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Discussion, comments and links related to Joel Spitzer's cold turkey quit smoking videos

There is no legitimate reason to relapse

Video explains how that under any conditions, even those of catastrophic stress or loss, there is no real legitimate reason to take a cigarette. Following are links to several articles and videos that extensively explores this principle.

Related commentaries from the Freedom from Nicotine board

We are a board dedicated to one simple premise. There is no legitimate reason to relapse. Some people may not like this premise. Some may feel that if the most tragic thing in the world imaginable were to occur, smoking would be understandable. Well, if a person relapses under such a tragedy would the rest of us understand. In fact, yes we would. We would understand perfectly what happened.

We would understand that the person who just went through a horrible life tragedy has just compounded his or her problem by thinking that somehow relapsing to a drug that will slowly cripple him or her, cost him or her a small fortune over the rest of his or her life, will make him or her a more nervous and sadder person for the rest of his or her life, and will likely eventually kill him or her. Do we feel bad for the person for the original problem? Sure we do. But the fact is every person on this board has past, present and will face future life tragedies.

But every person on this board has to recognize that no matter what the stress, smoking cannot solve it. All smoking will do is cause another problem, in many ways a bigger problem than the problem that led the ex-smoker to take relapse. While it may sound heartless to say a bigger problem, if the problem were a loss of a child, spouse, parent, sibling, or even a close friend, the bottom line is smoking can cause the death of you.

That is going to leave your parents, wife, husband, siblings, friends and everyone else you know facing the same feelings of loss and disruption. Do you want any of these people to relapse to drug addiction when you die? If on your death bed would you pass out cigarettes to your children who are ex-smokers, heroin to your siblings who are a recovering addicts, bottles of booze to your parents who have been successfully off drinking for decades? Would you say to them, "Well I am going now, you may all want to consider taking this stuff, I understand how upset you must be."

There are only two legitimate reason to relapse. One, you want to go back to smoking until it cripples then kills you or two, you enjoy withdrawal so much you never want it to end. If this is the case just take one puff every third day, withdrawal will last forever.

Any other reason you take it is not legitimate, and thinking that it is will only undercut your ability to ever quit and stay off for over life other things will happen. If one tragedy is a good reason, so will the next one be. To have to explain this to each and every members specific past life tragedy would tie the board up. It would in fact become a diversion to what everyone is here for. To focus on not smoking today.

We must remember the past, and hopefully learn from it. But the lesson had better be the real understanding that a past relapse was a mistake, a big mistake, one that if not undone now in itself will be a tragedy. If the lesson is anything else, that relapse was the biggest mistake you ever made in your life, one that in fact one day will cost you your life. Don't get caught up in the mind games of a legitimate relapse. Instead, learn from the past and prepare yourself to face the future, no matter what it holds with your full commitment and resolve to never take another puff!


We understand why you relapsed

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!


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© Joel Spitzer 2018
Reformatted 07/08/18 by John R. Polito