A few thoughts from my weekend in PA
I’m not your social butterfly, usually not the life of the party. In fact, my wife sometimes has trouble dragging me to social events. Which is why she was a little surpised when I started talking about gettting on a plane and travelling over a thousand miles to hang out with people I had never met before. I struggled with the idea myself; it did seem a little strange.
Even though I hadn’t met any of these folks, I surely didn’t consider them strangers. We had been through a lot together, as we kicked nicotine every day. We had laughed together, cried together, showed tough love when necessary, celebrated lame holidays on occasion. All in the interest of quitting nicotine, one day at a time. We held each other accountable, as we made a promise every day, then kept it. Until now, I was limited to the forums, text messages, etc. which was absolutely great; it was keeping me quit when nothing else had worked before. I was building a very solid quit.
Now I had a chance to take it to the next level. Attend the ninth annual Quittogether in Pennsylvania. They said it would be a great time, and worth the effort. I had to go way out of my comfort zone, but finally I took the plunge; booked my flight and hotel on Hotwire, no travel insurance, no way of cancelling and backing out.
The big day finally came, and it all just unfolded before my very eyes. I met a few guys at the airport who were flying in around the same time; we were friends right away, and made our way to Boelker’s house where the main event would take place. We met a few more guys there; after awhile we made our way to a nice local restaurant, where a few more folks trickled in. Eventually we had a roaring crowd going.
We had folks from different walks of life, different ages, from all over the country, but we had an instant bond. We had all been through the same struggles. We were quitting nicotine, against all odds, because we had support from other quitters. Now we were meeting each other in real life. We shook hands, looked each other in the eye, laughed together, told lame jokes, broke bread together, raised a glass together. And all too soon it was over, and time to get on the plane and head on home.
I had built a solid quit before, but this really, really seals the deal. Now there is simply no way I can cave and go back to using nicotine. I would be letting all these folks down, after I promised them I was quit.
If you haven’t met another quitter in person, just know it is well worth the effort. It might seem a little weird at first, but so did posting roll, exchanging phone numbers, and all the other things you did that have been working so far. You could attend one of the various meetups around the country, maybe organize one of your own, or simply find another quitter in your area and get together for lunch, a quick hello, a golf game, whatever. It will be more than worth every minute, every penny you put into it. It is a huge investment in your quit; it will give you one more weapon in your battle with nicotine.