We understand why you relapsed

We understand why you relapsed

Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

May 25th, 2001, 7:22 pm #1

There are times when a person relapses that other well meaning members jump in saying they understand the causes of the relapse. Sometimes they feel the person needs to be consoled and nurtured for the bad choice they had made. I even see times where we are criticized for not offering such unconditional love and support of the relapsed person, as if we don't understand or fully sympathize with the plight of the person who has relapsed.



Well the fact is we all understand how people relapse, all too well in fact. Many people before joining Freedom lived through such experiences countless times. Should the person who just relapsed feel better that now it is understood why they relapsed? That depends I guess. If the person is here to feel better about smoking, sure they should be quite relieved. If the person is here because they are trying to save their lives I don't think they should be getting much comfort in these well wishes.



I guess it is like someone standing on a ledge of a building. Do you want people standing on the ground giving them reasons not to jump or people hearing all the woes in the individual's life and saying, "Gosh, I understand what you are saying. I feel that way too. I guess if I were in your shoes I would jump too. Don't feel guilty though, we understand."



I don't want this statement to be read as a mockery of the people trying to help. I am trying to make an illustration here. It is obvious that the difference is if they jump they will die. But please understand, that if a person relapses and doesn't quit, they are likely to face the same fate, just time delayed. Yes if you saw a person on a ledge, you would try to use empathy. But the empathy would be in for form of explaining that you understand their plight but you disapprove of their current tactic to deal with it. There are better ways to resolve their problems than killing themselves. The same concepts hold true for taking a puff. You may understand the feelings the person had, you may have even felt them at some point. But you don't give into the feeling because the implication is smoking and that can lead to death.



I sometimes see responses here that there are other boards that are more accepting of relapse, in fact they see it as a normal and acceptable process. This is a very accurate statement and I do think that if anyone here feels we are too tough they should look at the other sites. I do believe the majority people who are here came to us because they are looking for a niche group, a kind of understanding and support that is not available elsewhere. If you are dead serious about quitting smoking I think you have found the right place to be and I hope you stay. But if our philosophy is too restricting, why try to change us. Trying to alter our premise is as unfair as our members going to other sites and trying to change them. We don't do it, we are very tolerant of the other sites and understand that some people will be happier there. But deep down we are not very hopeful that they will be more successful there.



As always, everyone should be focused on making it through today. Whether this is your first day or thousandth day, it will be a much better day if you walk away with the understanding that no matter what happens in your life, either issues of great happiness or sadness, importance or mediocrity, exhilaration of shear dullness, no matter what the circumstances the only way to sustain your quit is to never take another puff!



Joel


Edited 05-18-2013 to include following videos:


There is no legitimate reason to relapse
[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]Is relapse a natural part of the quitting process[/font]

[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]"Get right back in the saddle?"[/font]

[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]"Don't let a slip put you back to using"[/font]

[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]"I know I will quit again"[/font]

[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]Resources explaining interaction between nicotine and stress[/font]

[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]Are you ready for Freedom?[/font]

[font=ARIAL, GEORGIA, 'TIMES NEW ROMAN', TIMES, SERIF]"I liked my other clinic more"[/font]
Last edited by Joel on July 29th, 2014, 5:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Joined: January 7th, 2009, 6:58 pm

May 25th, 2001, 9:59 pm #2

Joel, it is EXACTLY this type of attitude that has gotten me where I am now today. While I'm not here that much, and still spend time on a board where I've been a member for a long, long time, the difference this time, this time AT LAST, is because of freedoms relapse policy. I have it plastered to my fridge, a copy of it in my purse (this has helped me out more times than I can tell you when I'm away from home), and on my bedside table. This no nonsense approach took a habitual relapser and turned her into a shining example of what needs to be done to stay off of cigarettes. I literally had tried to quit 50+ times over the past 5 years -- using every method possible, including cold turkey, but never was able to string more than a week together w/out nicotine in my system. Again, it is the attitude in this post that got me to where I am now:
106 days without nicotine!
and never taking another puff!
THANK YOU for giving me this tool to help me save my own life.
peace,
maggie
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:59 pm

May 26th, 2001, 5:48 am #3

I had been starting to think of the relapse the same way in my head - as a suicide. And suicide it is. We all know how addictive nicotine is. Once you have a puff you're hooked again. And there's no guarantee you're going to get the second chance.

