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Short Stories & Collections > Quitters, Inc.-NS

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message 1: by Angie, Constant Reader (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angie | 2528 comments Mod
Discuss this story here!

Kandice | 3876 comments This is one o fmy favorite stories of his...ever! It's absolutely chilling because it is so true. How many of us have been addicted to something, or loved someone who was? I know there have been times in my life I've loved someone enough to lose a finger to improve their quality of life. I've also loved many people enough to shape the hell up if they were in danger if I did not!

Nothing supernatural...just love. This is why he's the KING!

message 3: by Angie, Constant Reader (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angie | 2528 comments Mod
I would be so mad if my significant other made me get involved in this type of situation! I mean the wives in the story don't even seem to have a choice. Humm... maybe I don't love my husband enough? ? ?? ? ? ??

Kandice | 3876 comments Ha ha! I think part of what makes it less believable or realistic to you, is that EVERYONE used to smoke. I remember, as a child, the pediatrician having a cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth during my checkup. Because this story was written around that time, it was believable that it could take something this drastic to get someone to quit.

I don't find it as believable that it could work, or that I would be quite so forgiving if it was the weight issue.

message 5: by Angie, Constant Reader (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angie | 2528 comments Mod
Well that is true.. the only people I know now who smoked are my parents. Who smoked for 30 some years and finally quit in 2007. Everyone that I do know who smokes supposedly only smokes when they out to the club/bar.

Kandice | 3876 comments That's what dates the story a bit. I don't think, as a society, we are as addictive as we used to be. We're better educated, informed, savvy, whatever, and really want to be healthy. In the past, people really didn't know. If you don't know or believe it's bad for you, what can make you quit? King thinks...

message 7: by Angie, Constant Reader (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angie | 2528 comments Mod
I guess that's true. Maybe I would feel different if I knew someone who had a real addiction. To alcohol, drugs, porn, whatever is out there. Right now I am not willing to lose a finger!

Betsy Boo (betsyboo) | 195 comments Gosh...I remember the dentist smoking while he was checking my teeth. And this is how old I am...I remember kids being allowed to smoke in my college classes.
Regarding the story, I have no doubt that there are people who couldn't quit unless they were forced to this way.

Kandice | 3876 comments I remember a smoking section, by the bleachers, at my high school. Pretty sad. I can not stand the smell of cigarettes now. How in the world did I function as a child?

Bondama (kerensa) | 868 comments Having been a smoker (in what feels like a previous life, but isn't!) I remember thinking during one of my many unsuccessful attempts that "Quitters, Inc." was about the ONLY way I was going to succeed!!

And, Kandice, if we are not "as addictive as we used to be" how is it that America is the single most lucrative market for drugs? And the demand rises every single day.

Kandice | 3876 comments I guess I didn't phrase that as well as I should have. We are not as "openly" addicitve as we used to be. I remember as a child, it seemed everyone smoked pot, did coke, drank tons, in addition to smoking. It seems that now, our adicitions are much more secretive. Smoking was a very open, public addiction. Drugs are not.

Bondama (kerensa) | 868 comments This is true, the seventies and eighties WERE far more open about drugs (including alcohol - which, because it's legal, still remains open) - Sadly, just going out of public sight does not mean that addiction is waning.

Kandice | 3876 comments Again, I agree with you. I just didn't phrase it correctly. We aren't less addictive, we are simply more secretive about our addictions.

message 14: by Angie, Constant Reader (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angie | 2528 comments Mod
I hear quitting smoking is like quitting heroin. And that seems scary to me!

message 15: by Bondama (last edited Sep 03, 2009 02:50PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bondama (kerensa) | 868 comments In his autobiography, Malcom X states very, very plainly that he has quit heroin, drinking and smoking. Smoking was BY FAR the hardest!!

Bondama (kerensa) | 868 comments Rob, it's at the point now where I don't think that anyone who smokes does NOT realize that they're a death trap. But, they are so, so unbelievably hard to quit -- I tried a new medication, but as soon as I stopped taking it, the urge was right back with me. I've fought it off for so long, but I have no illusions anymore that I'll "never smoke again!!"

rishi adil (vicious1989) | 7 comments i love the book there evan a movie on it

message 18: by Angie, Constant Reader (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angie | 2528 comments Mod
I am so glad I never started smoking. One reason is both my parents smoked and I thought it stunk so bad. I remember riding in the car holding my coat over my mouth to try to filter the smoke out. This was before parents didn't smoke around their kids.

