just made it into my "make sure you're ready with some witty epithet when he makes GOLD" list :>)))

richard
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richard This is It GOLD
richard This is It GOLD

February 19th, 2003, 1:26 pm #12

ps... Lotus is already on my list....
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Lilycatt
Lilycatt

February 19th, 2003, 1:47 pm #13

Been there, done that!!! More than a few times!!! If I didn't know better, I would think I was your boyfriend in a previous life!!! Let's just hope that he will see his behavior for what it really is... full fledged nicotine addiction... and maybe he'll choose someday to Never Take Another Puff. Thanks for sharing, Lotus!

Lilycat
6 months +
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Joel
Joel

February 19th, 2003, 9:55 pm #14

Hello Lotus:

Thanks for sharing your insights of your boyfriend's experience here. You can learn from two very different groups of people what it takes to quit smoking and to stay free from cigarettes. The first group that you can obviously learn from is people who have quit before you and have successfully been able to stay free from cigarettes for a significantly long time periods. They may have quit with very little understanding of the problems involved with smoking or quitting, but something internal in them knew that they were and still are fighting a puff. For if they did not understand this premise they would not have been able to stay off smoking for as long as they have.

The other group you can learn from is from people who have tried to quit once or more likely numerous times and have yet been able to stay off of smoking. They too offer deep insights to the addiction. Not that they actually themselves understand what is happening or why-they are often in a total quandary as to why they cannot stay off of smoking. You don't learn from these people by listening to their advice or explanations, but more so by watching their failures and learning to listen between the lines. They can supply you with the real answers even though they themselves do not know the answers or even understand the questions.

This group of people can either inadvertently help you sustain your quit or, if you are not careful, they can undercut your quit. A person who relapses will often try to delude him or herself that he or she has not lost control over nicotine even after he or she has relapsed. The person will often also try to delude those around him or herself too. It is not that a relapsed smoker is inherently dishonest. He or she may truly believe that he or she can control addiction. That belief is what allowed him or her to take the first puff in the first place. Very few people take the first drag with the game plan of relapsing. They have deluded themselves that they are somehow going to control the quantity or duration of their smoking. They may sound mighty convincing to you as they are trying mighty hard to convince themselves of their control over nicotine.

Patience is the virtue that is going to allow you to learn from other people's mistakes as opposed to repeating them. You have already proven that you have the ability to be patient. The first few days you were quitting your body was likely trying to convince you that smoking was okay. But you listened to all of the others who were here before you and decided to give yourself a chance to see if what they were saying was actually true--that quitting would get easier. Now you are showing patience again. Instead of just listening to your boyfriend rationalizations and comments of his ability to control nicotine, you knew to sit back and watch events unfold.

It was only a matter of time before he lost his control to the degree that he could no longer hide nor deny his inability to control his usage. He is once again under the influence and control of nicotine. He has been under that control ever since he took the first drag off the first cigarette. While he may openly be admitting now that he lost control, there is still a pretty good chance that he does not yet fully appreciate when it happened. He may very likely think that it was his fourth or tenth or hundredth cigarette that did him in this time. He needs to understand that the cigarette that set up his downfall was the first one or he his going to be doomed to face this kind of wasted effort over and over again.

Sadly you can't force him to believe you that one puff was going to do in his quit any more than he was able to force you to believe him that he was going to control his smoking. People are only going to accept the word of others up to a point. The best you can do now is continue to watch and analyze each other's quits.

There was a time that he viewed you as weaker than him. He was a controlled smoker and you were an out of control smoker. At least that is how he saw things. But now you are a totally under control ex-smoker having a relatively easy time of things as far as nicotine is concerned. While be may still be trying to deny it, he is an out of control nicotine addict now, constantly suffering moderate to major nicotine withdrawal or else having to put his credibility, integrity and reputation on the line by smoking when he claims that he no longer needs to.

As I said before, there was a time that he viewed you as weaker than him. For people who view themselves as social smokers often think that it is a personality flaw in others that allows them to smoke in a way that seems to be such an out of control manner. You have proven though that you are either smarter or stronger than he is when it comes to smoking now. I am sure that is just one more humiliating aspect that his relapsing is costing him.