Triin
I have been Quit for: 3M 3D 23h 48m 15s. I have NOT smoked 1919, for a savings of $131.99. Life Saved: 6D 15h 55m.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:59 pm

May 29th, 2001, 8:09 am #4

Joel,
This is a particularly good post for me - I read about a member who relapsed and it really scares me. Have been feeling pretty fragile lately and have NO intention of smoking - what keeps playing in my head is; do I have another quit in me? I stopped being a gambler when I became serious about my quit. It is the most important decision I have made to date. There is also the commitment wrapped up in this quit and when I read about relapses and the language associated with the person, I have to wonder if there was a serious commitment because it almost always sounds so casual and whiney. It is difficult to stay quit but that's why there are support groups for when it gets dicey. I do understand that I'm an addict and the way any kind of sustained recovery has ever worked for any addict is to be part of that particular larger community.
Thanks for the post.
Diana
I have not smoked for: 1 month, 4 weeks, 1 day, 2 hours, 4 minutes and very grateful above all else!!
Last edited by Dida (Gold) on November 21st, 2009, 1:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

May 29th, 2001, 8:59 am #5

Yes Dida:

I think a number of people interpreted the language the same way as you did. We work with a general philosophy here at Freedom. An announcement of a relapse is not a cry for help; it is a cry for attention. If a person has our address to post a relapse message, he or she most likely had our address to ask for help before hand. Asking before hand we can offer some guidance and assistance. As an aftermath we can say the person blew it, he or she is back to square one, we hope that he or she has the ability to quit again.

So as long as everyone knows what we will say in advance, no one should ever feel obliged to post asking what we think about his or her relapse. We think it is one of the biggest mistakes that the smoker may have made in his or her life, one that may in fact cost the person his or her life. The person never knows if they will have the strength, desire or opportunity to quit again. They just don't know that something life threatening may occur first. Our message to everyone here is to avoid ever having to "try" to quit again, make this quit stick. The way to do that is to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

May 29th, 2001, 6:22 pm #6

It isn't that we don't have hearts, it's that we do!
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

May 29th, 2001, 7:44 pm #7

An announcement of a relapse
is not a cry for help;
it is a cry for attention.
When I run clinics everyone has my phone number and pager numbers to reach me 24 hours a day. I always tell people that in case of emergency, call me anytime day or night. I actually tell them it doesn't even have to be an emergency. If in the middle of the night they wake up and feel good and just want to say hello and everything is fine, that is fine with me too. (My family hates this part of my nature, but has learned to live with it.) Luckily, not many of them take me up on this offer but the option exists. I just want them to get the sense that there is help available to them when needed. I have no problem with anyone calling for help at any time, when help can be given.
But calling me in the middle of the night to tell me about a relapse is totally unnecessary. Paging me in the middle of the day and maybe interrupting my dinner or a television show, or even an interesting commercial to announce a relapse is also unnecessary. Once a puff is taken there is no emergency anymore, no real sense of urgency. Nothing is on the line now. The quit is blown already.
There is no real significance to the second, third or even tenth cigarette, they were all the result of the first puff, as are all the other hundreds of thousands and maybe over a million that are destined to follow. Is it that I don't want to know about the relapse? Not at all, I tell them they are more than welcome to send me a post card, third class if possible. It will get to me eventually and I can update my records, but there is no need for me to actually have to be woken up and lose a second of sleep for such an announcement.
Freedom is trying to work on the same scale. It may take a few minutes before someone gets to the board, but usually not long. While waiting the person has plenty of reading material available, between the daily posts, the specific topic areas like "Relapse Prevention" the Joel's Library, www.whyquit.com and so on. There is plenty of material to reinforce anyone's resolve, anyone who wants their resolve reinforced that is.
Bottom line. Post before you RELAPSE. Read and read until someone gets back to you. The odds are if you refocus your thoughts, the reply will not even be necessary, just a nice reminder that someone cares. But you will have already passed the crisis state. It doesn't take long.
There may still be an ongoing trauma in your life at the moment, but those problems were going to be happening whether you were an active smoker, an ex-smoker, even if you had never smoked in your life. But if you think about the real situation you will realize that your relapsing to a deadly addiction will not in any way, shape of form will help resolve the ongoing problem. It will just give you another life threatening problem that you will need to contend with.
If your relapse eventually results in your premature death, everyone you know and leave behind will have to live with the same kind of grief and frustrations too. Do you want all of your children, parents, siblings, friends, co-workers, and just plain acquaintances to feel the need or acceptance to relapse to a deadly drug addiction in your memory? If not, everyone here needs to teach them the lesson now while you are alive. It is the same lesson that you can teach yourself every day. The lesson--that you can quit smoking and you can stay off smoking under any circumstances as long as you always remember to never take another puff!
Joel
Last edited by Joel on November 21st, 2009, 1:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