Bondama (kerensa) | 868 comments Angie -- I do agree with you - Sadly, I am obviously of an "older generation" than a lot of you -- SK & I are 3 mos apart. At any rate, if you've read about his struggle to quit his various "vices," you know that smoking was one of them. For me as well. I haven't smoked for three years, but I have to admit, with Rob, that not a day goes by but that I DO want a cigarette -- health problems and all the other baggage aside, nicotine is one BAAAAD drug!

rishi adil (vicious1989) | 7 comments well my parents don't smoke but i do
it's a persnol chioce and angie u should have told how u felt

Bondama (kerensa) | 868 comments rishi wrote: angie u should have told how u felt"

Uh, Rishi, I think Angie did.

message 22: by Lori (last edited Sep 08, 2009 11:36AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lori (barfield) Rishi the movies called Cats Eye. If someone put me in that predicament it would be a bad day. I started smoking when i was 14teen cigarettes & weed. Up to a pack and a half a day, & half an oz a week. I have 3 daughters and each time the doc said i was pregnant i threw them away and no weed. Before i left the hospital i had both. I decided two and a half years ago to stop smoking weed, so i did. Six months ago i decided to stop smoking cigarettes i did. No one can believe it, but it's true. I was sick of the price of both. When i started smoking weed it was 40bucks an oz of killer shit, now you pay 300bucks for killer shit. Cigarettes were .45cents a pack now their what 5.00bucks a pack. When i used to go to school i'd stop by the store and get a pack of Marlboro reds, a MtDew, and a three Musketeers, and get back a dime out of a dollar. They didn't ask for ID. I walked with friends and we would stay across the street till the bell rang at another store,and smoke both. You could hear the bell a mile away. I personally don't bye this shit of having to have help quitting smoking or anything else. You didn't have help starting, if you want it bad enough you'll stop by yourself. Don't be weekwilled. Like Nikey said just do it. I had to go to drug class once, and they kept calling weed a disease and a gate way drug. Me i said bullshit to both. If your weekwilled your going to do all kinds of stuff, drugs,steal,drank,rape, murder well you get the picture. I argued that cancer, aids, coronary, are diseases, not smoking weed. No i don't think i'd be happy if someone cut my finger off cause my honey didn't want to stop smoking.

LinBee I'm glad I myself never started. Both my parents smoked, and I remember my mom quitting. She had a hard time, but she did it. My father never could. He smoked on top of the patch...but he had an addictive personality...cigs, beer, etc. So, I saw that and never started. Sure, I tried 1 cig, and that was that. Never touched them again.

My father-in-law smoked. He had his first heart attack, smoked his last cig before we left for the hospital. Never touched them again either. He had no help really, just decided enough was enough.

Back to the story, I can't imagine putting my family through something like this. If my husband did that to me...well, let's just say he would be missing a few things. (Maybe a finger or two.)

message 24: by Angie, Constant Reader (last edited Sep 09, 2009 08:56AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angie | 2528 comments Mod
Bondama wrote: "rishi wrote: angie u should have told how u felt"

Uh, Rishi, I think Angie did.

I mean this was the days when parents smoked in the house... once I was a teen my parents smoked in the garage. So this was in the 80s and as I understand people really didn't care about second hand smoke. You could smoke on planes in resturants... so my parents probably just thought I thought it stunk. Which it did, they weren't really thinking it was KILLING me!
As far as weed being a gateway drug I am not sure about that. It wasn't for me, but for one of my friends from high school... boy after weed it was all downhill from there. And I am SERIOUS. I am surprised sometimes he is still alive! But is his body just made that way? Or did weed make him crave a better drug? I don't know.

message 25: by Lori (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lori (barfield) Some people are just weak. Weak in mind & body. I should know 30years of weed didn't lead to crack, cocaine, heroin, pill popping, or alcohol abuse. When it comes to drugs i'm strong of mind. But food that's a different story. I'v fought my whole life with this. 120 for a few years then back up to, well lets just say i'm now two people in one body. Down & up, up & down. Weakness! But i wouldn't put my friends & family on the chopping block. Hell they would run out of fingers.

Bondama (kerensa) | 868 comments Lori wrote: " Some people are just weak. Weak in mind & body.

Lori, addiction has absolutely nothing to do with being weak. You can pat yourself on the back all you want, but the simple fact is, your genetic code simply did not contain a prelediction towards substance abuse. So, too, does liking to being "in control" have very little to do with the same problem. Those poor people who do abuse drugs and/or alcohol don't have any choice in the matter, after a certain point. If you've ever seen research photos of the brains of abusers and non-abusers, their brains are constructed very, very differently. The MRI pics are astonishing.

