From what I‘ve heard, if someone here smokes, then clicks the red I’VE SLIPPED UP button on their My Quit Plan page, they are given two choices : Either keep going with the original quit date OR have the quit counter moved back to zero.
The EX website states : “ Lots of people slip up and have a cigarette when they're trying to quit smoking. It happens. But, it doesn't mean you should give up and stop trying to quit entirely. Get up, brush yourself off and get back in the game.” EX makes allowances for these choices, because (I assume) it does not want to alienate a struggling quitter with (what could be called) a “penalty“. EX doesn’t require anyone to reset their clocks after they puff a cigarette, and the occasional “slipper” does, indeed, keep going with their count. Technically, they have a right to do so here.
However, my friends, there is the other official strategy offered here at EX : Reset the clock after making the regrettable choice to smoke, and accept the reset as absolution for inhaling nicotine. This choice is a valid option, also sanctioned by EX, because it is proven to be an effective motivator for many quitters.
So, after an EXer chooses to smoke a cigarette past their quit date, why should they consider a reset, especially when EX says it isn‘t mandatory? Well, I can only speak for myself, of course, here on my blog. And, I will write this in the first person, so as to keep the focus on my beliefs...
1. When I was an active smoker, I sugar-coated the consequences of smoking. I downplayed my mistakes. I dodged around the hard truths. I cloaked myself in rationalizations. My past decades of active smoking were already clouded with deceptive justifications and addictive reasoning; why would I intentionally drag that worn-out “junkie logic” into my recovery processes, too?! No, if I smoked now, I would rather reset my broken clock and refocus on getting it right, than exhaust yet even more of my time and energy juggling a warped counter that perpetuates the same ol’ tricks of my past.
2. “Just keep going” has a dismal track record. I found that out the hard way, from my past relapses, and I’ve also seen this tactic fail others right here, too…4 different times. I decided to forsake that risky tactic in favor of a new principle : Not One Puff, Ever (NOPE), which is the only proven tactic that will deliver me from addiction. My time has come - finally! - to stop defending my failures and start protecting my promises.
3. EX offers 2 options after a “slip“, and the community here is free to choose sides on this issue. There are those who say that “ it’s not about the clock, it’s about the quit…just keep going!” Then, there are those who say that “ an honest clock is an honest quit”. Well, here’s what I have witnessed in the comment sections of several blogs addressing this debate : The fiercest Elders, the most invested newcomers, the most prolific contributors, - the greater number of our strongest human resources here! - are all advocates for a reset. I, personally, would not shun and alienate such an influential majority, who also happen to form the most dedicated collective of quit experience and support available to me here. I want them on my side!
4. We have Elders here who have earned and protected their title, and have racked up more days of knowledge and skill than any newcomer. So, when a member defies The Law of Addiction, but refuses to reset their clock, I can’t help but feel that the “slipper” insinuates that they, somehow, deserve credit for their mistake more than our Elders deserve credit for their success. That simply does not sit well with me, on a gut level. (I would humbly reset.)
5. Quit meters are the calendar of choice here at EX. They are used to measure Hell Week, Heck Week, No Man’s Land, The Triple Digit Club, The 6% Club of Elders, and The Quad Squad. These are the milestones of this community, and they are strictly measured by accurate quit clocks. I, personally, will not flippantly disregard the cultural standards already established here. (Truth is, I’m proud to have my quit measured in these most-commonly-accepted terms.)
6. The common “language” around here could be called “days“. We “speak in days” as a method of conveying the quantity of smart choices we have made, and the choices we have yet to face. “Speaking” in “exaggerated days”, in my opinion, amounts to…um…well…”telling tall tales”?
7. I swore to my Quit Buddy, my Mentors, and my community that I would reset my clock if I ever deliberately puffed a lit cigarette. In the event of a “slip”, honoring that promise - with humility and with accountability - would be one of the most respectful things I could do, especially after the act of disrespecting my support circle’s trust in me.
8. Finally, every major recovery program in our society obeys The Law of Addiction, and values the integrity of resetting a counter if the drug of choice is used after sobriety. So, why should we behave as if our recovery choices are somehow "other than" those of AA or NarcAnon? I understand that all processes of quitting have both ups and downs, but what if overlooking and condoning the flawed decisions actually prohibits the addict from ever reaching an authentic recovery?
So, yeah…I am a champion of the reset, but my goal is to never need to use it.
Okay, this may be one of the longest blogs I have ever written but, having said what I wanted to say about choosing the reset option, I can now just link to this blog whenever I think someone might benefit from this kind of methodical conversation. I created this blog to have it “on file” in my library.