August 14th, 2001, 7:28 pm #8

I just saw where Zep brought up a post that you should go back in our historic threads to see people's reactions when they have relapsed. Since we don't have members relapsing daily any more, and even if one does he or she can't post about it, it can make people think that relapse isn't still a big risk. Nothing can be further from the truth.

Relapse remains a risk for every member here who ever allows him or self to think that they are now stronger than cigarettes. What you all have accomplished up to this point is being smarter than cigarettes--not stronger. Your knowledge is what made you able to quit in the first place and what will keep this quit going. The one piece of knowledge that you all must keep reinforced is the knowledge that you are an addict, in recovery and are slowly becoming asymptomatic. But even when every trace of negative physical and emotional feelings of your life as a smoker are gone, the addiction is still there, lying dormant and innocuous. One puff and the whole addiction can come back in full force.

So never allow yourself to feel a sense of complacency or forget the active addiction you escaped from the day you quit smoking. You escaped with your life and that is tragically something many smokers never accomplish. To avoid ever being caught in the grip of active addiction always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:59 pm

August 14th, 2001, 8:38 pm #9

Hi Joel
You talk about quitters being "smarter than cigarettes" and I think the point gets lost in the language. Cigarettes aren't "smart" in any sense of the word. My pet hamster is smarter than cigarettes, so what's the big deal? Where we have to be "smart" is in knowing and accepting that we cannot challenge the addiction head on without the virtual certainty of a full relapse. What you nicely describe as "You can have none, or you can have all, but you can't have one". People that I see relapse here have read your articles about nicotine addiction, but they either don't accept the truth of the facts, or more likely they simply believe that they are the exception. My instinct is that these people aren't stupid, they're "smart" enough, but they're arrogant. They simply can't accept that they are too weak to control their own brains, and those funny little things in them called neuroreceptors. They're too proud to accept that their lives can be controlled by a mere addiction.
I think one of our newbies, MMzMarg, put it perfectly in her recent first post when she said
"I am not fighting nicotine - that fight is over, the nicotine won... all I have to do is surrender & walk away from the ring. I guess what I'm saying is that for me the fight is over and in surrender lies victory."
It is that willingness to accept the strength of nicotine addiction, that humility, that enables us to achieve a victory over nicotine. And that willingness comes firstly from accepting the facts about the addictive powers of nicotine addiction that we read here, and secondly from the experiences related to us here by ex-relapsers. It's interesting that in the past week there have been two newbies who have said "I thought after XX years quitting I could control my smoking, I smoked one, and then....."
I suppose we have little idea how many members here relapse. It would be interesting to know how many, but more interesting to know why. It always saddened me to read about relapse here in the old days, and it always made me mad to think about how they had wasted the education they got here. But maybe there are physiological reasons, not just mental ones, why some people relapse. Maybe we still need more research into addiction and relapse. In the meantime, I think all we can do is hammer home the facts that we do have at our disposal.
Last edited by marty (gold) on November 21st, 2009, 1:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

August 14th, 2001, 8:51 pm #10

I too liked MMzMarg (post 14 in the string) post where she wrote this. Her statement shows what I am referring to as being smarter than cigarettes. It is when people start to say or think that they are stronger that you can tell that they don't understand the first rule of addiction in general, being powerless over the substance.

