When I first came to EX, I got a lot of welcoming support and advice from people who had already quit.
I looked at the number of days, months, years that these wonderful, warm people already had under their belts. I thought, "They don't understand how I feel. It must have been so easy for them. But I'm different. Quitting is going to be SO much harder for me than it was for them. They don't GET me."
Now, here I am with almost 900 days under my own belt. It honestly doesn't seem that long to me.
But I know it sure seems like a lot to someone who is on Day 1 or Day 12 or Day 22... And I absolutely know, for a fact, that some of you Newbies are thinking that "You guys can't possibly understand me, because it sounds like it was so easy for you. But I'm different. It's going to be so much harder for me than it was for you. I know you guys don't GET me".
Here's what I am inviting Newbies to do: Go to my page and read my blogs from the day I first discovered EX. Read how, when I was a Newbie, I was scared and unsure and didn't really want to quit. Read my blog on the day of my original Quit Date and how I screwed up. Read my blogs that detailed my struggles during the first few days. Read about biting lemons. Read how I craved and paced like a caged animal. Read all the support I got from the people here who had, yup, you guessed it, 50 days, 100 days, 300 days, two years under their belts. I wasn't convinced I could EVER be like those successful Quitters!
My point is this, dear Newbies: ALL of us who have quit smoking have been EXACTLY where you are right now. We ALL start in the exact same place. We have NOT forgotten what Day 3 or Day 17 or Day 50 feels like. Don't write us off because we quit before you. We DO "get" you.
There will be Newbies that come AFTER you. And they will need YOUR help, YOUR support, YOUR advice and YOUR understanding. They will admire you and be envious of you. And they will say, "You don't understand how I feel. It must have been so easy for you. But I'm different. Quitting is going to be so much harder for me that it was for you. You don't GET me."
And it will be time for you to pass on the valuable experiences you have had here on EX and the strength you have derived from those who came before you. What a wonderful feeling that is... Tommy (Pir8fan) calls it "Collateral Kindness".
To everyone here who helped me quit (and who continue to support me every day!), thank you so much. To everyone to whom something I've written has made any kind of a difference in their Quit, thank you so much for reading.
I wouldn't be here today, nicotine-free, without ALL of you. I'm so grateful. I will be alive longer because of all of you. Is there any better gift you can give to someone?