So sit back and watch him in his struggles. Hopefully he will sit back and watch you and your success. Maybe one day he will see the light. Maybe not, there is no way to know what the future holds for him. But for the present you can see the light every day you watch him still smoking. He is either smoking or edgy because he is not smoking. He is in a miserable state that you no longer go through now. Also you will never have to experience this kind of chronic withdrawal again as long as you continue to learn lessons from him and all of the other smokers you know and also from all of the long-term ex-smokers you know too. The more people you observe in your real world the more obvious it will become that the only way to stay smoke free is simply just knowing to never take another puff!

Joel

Related video added to this string 01-16-13

Last edited by Joel on January 17th, 2013, 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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IrishLotus GOLD
IrishLotus GOLD

February 19th, 2003, 11:16 pm #15

Thank you all for coming out with your support and advice on the topic of "social smoking". I know it is a common theme for a lot of us (either with our own quits or those of our loved ones) and I thought it would be useful (especially for me) to share my recent revelation.

Valerie- How very wise of you to acknowledge that one of the keys to maintaining our FREEDOM is to ALWAYS remember The Law of Addiction. Afterall, the truth shall set us FREE!

Rick- As I remind you how important it is to Never Take Another Puff I remind myself as well. Watching the constant withdrawal of a "social smoker" is always a good painful reminder of why we should treasure our FREEDOM (even after nearly TEN months...way to go!)

Gena- Thanks, my lovely BRONZE quit sister, for comiserated regarding men who "won't listen the first time". I suppose some lessons can only be learned first hand.

OBob- You always seem to know how to put what I am trying to say in a much clearer, more concise way...thanks for helping to make this thread a very useful tool for anyone struggling with the trigger/issue of "social smoking".

Sal- I was certainly smiling, Sal, when I watched my boyfriend succumb to his addiction (as I had suspected he eventually would). Not, of course because I want him to fail, mind you, merely because it feels good to be proven right every once in a while. As I said, "sweet & sour validation".

BillW- Thank you for your covert communication (and of course the laugh out loud response full of winks and nods ) . I have actually tried the methd of "discreetly" leaving my FREEDOM materials around for him to read, but it seems to have had no effect. What specifially would you suggest as far as "discreet" reading material? I was thinking maybe You Smoke Because You're A Smoke-a-holic! or perhaps Being Honest About Our Addiction. I would really love for him to read the Desperate Addicts Parade: Have You Ever..., but I am a bit embarrassed by some of my contributions (mainly because he has yet to admit he is an addict, you know?). Maybe I'll just start him off with a little: Quitting by gradual withdrawal (that one really set me straight regarding the fact that I am indeed an ADDICT).

Ken- Look at you go! At 5 weeks you have already mastered many of the concepts of FREEDOM! Congratulations, I bow to your buddha nature! Loved the line: It takes the education that we get here at Freeom to realize that believing we can be social smokers is tantamount to believeing that we can be social breathers or sleepers or drinkers of water. Amen to that! Oh, and a belated congratulations on GREEN...you are doing fabulously!

Richard- The "list", eh? What greater honor could you bestow? Thank you...for everything.

Lilycat- Thanks for chiming in. I sincerely hope that he will someday (soon) see the "light" of his addiction to nicotine. For now, I will continue to prove that this is indeed "doable" and that the only way to truly take control of nicotine is to cut it out completely.

Joel- What can I say? It is amazing to me that a "never-smoker" such as yourself can get into our heads that way that you always seem to do. "There was a time that he viewed you as weaker than him." Wow. That is exactly it. His inability to "control" his addiction to nicotine has actually made him quite passive regarding the triumph of my quit. He tells me "It was easy for you, you only smoked for 6 years" and then in the same breath "I can stop smoking whenever I want". And yet he continues. Thank you for acknowledging my patience as well. I think that is something I really needed to hear. As I said above, although it was nice to "be proven right", I also am quite relieved to have unmasked a very powerful trigger that had been lurking around me for quite a while. The one that was actually trying to convince me that he is somehow "stronger" than I am by being able to control his addiction, when junkie ole me had to stop completely in order to find FREEDOM. How liberating to realize I am the one in control! Thank you.

