Joel
Joel

January 9th, 2002, 8:03 am #11

I thought I better bring this up to clarify something Marty said today. Marty wrote in the string by Newme, and I quote, "As Joel said, many people here have gone thru multiple quits." That statement is true but needs a little clarification for our newest members. While it is true that many of our members have had multiple past quits, they were quits that were in fact lost before coming to Freedom and having a received thorough understanding of addiction and relapse prevention strategy. If you look at most of our gold members I would be willing to bet that they made it from their first day of membership with us.

I feel the need to clarify this for I don't want anyone working with the common belief that your odds improve with every time you quit or stated another way, if you lose this quit, you will just come back next time and be more successful. In live clinics I normally get 80-90% of my first time participants through the first two weeks successfully. The odds my repeaters making it the same time period are usually closer to 50/50. They are people who jsut seem to have a hard time accepting addiction. While you would think they would have learned from their past experience and be better equipped the next time around--it just doesn't work that way.

So my message to everyone here is whether this is your first time around with us or your second--make this time your last--the one that lasts a lifetime. To insure that this is the case always know to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

January 31st, 2002, 8:09 pm #12

I have one man in my current clinic who 14 months ago lost a 25 year quit. My record holder last year was a 35 year quit that was lost to a puff. If a person can lose a quit after 25 or 35 years by taking a puff, guess what it is going to do to a person who is off 25 days, 25 weeks or even 25 months. Everyone here must realize that addiction is a lifetime condition now--but it will become symptom free with eventually no physical sign or manifestations--and will stay that way as long as you always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

February 10th, 2002, 12:58 am #13

Another woman who started in this group but didn't stay in had a 3 year quit going once that she lost to a puff. She has smoked 30 years since that one and is still smoking today. If the first puff is never taken, latter ones can never happen either. To stay smoke free preserving your quit, your health and your life is no more complicated than knowing to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joel
Joel

February 14th, 2002, 10:49 pm #14

I had one woman come into a seminar last night who lost a 6 month quit. I figured this one would be a good one to bring up in case she lurked around Freedom today.
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Joel
Joel

March 6th, 2002, 8:31 pm #15

I suspect some of our newer members--people who quit since the new year may have had some past longer-term quits lost that they may like to add to this string. It really is an important string in serving to teach all members, new and old alike the importance of staying ever vigilant in their resolve to never take another puff!

Joel
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Dawnie
Dawnie

March 19th, 2002, 8:21 am #16

Hi. Great parade! I smoked for 22 years before I quit this time. I always said I would quit if I ever got to 20 years. But my doctor told me several years ago that because I used to smoke a pack and a half a day, that I had already reached the equivalent of 20 years before I had even reached the 20 mark!!! So, I said the **** with it and kept on smoking. I loved smoking. I loved everything about it for a long long time. I liked the look of holding a cigarette with my nice long manicured nails. I loved sitting at a bar and having a guy light my cigarette for me. That is actually why I smoked my first cigarette - I wanted a guy to notice me when I was in college and I noticed that if a lady pulled out a cigarette, he would pull out a lighter or match and light it for her. How stupid. But at the time, I thought I was cool and I really thought smoking was cool up until last year. Prior to that, I made a couple of half-hearted attempts due to peer pressure but I did not want to quit. Last March 2001, I saw a commercial on tv that really scared me. It was the husband telling about the 46 year old woman who died from cancer because of smoking. His remark was: "I didn't know that 23 was middle age" - meaning her middle age came at the age of 23 since she died at 46. Well, I was 43 and that was too close for me. I found Freedom and April 1, 2001 was my quit day. I actually threw out a whole carton of cigarettes because a friend mentioned that if I gave them away to someone who still smokes it was the same as offering poison to this person. I started an excercise program right away. I maintained my weight. But, the withdrawal was terrible. I was a wreck. I would go 4 or five days, take a cigarette, get sick, go for another few weeks, smoke, in a constant state of withdrawal. I finally found Freedom in June and I went 6 weeks. Then I lost my temper at work and people complained about me (no one has ever complained about me before as I consider myself a model employee) and I bummed a cigarette and that was that. I have been quitting off and on every other week since last July. I have been in continuous withdrawal. I have been trying to tell myself that I enjoy smoking - but something happened. I stopped loving it! I could not believe it. I hated the smell, the addiction, etc. but I still thought it was cool to smoke. In February of 2002, after quit number 20 or so, I started getting sore throats and nausea whenever I took even one puff. I had also become fairly successful at being a social smoker. Or, so I thought. Finally, almost a year from when I first started to quit - I am back at Freedom and I am so happy to be here. I no longer want to smoke. I no longer think it is cool. I get nauseous whenever I am near the entrance to my work building and I am near the smokers. I can't believe I used to go out in sub-zero temperatures on my breaks to have a cigarette. I stunk up my upstairs spare bedroom again. My car stank again. My breath stank and the pain was horrible. I firmly believe that I became allergic to cigarettes!!! Thank you God. The memory of the painful throat at the end keeps me from taking another puff. And in all probability, I would not have stayed a social smoker. I am an addict. I now know that I have hopefully saved my life and certainly lengthened it my quitting. I am happy, relaxed most of the time and did not go through the horrible withdrawal that I did last year. I believe I was finally ready and that God is removing my compulsion to smoke. I plan to join Nicotine Anonymous as I very much believe in 12 step programs - as I am a member or Al-Anon. I am free from tobacco finally and I feel very thankful and blessed. Everyone is right, I'll be fine as long as I never take another puff.