Quitting successfully is a matter of getting educated and staying off is a matter of remembering what you learned. You become smarter on a topic when you learn the facts about it. You will stay smarter on that topic as long as you don't forget what you learned. The way to prove you are smarter about quitting now than when you joined up at Freedom is to continue to prove to us, and more important, that you continue to prove to yourself that you are smart enough to recognize that the way to stay smoke free is to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

October 14th, 2001, 7:09 am #11

I am attaching an article here that was sent to me by a friend today. While I am saddened by the statistics I am seeing here, I am not surprised by them. I don't think the problem is that people are not trying to quit. I would suspect that if anyone digs in and does a little research that they will see that just by sales of quitting smoking products that we should have a lot more ex-smokers. I think the actual causes for the lack of successful quits is the lack of real understanding out in the world of how to quit and equally important--how to stay quit. The way most people minimize the significance of a relapse is one of the major reasons that so many ex-smokers do relapse. And the way most people look for an easy way out of smoking is probably responsible for such low success rates in actual quits and the reason why we are not seeing a more drastic reduction in overall smoking.

Here at Freedom you are aware of both issues. You know how to get nicotine out of your system and you know how to keep it out and thus sustain control of your addiction and in essense, control of your health, and to some degree your destiny and your life. To keep that contol always remember to never take another puff!

Joel


CDC Study: No Change in Number of Smokers

By ERIN McCLAM
.c The Associated Press

ATLANTA (Oct. 13) - The smoking rate among American adults has hardly budged over the past several years, holding steady at roughly one in four.

The figures are frustrating to health officials, who want to see the smoking level much lower by the end of the decade.

A 1999 study released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 23.5 percent of adults - about 46 million people - are regular smokers. That is a modest decline from 24 percent in 1998 and 25 percent in 1993.

The government is aiming for 12 percent by 2010 and admits the numbers are lagging far behind that goal, set last year.

''We're happy that we're back on a downward trend, but those feelings are tempered with our recognition that we will not reach the objective without a more dramatic decline,'' said Dr. Terry Pechacek, associate director of CDC's Office on Smoking and Health.

Smoking dropped steadily during the 1980s. But it flattened out in the 1990s, even amid heavy anti-tobacco advertising, higher cigarette prices and a crackdown on smoking in public places.

The CDC wants more states to imitate Arizona, which saw a big drop in smoking after voters approved a steep hike in the cigarette tax and the state launched a creative anti-smoking campaign. The popular ads blasted cigarettes as a ''smelly, puking habit,'' and smoking dropped from 23 percent to 18 percent in just three years.

Directing more prevention programs at teen-agers might help cut the smoking rate among adults, said Dr. Norman Edelman, scientific consultant to the American Lung Association.

''We have this $250 billion of tobacco settlement money out there, and just a handful of states are putting a significant amount into education programs,'' he said.

The national figures released Thursday also show big gaps along financial and educational lines.

About 33 percent of people below the poverty line smoke, compared with just 23 percent of those at or above the poverty line. And just 13 percent of people with an undergraduate degree smoke cigarettes, compared with nearly 40 percent of those went only through early high school.

Whites and blacks were equal at 24.3 percent. The figure for Hispanics was 18.1 percent.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

October 14th, 2001, 7:26 pm #12

This is scary Joel! I was reading a couple of these news accounts of this CDC study and my immediate thought was that those selling nicotine are financially winning and those trying to defeat their addiction are paying with their very lives!

