Be Prepared: those we love are destined to die

June 4th, 2002, 7:15 pm#1

Don't Use Death to Destroy Your Quit 


Can we prepare ourselves now to better cope and remain nicotine free during some of life's more certain hurdles by looking ahead and visualizing the steps, process or even the emotions that may be associated with them? Although we each know that there is no legitimate excuse for relapse, the addict deep within knows that some excuses are easier to sell than others. Sadly, many recovered addicts use death as an excuse for relapse. 

Death is as much a part of life as birth. If we continue to live we will each eventually lose someone we love. The death of our entire circle of friends and family is inevitable. Our parents will die, our brothers and sisters will pass away, our spouse or companion will eventually leave, our friends will each die, and sadly our children and grandchildren are all destined to eventually leave this world. 

I spent time yesterday on the telephone with Debbie who is now a pack and a half into her nicotine relapse. Debbie's mother is in ICU on life-support where her condition is terminal. The end is very near and the family is coming to terms with what must naturally follow. Although the news hit Debbie extremely hard, she knows in her mind that her final goodbye is still ahead, as well as all the steps that normally accompany the death of a loved one. 

A few years ago I held my mother in my arms as I watched her draw that final breath. Looking back, it was a very special moment but at the time I never felt more lost and alone. When I laid her down and turned off her oxygen machine it all seemed so final. They couldn't get their stretcher down the narrow hall to her room so I picked her up and carried her out. At the time I still smoked and afterwards I went into the backyard alone with just my sorrow, my memories and my nicotine. 

It wasn't long before I found myself inside this big room with about fifty different styles of coffins and this man in a blue suit was telling Dad and I to take our time in picking one out. As the oldest son I also had to write a short statement for the obituary in the paper, I was asked to briefly speak for the family at the church service, I stood by her grave as her coffin was slowly lowered into the ground, and I was expected to handle all aspects of her estate. Many of my relatives smoked and there was lots of smoking every step of the way, even at mom's grave following the funeral. 

My prayers are with Debbie and with all who must endure the loss of a loved one. Her quit was young and fragile and she fully understands that she used her deep sense of sorrow as her mind's excuse for relapse. I offer this post in hopes that it might cause others to visualize themselves enduring the death of a loved one, while at the same time keeping their quit safe and secure. 

Like most of you, I have not yet experienced death as an ex-smoker. I still face the possibility of someday losing my father and other more senior family members. Although we can never be prepared to have them absent from our lives, we can prepare to NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF! 

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long, 
John - Freedom's Gold Club
Last edited by John (Gold) on February 13th, 2012, 12:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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June 5th, 2002, 7:41 pm#2

I actually remembered this story when my mom died, and thought about it. I think it helped not to start smoking.

YQS Triin
I have been quit for 1 year, 3 months and 1,5 weeks
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July 12th, 2002, 12:23 am#3

 





By taking a moment to reflect upon what might be the most horrific experience that you could possibly imagine and then seeing yourself remaining 100% nicotine free while navigating each step necessary to move beyond it, it might make life's less significant challenges seem far more doable.
Last edited by John (Gold) on October 11th, 2010, 7:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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July 12th, 2002, 5:28 pm#4

At the time when a parent is lost to us through death, the only sound we can easily hear is the beating of our own heart. It can , indeed, be such a lonely time.

Today is the anniversary of my own Mother's death. I experienced her death as a smoker. Today, I deal with the memory of her loss as an ex-smoker. Today, I am sad that my Mum did not get the relief of knowing me as being in charge of this addiction. Today, I am also glad that I am in charge.

Debbie, my heart goes out to you at this time of your distress. Seek sustenance from us here ,as you are able. Stay true to taking care of yourself in your comittment to quit. You CAN do this, as well as grieving for your Mother.
XX Kiwi
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July 13th, 2002, 12:29 am#5

 The junkie in me wants to use the lose of my family member as a "reason" to resume my habit. Honestly some days I want to give in still...but my grandfather, who is/was my father by choice had never been prouder when I turned green here at Freedom and was able to tell him that I had finally quit. That was the last time I spoke with him....each time the nicodemon whispers in my ear to smoke...I remember how interested he was in the message boards here at Freedom (being born in 1906, he was very interested about the internet) and how wonderful he thought it was that I had found a way to truely quit smoking. Death of a loved one is not a reason to continue to feed an addiction...no matter if it's nicotine or anything else. Never take another puff....breathe easy!

Life will continue or you will suffer loss....but whatever happens....do not risk your quit!