Dawnie 2 weeks, 4 days
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Ladybird is Gold
Ladybird is Gold

March 19th, 2002, 9:51 am #17

I am glad you brought this up originally Joel. A thread requiring a lot of thinking! During the last month I have had fleeting thoughts of past unsuccessful quits & I have quickly pushed them from my mind so as not to sway the confidence of this quit. As a matter of fact the last quit I had (the only one I really can call a quit) was in February 2000 & I did it with Zyban. I lasted until May 2000 when I went on a business trip, bought "cheap" cigarettes for my husband (how ironic & maddening that I bought them because I thought they were cheap & the carton ended up costing me about 15 cigarettes a day or more for the next 2 years!!) I then decided that I should let myself smoke, but just a couple that night with my dear smoker friend (as a favour to her?? lol) & just while I was away from home. The trip home was grim. I recall being on the flight with a headache (enhanced by the stink coming off my jacket), a sore throat, & worst of all an emotional hangover. It was Mother's Day when I arrived home & I could hardly face my mom, let alone consider telling her I had failed! I let go of a 3 month quit & my stinking thinking led me to think once my quit was tarnished, it was just as well it was dented too, so I smoked after that just to psych myself up for the deprivation I was considering going through again. I became a closet smoker (hiding from my family) from that day. Turns out I put the next quit off from May 2000 until February 10, 2002 - my start day of this LAST QUIT!!
The really ironic thing for me is that on Thursday I am going on a business trip to the same place (the home of "cheap"cigarettes . . . lol). This time I know I can never take another puff for any reason, with anyone, in any place, at any time. I just think if there was ever a recipe I believed would add up to be a "just one" situation it was that one . . . being away from home, without my brand, with a long quit behind me & with everyone home knowing I was quit (I figured I could just resume it when I got home). I was wrong then & I know that because I went back to being a full fledged smoker that day . . . I will again if I ever believe that again. I live ever day now believing I have smoked my last cigarette 1 month, 1 week & 1 day ago. I will never take another puff because I chose not to. That was then, this is NOW. I value my life much more.
Susan
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casey
casey

March 19th, 2002, 8:35 pm #18

Hi,
I smoked 17 years. I thought I would never be able to quit untill I found this site.I am 31 years old and I have been quit for 1year and 3months:) I don't post very often but I do come and read at the site to keep my quit strong. I realize that I am an addict. I tell myself every day that "I'm Not Going To Smoke Today". It works for me. My husband and my mother quit after I did and they are still quit. That motivates my quit also. Even if they would start again I would not. I feel the health benefits from not smoking. My smoking cough went away and my skin looks so good now. I am very grateful for this site. It saved my life. Thank You
Never Take Another Puff!
Casey 1year3months
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childofnite GOLD.ffn
childofnite GOLD.ffn

March 20th, 2002, 5:29 am #19

Hi Dawnie, nice to see you again. I'm glad you decided to come back to Freedom. It takes a lot of guts to come back after defeat, and I commend you. Just remember that you have to put all you have into your quits. Give it 100%, and I'm sure you'll do fine!

I just wanted to try to clarify some things in your post:
"And in all probability, I would not have stayed a social smoker"
That is the understatement of the millenia, my dear. If you addicted, you can never become a social smoker. You were still an addict, you were just not getting your full compliment of nicotine, hence the constant withdrawal. Social smokers (and they are extrememely rare, you know) are NOT addicted.

