Elder rant - read at your own risk! (Thanks to Dale for that Blog title quote which I stole.)
Gotta speak my peace on NOPE and re-setting quit counters. Can we put this quit counter question to rest. Can we EVER? And if not, why not?
Scenario - a newly quit quitter. From Day One to - whatever day after day one. Could be day 3, or 7, 18 or 29, or... you name it. A day in which a quitter puts a cigarette in their mouth and takes a puff. They need it because they’re stressed, or they want to see what it tastes like after all this time, or they think just one won’t hurt, or WHATEVER the scenario (AKA EXCUSE) that made them choose to put that cigarette into their mouth, light it, inhale it and essentially blow their quit with that one puff.
If slips are allowed in your quit smoking methodology and you feel free to not reset your quit clock each time, you’re not taking responsibility for your quit. I suppose you see it as a learning experience. And they ARE certainly that. But you know what? For the majority of quitters on this site, quit clocks represent the day we never took another puff. If you quit - you quit. If you slip, you haven’t yet quit. Have you? Think about it. What exactly determines the day you quit if you allow slips along the way? How many slips are allowed before you become a serial quitter? “If you quit and you smoke, you’re doing it wrong!” Our definition of “quit” is the day you never take another puff. It’s absurd to think otherwise.
When you take that one puff, smoke that one half of a cigarette, or that entire one, or that pack, you have reintroduced your addiction unto yourself. You have taken a step backwards in more ways than you can imagine. For it’s not only the puff, it’s the permission for that puff which undermines you. You have psychologically given yourself permission for future possibilities of smoking. It’s also a step backwards to your self-esteem. And chemically in your brain you’ve negated what you’ve achieved. The object is to shrink those nicotine receptors that have been increased by smoking, not rebuild them.
Ranting on.... Do you think we give you advice to make you feel bad? To undermine your self confidence? To bring forth feelings of guilt? NO. We give you our experiential wisdom to teach you about holding yourself accountable. To teach you about honoring your commitment. To instill, like a parent, the values, the ways and means of achieving lasting success. We want to protect you from failure. But as is often true, the child doesn’t know what’s good for them until they find it out for themselves. Experience IS, after all, the best teacher.
Often, hard-learned lessons are the ones that stick. They’re good for us. There are those on here who have had many days quit but took that one puff, fessed up, and then reset their quit counter. What a blow it was to them to have to do so. That takes guts, courage and honor. And I would imagine that lesson will last a lifetime in their quit because their quit WILL last a lifetime.
I can say my quit is pure. It has never been adulterated by a single puff. The date I have attached to my avatar is my badge of honor. The stop watch of my quit has never been reset. Because I have never given myself permission to take that one puff. I have stood by the NOPE Doctrine and it has proven successful for over 9 years. (Make that 13 years as of 2019.)
What say ye?
"Understand what you're fighting." "Don't let a slip put you back to using" - YouTube
(Updated 11/7/19) Just wanted to add this blog for more input on the subject - a lot of good discussion: So if I “slip”, and have a cigarette, do I change my quit date?
(Updated 11/21/19) Another blog on the topic: The Question: To Reset or Not To Reset?
(Updated 1/8/2020) Adulting 101