Dubiously Dos
1 Month 2 Weeks 3 Days 1 Hour 19 Minutes
1,352 Cigarettes I did not choose to smoke
Last edited by DubiouslyDos on October 11th, 2010, 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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August 2nd, 2002, 8:55 am#6


We wish that none of us ever needed to experience the loss of a loved one, but in truth almost all of us will. It's highly likely that most here will live long enough to lose someone we hold very dear to our hearts. Will we consider using their death and our tremendous despair as our mind's junkie excuse to reach for nicotine and relapse? Is that how we'd honor their memory, relapse and yet another endless cycle of active chemical dependency?
There is no excuse for relapse!
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September 11th, 2002, 10:30 pm#7

Since the beginning of time humans have banded and bonded together. When any one of them died the entire group shared the loss. In today's world of instant communications we're closer to one and other than ever before. Like extended family, regardless of where tragedy strikes we can all sense the loss. Never allow another's death to be used as an excuse to destroy your freedom by freeing your addiction. Just one puff and the healing is over!
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September 17th, 2002, 10:27 pm#8

for those who need it this morning.....

BillW
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September 29th, 2002, 9:48 pm#10

No, no, no, it may have sounded as if I was using my son's death as an excuse to smoke but I would never do that. He wanted me to stop smoking through many years and I couldn't even do that for him before he died My point was how can I even contemplate putting loss of cigarettes in the same frame as the loss of my son . How could I even contemplate it? Lilac
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September 29th, 2002, 9:54 pm#11

Hello Lilac:

I was putting this one up not only because it was about death of loved ones, but it is really about how under the most adverse of conditions, not smoking is still possible and imperative to preserve the ex-smokers health. It could have easily been an article about loss of a job, a house, the moving of a friend, or countless other life changing issues. But people understand that death of a loved one is likely the most severe loss a person will ever experience so it puts all of the other losses in perspective. If you can survive the death of those closest to you without a cigarette--you can survive all other losses too. You can survive everything smoke free as long as you know to never take another puff!

Joel
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October 22nd, 2002, 10:23 am#12

You and your family are in our prayers MareBear
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October 23rd, 2002, 7:29 pm#13

I wanted to tell my sad story again to make people realize you can get through anything without relapsing, without starting to smoke again. I'm 23 years old. I had been smoking for 5 years. I have been quit now for 1Y 8M. My mom committed suicide after many years of depression on May 2nd. The pain after that has been unbearable. I love her so much! And I haven't started smoking although life has been more than hard on me. I'm just smarter than that - smoking would not make me feel better.

Love,
Triin

I have been Quit for: 1Y 8M 2D 14h 27m 39s. I have NOT smoked 12232, for a savings of $840.95. Life Saved: 1M 1W 4D 11h 20m.
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January 21st, 2003, 9:10 pm#14

I lost my bro in law on the day I made green. i thought about smoking but knew it wouldn't change a thing except for my quit date and knowing I want to be an ex-smoker i would have to go through those 72 hrs again, would not be able to post on this site and i just was not willing to start over . so One day at a time I don't smoke the services for him was on Sunday and It was all okay I have been very depressed and sleeping a lot to keep from thinking, but ai made it without taking a puff, today is the first day I have felt better and got on the pc but I know I am far from being okay with his death but I do know I don't have to take puff , ever, That is my choice. I thank u all for the post and words of concern , QSS Doris
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March 11th, 2003, 3:48 pm#16

I'm still here I've been quit for over two years. Life has been hard but I'm starting to find joy again I'm very glad that I do not smoke!

Love,
Triin
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April 13th, 2003, 1:05 pm#17

I am now being tested.......


Thank you, Joel, for your writings.... (and everyone else)

I will NEVER take another puff....
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August 15th, 2003, 4:22 am#18

When we initially quit smoking we often wonder how strong we would be during a time crisis or horrific tragedy, if we could really refrain from smoking. This is why we must take things one day at a time and really understand our addiction. Impending doom for relapse can even cause some smokers to never quit. It is important that we understand that strength has nothing to do with relapse during difficult times. Who would feel strong and comfortable while looking closely into the face of tragedy? Knowledge and commitment keep our quits alive and well, not our emotions and strength.

Recently tragedy struck at home. I am shocked and in a sort of a surreal mode here. Not once did smoking occur to me except for watching those still trapped within this addiction. Even if I had longed to join those in the smoking whirlwind just for the sake of camaraderie amongst loved ones, it would have been knowledge that kept me from doom.

I clearly understand the law of addiction and you should, too. I haven't smoked for almost five years and some might say that at this point it must be the comfort that keeps me safe. It is much more than that, a lesson I learned the hard way where ignorance destroyed a six year quit. Take heed, a lesson in which you should learn from the mistakes of others, rather than your own.

We may never be prepared for what lies ahead but we can still be assured that we each have a quit100% guaranteed free of relapse, all we have to do is NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF. (and don't forget, we do that one day at a time)

Joanne
Last edited by Joanne Gold on October 11th, 2010, 7:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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December 18th, 2003, 8:51 am#19

 
Over the years we've seen many members lose close loved ones and not use their passing as an excuse for chemical relapse. If death is a legitimate reason for relapse then we need to turn off the lights right now and close Freedom's doors because if we plan on living a full life then we're each almost certain to lose someone close.

