Waiting to Bottom Out

Waiting to Bottom Out

Joel
Joel

January 5th, 2001, 8:05 pm #1

Joel's Reinforcement Library


He Will Quit When He "Bottoms Out!"

It used to be believed that when dealing with drug addictions, such as alcoholism or illegal drug abuse, the addict had to "bottom out" before realizing the need for help. Bottoming out meant life became so complicated and unmanageable that the abuser would finally see that there was no other alternative except to quit drugs or lose everything and everyone close to him. What types of situations would precipitate an addict to come to such a realization? Things so severe as losing a family, career, health, or maybe even ending up homeless or in jail.

All these occurrences are traumatic and should be considered life shattering experiences. However given a lot of time, support and professional assistance, the addict can often regain some semblance of a normal lifestyle. Many even feel that living through such an experience gives them a real love of life and sobriety that they could never have fully appreciated without having survived such devastating experiences. As long as bottoming out doesn't entail loss of life, there is always some hope for rectifying the problems the drugs brought on and maybe coming out stronger than they were before drugs became a part of their lives.

Smokers, too, are drug addicts. Unfortunately, some smokers are content with the idea of waiting to bottom out before making a drastic move like quitting smoking. Until then they feel that their lives are quite manageable. When things get bad enough they believe they will quit with relative ease. While this sort of logic has been known to work with other drug dependencies, there is a major flaw in approaching smoking in this manner.

Bottoming out experiences for smokers are not normally correctable by time. Smokers generally won't lose their families from smoking. They probably won't lose their job, and they probably won't end up homeless and penniless trying to support their addiction. They won't end up in jail for smoking, and they will never be committed to treatment without their own consent. So what kind of incident is likely to be considered bottoming out for the smoker?

Diagnosis is the most common way smokers bottom out--diagnosis of a disease like cancer, heart disease or emphysema. While quitting upon diagnosis may improve chances of survival, a lot of irreparable damage is already done. With emphysema, the patient's breathing will be impaired for the rest of his or her life. Stopping smoking will significantly slow up or stop further deterioration, but normal breathing will never again be possible. Waiting for a diagnosis of cancer or circulatory disease as the bottoming out experience may cost the smoker his or her life. In fact, some smokers never have the opportunity to bottom out. The first discernible symptom for these smokers is sudden death which is not the bottoming out experience the smoker was likely counting on.

Many who quit before bottoming out recognize that they feel physically and emotionally better than they have in years and truly do appreciate the health and self esteem improvements. Those who quit should be proud of their accomplishment. They quit before they had to, and they will derive the greatest benefits for having taken that action.

For those who are waiting for that magic moment when they know it is time, be forewarned. You may not have the strength to quit at that time; you may not get the desire to quit in time; and, most importantly, you may not have the opportunity to quit in time. Last year, 418,000 Americans died prematurely waiting for the right time. They never found it. Don't feel the need to wait for some unforeseen inspiration. Quit now before you have to. Quit now and - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!




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Last edited by Joel on May 9th, 2016, 10:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Joel
Joel

February 24th, 2001, 7:25 pm #2

I saw a relapser make a comment today about maybe this being a wake up call. I think a wake up call is just another creative variation of the term bottoming out. A thousand people died yesterday in America who at one time or another were waiting for a wake up call. Well a wake up call is pretty useless to them now. Over another 1,000 are going to die the same way today. Once cigarettes get their grip in you a wake call may not be enough. I don't care how loud an alarm clock is--it will not wake the dead.

A puff is going to awake your addiction though, no matter how silently it sleeps. If you "really" want to put your nicotine need to bed forever remember that you can never take another puff!

Joel
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

February 24th, 2001, 7:36 pm #3

Do you remember this quote from an email you sent me Joel? It's just as true today!

"These are not cries for help. Stop me from taking that first puff is a cry for help. I've relapsed is a cry for attention. We can't undo the fact that they don't accept their addiction." Joel

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mirigirl (silver)
mirigirl (silver)