"I believe I was finally ready and that God is removing my compulsion to smoke." As John always says, God is always welcome here at Freedom, but you must take responsibility for your quit and for your success. None of us here should ever rely too heavily on anyone for this. I'm sure God is smiling down on you for doing this most wonderful thing for yourself, but He is not going to do the work for you.

"I plan to join Nicotine Anonymous as I very much believe in 12 step programs - as I am a member or Al-Anon. I am free from tobacco finally and I feel very thankful and blessed." In my own opinion, if you feel that Nicotine Anonymous can help you, please do it! However, also keep in mind this VERY important fact: Nicotine Anonymous, although named after Alcoholics Anonymous, and other such programs, it does NOT adhere to the most important principle in the Law of Addiction, and that is: When you are addicted to a substance, you can NEVER readminister it in any form if you wish to become clean. NA advocates the use of NRT, and I'm sure as you know, we do NOT.

In addition, when one really stops and thinks about this incredibly important point, does Alcoholics Anonymous tell participants to carry a flask, or to drink light beer if they have a craving? Or do drug rehab programs tell the junkie to carry a needle around with them if a 'tough time' ever happens by? The answer is NO, because they understand the law of addiction. Nicotine Anonymous does not seem to completely understand this, but we do - and that's what we're here for. Just wanted to be sure you made an informed decision.

"Everyone is right, I'll be fine as long as I never take another puff." And may I add: Or chew, or patch, or lick, or sip... Basically, never readminister nicotine in ANY of its devious forms, and you're all set, Dawnie!

Yqs, Diana
7 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS, 1 DAY following that very same rule.
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Joel
Joel

March 25th, 2002, 3:43 am #20

I borrowed this post from Rachel. Her father's experience fits this string very well.

From: Nevada Gal Sent: 3/24/2002 11:46 AM
I finally told my dad I quit smoking today. This is a huge step for me because I was not going to tell him until I was sure I could do it, and he has always been so bothered that I smoke. Yet he never hounded me about it. And I never smoked in front of him.

Well, he decided to tell me that he smoked for 18 years (I was born when he was 40, so I am assuming this was over by the time I was born). I am kindof shocked!! He also told me his quit story. He also had an easy time of quitting. He made the decision and stuck with it without much problem. About two months into his quit he said it got very hard for him, but he made it through. And 4 years later he had just one! And it took him 2 1/2 years to quit again! I really took this to heart since our early quits sound so similar. I wanted to write this out in case I need a reminder later on... He is a great inspiration for me since his age and health are something to aspire towards!!

Everyday is getting better for me, and now I feel like telling everybody that I quit!! (I have held out because I was afraid of failing again). I don't think I will worry about that any more because today I am not going to smoke, and tomorrow will take care of itself...

rachel

One week, two days, 9 hours, 44 minutes and 27 seconds. 94 cigarettes not smoked, saving $6.11. Life saved: 7 hours, 50 minutes.
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Joel
Joel

April 11th, 2002, 4:29 am #21

A funny thing happened in my current clinic. Only one person had a really past longer term quit--6 years I think. Usually a high percentage of the group have these past experiences to learn from each other from. Thought this string would be beneficial to bring up for these people--as well as all the rest of the members.

Joel
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Joel
Joel

April 21st, 2002, 10:52 pm #22

For Probe:

I thought she may like to add her past experiences to this one.
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Joel
Joel

April 26th, 2002, 8:33 am #23

For Carolyn
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Joel
Joel

May 16th, 2002, 7:41 pm #24

It was pretty interesting that in last night group, one man had once quit for 6 months, one woman for five days , one girl who was 17 had once tried to quit for two days, and one man who has smoked for 40 years had never tried to quit before. Normally in groups they get to witness more lost long-term quits to learn from--that did not happen here. So in the event that the four people read here, I am bringing up some post specific to this issue--that no matter how long a person is off they will lose their quit if they don't understand the bottom line law of addiction that to stay smoke free you must never take another puff!

Joel

Make sure to click here to see the original posts to this thread.
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Joel
Joel

May 19th, 2002, 6:56 am #25

For Cando
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Cando (Green)
Cando (Green)

May 21st, 2002, 9:35 pm #26

These posts are interesting. It is amazing how many different types quits and relapses happen.

