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Flavius Victor

What Can I Do To Help?

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Posted By: Killerattorney

 

What Can I Do To Help?

 

How often have you asked that question to a family member, friend, or neighbor? Perhaps they are moving in or out and you offer to help move furniture. Perhaps a loved one dies and you offer to bring over dinner. Perhaps your friend is just depressed, and you offer to come over and cheer him or her up. But what about your fellow quitters here on the Quit Smokeless Support Network? After all, the name itself says we are a SUPPORT network. So how can you help, you ask? I’m glad you asked, because there’s numerous ways you can help. It all depends on what you are capable of and what you are willing to do.

 

 

One of the most popular ways to show support is by posting as a supporter in a group’s roll call. This may not seem like much, but especially the new quitters often appreciate seeing people with higher numbers of quit days take the time to post roll with them. But don’t just post your name and number…try to think of some words of encouragement to add along with your post. “Great job on ____ days, new guy”….”Hang in there, buddy, it will get easier”….”Welcome to the site, friend”! It is always nice to have someone recognize our achievements, so when someone takes the time to point out their milestones, they often get a little boost.

 

 

Besides just posting on the roll call, think about posting other words of advice or encouragement in the groups other than just your own. It is important for new groups to get to know each other, and sometimes they need a little prodding from the veterans to get some conversation going. If you see someone that lives around you, you may point out that you have that in common and ask them for more details. Or perhaps you see that they have a favorite sports team, and you can start up a discussion about that. Maybe they just have an unusual screen name…you can ask them what it means or how they came up with the name. Ask them if they're married and/or have children, or what they do for a living. But the key is to try to get them to talk, not just for you to carry on conversations with other vets in their room.

 

 

I would also recommend that you try to send Personal Messages (PM’s) to other quitters. It can really help out someone to get a personalized, private message from someone who knows what they’re going through. When I went through a divorce, it was helpful to get supportive PM’s from others who had gone through the same thing and encouraged me to not use that as an excuse to cave. Sometimes posts on a busy board can get buried as the day goes on, so a PM is sure to get to the intended recipient.

 

 

If you are so inclined, it can mean a lot to send a phone number to someone in need. It is not recommended that you do this on the public forum….keep it private in a PM. But you can reach out to someone and get to know them, then send them your phone number and ask for their number in return. And once you get the number, CALL them. Instead of anonymous people on an internet site, you can become a real person to them by talking in real time with them. It is amazing that our common addiction to nicotine can bridge many barriers and once you make the call, you will find that it’s relatively easy to talk to a fellow quitter. It’s a good idea to make the contact early on, so that later if they are having problems, they feel more comfortable making that call for help to someone they already know and have talked to. A well-timed phone call has saved many quits over the years that this site has been in operation.

 

 

Another thing you might consider doing to help a fellow quitter is by making them feel welcome on the site. We all remember how strange this felt when we first stumbled onto a site devoted to helping addicts like us to quit smokeless tobacco. People may have told us to “post roll” and we had no idea what they were talking about. Why not keep an eye on the new members that sign up on the site and send them a welcoming PM? Say ‘hello’ and explain a little about the site, what roll call is and how to do it, and what to expect in the early days of a quit. Make sure you tell them to PM you back if they need any help. Over 600 days ago, I got a PM from a member and to this day I remember that first PM. I don’t know if he sent them to every new member or if it was just me, but back then, it did not matter. It was a fellow human being reaching out their hand to help me.

 

 

It has been my experience that many visitors to the site stop in the Café first and post there or just read through the posts there. This, in my opinion, is a great place to make first contact. A helpful idea would be to post there to encourage those that may only be contemplating a quit to go ahead and do it. Maybe they are hesitant to take the necessary first step to quit…you can offer them helpful advice and support and maybe get them to stop putting off what they know they need to do. Even though you may be addressing one particular new member’s post, there could be others out there reading it and get the encouragement to quit.

 

 

One of my favorite ways of helping others is by utilizing the live chat room. A button for the live chat is located in the top right of the computer screen if you haven’t seen it yet. Sometimes there may not be anyone in there, but other times (especially in the evenings) it can sometimes get fairly busy. Members can chat in real time with each other and offer encouragement and advice. And usually, it’s just plain fun! Check it out sometime. No one likes to just sit in the chat room by themselves, so you may have to be the first to go in the room and wait a bit. Then once others see someone is in there, they might pop in to say ‘hello’. Just be patient.