Bonita (NMBonita) Do you wonder if S.K. was making a statement that smoking kills our loved ones? I think he was just writing out the frustrations of how damned hard it is to quit. His wife most likely was on to him for wasting all that money. "The literal burning of money," she said. I'm sorry guys, but I have to say, I love my coffee and cigarettes and have no desire to quit. Although I did love the idea of a secretive business that follows you around for life - now that's creepy.

message 28: by Tom (new)

Tom Mueller | 305 comments Thanks Bondama.
Speaking as a recovering alcoholic and addict, it is not an issue of control whatsoever.

Bondama wrote: "Lori wrote: " Some people are just weak. Weak in mind & body.

Lori, addiction has absolutely nothing to do with being weak. You can pat yourself on the back all you want, but the simple fact is,..."

Betsy Boo (betsyboo) | 195 comments Very true, Tom. One of the first steps toward recovery is admitting that you're powerless over your addiction...the exact opposite of control. I'm suprised that in this day and age people still think it's simply a matter of just putting your mind to it. Sort of like the religious types who tell you the reason your life is messed up is because you aren't praying hard enough.

message 30: by Angie, Constant Reader (last edited Sep 10, 2009 08:54AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angie | 2528 comments Mod
I disagree about weed not being addictive. I have a friend who just will not quit.. but they always say they can quit any day... they don't have to do it. They went on vacation to come and see me and we can't have illegal drugs around because of my husbands job (background checks, polygraphs). I made sure they knew that yet they still smoked. Yes they left and pretended like they had to go to the store. But came back smelling like weed. If you can't give up weed for 4 days of vacation then to me it is addiction of some kind.

King himself has admitted to having addictions.

Bondama (kerensa) | 868 comments Angie, when you say King has admitted having addictions, to me he's done a hell of a lot more than just "admit" -- Have you not read his journal of agony about quitting not just smoking, not just cocaine, but also drinking, which was particularly hard on him. And then, we he was nearly killed, he was forced to take opiates for the pain, knowing full well the danger that placed him in. One of my principal reasons for my unbounded admiration for the man is that he faced these demons of his (even incorporating them in the DT series) and, at least for the present, conquered them. This is NOT a weak man.

Betsy Boo (betsyboo) | 195 comments I agree! I admire SK for that very much and think very highly of him as a human being. I admire him for his devotion to his family as well. In fact, as much as I love his writing, that places 3rd.

And I honestly don't know whether pot is addictive or not. I only know that the people I know who won't give it up seem to be using it to self medicate...mainly for anxiety.

message 33: by Lori (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lori (barfield) All those POOR people who are addicted to whatever had & has a choice. To stop or keep doing it. Everyones knows his or her own self, so why would you let it get to the point of no return? Like Rob i like being in control of whats going on around me. I don't dispute that there are some people who may need help kicking their addiction, but if your minds not set to do it you wont. A strong mind is going to be required to get the job done.

message 34: by Chris , The Hardcase (new) - rated it 4 stars

Chris  (haughtc) | 1094 comments Mod
and whether pot itself is addictive, anything can be addictive if a person gets into the habit and has a hard time breaking their own habits.....

Bondama (kerensa) | 868 comments Lori, According to the American Medical Association, addition is a DISEASE. Have you ever accused a diabetic of being "weak willed?" I realize that you're one of those people who are never going to change their mind about this subject, but what would you ever say to Steve King about addiction if you met him? He's one of your "weak willed" people, you know!!

message 36: by Lori (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lori (barfield) No he WAS a weak willed person! I could care less what the MA has to say about addiction. IMO it should not be classified as a DISEASE. And for the record i am a diabetic! Something i didn't choose, no more than someone with aids, or sickle cell anemia, or cancer, IMO all of those are diseases. Anyone addicted to drugs and or booze chose to start their addiction. With all the information out there, no one can say they don't know about drugs and their effects. As for what i'd say to my FAVORITE author, it would be i'm proud of you. Good going, hope you stay that way. And i'd ask if it didn't all start with getting your mind straight, & wanting to get clean!

message 37: by Chris , The Hardcase (new) - rated it 4 stars

Chris  (haughtc) | 1094 comments Mod
I'm not unsympathetic to those that are addicted to things, especially cigarettes. I was addicted to cigarettes for several years, and had a hell of a time quitting. I finally did quit, and am 6 1/2 years smoke free. I haven't taken a single puff in that time.