I had a 10 year quit going up to about 2 years ago. During these 2 years of smoking I have been very depressed about my inability to quit again. I really screwed up because during my long quit, I always felt that eventually I would start up smoking again. It was my own stupid way of quitting. Telling myself that basically do yourself a favor and quit for a while because you can smoke later in life when your lungs have cleaned up. Really a pretty stupid way to quit and now I realize it is because I didn't take the time to learn about the addiction. I didn't realize how much I hated the control cigs had over me. Right after starting up again I realized that I like being a non-smoker more than a smoker. But it was to late, I was hooked again. I tryed quitting numerous times. My wife even started up again and she had also quit for 10 years. She is now struggling with the addiction and is not even trying at this time. I just know I did not quit the right way the last time and plan to do a better job of it this time. I want to set a good example for my wife and kids. I want to quit forever. I used to think about starting up again when I retire. Crazy thoughts because I know right after the first cig I would be tryng to quit again.

Dan, 8 day quit going now!
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Joel
Joel

June 6th, 2002, 8:02 pm #27

I have a rather large clinic going this week and have not had a lot of time to cover the board. On the first night when I asked who in the group had past quits that had lasted a year or longer, probably about 20 people had raised their hands. When I started asking what were the lengths of time, we found four people who had quits lasting longer than 10 years. One was a thirteen year quit and one was a 20 year quit--all lost to taking a puff one day. I am not sure what is up with these two women, they were not at last nights meeting. This generally is not a good sign. It is imperative that every ex-smoker remembers to keep a quit going--for no matter how long a person quits for proving that he or she has the ability to quit and stay quit for appreciable period of times, there is no guarantee that if a person loses his or her quit that he or she will ever have the strength or ability to pull it off again. Stay focused on the fact that the only way to guarantee your ability to stay smoke free for a lifetime is always remembering to never take another puff!

Joel
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blondie (green )
blondie (green )

June 6th, 2002, 8:10 pm #28

Hi Joel,
I've been rereading posts reaffirming my committment to not smoking. Having some ups and downs. As I read your post from this morning something occurred to me.

I've never tried to quit before. This is my first attempt. Now that I've gone through this (and it really hasn't been easy for me) I don't know if I'd be able to do it again. It has taken all of my resolve and strength to stay smokefree or should I say nicotene free for 27 days now. If I were to take a puff, I'm not sure I'd be able to do this again.

When I first quit I wondered how people could ever start smoking again once they had successfully quit for a period of time. I HAD NO IDEA WHAT THIS ADDICTION WAS REALLY LIKE.

It is absolutely frightening to know that we are so controlled by this substance. i can sure see now how easy it is to give in and have a smoke. Easier than fighting. Easier than staying quit. Easier than being patient and waiting out the withdrawal and adjustments. But, then that means we are slowly killing ourselves. How stupid to think that slowly killing yourself is easier than choosing to be healthy. SCARY.

I think for the first time i really understand what you mean by:

To stay free simply NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF.

Thanks Joel.
Ruth
27 days now
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MareBear GOLD
MareBear GOLD

June 27th, 2002, 11:10 pm #29

Joel, this is such a great thread! Chock-full of information. If it makes anyone a bit uncomfortable, then it's working! I saw myself in most of the posts.
I must say I've never truly quit before. My body has not been 100% nicotine-free since I was a teenager. My previous failures were all due to my ignorance of the law of addiction. I kept cigarettes around "just in case!" DUH!! So, of course, I smoked them, then bought more, "just in case." The last time I quit unsuccessfully was in March of this year, with my doctor's advice to take Wellbutrin (Zyban) and the nicotine inhaler (I just did the Wellbutrin). I kept a pack in the fridge and smoked one every night. One soon became two, then three, etc. etc. and even though I said after that pack I was done, I wasn't. The Wellbutrin had some unpleasant side effects and I stopped taking it, which in my junkie mind was the same as saying, oh well, might as well buy a carton. I found Freedom about a month into the relapse and smoked my last cigarette EVER on May 28, 2002. Yep, tomorrow I'll be GREEN! I can't wait to post that one tomorrow!
MareBear
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angieoo9
angieoo9