Regardless of the nature or gravity of any challenge life throws our way, adding chemical relapse to the challenge makes absolutely no sense at all. The next few minutes are all any of us can control and each will always be entirely doable. Only one rule, no nicotine today!
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long! John
Last edited by John (Gold) on October 11th, 2010, 7:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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December 18th, 2003, 11:05 pm#20

Thank You for this bump John, it always gets me.
Rick
One year, seven months, two weeks, 1 hour, 50 minutes and 9 seconds. 47446 cigarettes not smoked, saving $11,838.64. Life saved: 23 weeks, 3 days, 17 hours, 50 minutes.
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December 19th, 2003, 4:31 pm#21


".....if we plan on living a full life then we're each almost certain to lose someone close. "
I just love your choice of words, simple and precise. Well said, John!

This string as a whole sits high on the subject of relapse prevention. What can hurt more than the death of someone we love? Personally, I can't think of one thing. The ultimate pain we speak of here in no way provides an ultimate reason to relapse. Smoking doesn't help in a crisis, smoking is a crisis. Activating our addiction cannot relieve us of pain and sorrow, believing otherwise is a falacy, an open arena of illogical thinking. Junkie thinking!

Should any of us make the decision to take a cigarette it should be understood that we don't take just one, we take them all. All of them until they cripple and kill us. The law of addiction is precise, it's all or nothing.

At this time of year some of us are in the midst of planning for a very religious holiday celebration. Our emotions can skyrocket during this time. While looking at my last post from August on this thread, my heart sort of sunk a bit. This will be our first holiday without my sister. She was taken from us unexpectedly and it is still quite hard to comprehend. As sad as this is, you must believe that there is not even a trace of junkie thinking in my mind, nothing back in August and nothing now. How do we get to this point?

As said back in August....
I clearly understand the law of addiction and you should, too. I haven't smoked for almost five years and some might say that at this point it must be the comfort that keeps me safe. It is much more than that, a lesson I learned the hard way where ignorance destroyed a six year quit. I took a puff. Take heed, a lesson in which you should learn from the mistakes of others, rather than your own.

We may never be prepared for what lies ahead but we can still be assured that we each have a quit100% guaranteed free of relapse, all we have to do is NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF. (and don't forget, we do that one day at a time)



Joanne
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January 15th, 2004, 10:02 pm#22


Losing a loved one is a devastating yet natural part of life But  if we can picture ourselves navigating each step of this experience without reaching for nicotine then all lesser challenges will hopefully seem a bit more manageable.

The next few minutes are doable. We're with you in spirit and the millions of archived words here at Freedom boil down to one premise - no nicotine today, Never Take Another Puff! John
Last edited by John (Gold) on October 11th, 2010, 7:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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March 15th, 2004, 3:06 am#23

 
Over the years we've seen many members lose close loved ones and not use their passing as an excuse for chemical relapse. If death is a legitimate reason for relapse then we need to turn off the lights right now and close Freedom's doors because if we plan on living a full life then we're each almost certain to lose someone close.

Regardless of the nature or gravity of any challenge life throws our way, adding chemical relapse to the challenge makes absolutely no sense at all. The next few minutes are all any of us can control and each will always be entirely doable. Only one rule, no nicotine today!
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long! John
Last edited by GrumpyOMrsS (Gold) on October 11th, 2010, 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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March 16th, 2004, 8:30 am#24

Thanks for this.....it was recommended and helpful. My "other" mother was a 40+ year smoker.......
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April 12th, 2004, 11:23 pm#25

I felt that I needed to bring this thread to the top for a little self re-inforcement as Dad died last Thursday (4/8/04)(Mom passed 5 years ago). I'm sure that as I have my moments of feeling absolutely secure in my quit that I may also have my moments where I might feel a little less secure.

When I got the call near midnight that he was on life support, and was racing 45 miles to the hospital, all I could think about was to just get there, and that I won't smoke...I won't smoke...I won't smoke. I didn't because I recalled reading about how a life changing event won't be altered any by smoking again. That smoking would just make it worse. He died 15 minutes before I reached the hospital. I still wouldn't smoke.

The next days over the weekend were so busy that I truly did not have time to think about smoking. I feel much stronger about my quit having survived the weekend, and even though we have to still get through the service and other events, I don't sense any weakness in my resolve to stay quit.

I'm very grateful that there is so much good information about this issue on this site. I know that without it, I surely would have relapsed. Particularly, since I'm still an infant in my quit. Like I said, I just wanted to bring this to the top for me. I'm not in a crisis! But there are some articles that Joel has about this issue that I can't find. So If someone could bring them up it would be appreciated.

Thank you.
Richard
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