I know that I would sink right back into it with just one puff. That's all it would take to get hooked again. That's how addiction works. Disease? I don't know if I buy that label. In the end, it is a condition caused by one's behavior. It is begun by a behavior - a choice to smoke. It is maintained by behavior - desire to keep smoking. In some cases, like mine, it was ceased by desire, by my own choice.

Do I have the power to just one day up and stop being diabetic (which I am as well)? No. I can't quit being diabetic. I can and did quit smoking. It was hard as hell, and many can't do it. I failed many many times before I finally did it. And one thing I learned is my limitations, and how my own mind works with it. One cigarette today and I'd be buying a pack tomorrow. So I choose to refuse to even cave "a little bit". That's learned behavior, not a cure for a disease.

And yes, while I'm sympathetic to those having a hard time quitting (whatever it is), I think it is a boldfaced cop out to label it a "disease". It shifts responsibility from the person doing the deed and making it not their fault. That's the trouble with society these days - people are titty-babies when it comes to accepting accountability for their choices and actions.

No, quitting isn't easy. But it can be done. It's not something that we don't have control over. The key is regaining the control, not giving it a name and saying "not my fault" and keep at it. That's a cop out, and will lead to NEVER quitting the addiction.

Well, damn..there's a soapbox.

Betsy Boo (betsyboo) | 195 comments I understand your point but with all due respect I think your wording is a bit harsh. As I mentioned above, the first step in recovery is admitting you are powerless over your addiction. If you are addicted to something and you keep telling yourself, "I can quit anytime I want" or "If only I were stronger I could quit" you are sincerely kidding yourself. And I really don't think the AMA calls addiction a disease just to give addicts a way to avoid responsibility. There is a genetic component to addiction just as with diabetes, cancer, heart attacks...etc. And some people develop these diseases through bad lifestyle choices as well. I had a parent who was an alcoholic so I have to be very careful about any addictive substance. But I'm lucky that I got the heads up on that from the AMA.

Kandice | 3876 comments I think what everyone is trying to say, Betsy, is that an addiction to something can be overcome. A disease, in most cases, can not. There may be a cure, or medication, but with addiction, it's our own actions that cause us to give up whatever we are addicted to, not an outside cure or treatment. We choose. Anyone can say they can quit anytime, but until they truly buckle down and dedicate themselves to doing won't happen.

Betsy Boo (betsyboo) | 195 comments I agree with you Kandice. You can't beat your addictions if you don't make up your mind to try. And you can't do it without help, especially if you are more vulnerable due to genetics. I guess it is more the tone of the discussion I am having problems with. Perhaps this is a situation where we agree to disagree and move on?

message 41: by Chris , The Hardcase (new) - rated it 4 stars

Chris  (haughtc) | 1094 comments Mod
Nicely said, Kandice. And no, I didn't mean to sound harsh, Betsy. I will admit that addiction is fueled by genetic factors, propensity to certain things, etc. That's certainly true. It's why one person might be more easily hooked than another. If we wanted to put the "disease" tag on something, I'd feel more comfortable labeling that genetic issue than the addiction itself. It's a cause and effect. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) for instance would cause someone to have more difficulty quitting an addiction than someone who didn't have it. But to me the disorder is the cause, and the addiction the effect. Perhaps it's all semantics, and to be honest I prefer the term "disorder" to "disease" in these cases. A disease is something you get, also due in part to genetics and other factors (such as diet, which again can be a chosen behavior).

My only real issue with the whole thing is that giving a label to an addiction might work against the person trying to beat it, rather than help them. It gives them an "out" that a mind scrambling for rationalization might latch onto. And believe me, when trying to beat an addiction, rationalizations are easily grasped. Too easy to think to yourself, "why, I can't beat this because i have a disease and it's not up to me". That's certainly no mindset for a person trying to build willpower.

Agree to disagree might be the best way to deal with this. And we're getting quite biological instead of simply discussing a freaky as hell story.

Betsy Boo (betsyboo) | 195 comments What's that old saying? You can go months without sex but try to get through the day without a rationalization.

And you're right that we have gotten off topic. On the other hand, I love it when a story sparks a really good discussion! I think SK would be pleased.

message 43: by Tom (new)

Tom Mueller | 305 comments Well Lori,
Quite frankly, your opinion carries absolutely no weight. The collective knowledge of the American Medical Association and others far outweighs your opinion. Your asinine statement that those suffering from addiction "chose" their addiction couldn't be further from the truth. Not everyone who drinks or uses becomes an addict, any moreso than those who eat a lot of sugar become diabetic.