February 24th, 2001, 8:18 pm #4

Dear Zep and Joel - What you are saying here is all too true - as you all know, I have learnt from my own bitter experience. Maybe we can have a few new sayings, for us ones who come to Freedom and just DON"T get it:
THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR POSTING AFTER A RELAPSE!!
DON'T PICK UP - POST INSTEAD!!
ACCEPT YOU ARE A NICOTINE ADDICT - NOW - BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!!
I tell myself these things everyday -to try to condense all the readings in my head, I MUST remind myself to
REACH OUT FOR HELP BEFORE I REACH OUT FOR A CIGARETTE!
I'm still learning everyday. I still come here everyday.
Just for Today Freedom is Working for Me and It is Getting Better Everyday
Today 99% of the time I don't even think about drinking alcohol and probably 80% of the time I don't think about smoking -all I get are thoughts -though the smoking thoughts are stronger because it is earlier in my Quit and it has taken me a while to separate out my other health issues, which I've realised haven't really got to do with smoking - it just meant I didn't feel real good at all, for the first month.
Just for Today I Have a Little Flame Inside Me That Says -No Matter What - everything is Gonna be OK - because I'm Free! It grows brighter each day.
Maybe the % thing isn't a good way of putting it. Is it possible to have two thoughts at the same time?? Most of the time I'm going about my business not thinking about smoking but at the same time I have a thought in the back of my head that says
NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
Just in case NICODEMON wants to jump up and grab me by surprise!!
I think I pretty much have that "total comfort" you talk about Zep, when it comes to alcohol (which for me is also an addiction) and I'm lookin forward to feeling that way with cigarettes. Actually I'd like to change my signing off to healing too - because I'm only just realising it's a lot more than just being nicotine free!! - although of course that is the basis of our freedom.....


OH DEAR I DO RAVE ON!! SORRY
Thanks Freedom
YQS Maz
One month, three days, 23 hours, 17 minutes and 19 seconds of FREEDOM!!
Last edited by mirigirl (silver) on March 26th, 2009, 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Cyndie
Cyndie

February 24th, 2001, 8:35 pm #5

Zep

I just want to add that my Quit Date is so important to me. I am an addict in the biggest sense of the word. I have worked hard on this quit. I am dedicated to it because I know I can't go through **** week again. I Have smoked for 35 years and I have NOT smoked for 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours.

This is a major accomplishment for me and I intend to keep January 27 as a very important day in my life. It could be the very day that saved my life. I am breathing better, feeling better , looking better.....WOW I am so proud of me.

THANK YOU FREEDOM FRIENDS.

Cyndie
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heath
heath

May 29th, 2001, 11:55 am #6

I'm not waiting until that diagnosis. I still fear it, in the future, but I know I've done the right thing by quitting and I'll NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!!! I'm feeling a bit discouraged for my hubby. You see Jeff has always been the one to encourage me to quit, he always intends to quit with me. NOT!!! I understand where he's at, after all I desperately want to be thin again, but it is merely a wish at this point. I'm not dieting, or exercising. I'm simply wishing. You see I know that Jeff wants to be free of Nicotine. Jeff is scared, really scared and he fears heart disease, strokes, emphysema, cancer etc. But, he feels he CAN'T QUIT. Jeff wants me to encourage him, and when we talk about it, he always says...Don't give up on me, keep praying!!!
I have peeked his interest in atleast reading your messages Joel! He has been intrigued by many! I will continue to PRAY, to almighty God for the confidence Jeff needs to quit. Thank you for your posts, and your support. It is helping... TLC Heather
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Joel
Joel

July 31st, 2001, 4:21 am #7

The link to the following cartoon was emailed to me by one of our family members, Bradly, who is approaching the one year mark. The link was at http://www.non-sequitur.com/index.php3? ... &inmonth=7
I also had one of my recent clinic graduates email me that the cartoon was in the Chicago Tribune this past week. I thought it seemed like a good cartoon to compliment this post.
Last edited by Joel on March 26th, 2009, 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Hal(Gold)
Hal(Gold)

July 31st, 2001, 7:13 am #8

In my 8 month quit I don't remember seeing this on the board before. Needless to say I printed it out and my bride of 48 years, who is still smoking ,is reading it right now. Regards and Thanks Again Freedom

Hal @Eight months, two days, 4 hours, 17 minutes and 55 seconds. 9767 cigarettes not smoked, saving $1,220.68. Life saved: 4 weeks, 5 days, 21 hours, 55 minutes.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

July 19th, 2002, 12:23 am #9

Eleven Thousand
Tobacco Deaths Today!