Lotus
Constanly amazed at the amount of "A-Ha" moments you can fit into 4 Months 3 Weeks 5 Days 8 Hours 12 Minutes 19 Seconds.
Cigarettes not smoked: 4450. Money saved: $1,112.56.
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MareBear GOLD
MareBear GOLD

February 19th, 2003, 11:52 pm #16

This is definitely one of those threads that will come up again and again. Thanks Lotus! I used to be so envious of my friends who called themselves "social smokers." I can think of three of them off the top of my head. Considering the statistics, that can't be possible! One friend has kept her smoking "habit" from her parents and co-workers because she knows they will strongly disapprove. What's so social about that? Another friend says she only "has to smoke" when she's travelling long distances by herself in her car (is anyone surprised that her job entails travelling long distances every day?), and when she drinks, which is every weekend. So basically, she smokes every day. I recently had a party and both of these friends were there. I was amazed at the amount of cigarettes that these two self-proclaimed "social smokers" put away in a matter of hours! At least a pack each, and by the end of the evening they were bumming cigs from everyone around them. They aren't kidding anyone except themselves and that's sad.

As for my husband, I won't give up on him, but he says he isn't ready and I can't push him. To his credit, he says he is heartened by my ability to stay away from even taking one puff for almost nine months now. It's simple, but only if you wrap your brain around it. Till then, it will be as difficult as you think it will be.

Thanks again Lotus!

YQS
MareBear

8 months, 3 weeks, 1 day
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OBob Gold
OBob Gold

February 20th, 2003, 3:52 am #17

Joel's reply here deserves to be added to his library. Awesome post...
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richard This is It GOLD
richard This is It GOLD

February 20th, 2003, 4:36 am #18

I'm with OBob on that one also....

"He is either smoking or edgy because he is not smoking."

Been there, done that, ain't going back again...... Thanks Guys....
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Angelina Gold
Angelina Gold

February 20th, 2003, 5:34 am #19

Hi Irish - sorry to hear your other half is an eedjit! (lol.....)

You know I reckon there should be a thread called BUGGER OFF SECOND HAND FREEDOM USERS. My partner quit three months ago after my incessant nagging and printing off HUGE reams of information from Joel's library and Freedom and you know what? Yes, it has been great - he even uses the term NTAP and is able to clearly articulate his knowledge that there is no such thing as ONE.

What really DRIVES ME though is his complete refusal to be a member here at Freedom or read any more of Joel's library etc. Instead I have to listed to him whine and complain nad get all grumpy every now and then because he WANTS a smoke. I am (yes, probably quite selfishly) really sick of being the 'expert' and explaining the terrible threes, the seasonal triggers, the emotional loss etc etc etc. I feel like saying YOU KNOW WHAT???? I AM FIGHTING MY OWN QUIT here! - yes it is a LOT easier this far down the track but it is still a challenge and I just wish he would take the time needed ot gain the absolutely CRITICAL key to remaining quit - FIRST HAND EDUCATION.

Perhaps we should get together, nail our boys butts to a picnic bench, plant a laptop between them and FORCE them to read...............sigh

Sorry - feel like I have taken over your issue with my need to vent there hon - but thanks - I feel better now.

Angelina
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Rachel goodasGOLD
Rachel goodasGOLD

February 20th, 2003, 5:39 am #20

Lotus,

I just want to say "you rock!"

-YQS Rachel
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IrishLotus GOLD
IrishLotus GOLD

February 20th, 2003, 5:48 am #21

Not a problem Angelina...Those eedjits do require us to vent on occasion. I like the idea of the picnic bench, and I TOTALLY agree about second-hand FREEDOM-ites. Not that I am not willing to help a friend in need who is interested in quitting as I did, but there IS something to be said about the first-hand education you can only get for yourself by becoming a member here at FREEDOM. So how did you get the ole bugger to quit anyway? I have given up on the nagging bit myself, with the exception of my aforementioned response to his junky thinking (That's because your an addict, dear"). I continue to be patient that he will one day "get it" for himself, but I was just wondering if you had any tricks I could use to hasten the process. Thanks a bunch!
YQS-
Lotus
148 Glorious Days of FREEDOM!
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OBob Gold
OBob Gold

February 20th, 2003, 9:18 am #22

I think there's a junky strategy being uncovered here.

When a person refuses to come and read on their own, and discover the hundreds of comfortable ex-smokers here, all living content smoke-free lives, it leaves wiggle-room for the junky inside.

It's the shoot-the-messenger relapse rationale. "My wife/husband/friend/son/daughter/aunt/etc. has become an Internet-freak-evangelist-caught-up-in-an-anti-smoking-cult type of person, and they're just crackers, and what they're preaching there might be right for my whacko friend, but not for a real person like me."

Inside, their junky blames you, and that leaves plenty of room to test it. It's your word against their junky's words. One on one. By refusing to come in here, and see the hundreds of other real people with different lives, their own stresses and demands..... they leave a wide-open path to relapse.

