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We have no problem with our members learning from each other's past relapses. We are just making it impossible for them to learn from the future relapse of any member. You are right that other programs recognize that relapses happen to people with drug addictions. We know people relapse too. We just don't see it as a natural or more importantly, an inevitable event. Our post Is Relapse a Natural Part of the Addiction Process? addresses this concept. Here is our comment from that string that points out that we are coming from a different slant on this issue.
Most other boards, and in fact most professional programs and nicotine addiction experts see relapsing as a normal part of the addiction process. In a way we are out on a limb here at Freedom. We don't accept relapse as a normal process of addiction. We see a relapse as a natural process of not understanding and/or accepting ones own addiction. For if the true implication of a relapse is understood, any sane and recovering addict would choose not to relapse.
Every recovering nicotine addict here has the tools in place not to relapse, which is why he or she is a recovering addict now and not an active user. He or she understands full well, up to this point in time that he or she could not control quantity of cigarettes or duration of the relapse. If nicotine is readministered, the relapse will take on a life of its own, and has the full potential of taking your life in the process.
If you keep that understanding and keep in practice our one simple principle, a relapse is not going to be a natural occurrence and in fact, a relapse is going to be an impossibility. For as long as you follow one simple principal, you will never be able to go back to smoking. The principle, is just remembering if you want to keep control of your addiction never take another puff!
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Feb 20 13 2:55 PM
We must apologize for an incident that happened this morning. Around 1:00 a.m. there was a post put up by a member who had joined back in June, relapsed in November and who had just quit again a few weeks ago. The reason I felt the need to apologize was the post remained on the board for almost five hours before a manager got by to see it and remove it. Even a newer member wrote she was confused by the post since she was under the impression that we had a relapse policy that immediately removes a person's membership when they relapse.
I feel there are four things that need to be explained regarding this incident. First, why was the post up for five hours. A number of our managers are in fact light sleepers. Often we wake up do a quick check of the board, make sure things are in order and go back to sleep. There are days though where all four of us actually sleep through the night and a post like this may not be seen. That is what happened here which is why the post stayed up as long as it did.
The second explanation needed is why the person was a member after he or she relapsed back in November. The reason for this is that we had no way to know that the member had relapsed for you see, the particular member never posted at our board once since joining. Do we have people who are on our member lists who may be smoking? I am sure we do, but we cannot act on these people until we know about it.
The third thing I want to explain is how senseless it was for the particular person to have joined back in January. There was absolutely no reason for the person to have joined back then, considering that after he or she joined, he or she never posted once. There is only one reason for a person to join up at Freedom--because he or she wants to post on the board. Non-members have full access to everything we have to offer at Freedom except the ability to post. As was quite evident in this incident, the person never posted. If he or she simply stuck around our board to read from June to November, relapsed, quit again this January, realized that maybe becoming a posting member could help his or her quit, he or she could have simply joined up for the first time. Instead by handling it the way he or she did, the person lost all ability to ever be a posting member again. This was a wasted opportunity for this person.
The last thing I want to point out from this incident is that the person very likely did any reading during the time he or she was a member. I am assuming this because of how the person titled his or her one and only post. It was titled, Nicodemon and I. It also had the term "nicodemon" in the body of the letter. Considering the fact that every single time the term "Nicodemon" has been written on the board since last June, 26 times in all, the post Once and for all, there is no Nicodemon has been kicked up. The fact that the person still had the belief of the legitimacy of that term, as well as no understanding of our relapse policy make it pretty clear that he or she did very little reading while at Freedom.
Recently we implemented a new last step in our application process. We are sending out our rules and regulations, relapse policy, our definition of cold turkey quitting and requiring that all applicants submit a response to us that they fully understand all of these terms and will abide to all of the rules. The reason we make it so difficult to get in is that we want to make sure we are getting the right people in at Freedom, or maybe more accurately, that we are getting people in at the right time in their quits and in their lives. The person involved in this incident obviously joined at the wrong time and it cost the person any chance of ever getting in again.
Back in June the person submitted an application saying he or she read the relapse policy, the courtesy and rules, and quit cold turkey. He or she got in the right words yet apparently read nothing of the rules. Again, this lack of understanding was his or her loss. We are trying to minimize the chances of this happening again.
If you are a new reader seeing Freedom for the first time, read and learn all you can here before you join. Even if you are off for days or weeks now, familiarize yourself with out materials. Make sure we are the right group for you and make sure that you are ready to commit to make this quit last forever. Whether you ever join up or not is not important, but learning all that you can to secure your reasons for having quit is crucial to your quit and may be crucial to your health and your life.
If you are already a member and didn't understand our Rules and Courtesies before, or our relapse policies, please go back and read them now. They are important at helping you to keep your membership as well as your quit.
The more you read and learn here at Freedom and at www.whyquit.com, the stronger your resolve will always stay to stick to the commitment that you made when you joined or should have made to yourself even if you never joined to never take another puff!
As per our relapse rules, the post from the member was pulled and the person's membership was deleted. As our rules clearly say:
RELAPSE PERMANENTLY REVOKES POSTING PRIVILEGES - Members are limited to one Freedom membership per lifetime. See Freedom's Relapse Policy.
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