July 17th, 2002, 10:12 pm #30

My last and only previous quit was 8 years ago from Jan 1st 1994 - June 1994. 6 months of pure ****. How i held on i will never know! Awful cravings all day every day (or so it seemed) I remember thinking at 4 months quit that my god do the craves never end! On and on and on. Then i did find calmness, eventually. I got overconfident, I thought I had done it, i was a non smoker, hey I can now have a **** just when i go out for a drink, i will be a social smoker!!! 6 months quit down the drain! After one night of smoking, the next day i had 5 ****, three days later back to 30 a day again, how stupid. Hadn't got the balls to try again, until now 8 years later. And this quit is so much calmer, i am educating myself, and understanding that to keep your quit is a basic rule of never take another puff!
From Angie
One month, five days, 16 hours, 12 minutes and 35 seconds. 1070 cigarettes not smoked, saving £133.78. Life saved: 3 days, 17 hours, 10 minutes.
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SammymnGOLD
SammymnGOLD

July 24th, 2002, 2:58 am #31

Thanks for keeping this post active! I know in my heart that had I been aware of this site BEFORE I blew a SEVEN YEAR QUIT, that it would now be a 15 year quit. Yep, that's right, I quit for seven years, ran like the wind, raced 6 and 10 mile races, was in the best shape of my life and then, NAIVELY believed that I could take just one puff from a friend of mine when we were out together. I literally puffed off her cigarette; didn't even light my own, that night. But you all know how this story ended, one puff led to a near pack a day cigarette habit and nary a quit attempt for seven years. Needless to say, running was inconsistent with my addict lifestyle so notwithstanding the fact that I loved it, I gave it up with not even a sideways glance.

It took me SEVEN long years to generate enough oumph to do this, and I know now that there is never going to be a safe level of tobacco usage for this addict.

Sam (18 days, 14 hours, 57 minutes into the fight for reclaiming my life).
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Juanjuanjuanjuanjuan200
Juanjuanjuanjuanjuan200

July 24th, 2002, 4:48 am #32

INTRODUCING interNATIONAL CHAMPION OF FAILED QUITS: OF FAILURES
25 years of smoking.

had one 3year quit
3 three months quit
Numerous 2 or 3 day quits.

2 or 3 years of a three cigarrettes a day So called quit.

Tried everything:
patches, inhalers, chewing gums, chew tobacco, acupucture, hypnosis, machine

cold turkeys, slow one: arrive seven times to a 1 cigarrette a day attempts and then relapse into my 20 cigarrettes a day Dies Irae.

can you beat me?

Juan
I have been Quit for: 1M 1W 5D 18h 25m 2s. I have NOT smoked 875, for a savings of $131.30. Life Saved: 3D 55m. This one will hold for today.
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Joel
Joel

August 12th, 2002, 6:29 pm #33

Do we have members who have lost quits in the past? Sure we do, here are my of them talking about it. But they know that things are different now--not because their current quits are longer than their past one, for they are clearly not. It is different now because they understand addiction this time around--they clearly know what they are fighting. They are not fighting a million cigarettes, a thousand, a case of cigarettes, a carton, a pack or even just one cigarette. They are fighting a puff and the battle line is drawn clearly in the sand for them. They could blow this quit whenever they want or they can stay successfully smoke free as long as they stay one hundred percent committed to never take another puff!

Joel
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CdnpheonixGold
CdnpheonixGold

August 12th, 2002, 11:19 pm #34

Thanks for bringing this up Joel.

About 8 years ago I had quit for over a year and I "puffed it".

I started out on the patch, but after two weeks I quit using it. I worked out all the time. I hiked, biked, swam, did arobics videos, changed my eating habits etc, etc. I was truly a health freak. Over the course of a year I must of lost close to 50# and I wasn't smoking! I celebrated my anniversary of my quit with pride! Then about a week later . . . it happened.

You know, the usual story, out with friends, uneducated "quitter", overconfident, thought I could have "Just one" . . .

Well here I am again. This is my 3rd quit since Jan 1, 2000 but this time I have FREEDOM!! As long as I don't forget that I'm an ADDICT and I'm A PUFF AWAY FROM 30 A DAY, I'll be fine! That one puff terrifies me. I don't ever want to forget to
NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!

YQS
C
NOT A PUFF for 2W 5D 12h 40m 46s and counting. That's 585 cigarettes I didn't buy or smoke for a savings of $102.52.
ps. Could have been 8+ years if not for 1 little puff.
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Joel
Joel

August 12th, 2002, 11:37 pm #35

That is why this quit is going to be your last quit Cdnpheonix. As long as you recognize the addiction and its treatment you will succeed. When you treat and addiction as an addiction you will stay in control of it--its when you try to treat an addiction as a bad habit that you don't stand a prayer. To stay in control of the nicotine addiction is no m ore complicated than always remembering to never administer to your body nicotine via any source or simply stated for cigarettes to always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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