Who do we consider our friends?

Hi all,

Oh have so much to vent and really trying to organize my thoughts... ok breathe.

Let's start by me telling you that I am hanging on to this quit tonight by the slimmest of threads imaginable. Yes I know I have a flare for the dramatic but I really mean it. So on with it....

I came home tonight with the best of news and went to dinner to celebrate. When the conversation with the BF turned to this site and I spoke of some of you I consider my online friends and some of the issues or topics we were discussing. I like to tell of your personalities and so forth and some of the funny moments etc.

Never did I expect him to react as he did. He basically called me a weirdo and said that online friends don't exist and I am living in a fantasy world.

sorry, feel free to censor me here but WTF??

I tried to talk about the difference between chat sites and a site that is support driven for addiction but nope, told me I am "F*d up and need to not be thinking that anyone online is anything close to a friend. What????

Apparently I am told that I waste too much time thinking about smoking and am delusional if I think I really know any of you and basically I need help. WOW!!! Some support system.

Then he tried to cover by saying I take things too personally and that's just his opinion and I am making too much of a big deal of it. Again wow!!

So I ask you, how many of you feel that this has been your lifeline and have met people that you feel connected to or that you have come to define as a friend. Please tell me.... am I delusional? Shall I be so cynical as to think that everyone here is just as needy, crazy and weird as me?

I am absolutely gutted that someone purported to be "my partner" would think so little of me and those that have addictions who seek like minds for support and friendship. Lest I ramble on too long, I would appreciate any thoughts on this. :confused:

At the moment I am just trying to hang on to this quit. My first reaction obviously was to run to the store and buy the very thing that will give me a temporary security blanket, a place to feel safe, right and maybe some measure of relief from the anger, and hurt that I feel right now. I don't know what to do honestly. This was my time, my quit, I was so positive I was doing the right thing. now I don't know what to think.....

I am just a hairs breath away from packing a bag and leaving but I realize it isn't a financial option.

Anyway, I know most of you are sleeping so I will wait for a reply hopefully in the morning. Not sure where this night will see me but no matter what I will check in tomorrow morning.

I'm sorry this is all such personal stuff but I don't have any family so I guess to some degree you guys are it. I guess that does make me weird after all no?

~Sherri

26 Replies

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  • Aloneness

    Hi Sherri B Smoke free

    An interesting post - I guess it all comes down to semantics.

    I think we are on this forum so that we know that we're not alone. That is the reason many people read books by great writers too - to feel connected.

    This forum gives us an emotional resonance: in that respect it's like a friendship.

    I think your partner just took the meaning of the word "friend" too literally. Maybe we're best referred to as "online support buddies".

    We're a bit like the members of Alcoholics Anonymous I suppose. The organisation exists for one purpose only - to give support while recovering from an addiction. I don't think friends have such a narrow definition.

    Hope this helps you my online buddy :)

  • Domestics are the hardest for me and the old nicotine demon is always waiting for one to errupt. I truly hope you hung in there and fought your corner. Ignore the BF I personnally think he feels a tad macho by saying all that. We are all friends for a while. All the while we are quitting we will all think about each other and giggle at some of the antics just like friends do. So for me yes we are quitting friends and I would not share too much with your BF about your quit as it may ignite rows and you dont need upsets at the moment, you need some pain sailing for a while xxx :)

  • Hey you. Man that sounds like a tough night for you yesterday. You were so high on life too in the afternoon. It sucks when someone can take the wind out of your sails like that.

    Listen you know we will talk about this so i'll keep this one really breif. I dont tell my wife about this forum. I did once and got a similar but not so strong response. She jumped on the defensive like i was doing something wrong. Ok so i may be here when i should be working but i do enough unpaid overtime to cover that. I may joke with people on here but i dont want to be made to feel guilty for some harmless laughs. Its easier for me to say nothing.

    To answer your question yes i do beleive i can call you guys friends. Some of you i have interracted with more than others and we have had great laughs. Peoples personalities and sense of humours come out and its all harmless fun. If i cant call you a friend then i want to know the definition of a friend?

    I dont think you are deluded at all Sherri. If you are then i am too and to be honest if i am deluded i'd rather stay that way. Much more fun.

    I think i told you yesterday that it was worth getting hooked on nicotine just to meet you and have the laughs we have had. Wouldnt have happened otherwise.

    Finally think of it like this. There is nothing wrong with YOU that isnt wrong with EVERYONE who uses this forum or any other. That is a LOT of people.

    I'll be here waiting for you my dear. I'll make sure you enter the weekend with a smile!!!!