Nicotine dependency will today -- July 18, 2002 -- claim over 11,000 tobacco users, each dying an average of 14 to 15 years early. Thousands of them thought they'd get a chance to bottom out. They thought there would be a bit of advance notice and an opportunity to quit and turn things around. Meet Noni, a 32 year old first time new mom who on February 13, 1999 received exactly 30 days verbal notice that her 32nd birthday --March 13, 1999 -- would be the last birthday she should ever expect.
Click the above link to meet Noni
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Joel
Joel

January 4th, 2003, 11:29 am #10

From December 31 New York Times:

Habits: Gasping for Air, but Still Smoking
By ERIC NAGOURNEY

Having a chronic illness like emphysema is often not enough to push people to quit smoking, a new study reports.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the federal Department of Health and Human Services, said last week that 37.9 percent of patients with emphysema had said in a survey that they continued to smoke.

So did 24.8 percent of asthma patients, 20 percent of those with high blood pressure or cardiovascular problems, and 18.8 percent with diabetes.

About 60 percent of those patients said that doctors had urged them to stop smoking in the previous year, but that they had not done so.

The information was obtained from a broader survey the federal government administered to more than 15,600 people in 2000 and 2001, as part of a continuing effort to keep track of health data.

The study also found that 23.1 percent of Americans living outside institutionalized settings smoked. Whites and non-Hispanic blacks smoked most (about 23 percent), compared with 16.8 percent of Hispanics.

People with less than a high school education were also more likely to smoke (32.8 percent) than those with more than 12 years of education (15.8 percent).
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Joel
Joel

February 3rd, 2003, 11:14 pm #11

In memory of Aunt Bea's Friend.

In fact, some smokers never have the opportunity to bottom out. The first discernible symptom for these smokers is sudden death which is not the bottoming out experience the smoker was likely counting on.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

March 24th, 2003, 9:24 pm #12

We can hear coughing or wheezing but how much damage
has the effects of carbon monoxide and nicotine inflicted
upon your blood flow? Do you understand how smoking
destroys the body's blood flow?

The damage inflicted by the four thousand chemicals present in each burning cigarette is real. These bodies were intended to last a lifetime but how many of our lung's 600 million alveoli (air sacs) have already been destroyed and to what degree has the blood carrying capacity of our vital arteries already been compromised? What's the real price of relapse?
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

May 9th, 2003, 9:16 am #13

Australia - Sydney Morning Herald
Smokers pay heavy price
- but who picks up the bill?
By Julie Robotham Medical Writer
May 8, 2003
It provides relief from debilitating pain, coughing and breathlessness for patients in the months before they die from lung cancer. But the question is whether taxpayers should pay millions of dollars a year for the new drug that would help hundreds of Australians - almost all of them former or current smokers.
The drug, Iressa, which was approved for use in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration last week, is one of a growing group of expensive new therapies that attack specific cancer cells, in contrast to regular chemotherapy which is toxic to cells of all types, but particularly to cancers.
At $4500 a month on a private script, almost no patients would be able to afford Iressa unless it was subsidised under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, said Michael Boyer, the head of medical oncology at the Sydney Cancer Centre, based at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.
The drug would not prolong life nor replace conventional chemotherapy, he said.
However, among patients with non-small-cell lung cancer - which accounts for 80 per cent of all lung cancers - almost half of the patients who had become resistant to chemotherapy found Iressa eased their symptoms substantially within 10 days. In 10 to 20 per cent of patients, the treatment shrank the lung tumour.
Iressa, made by the drugs giant AstraZeneca, was effective, on average, for seven to eight months before the patient became resistant to it.
"It's a drug that works," Associate Professor Boyer said.
Kwun Fong, a Brisbane thoracic physician and the chairman of the lung cancer group which exists within the Australian Lung Foundation, said there was "a lot of guilt among lung cancer patients" because of the smoking link.
AstraZeneca's medical director, Dr Glen Pater, estimated that the number of patients who would qualify to be put on Iressa would be "in the low hundreds", with a cost to the PBS of about $4 million a year.
The chairman of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, Lloyd Sansom, said that quality of life was factored into decisions on which drugs to subsidise through the PBS, but for the costliest drugs this posed a dilemma.
"The so-called 'end-of-life' drugs are difficult to manage," Professor Sansom said.
"We're not going to cure things like cancer overnight . . . it is going to be a series of incremental gains, which are going to be very expensive.
"For some things they're just going to be too expensive."
Copyright © 2003 The Sydney Morning Herald
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Joel
Joel

December 3rd, 2004, 6:03 am #14

For Lee: The first discernible symptom for these smokers is sudden death which is not the bottoming out experience the smoker was likely counting on.
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Joel
Joel