The United States Government has declared to the world that those using the over-the-counter nicotine patch have an 88.2% relapse rate within 6 months (USDHHS Clinical Practice Guideline - June 2000, Table 40). It gets even worse. A recent Mayo Clinic study suggests that a second attempt at quitting with the patch may increase the odds of relapse by more than 60%. It appears that prior NRT failure may bread psychological expectations of new failure.

We don't learn to live with natural dopamine levels by using more nicotine to continue manipulating dopamine output. It's almost like trying to end a relationship or marriage while contining to live in the same house. Yes, maybe one in ten can do it but why would anyone in their right mind want to even try? Thanks for the article Joel!
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

December 22nd, 2001, 11:29 pm #13

Relapses are something we don't see much here. Not that people don't relapse, sadly we know some do. But we have set ourselves up as a board to protect our members quits at all costs, not to comfort our ex-members relapses. I think we are unique in this respect, and while it may seem uncaring to some, in our way of thinking it is the most caring we can be. We want every single person here to recognize the serious nature of securing your quit and the life threatening consequences of ever minimizing the danger of a relapse. Each and every members health and even their very life depends on it.

Everyone here is saddened if we lose a member to a relapse. But if a member was to lose his or her own quit, he or she would be more than just saddened--for if he or she understood the full implications--he or she would likely be devastated. If not, his or her life could at some point be devastated in ways no one should ever want to experience.

The holiday season is a time where many people characteristically have lost past quits. While New Years is a time of year when many people think about quitting--it is also a time a year when ex-smokers need to think of preventing relapse. All those new years resolutions that have failed in the past are dangerous precedents to ex-smokers. They sometimes expect to relapse around the holidays because of past failures.

But this holiday can be different. If you spent even a little time reading here you know nicotine is addictive and more important, you know you are a recovering addict. This one piece of knowledge is the key to keeping this quit alive. Yes, we know why you have relapsed in past attempts...and we know how if you let your guard down you can lose this one too. But we also know that if you recognize the addiction yourself now that you can prevent such incidents from ever happening again, whether it be a holiday time of year or any time of year. We know that you will succeed this holiday and all future holidays as long as you always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

January 12th, 2002, 1:17 pm #14

For all people who feel they need to explain how they once relapsed. We all know how you relapsed--you took a puff. More important than trying to help us understand your past failures though, we think you should spend your time learning how you can avoid any future similar occurence. It is actually no more complicated than recognizing that if you don't want to relapse again you should never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

January 22nd, 2002, 9:32 am #15

Hello Michelle:

I am so glad that I can bring this one up as in a preventive measure rather than as a lecture of what went wrong. I understand that extreme traumas can cause desperate or even irrational thoughts, but by coming here and giving our members the opportunity to apply some rational reasoning with you, it helped secure your quit and I suspect helped them too to recognize that no matter what the stress smoking was not a solution. I also want to point out that our members, both old and new alike did wonderfully here.

I see from your last reply that you got a grip on the situation on a much more rational level. I am going to add a couple of other observations for you to use whenever facing such real life crises.

What could your relapsing to a full-fledged addiction have done to help you help your children's situation now? Would it have allowed you to be at their side at the hospital at all times? Probably not--I have encountered many parents who had their scared and crying children in emergency rooms, who ended up having to leave the traumatized child attended by strangers so that the poor parent who was in accelerated nicotine withdrawal could go out and feed his or her addiction.

If cigarettes were not in the parent's life, he or she wouldn't have left the child unattended or watched by a stranger for anything, even if the stranger were a health professional. But when the parent is an active addict in withdrawal, he or she very well could leave and even when he or she stayed at the child's bedside, he or she would not be there in full mind or spirit, but fixated on when he or she could eventually get out and smoke.

You requested in the original post that we don't tell you that there is nothing to worry about. I don't think we are really known for doing this--sugarcoating a serious situation. We are quite adept at doing the opposite here, making sure everyone sees the real implications of serious life issues. That is what we try to do here for all of our members, to look at real life fears realistically.

