Welcome, I'm so glad you found us! You're probably here because you're thinking about quitting smoking or you have already quit and are looking for some extra support or reinforcement. Well, you've come to the right place! This is not an official post - just my own thoughts and tips on how to navigate an early quit and use the QSMB.
In the beginning
Firstly, CONGRATULATIONS!! By quitting, you give yourself a wonderful gift. I know it's probably scary but it IS the right thing to do. On some level you already know this. So praise yourself every day. Focus on the fact that you are liberating yourself from an addiction. You are not depriving yourself of anything. Stick around, communicate and read read READ read read. There's so much wisdom here. Stories and struggles and advice from scores and scores of people who have travelled the same path as you. Listen to them and go on this journey with the knowledge that it is the VERY BEST thing to do. It's wonderful! Celebrate! And even if you don't feel completely happy about it, try one of my favourite techniques which is "Fake it till you Make it". Smile though gritted teeth if you have to, but say – "Hooray, I am free! Today I will not smoke and I will be free!" Do this every day.
After a while, you will realise that it is actually true. You won't have to fake it any more. It happens for everyone in different ways but it WILL happen. But ONLY if you follow the golden rule…do not smoke.
Smoking and relapsing is like being a mouse running in a wheel. If the mouse keeps running, the wheel keeps turning. The only way to stop the wheel is to stop running and get off it. Being a non smoker is much easier than being a smoker. This is the truth. I smoked for about 25 years and I've been a non smoker for a lot less than that but I already know it. And you will too…but only if you stop running and get off the wheel. It's like being a recovering alcoholic – you cannot have a drink because you risk a complete relapse. When the mouse starts running again, the wheel starts turning again. While a "sneaky" cigarette might not put you back to full time smoking, there is a substantial risk that it will. IT IS NOT worth the risk. Re-administering the drug of dependance means re-awakening the addiction. In this case, cigarettes are your drug of addiction. Do not re-administer them. Do not get back on the wheel.
Do whatever it takes to protect your quit. Treat it like a delicate seedling or a newborn baby. In time, the seedling becomes a tree and the baby becomes an adult. They can stand on their own. But in the early days they need a lot of care and protection. Just like your quit. Cup it in your hands, wrap your heart around it, love it and protect it.
At least part of you probably thinks you can't do this. You're not alone. I'd hazard a guess that we probably all felt like that…before we realised we COULD. I know it seems hard to believe at the moment or scary but you CAN do it. Quitting smoking is completely do-able. None of us are special. We were ALL addicted to smoking. If we could stop then you can. And not just stop smoking but love being free from it. Quitting is a journey…difficult, scary and emotional at times but also exciting, joyful and exhilarating.
The SOS commitment
If you ever feel on the verge of abandoning your quit, you must tell us and give us a chance to talk you out of it. Write a new thread with SOS in the subject line and explain what is going on for you. Wait for at least three replies (if people are around they will come flocking when they see SOS). Read some more of the newbie package or the links below while you wait. You might find you talk yourself out of it.
About the QSMB
The admin/board owners here don't really discuss quitting - they just do the IT, admin and moderatey stuff. The quit support comes from the community. We learn from each other and from many years and hundreds of hours and millions of words and tears and laughter shared. We share our experiences and those of others and research and ideas and links and films. There's SO much available to you. In fact you can be so busy just reading and watching everything that you plain won't have time to smoke!
I see the QSMB as being like a small town. There are myriad personality types and ages and backgrounds. There are locals, old timers, people who pop in and out and people who are just passing through. Everybody notices when a new person comes and they will rush to welcome you. The support here is real. The people are real. Like a small town there are traditions and belief systems that are shared and passed on. There is a culture here – it evolves like any culture but it has developed over time and is based on experience. The culture won't suit everybody and that's fine. You won't like everybody and that's fine too. Really – all you need is ONE person whose experience speaks to you. One voice or idea which strikes a chord. It might come from one of our staunch old timers, it might be someone only a few months ahead of you in their quit, it might be someone who has passed on and will never return. But there is truth and hope and wisdom here. So stick around for a while and check it out. Learn and be free.
NOPE: Not One Puff Ever
NTAP: Never Take Another Puff
SNOT: Smoking is Not an Option Today
NOPT: Not One Puff Today
KTQ: Keep The Quit
ETQ: Enjoy The Quit / Embrace The Quit
KIATQ: Keep It About The Quit
NEWBIE: 1 Day - 3 Months.
TWEENIE: 3 - 6 Months.
YOUNG PHARTE: 6 Months - 1 Year.
OLD PHARTE: 1 Year +
NOSMO: Non smoker/No smoking
The estimable newbie package is full of fantastic information. Make sure you also read the message board policies.
Some favourite articles/posts for quitting inspiration
You know - you don't want to be a smoker!
Keep climbing that rope, don't let go, it'll get easier
The things you say
Physical Symptoms after you Quit thread
Some last suggestions
I advise you to start reading the above links as well as current posts on the main board and get a feeling for the culture of the QSMB and the kind of ideas and philosophies that are practised here. When you're ready, post a greeting or introduction topic on the main board. Tell us where you're at in your quit journey and also your hopes or fears. The more we know, the more we can help. There are some people who just visit and read and that's fine…but I do recommend you eventually get involved. The level of support you will get is amazing.
Stand on your own two feet (metaphorically). It's important that you have control over your own quit…that your quit is not dependent on anyone else but you. So perhaps rather than look for one quit buddy, consider the whole board your quit team. Then if an individual is not available to you or worse – falters in their own quit – it won't matter. You weren't relying on them. Or you could develop a relationship with a quit mentor – someone who is well ahead of you in their quit and is secure and experienced. And if you prefer to have more private dialogues, Chat is a great way to develop relationships and get one-on-one support.
Take what you need and leave the rest. Like I said before – you won't connect with every person and every idea. It doesn't matter. One beautiful idea is sometimes all you need. One specific comment might be what gets you through the day. But at the same time, don't let any one person or one comment turn you away. There is room for all of us here. And that person who annoyed you on day 3 might be the person who gives you that ah-ha moment on day 20.
Support other people. Helping others also helps you.
I won't say good luck because you don't need it. You just need to make a decision. Do you want to be free? If the answer is yes then luck has nothing to do with it. It's your choice. Choose freedom.
My best to you,