January 25th, 2005, 8:43 pm #15

In fact, some smokers never have the opportunity to bottom out. The first discernible symptom for these smokers is sudden death which is not the bottoming out experience the smoker was likely counting on.
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mauricesmom
mauricesmom

January 25th, 2005, 9:52 pm #16

With a drug as powerful as nicotine we have to admit that it will never give you the option of telling you "now is the time to quit"..............It has to be up to you to take a hold of YOUR addiction and do something. When I read about people losing a loved one from smoke related deceases, such as cancer, and then at the funeral or cemetary those same people that are hurting from the lost of their loved one, have to light up and smoke a killer stick themselves. It sickens me and tells us all what a hold nicotine has on it's victims. Nothing should have that kind of hold on a person. We need to be free!

I've been quit for 24 days, 19 hours, 22 minutes and 12 seconds (25 days).
I've not smoked 620 death sticks, and saved $93.12.
I've saved 2 day(s), 4 hour(s) of my life.
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SusanColeenGreen
SusanColeenGreen

January 25th, 2005, 10:36 pm #17

Perfect example was my neighbor and friend Sondra Jackson, aged 37.

Heart stopped,in her front yard, dead on the scene. (this was 2 years ago)

Her husband was right there with her.
CPR, no effect.

Survived by two beautiful young daughters, one son in the armed forces, and one devestated husband.

Yes, she had been warned, she'd been feeling "weird", Doctor had told her "STOP smoking".

She was planning on quitting..........

Statistical Data for: SusanColeen
I have refrained from smoking for:One month, 5 hours, 30 minutes and 45 seconds.
I have spared my lungs from 1093 cigarettes, and
I pocketed $191.28 I would have spent to purchase my poison
Life saved: 3 days, 19 hours, 5 minutes.

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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

April 5th, 2005, 10:44 am #18

Smoking is a greater cause of death and disability than any single disease, says the World Health Organisation.
Saturday, 8 February, 2003, 15:52 GMT
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

May 25th, 2005, 7:02 pm #19

For those of you yet to be ex-smokers who may be reading here today or any day:

What are you waiting for? The time is now (actually it was each of those nights that you told yourself - I'll quit in the morning)! Tomorrow may never come. All we have is one day, today. Carpe Diem & NTAP!

joejFree - seizing each day the opportunity and making the conscious choice to Not Take Another Puff!
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Joel
Joel

June 10th, 2005, 7:36 pm #20

"The first discernible symptom for these smokers is sudden death which is not the bottoming out experience the smoker was likely counting on."
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

December 12th, 2006, 3:32 am #21

After Lung Cancer Surgery,
Nearly Half of Patients Resume Smoking

By LiveScience Staff
11 December 2006

More than a third of smokers who had surgery to remove early stage lung cancer were smoking again within a year, a new study finds.

The study involved patients who were forced to quit smoking for surgery. Many were puffing away within two months of the surgery, and nearly half eventually resumed the habit.

"These patients are all addicted, so you cannot assume they will easily change their behavior simply because they have dodged this particular bullet," said study leader Mark Walker of the Washington University School of Medicine. "Their choices are driven by insidious cravings for nicotine."

The investigators found that those smokers who were the last to give up their cigarettes-some on the same day as their operation-and who saw smoking as a pleasurable activity they would have difficulty giving up, were also the first to resume the habit. And they concluded that patients who were able to hold out the longest before they took up a cigarette after surgery were the ones who were most likely not to be smoking in a year's time.

Several previous studies had found smokers tend to relapse after lung surgery, but study results varied widely. The new study of 154 patients is the most comprehensive done on the topic. The results are published in the December issue of the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention.

The researchers found that 43 percent of patients smoked at some point after surgery and 37 percent were smoking 12 months after their operation.

Tobacco is responsible for about 435,000 deaths every year in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


Source:
Copyright Life Science 2006
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Joel
Joel

June 6th, 2007, 4:25 pm #22

"The first discernible symptom for these smokers is sudden death which is not the bottoming out experience the smoker was likely counting on."
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Joel
Joel

September 19th, 2007, 1:20 am #23

Waiting for a diagnosis of cancer or circulatory disease as the bottoming out experience may cost the smoker his or her life. In fact, some smokers never have the opportunity to bottom out. The first discernible symptom for these smokers is sudden death which is not the bottoming out experience the smoker was likely counting on.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

