Jim Christopher to host Annual "Festival of Recovery" and "Funeral for the Unknown Smoker"

Jim Christopher Health Guide
  • We’re getting geared up for a big free event: The First Annual “Festival of Recovery.” The event will take place all day this Saturday, April 26, at the Center for Inquiry, Hollywood, CA. It's an ambitious project, sponsored by SOS (Save Our Selves), SHARE! (Self Help and Recovery Exchange) and Project Return Peer Support Network.

    I’ll present the 9th annual “Funeral for the Unknown Smoker” as a special component and co-host the festival, along with Ruth Hollman, founder of SHARE!.

    Wendy, Susan, Armen, Ari – all former smokers – will serve as pallbearers as we carry the casket (marked “open at your own risk”) for the unknown smoker down the aisle of the Center for Inquiry’s Steve Allen Theater up onto the stage.  The casket will be set upright and, as the pallbearers step to the side, I’ll approach and remove the lid of the casket revealing the “body” of the unknown smoker, a horrifically impactful poster created years ago by, and used in these annual presentations with permission from, COLORS magazine.  The ravages of tobacco consumption on human body parts pieced together in a male/female corpse as depicted in this display is startling.

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    I’ll introduce former smokers who’ll briefly share from the stage and I’ll invite the audience to “view the remains” of the “smoker’s body” later in the theater lobby.

    It’s great to hear former smoker’s tales of triumph over nicotine addiction.  We plan to take lots of photos of this event to share with you in my next post.

    I’ve been nicotine-free since ’93 and booze-free since ’78, as I’ve shared in previous posts.  I founded SOS in ’85 and yet continued to smoke.  I am relieved that I’m not in that aforementioned casket.

        I’ll also host a “smoker friendly” workshop at the festival; folks who want to stop their nicotine enslavement need support, not finger-wagging.

    The gradual cessation plan, coupled with replacement strategies that I devised years ago worked powerfully for me and I was able to avoid unnecessary pain and stress during that process.

    I’m always pleased, however, to learn of any successful nicotine-arrest story, whatever ones approach may have been.  I figure we’re all in this recovery thing together and that’s why I came up with the Festival of Recovery event, which provides many resources for all the addictions and for mental health issues as well.

    When folks are empowered to reclaim their lives and place their addictions under arrest – whatever the path or method of recovery – that’s a good thing.  We can all learn from each other when we listen.

    If you can join us at the festival, please look me up and say “hello.”  I’m the guy whose breath and clothes don’t stink and whose fingers and teeth aren’t yellowed.

    Visit me at quitnicotinenow.net and I look forward to being with you again next week.

Published On: April 23, 2008