Lori wrote: " No he WAS a weak willed person! I could care less what the MA has to say about addiction. IMO it should not be classified as a DISEASE. And for the record i am a diabetic! Something i didn't choos..."

Lonnie Bondama wrote: "Lori, According to the American Medical Association, addition is a DISEASE. "

Holy Crap ADDITION is a disease! Where does that leave subtraction? Surely it should be clasified as a degenerative disease.

I kid! I kid! I couldn't let a typo go without trying to interject some humor in the conversation. :)

message 45: by Angie, Constant Reader (last edited Sep 11, 2009 08:52AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angie | 2528 comments Mod
I would think addiction is a disease. For some it is actually hereditary isn't that a disease? It is like mental illness to me. People always say just snap out of it, but it is WAY more then that.

message 46: by Chris , The Hardcase (new) - rated it 4 stars

Chris  (haughtc) | 1094 comments Mod
Rob wrote: "Just a small non sequiter:

It takes a lot more than a strong mind and body to beat heroin addiciton."

It does, and I don't question that. There is a chemical reaction involved.

LinBee Angie wrote: "I would think addiction is a disease. For some it is actually hereditary isn't that a disease? It is like mental illness to me. People always say just snap out of it, but it is WAY more then th..."

I believe that addiction is a disease and it can be hereditary. My father's side of the family, of him and 7 brothers and sisters, ALL of them are addicted to something. Most are alcoholics, 3 are drug abusers, and at least 4 have diagnosed mental illnesses. I think at least 6 of them are addicted to cigarettes. Their parents both died of lung cancer from smoking, and they were also alcoholics. At least 4 of my cousins from that side are also alcoholics and heavy smokers. My mother's side, all of her uncles and 1 aunt were alcoholics and heavy smokers. At least 4 died from the smoking and drinking. The rest died from complications due to diabetes gotten from being grossly obese. I myself know that there is a risk for me because when I take a drink, I feel myself wanting to keep going, I crave it. But, I also don't let myself get to the point where I have no self control. I don't start, because I know there is a risk.

Betsy Boo (betsyboo) | 195 comments Wow LinBee! Are we related? Seriously.

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Hmm... This is an interesting conversation. I'm actually of two minds about this.

Intellectually, I agree with the "mind over matter" concept that if you seriously want to quit, you can. But I also recognize that there is a physical addiction created with many, many substances that overrides the desire for a lot of people, and makes it nearly impossible.

I started smoking when I was 13, and tried to quit a few times with no success. I just wasn't serious about it. I liked smoking. But when I was 22, I got tonsillitis and strep and tonsillitis again, to the point where I could barely breathe. I couldn't eat, or drink or swallow or anything. Yet for weeks I'd still smoke. Then finally one day it dawned on me that I was keeping myself sick, and I quit smoking that day. I never touched a cigarette again.

My boyfriend, who used to smoke Camel Wides (those vicious things) and who couldn't sit down in a restaurant for 5 minutes without going back outside for a smoke, and who never even wanted to quit, quit with me because he knew it would be easier for me if he did. And it was. We both changed our lifestyle and stuck with it. Now, 5 years later, neither one of us even desire cigarettes anymore at all.

But one of my boyfriend's best friends has a heroine addiction. Bad. He's been in and out of rehabs, treatment centers, jail, clinics, detoxes, house-arrest, you name it, he's been there. Now he's in a Christian boot-camp of sorts. His last correspondence with us was pretty bad. He thinks that if he doesn't get clean once and for all there, he'll be dead in a year. He's my age - 27.

A few years ago, Thomas and I took him in to try to keep him away from the people and the scene and the influences around him because he wanted to quit. For 6 months, he was clean and sober and functioning. When he left, he stayed clean for a week, and then went right back to his old ways.

There's a lot more to this issue than simply wanting to quit, or saying it's a disease and writing off any responsibility. Addiction is incredibly hard. It changes your body and your mind. The example above is only ONE of many that I know of, including several members of my own family, on both sides.

I think that, as with everything, there is no easy solution. To really overcome an addiction, you have to decide to do it and stick with it, and you have to change your life as well. Sometimes that means getting help professionally, sometimes that means moving to a completely different place where you don't know anyone and can't get anything. Sometimes it means doing things that are terrifying, but there has to be a mixture of responsibility and treatment.

Neither alone is a cure-all.

message 50: by Angie, Constant Reader (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angie | 2528 comments Mod
See what a little King short story can do?

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