I've been Quit 68 days. Saved $448.80. Salvaged 7 days, 17 hours of my life.
I get those stats from the Quitnet website which includes discussion forums for quitters, expert advice, links to personal advisers, a buddy system--lots of good stuff. I enjoy this site because not only does it support my quit, but it's a chance for me to help others who are quitting. (http://www.alberta.quitnet.com/)
I'll let the following excerpt from an email I wrote to my good friend and confidante, C**, relate what happened next....
I managed to antagonize users of another forum--my Quitnet forum! I have a fellow quitter accusing me of trying to lure ex-smokers back to cigarettes!
Sheesh! What does he think I am? A nicotine demon hired by the tobacco companies to infiltrate Quitnet and lure back their customers? What the hell? It upset me. Lots. Remember I advised you that one should only hand over the power to hurt to those we respect? I didn't follow that advice.
I have spent lots of time on the Qnet forums offering support and encouragment, so the one time when I seek advice and encouragement and get shot down like that.... I guess I ought to have had more of a sense of humour about it. [Writing emails to you always sparks that possibility.] Actually, for the first time since it happened, I'm finding myself giggling about it. Thanks, C**, for giving me that perspective.
What happened was I wrote an email to Qnet's experts saying I only had a couple of weeks left on my Champix prescription and was scared I'd go back to smoking once it ran out. I was told (among other tidbits of advice) that to be a successful quitter I had to stop believing cigarettes were pleasurable. This startling advice was akin to being told I would inherit a billion dollars as soon as I believed the ocean wasn't salty...
So, that was the question I posed on Quitnet: had anyone out there been able to come to believe that cigarettes aren't pleasurable? Surprisingly (to me), there are many who have and many who believe this is a prerequisite to successful quitting.
One lady responded that since I hadn't believed cigarettes were pleasurable before I became addicted, it was just a matter of returning to that state of mind. To which I replied, it was not all that simple a step for me as I had found cigarettes pleasurable long before I took my first puff-- and in rather flowery, powerful language explained how as a child I'd been entranced by my father's smoking habit.
Do you suppose it was that wonderful piece of prose--describing slender swirls of blue twirling up the sunbeams...the contented look in my father's eyes...the wondrous aroma when he opened a fresh can of tobacco--
D'ya think that's what made him suspect me of infiltrating????
Thanks, C**. It now seems totally humorous to me.... No more tears...
I had intended my Qnet words to communicate my powerful affinity to nicotine. I thought if others better understood my addiction they'd be able to offer me more appropriate advice and encouragement. It was all about me.
Until I wrote the above email to C**, I had not considered the effect my alluring words might have on a community of people trying to quit.
Writers--always keep your readers in mind. Beware: The power of your pen...