If in fact any member here ever found out that one of their children actually had a serious medical problem, they should not ever think even for a second that their smoking would be good for their children's health. It is more likely that their second hand smoke exposure would be putting their own children at greater risk of complications from their preexisting problem.

I have to tell you if you were to put up a post at a lot of other sites, you would have gotten a ton of love and support for your terrible plight, and understanding for why this is not the time to quit and sympathy for why you could relapse. But hopefully that is not why you joined here. People are here because they have come to the point where they recognize there is no legitimate reason to relapse.

The fact is there is never a legitimate reason to take a cigarette, except for one of the following two reasons.

1) You want to go back to smoking until it cripples then kills you or;

2) You are enjoying withdrawal so much you never want it to end. Take just one puff every third day in that event, withdrawal will last forever.

Outside of those two reasons, there is no reason that warrants a cigarette, no matter how serious a situation may seem. It is imperative for you to realize that if you are going to sustain this quit now and in the future.

Your family's problems will resolve one way or another, hopefully with a positive outcome on all fronts. You may not be able to control all the problems you are currently facing, but you have total control of this one--whether you stay free or relapse to a drug that given time will cripple then kill you. If your choice is to stay free, your only option is to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: January 7th, 2009, 6:58 pm

January 22nd, 2002, 11:44 am #16

Joel,

Thank you for your response. I wanted someone, anyone to tell me it was ok to smoke. That way I can share the blame and guilt with someone else and have a perfect rationalization to boot. When I posted that help, I was in a full blown JUNKIE state of mind, anger and pity, resentment, grief all of the nastiness. If it wasn't for a husband who refused to ok the smoking and for the education and support here I KNOW I would have smoked. Now the crave is still there but very manageable.

What you and others said about if I was using again I would probabbly leave my child to go have a smoke, it is true. One of my lowest times as a smoker was when my older son was rusher to the ER on his 6th birthday due to his heart, his pulse was at 260bpm at rest and had maintained that rate for an hour and 1/2. Later that night on the way home I rolled down the window and smoked with him in the backseat. As smokers our rule was never to smoke in house, car or by kids. Well I blew 2 of them becauseI felt it was justified. I am ashamed of that.

Addicts are masters at rationalization and manipulation. The simple approach is the best defense. There are 2 absolutes to recovering. There is NO EXCUSE to smoke and Never take another puff. When you implement those 2 truths and stand behind them it takes away the power rationalization and maniplutaion hold over me, then it just leaves me. I have had zero experience in "dealing" life, stress, feelings ect without a crutch. I always thought it was normal to turn to a crutch when faced with difficulty, doesn't everyone? That is where my difficulty is, learning how to deal with life without an addictive crutch. Last I didn't mean anyone would make light ofthe situation I was mad at not being able to smoke and my I apologize if I offended anyone with that statement.
Michelle
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

January 22nd, 2002, 12:01 pm #17

Oh well Michelle, you just picked the wrong site to join to give you permission to relapse. I guess you are just going to have to put up with the consequences of staying smoke-free. You'll just have to learn to live with it. By the way, you'll live longer, healthier, more able to deal with stress, smelling better and wealthier. You'll keep all these side effects if you just keep reading and realizing that your real goal is to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:59 pm

July 5th, 2002, 11:39 am #18

I always cringe when I see this post, with the simple at the end. Its like the tombstone for another quit. The silent record that the Freedom family has lost another member. The reminder that all of our quits are fragile, and that someday, with just one puff, any one of us might become the next
BillW Four months, three weeks, five days, 14 hours, 39 minutes and 9 seconds. 4398 cigarettes not smoked, saving $868.42. Life saved: 2 weeks, 1 day, 6 hours, 30 minutes.
Last edited by BillW Gold.ffn on November 21st, 2009, 1:35 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

July 5th, 2002, 12:20 pm #19

Hello Bill:

