The title says it all! This journey leads to comfort for all of us. As it does, the seriousness of the site and the tremendous focus maintained here will gradually evolve from being exactly what you needed during Glory Week to exactly what you don't need as comfortable and relaxed ex-smokers. It almost a paradox. The sign on the door says "Freedom from [Nicotine]" but once you grow into a somewhat relaxed ex-smoker it's natural to want it the sign on the door to read "Freedom to Relax, Let Our Hair Down a Bit, Loosen Up and Have a Bit of Fun!" "The path was long, at times intense, we made lots of friends along the way and now we just want to tone things down a bit!" It's normal for oldbies to feel like things are just too structured - because for many of them they truly are!
Freedom is a unique blend of education and support but almost all of us see our education mission as coming first. In fact it must, for without a solid quit education our success at supporting an uneducated member is in serious doubt.
We recently had a couple of posts posted at Freedom that had nothing whatsoever to do with quitting smoking. In response Joel reminded members that non-smoking related posts were not appropriate at Freedom. A couple of our oldbies were not happy with this position even though we made it as clear as possible that if it's quit related it's fine and that if ANY member EVER feels that their quit is in trouble, to post their heart out! That's what we're here for!
Our content rules are simple - if it's a recovery related post, it's fine - if not, then it is not acceptable! And
recovery is pretty broad to include all member recovery related posts, milestone threads, daily stat parades, tobacco/nicotine medical articles and studies
(please get stories and links approved by a manager first), relapse prevention, and every other subject covered by the titles of Freedom's message boards,
including youth prevention!
Also we don't use Freedom to engage in opinion debates regardless of the topic. Debate divides people and creates teams. All are needed if today's mission of helping each member and visitor remain nicotine free is to succeed. If members have a question or want to express an opinion then all the managers' email addresses are available at the click of a mouse. You may not like the answer but it will be honest and frank.
We understand the desire to socialize and to want Freedom to relax things a bit as you move along but we refuse to let it happen. Each new arrival deserves the same deadly serious forum that existed when we arrived. Many here understand the comfort development concept and the growing desire to share some relaxing time with those who made the journey with them, but they don't appreciate the fact that the rebellious spirit is a normal development (almost like teens who feel the need to move out and get away from mom and dad's house rules). We'd love for nothing more than to shut Freedom down for the weekend and take all of our members out to the beach, a movie or for a Hot Fudge Sunday, but for every comfortable oldbie Freedom graduates we have a Glory Week newbie walking through the front door. We can't leave!
When the time comes where any member's recovery evolves to the point that they feel that Freedom is simply too strict in
staying on message then there is absolutely no reason why they can't spread their wings, take some time away from Freedom, or find an online place that is
designed for socialization, and maybe even invite their Freedom friend along with them. It isn't necessary to disrupt Freedom's focus or try and burn
the house down just because you're ready to enjoy your new life. We want our Oldbies around but not if they're growing hostile to their confines.
You can always come back and post when you need your batteries recharged or you feel like sharing your vast library of recovery wisdom with Freedom's next generation of newbies. It isn't necessary to say things that can't be taken back in order to justify your departure. or your displeasure with the tremendous focus we will continue to maintain. We're not like any other site, it's by choice and we each knew it from day one!
We're far from perfect and we know it. We make mistakes now and then and we know it. It's extremely easy to find fault with all of us and the longer we're around each other the more human we each become. Out of respect for Freedom and the education and support this forum has provided you, we ask that as your recovery matures into comfort and you begin to find the structure here at Freedom too confining that you act in a mature manner that ensures that all new arrivals will be able to enjoy the same life saving message that Glory Week shared with you!
If you have any comments or criticism that you'd like to share please DO NOT post it to this message but email it to us instead. Our new members deserve a tranquil site and each of you know that we don't tolerate disruption. We did it for you, we do it for them! Thanks!