The other night I heard my wife on the phone with someone who had asked how my quit was going. She said it was going well but then said “I don’t know why he tells everyone, he never wanted anyone to know he dipped so I don’t know why he is telling people.” This is not the first time I had heard it from her but I keep coming back with some strong thoughts so thanks Chewie for letting me share those here.
I think there are two groups of ex dippers, one’s that kept it secret and others who did not care who knew. I fell into the first category, mainly becuase I work in an office enviroment and I didn’t think people would be very accepting of it. I also did not want people to know, I didn’t want people to judge me about my habit. Despite all of the no smoking laws that exist people rarely say much to a smoker about what they think about smoking. An example, I told a co worker who smokes that I had quit dipping. She had no idea I did and responded without hesitation, “Good job, that is a disgusting habit.” Yes it is, just as disgusting as having a smoker walk by after coming in from a smoke and the smell of stale smoke going by. Just some background on where I am going.
When I decided to quit I told almost everyone, and about 90% of those people had no idea I dipped. There are some who still ask how it is going but most don’t talk about it. There are a couple of reasons why I tell people. 1. I am proud of my quit. This is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. Now that I am a quitter I see dip everywhere, gas stations, convenience stores are the obvious places. Have you ever looked walking out of Wal Mart, Kroger or any store like that? Sitting right next to the cigarettes is dip, so you don’t forget it on the way out. I fight this battle daily and I win every day I do not dip. 2. Accountability The website (www.killthecan.org) does a great job with accountability but you know what, but these people do not share my daily life. I gave my word on the site and they know what I am battling and know if I dip I will let them down. If I do not tell people in my every day life that I am quit, what would make me think they would care if I did? If 90% did not know I did it before they surely would not know it if I started dipping again today. If people know I quit and they praise me for it, what do you think they will think of me if they see me dipping again. Think about all of the other things your friends and colleagues share with you, if they took the time to share something they were trying to accomplish would you take the time to talk to them about it and offer help? When I think about all the people I talk to who share their life I want them to know I care about what they care about. I am going to ask them, “how is X going?” Now, think about someone you told that you quit dipping, ” How is the quit going?” How do you want to answer that question?
For me, it is important to let people I see everyday know that I quit. If you think about how much people on a website care about your quit, compare that to how much your wife, girlfriend, friends, relatives care about you. I feel fortunate to have found the site and the people who run it tirelessly for nothing else but to see us stay clean. I feel even more fortunate for my friends who still ask about it.
When I think about how much I hid my addiction, I know that there are others who are hiding it also. If you do not tell people about your quit, you will never reach that person out there who is hiding their addiction. You will also not be able to share all of the great tools that helped you quit today. I think all ex dippers will tell you there is much more help for smokers, you found the help you battle you addiction so why not tell people?
Here is a real life example, at a meeting with some people I may only see once or twice a year told me he had quit smoking. He did not quit nicotine, he was now dipping to take the edge off. I have two choices, 1. To keep to myself and be embarrassed about being an ex dipper, or 2. I could share my experience, hand him a business card I had printed and said when you are ready to quit we are here to help. This is a choice many of us face from time to time, which would you choose? I chose 2, I have been given a a gift of my life free from nicotine and I want to share that.
What do you do, will you be embarrassed or will someone in your life say, ” Why do you tell everyone?”