 

 

Many new quitters are looking for things to not only give them helpful advice or support but to also kill some time while fighting a crave. One useful suggestion is to read the Hall of Fame speeches or other articles like this one in the Library. But they cannot read them if we do not write them! If you’ve reached a minimum of 100 days quit in a row, then take some time to write a speech of your own and submit it to the forum administrator. It doesn’t have to be a literary masterpiece. There are no real rules on what to write. You can write about how you first became addicted, how you managed to quit, advice on quitting, offer thanks to those that helped you quit, encouragement to others to quit, or just about anything you like. You might find that when you describe something you experienced that you will hear from someone else who reads it that tells you “What you talked about really struck a note with me” or “I can really relate to what you said”. You might get PM’s from people saying “I read your speech (or article) and it really gave me the strength I needed to stay quit today”. Give it a shot and find out for yourself.

 

 

Another way to help new quitters kill some time is in the “General Discussions” forum (also known as the Wildcard forum). It includes topics such as Health & Fitness, Politics, Religion, Sports and Leisure Time. What does this have to do with helping a quitter? Well, a new quitter may be experiencing the fog (being unable to concentrate) or a crave (intense desire to use tobacco) and need something to take his or her mind off of dip. Sometimes it can be useful to get into a spirited discussion about politics with fellow quitters, or to seek some comfort talking about religion, or just BS a little about your favorite sports team. Besides killing time, it also gives people a chance to interact with other quitters, and not just those in their quit group. We all have one thing in common….we are nicotine addicts that have quit. Through these wildcard forums, we can find out other things we have in common with one another.

 

 

These suggestions are not just to help the brand new quitters. Even those that have been quit for 100+ days sometimes have problems and need help. Don’t just help out a group in their first 30 days. Drop in on groups that have many more days quit and offer them some encouragement, too. Quitters around the 50-75 day mark sometime run into a “funk” period and need to hear that what they are experiencing is not unusual. Others may experience a period shortly after hitting the Hall of Fame (100 days being quit) where they thought quitting would be easy and yet they still have urges to use tobacco. You never know when someone might be having a difficult time, maybe having marital problems, financial problems, or whatever. Keep an eye out for posts that mention something like that, and offer them a little encouragement to let them know that you’re still there for them, not just the first 30 days. And don't think you can only post in groups with less days than you. You can also post in "older" groups or send PM's to those that quit before you. If they post something useful on the site, send them a PM and thank them. It's nice to know that the time they took to write it was appreciated. And don't hesitate to also congratulate them when they hit their own quit milestones.

 

 

You don’t have to be an expert on nicotine addiction or computers or other things to be helpful. Just offering to lend an ear can be helpful. Give others whatever advice was helpful to you in your quit. Others may disagree, even vehemently. That’s alright. Not everyone is the same. Try not to get into personal disagreements with others in public, especially in the new groups or in the Café (you don’t want to scare off any new members who may already be on shaky ground). Keep it respectful, and those that read it will learn that it’s possible that there are more than one way to quit, as long as they quit. They’ll see that you do not have to fit into one “mold” of quitter…that people are free to take whatever advice they find helpful and to discard that information they do not agree with.

 

 

One final way you can help is to donate financially to this site. There is no “membership fee” to be a member and take part here. But it costs money to run a website like this. Was this site helpful to you in quitting? How much money have you saved by quitting? Keep in mind, not just the cost of tobacco, but the health benefits and countless other benefits gained from quitting. Maybe you want to help others, but do not have time to do some or all of the things mentioned above. If you have the ability, why not click on the “donate” button to give back a little of what you’ve saved? And don’t forget to buy a Hall of Fame coin once you pass 100 days! If it were not for this site, many of us would still be throwing away money on worm dirt to shove in our mouths, so take some of that money and give back, so that others like us will still have this site for many years to come.

 

 

I hope that some of these suggestions have been useful to you, and more importantly, I hope you will put some of them to use. Oh, by the way....my name is Jim. On the site, I go by the name “Killerattorney.” Let me know if you need any help!

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