This question was asked of someone on this forum recently. It wasn’t meant for me, but it made me think just the same. On the surface, it seems like a straightforward question. We are here, so we all have a reason, right?
There are many reasons to quit, but how many of those reasons can withstand the test of time? We know that the addiction we all share is a strong one. Because we chose to open pandora’s box once upon a time and start using, we have the forbidden knowledge of nicotine’s promise. We cannot simply un-remember the experience. It will be with us the rest of our lives and will tempt us over and over when we are at our most vulnerable. Your reasons for quitting are the only things that will keep you quit, so it is a critically important that you have the right reasons – the ones that form that basis of a belief system in your very core.
So, why are you quit? Let’s explore some possible reasons:
– I quit for my kids. — Kids grow up and move away, sometimes become estranged, sometimes even (heaven forbid) die. So why stay quit then?
– I quit for my spouse/partner — Spouses have been known to leave the relationship. Divorce happens. Some have even been known to die. So why stay quit then?
– I quit for myself — This is a favorite. You quit nicotine, you quit alcohol, you quit sugar and artificial sweeteners. Hell, you even quit caffeine. Still your doctors tell you that you have a chronic medical condition that will never go away, never get better, cost $1000+ per month for medicine and you will still be in pain for the next 30 years if you live that long. So why stay quit then? Do you like yourself enough to stay quit for yourself now?
The challenge is that so many of our reasons for quitting can shift and change over time. There is a bible parable about building your house on shifting sand instead of stone and that applies here. If you want your quit to be permanent, you must have a reason that is rock solid, unchanging, uncompromising and bigger than yourself.
None of us are wise enough to know all possible answers, but some on these forums have found one possible reason that fits the bill. They may not put it in the same words that I do, but I think the spirit is the same.
One Big Reason for staying quit permanently is that there are people still getting addicted, still addicted and still struggling, and you can make a difference. That’s what this forum seems to be about. Let’s examine this a bit closer:
– By posting roll, I commit DAILY to stay quit. That not only reminds me but gives an example to others that are struggling and gives strength to others in need. If I don’t post, I don’t just weaken my own defenses, I deprive others of my strength and support and let them down. Posting early in the day lets others see and benefit from my commitment throughout the day. Posting late deprives others of any benefit from me.
– By staying quit, I am an example to others that quitting is possible, and I can give them hope. If I cave, I harm more than myself and family. My caving chips away at the very foundation of resolve for other addicts and their quits.
– By focusing on helping others as my reason to stay quit, any personal issues no longer have the power to rationalize a cave. My reason is larger than my little world and, thus, can survive anything that comes my way.
The KTC community provides a means to serve a grander purpose, but only if you get and stay involved. Make your quit about yourself but also more than just yourself. Invest in building the layers of accountability with others and invest yourself in keeping others accountable. Make your quit about something so great that you will never let it fail, no matter what may come, and don’t stop making that daily commitment just because YOU reached some milestone. Remember, there are others still struggling that NEED YOUR STRENGTH AND SUPPORT!
That’s what my foggy mind has been thinking about. What do you think?