December 24th, 2007, 11:42 pm #24

Seeing Truth Before Bottom
What constitutes bottoming out can obviously be different for each of us. In my mind, it is exactly where I was back in April 1999, after one last failed attempt when I openly swore before God that I would never, ever put myself through withdrawal again. It was then that I at last fully accepted the reality that I was a true drug addict in every sense, that I wasn't stronger than nicotine, that I would die a smoker's death. After thirty years of assaulting this body, I figured it would probably happen sooner than later as my health was going downhill, and rather quickly.
Increasing tolerance (receptor count up-regulation) having slowly transformed me into a heavy smoker, there was just too much carbon monoxide and nicotine circulating and not enough oxygen. My teeth were beginning to die and I found myself undergoing root canal after root canal. My eyes were paying a price, I lived with chronic bronchitis, and I often wondered if others could hear the constant wheeze with every breath. I had full blown pneumonia two winters in a row, but still somehow managed to **** down a couple of smokes.
With 3,500 chemical particles and more than 500 gases in each puff, including 43 known cancer causing chemicals, I guess the only remaining question was which death suitor would come calling. Would some vital body part suffocate after the blood vessel leading to it became completely clogged due to nicotine released fats sticking to carbon monoxide damaged vessel walls? Would one of the carcinogen time bombs that grew a bit bigger with each puff at last detonate? Would I live long enough to see what the doctor called "early emphysema" put me on full time oxygen, the way it did mom at age 61?
Looking back, I lived the sick rationalization that Joel shares here, that if the price of addiction became large enough, that the addict's resolve to end their own self mutilation might actually grow bigger than the false beliefs being fed them by their chemically captive limbic brain.
Although for three decades my conscious thinking mind had tried to break free from nicotine's grip, it did so in a state of dependency ignorance and darkness. It had zero understanding that drug addiction is about living a lie. These beautiful brains of ours were engineered to make species survival events our #1 priority (accomplishment, gathering, food, water, group bonding, courting, reproduction, nurturing).
But there are some external chemicals that so resemble the shape of our own neuro-chemicals that once inside the brain they fit the locks (receptors) that activate these survival priority teaching pathways. Quickly, often after using nicotine only a couple of times, our own mind begins teaching us that smoking or chewing nicotine is at least as important as eating.
Soon we're forced to believe that using nicotine defines who were are, gives us our edge, helps us cope and that life without it may not be worth living. Any attempt to stop using may briefly be seen by our deep inner mind as akin to attempting to starve ourselves to death.
Yes, our chemically captive pathways correctly did their designed function but not in response to genetic pre-programming but in response to the presence of an external chemical. Those pathways would now command compliance by generating urges and craves to replenish constantly falling blood serum nicotine levels, that decline by half every two hours. They would issue dopamine "aaah" rewards sensations for anticipating and engaging in the act of nicotine replenishment. They would record the entire drug use event in high definition, 3-D type memories that are nearly impossible, in the short term, to forget.
Yes, a true chemical addition is born. Welcome to the world of nicotine normal where nearly all remaining memory of the beauty of life without nicotine was quickly buried under the most potent memories appears capable of generating. Yes, drug addition is about living a lie.
Ask yourself this, what was it like to reside inside your mind before nicotine took control? What was it like to go days, weeks and months and never once think about wanting to put a new supply of nicotine into your bloodstream? What was it like without the daily addiction chatter associated with trying to comply with a never-ending series of commands to smoke more nicotine? What was it like to not be addicted to a powerful central nervous system stimulant, to not have nicotine causing your heart to pound twenty beats per minute faster? What was it like to be able to fully relax your body and mind, all day long? Is coming home to the real you good or bad?
We never once took a puff off of any cigarette that didn't further damage our respiratory and circulatory systems. We each started with nearly 600 million air sacks and, collectively, the toxins in each puff have destroyed more. We can wait until we are told that we have too few still functional air sacks to complete this life and we'll need oxygen, or we can stop their slaughter now.
We cannot bring back to life cells we have already destroyed but every living cell not destroyed will benefit by not being assaulted by tobacco toxins. Knowledge truly is a quitting method. What do you have to lose by more fully understanding the chemical that keeps your brain's priorities teacher its hostage? Millions of words here in Freedom's hundreds of thousands of member posts but just abiding principle determining the outcome for all ... no nicotine today, Never Take Another Puff, Dip or Chew!
John (Gold x8)
Last edited by John (Gold) on March 26th, 2009, 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

September 7th, 2012, 2:45 pm #25

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