untitledToday is my 1,195 quit today.  While each day is its own adventure, there are two things I’ve really learned about quitting.  First of all, time is strength in my quit.  For each day that passes, I become stronger.  Secondly, Posting a day 1 and deciding to quit was one of the scariest decisions I’ve ever made in my life.

While the decision is but a moment, my body paid the price of that decision (as well as the countless others after it to stay quit).  Eventually, it got easier but the logic of quitting is difficult to grasp for many quitters.  A simple “one day at a time” philosophy eludes and infuriates many quitters looking for magical elixirs to sooth their new quits.  A phrase that may infuriate a new quitter at its simplicity will become their battlecry once they understand…but it doesn’t just happen.

Recently, I re-read Edgar Allen Poe’s classic The Raven.  In it, a man is driven insane as he adds connotation to the single word a bird repeats to him.  At first he finds it funny, but he quickly is enraged when he starts asking about his lost love.  For the Halloween season this year, I thought I’d take this concept and write about somebody posting a day 1 and how scary quitting can be.  I hope you enjoy it.

 

THE QUITTER

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume of KTC lore,

While I nodded, (and still chewing), suddenly a feeling brewing,

As if some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

`’Tis some website,’ I muttered, `Quitting is a chore-

I can’t do this, even though my gums are sore.’

 

Ah, distinctly I remember that I was a member of December,

And each can that I opened, saw it sprinkle upon the floor.

Eagerly I wished to quit then; – vainly thought myself a God then

Until I faded like tides upon the shore- sorrow for the lost Nic Whore –

For the rare and radiant maiden whom the quitters name Nic Whore –

broke me down evermore.

 

And the sight set me a twitter. The sight of all those ugly spitters

Killed me – filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;

So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating

`’Tis some visitor reading Words of Wisdom-

Some late visitor cruising introductions; –

This it is, and nothing more,’

 

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,

`Sir,’ typed I, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;

But the fact is I want to quit now, and I can already here the howl,

of my brothers growing loud, blowing up my phone,

This is my Day one here’ – I opened wide the door; –

Darkness there, and nothing more.

 

Deep into that half can peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams all quitters had dreamed before;

But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,

And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, `Nic Whore!’

This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, `Nic Whore!’

Merely this and nothing more.

 

Back into the chamber turning, my mouth, my gums – they were all burning,

Soon again I had that feeling somewhat louder than before.

`Surely,’ said I, `They will forgive me for my transgressions;

Let me see then, what their response is, and this mystery explore –

Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; –

‘Twas inevitable and nothing more!’

 

Open here I did my browser, when, which almost made me wet my trousers,

In there stepped a stately quitter of the saintly days of yore.

Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;

But, with mien of lord or lady, posted with me in my quit group –

Posted, with his name and number, just another quit supporter –

Posted, and sat, and nothing more.

 

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,

By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,

`Though thy number be large and mighty,’ I said, `There must be some secret

That I missed the last time that I walked these shores –

Tell me what that secret is?’

Quoth the quitter, `Nevermore.’

 

Much I marvelled this ungainly man to hear discourse so plainly,

Though its answer little meaning – little relevancy bore;

For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being

Ever yet was blessed with seeing the answer I was looking for-

Besides, this man was silly who told dick jokes and said “Nic Whore”,

Who thought the simple secret was `Nevermore.’

 

But the quitter, sitting lonely as my supporter, spoke only,

That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.

Nothing further then he uttered – not a feather then he fluttered –

Till I scarcely more than muttered `Other friends have failed before –

On the morrow he will leave me, as others have flown before.’

Then another typed, `Nevermore.’

 

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,

`Doubtless,’ said I, `what they utter is its only stock and store,

They don’t know what real ‘quit’ is (but soon they will just learn this)

Barely with 100 days, his wisdom is untested-

He does not know what he speaks of when he says

Of “Nevermore.”‘

 

But the quitter still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,

Straight I clicked the smiley flipping the bird (and puking on the floor);

Then, upon the cursor blinking, I betook myself to thinking

Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous man of yore –

What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous quitter of yore

Meant in typing `Nevermore.’

 

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing

To the face whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;

This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining

When a craving came suddenly upon me,

The pain! It hurt! Breaking all the will within me,

This shall press, ah…nevermore!

 

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer

My can, it lied under my desk just sleeping on the floor.

`Wretch,’ I cried, `thy god hath lent thee – by these devils he has sent thee

Respite – respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Nic Whore!

Oh this stuff, this false nepenthe, I will quit this Nic Whore!’

Quoth the quitter, `Nevermore.’

 

`Prophet!’ typed I, `Sage of quitting! – prophet still, if bird or devil! –

Whether Heaven sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,

Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted –

On this home by horror haunted – tell me truly, I implore –

Is there – is there a cure to addiction? – tell me – tell me, I implore!’

Quoth the quitter, `Nevermore.’

 

`Prophet!’ said I, `thing of evil! – prophet still, if bird or devil!

By that Heaven that bends above us – by that God we both adore –

Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,

It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the quitterss name Nic Whore –

Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the quitters name Nic Whore?’

Quoth the quitter, `Nevermore.’

 

`Be that word our sign of parting, You asshole!’ I shrieked upstarting –

`Get thee back into thy own group and the Night’s Plutonian shore!

Take your name off of this roll call. I can do it my way and I recall

One day I’ll be quit and she forgotten! – I’ve done it before, I’ll do it again!

Take thy words from off my screen. You don’t know anything (and you’re a little mean)!’

Quoth the quitter, `Nevermore.’

 

And the quitter, never missing, still is posting, still is posting

On the pallid groups of KTC…supporting others including me;

And his eyes have all the seeming of an angel’s that is dreaming,

And the amount of people that post with him as he hits another floor;

And my soul from out that shadow thinks quitting is no longer a chore

When will I use again? – nevermore!