~~You will never be free until you free yourself from the prison of your own false thoughts.~~ Philip Arnold
A long time ago, I wrote a blog called "Your Quit Is Not Here". It was about how you won't find your quit on Ex. Wonderful people, yes. Excellent advice, yes. Extraordinary support, yes. But not your quit. If you think you will find it here, free yourself from that prison of false thoughts. Stop looking for your quit in someone else's journey.
I see it time and time again. People come here for answers about quitting smoking. They write a post or two, find tons of comments, and then get somewhat lost in the excitement of online support. It's wonderful to feel a part of a marvelous community! It's comforting to find people who understand you! It's a relief to know you aren't the only one!
But then your quit gets buried under....helping others, making friends, gaining a following....other things. You relapse. But, being ex, you find support, understanding, 'forgiveness', and acceptance even after you fall. If you aren't careful, this rise and fall cycle can become a new normal that is just as hard to get out of as your original quit used to be.
I love this community. I truly do. But I had to leave it to quit smoking. Not because I was given bad advice. On the contrary, I was given life saving advice! Not because people were 'mean'. The Ex community is phenomenal!! I had to leave because I had a hard time focusing on getting serious about my own quit. I had to figure it out and I couldn't do that when I was here. Maybe I used Ex as a distraction? Maybe I am better at helping others rather than helping myself? I don't know. I just know that I had to commit to my quit and to do that, I needed silence and focus and peace.
It worked. I quit smoking cold turkey over 6 years ago. I spent three months (I think) off the internet. I gained some positive coping skills like yoga and painting and organizing. I healed from some old hurts and I learned to like myself again. I let the past go and I welcomed my hopes. I slept a lot and I got physically active.
I'm not saying that you need to leave here to quit smoking. But if you are constantly struggling to understand why everyone else seems to be doing so well while you are not, maybe you need to reconnect to your own quit. Maybe our stories are distractions rather than quitting advice. Maybe there is too much information and too many good ideas for you to remember that your quit....your precious, life-saving, strong, brilliant quit....is inside you and you alone. You aren't going to find it here.
Because it's not here, it's in you. Right where it should be. Right where it's always been. It's in your head, it's in your heart, it's in your spirit. You know that saying about "Remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you see, and smarter than you think" (Winnie the Pooh, I believe)? Well, it's true. Everything you need to quit is already in you. You just have to free it. Allow it to come forth and relax into it. Your quit is part of who you truly are.
We're here for you. Encouraging. Supporting. Educating. But quitting for you can't be done. You have to do it. So please, please, please don't get lost in the world of Ex. Use it to start your quit. Use it to guide your quit. Use it to strengthen your quit. Your quit. Isn't that a lovely phrase? You can.