Not to say that all quitters who get Freedom's materials second-hand use this rationale to relapse, but the door is there, cracked slightly open.

It becomes whether or not a person's junky trusts YOU; and not whether they trust the overwhelming body of evidence available here.

It makes it tough, because you feel like you can't just abandon someone seeking help; but if they're not willing to seek it on their own, there has to be some question about the ultimate seriousness with which they're treating their quit. This is about life and death for many of us.

It's close to my heart at the moment, because I had one of my friends relapse recently after a 6 week quit, and going comfortable. She's friends with my wife, who's been quit since April.... and there's my wife telling me that "well, she only had a few, and she hasn't had any for the past 2 days" and I'm rolling my eyes, and asking myself, "have I been talking to a wall for the past 10 months?"

I guess bottom-line is that many people don't want to believe the truth, and one way to avoid having to accept it is to filter its credibility down to the word of one person; and close their eyes to the overwhelming body of evidence.

Okay... MAN, this is a great string. Needed the chance to vent a bit here. Thanks Lotus.

Is mise le meas,

Bob
DONE with smoking.
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OBob Gold
OBob Gold

February 20th, 2003, 9:28 am #23

I should mention that, in spite of my friend's relapse, my other 3D-world quit friends have remained quit, including my wife (despiter the junky-debates), and 4 friends (one of whom is suffering with emphysema after 40 years of smoking).

While helping others can be taxing, and occassionally frustrating, there are success stories too (more than the failures).

I never pester, never preach. Just serve as an example (I was your smoke buddy; now I'm just your buddy), and when someone's ready, they ask me. I try to get them to come here on their own, and print out the materials (or email them) when they don't. If they ask for support, I give it.

So... yeah, second-hand-Freedomites can be a challenge, and part of that challenge is the relapse door they leave open by laying the burden of their addiction-acceptance on their willingness to trust one person's account, but they're not lost causes. Just wanted to get that across.

YQB,

Bob
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IrinaGold2
IrinaGold2

February 20th, 2003, 8:59 pm #24

Great story and great thread ! I too did not know whether to laugh or cry, especially over OBob "forward a few days" post! Thanks Lotus!!!!

Irina
6 months
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LornaMc5
LornaMc5

February 21st, 2003, 8:18 am #25

I know this thread is really long now - but it is such a good thread, thanks Lotus.

Just something that OBob (a chara) said hit home with me (as usual)...

"It makes it tough, because you feel like you can't just abandon someone seeking help; but if they're not willing to seek it on their own, there has to be some question about the ultimate seriousness with which they're treating their quit. This is about life and death for many of us."

and...

"It's close to my heart at the moment, because I had one of my friends relapse recently after a 6 week quit...."

My mother was in hospital for the first two weeks of January (great way to ring in the new year, eh?). She had an acute asthmatic attack which led to what was diagnosed ominously as "late-stage respiratory failure". She was lucky in that she came through it ok - but, naturally, she was "ordered" to end her 40 year courtship with cigarettes.

Well, she did not smoke for six weeks. The week after I quit, she started. We used to be smoking buddies, a long time ago. But we don't see each other all too often nowadays. I mentioned that I had quit, but I didn't push my quit philosophies on her. Just made reference to how much better life was shaping up to be without cigarettes, and didn't she find that to be the case too... that kind of thing.

Well she came over two days ago just reeking of cigarettes. I didn't say anything, aside from an offhand remark on how grateful I still am to have quit. It was an uneasy visit, and I felt very sad for her when she left. She stopped by again yesterday, she was uncharacteristically brief and again, she seemed so sheepish. Which just makes me so sad. Though at the same time this also strengthens my resolve that much more.

This IS about life and death for many of us... she almost died two months ago. Five years ago, her husband (my stepfather) did die from nicotine addiction (2-3 packs a day for 30 years). Two weeks after his 58th birthday he had a heart attack (on sweetest day).

So this is close to my heart too. First, because I am two fragile weeks into this new & unfamiliar (& wonderful) way of living. And second, because now that I am learning how to break through the lies and deceptions of my addicted mind - I can see so much more clearly what it is doing to my mother. And there really is nothing I can do about it aside from perhaps being an example, as Bob also pointed out.

Well now, I've got my venting over with too for now - thanks again, folks.

(agus - go raibh maith agat OBob )

LornaMc
very glad to proclaim that I have not smoked for 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours & 50 minutes
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