No need to cringe--no one relapsed recently that I know of. I brought it up in response to something that was written to a member who had returned after a long absence because of a relapse. A new member wrote that the person should not feel bad or ashamed, that we all understood. I was bringing it up for the benefit of the person who wrote the comment. I get nervous when a member feels that there is a need to reassure a person who relapsed that it is not a big deal. A relapse is a big deal and minimizing it is not doing the person or the board as a whole any favors. Everyone should see the effort to stay free as nothing short of working to save your life--seeing it this way will help you stay forever resolute to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

December 21st, 2002, 1:08 am #20

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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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

December 21st, 2002, 9:25 am #21

Joel,

I agree that we can't hammer this point home enough. There are thousands of reasons why a person will relapse. And God knows I have with previous quits, but it all boils down to one simple thing...you can never take another puff! If you do, you will go back to smoking either at your previous consumption levels until it cripples or kills you or until you can quit again and go through all that misery. there is only one choice. Don't mess around with this stuff YOU ARE AN ADDICT never take another puff NEVER TAKE THE RISK

Andy
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

March 25th, 2003, 7:13 pm #22

We do not need this one really anymore since if a member relapses and posts about it they lose their membership but the message is still important when dealing with smokers you know in your real world. It is important to understand why other people relapse. You learn from their mistakes. They relapsed because they didn't know or believe the one thing that you know that you have to do to stay smoke free. You know that to stay successful in the lifesaving effort of staying smokefree that you must never take another puff! Joel
Last edited by Joel on November 21st, 2009, 1:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

October 17th, 2003, 7:40 pm #23

There is no specific reason that I am bringing this post and the last few I have just popped up other than the fact that they have not been used for almost two months now. But as the above comment reads: We do not need this one really anymore since if a member relapses and posts about it they lose their membership but the message is still important when dealing with smokers you know in your real world. It is important to understand why other people relapse. You learn from their mistakes. They relapsed because they didn't know or believe the one thing that you know that you have to do to stay smoke free. You know that to stay successful in the lifesaving effort of staying smokefree that you must never take another puff! Joel
Last edited by Joel on November 21st, 2009, 1:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

November 21st, 2003, 10:14 pm #24

This seemed an appropriate post to bring up in lieu to Bob (BushCreekDude) observations on how he could easily have rationalized a relapse to his family and friends. It is crucial to note that while a person may be able to rationalize a relapse and be forgiven by others, their own bodies are not going to be so forgiving.
Your body will start retaliating the moment you relapse--once again being in a state of having to smoke or having to suffer withdrawal. Over time the pain and suffering you may feel from continued smoking will likely make the days of withdrawal seem negligible in contrast to the pain and suffering that smoking induced illnesses can cause.
We at Freedom understand relapse better than most people for we see relapse for what it is--a life threatening situation. What we are good at here is having a firm grasp on the understanding of why you didn't relapse yesterday--you made it through yesterday the same way you will make it through today--by sticking to your commitment to never take another puff!
Joel
Last edited by Joel on November 21st, 2009, 1:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

June 2nd, 2004, 9:59 am #25

I sometimes see responses here that there are other boards that are more accepting of relapse, in fact they see it as a normal and acceptable process. This is a very accurate statement and I do think that if anyone here feels we are too tough they should look at the other sites. I do believe the majority people who are here came to us because they are looking for a niche group, a kind of understanding and support that is not available elsewhere. If you are dead serious about quitting smoking I think you have found the right place to be and I hope you stay. But if our philosophy is too restricting, why try to change us. Trying to alter our premise is as unfair as our members going to other sites and trying to change them. We don't do it, we are very tolerant of the other sites and understand that some people will be happier there. But deep down we are not very hopeful that they will be more successful there.

As always, everyone should be focused on making it through today. Whether this is your first day or thousandth day, it will be a much better day if you walk away with the understanding that no matter what happens in your life, either issues of great happiness or sadness, importance or mediocrity, exhilaration of shear dullness, no matter what the circumstances the only way to sustain your quit is to never take another puff!

Joel
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