… on your sleeve! Riding the coattails of  Chewie’s blog about “How’s Your Quit” and reading about some of the tension going on with a quit group recently, I’ve seen some of the downfalls of internet forums and what could possibly be done about it. One of the biggest problems I see is not being able to establish emotion. “Black and white” emotion like being TRULY happy or angry are easy ones….but sarcasm can be difficult to pick up on. Anyone who is a rookie at any internet forum or live chat room will testify to this. You don’t know how to take people, and their opinions especially, if you’ve never had contact with them. Most people who frequent online forums or chat rooms are familiar with each other and can now tell the tone of others’ posts.  We need to remember that we are all in a quit site.  And with our quits comes plenty of baggage in the form of emotion.  In a place like cyberspace we all have the convenience of anonymity and feel protected by that.  We say what we want.  Some to be helpful, some, hurtful.  Others just state what they think is right and wrong. What we need to state is how our quit is going.  Maybe you’re having a day that is great.  Maybe the craves are killing you….don’t man up by shutting up.  Tell us.  We know what you are going through.  Once our “quit status” is established, internet conversations may go much better.  WE are addicts telling other addicts what to do, think, feel.  It doesn’t go over well at times.  But if we are a bit more vulnerable, people may understand a little better where your comments and the tone of those comments are coming from.  I’m not trying to tell you to act “soft” here  and that we should all hold hands…. but I think we need to explain our quit for today sometimes for better communication, and more importantly, support.  We DO need to man up by telling others if we feel strong today or weak.  We are all going through the same quit each day, we will understand.  Keep the brotherhood by explaining the bullshit.