    :D:D:D

  • Oh Sherri what a horrible evening you had! Not nice when you obviously wanted to celebrate some good news!!

    I think my hubby probably thinks I'm a bit weird for joining this forum and getting so involved. It is quite weird to me how I am concerned about how other people are doing (like now for example with you being sad), but I think it is because we share a common goal and we are such fantastic support to each other.

    This is the first forum I have ever joined and it is great to be able to vent to complete strangers about anything and everything. Do I think of you guys as my friends - I would say I have my virtual friends (a hell of a lot more supportive than real friends sometimes). If I was in serious trouble and needed someone to talk to (non-smoking related) would I come to the forum with my problem - probably not, although it may come up in conversation.

    Some real friendships may well develop over time, but I have no experience of this so I wouldn't know. All I know is that I'm so happy to have you guys at the moment as it has really helped with my quit and most of the people I've come across seem to be lovely, funny, kind people.

    Don't give in Sherri - you have come so far (physically and in your mindset). We are here for you!!

    (sending a virtual hug from your virtual friend)

  • If there were a group of random individuals who you met up with in real life just to talk about smoking and not very much else - wouldn't he think that was weird too?!

    This forum gives you an place to talk about the process in a way that might be impractical and much more difficult to do in the real world.

    Whether that means people are actual friends - well, it depends on the definition. As someone else said, real world friendships aren't so one-track or one-dimensional. But it doesn't mean the support and advice given on this site aren't real, or that the intentions behind them aren't genuine.

    As it happens, I used to belong to a books and literature chat group on yahoo in the early nineties. I went to a couple of meet ups, which were a lot of fun. I've stayed in touch with some of them ever since. I've had members from the US who were visiting the UK come stay with my family. A couple of the people from the group ended up getting married. One of my virtual friends came to my wedding. So there's no reason that these online friendships aren't valid.

    As for how this is making you feel - try to keep perspective. The fight has made you stressed, and stress is a trigger that you have to work through. If you light up it's your decision and yours alone - you can't blame it on anything or anyone else. Which isn't to say your BF isn't being a bit of an ****, but look at it this way - do you want his attitude to defeat you? No! You are stronger than that!

    Deep breaths, keep going. Nothing is worth smoking for.

    H x

  • The internet is a funny place. My wife too looked at me as if I was a wierdo after telling her about this forum, still, as the tagline from a certain supermarket advert goes 'every little helps' and this forum certainly is helping. Don't let your BF's attitude put you down, I guess he just doesn't understand what you are going through. I love the term 'online support group' by the way, brilliant, just what I need :) Hang in there anyhoo, you can do it.

  • I do not believe the people on these forums are the same as your friends (in the flesh) so to speak. When you stop smoking you are very vulnerable and clutch on to someone who is sharing the same vulnerability. This in itself can be quite dangerous.

    I am not saying that the support they give on this forum is not genuine, because it most probably is, it's just that how do you know who is telling the truth? I feel there are people on this forum that are not entirely honest. So, as I am grateful for the support I received on this forum in my early days, that is all it was, support. Please do not jump on my for this answer, this is my opinion, giving some PM's I received early on in my quit. :)

  • Good morning, or afternoon everyone,

    I was going to answer you individually but I have to get ready for work and out the door.

    I want to thank every one of you for your thoughts and opinions on this issue. I found myself shaking my head "yes yes" to something in all your posts. so much valuable information, and I am going to use all the bits and pieces received.

    Helen,

    I did not smoke for exactly the reason you stated. Why should I take his issue make it my problem and then punish myself, duh! Instead I just went to bed.

    Kat/Max

    I believe you are correct in that there may be some insecurity etc. on his part so going forward, I will not discuss this place with him and let it stand at that. Most of you that have partners have also stated that you tend to keep this piece of your life a bit on the down low. :rolleyes: maybe you were purposefully doing that to avoid any issues.

    I was just trying to share with him and make sure he didn't feel left out. No matter now, going forward I will handle differently.

    For the record there are people here I would happily meet off the forum and yes I believe we could have fully rounded friendships. Some of us to gravitate beyond the smoking issue but so what, that's what people do. ;)

    I am sorry I haven't touched on more of your individual comments because they were all excellent and I am so grateful that you took the time to answer but I am out of time and going to be late....

    So thank you all for your "virtual" friendship and support in all it's forms :p

    I am still smoke free, plan on staying that way. Looking forward to a great day, how can it not be because it is FRIDAY whoo hoo!!! :eek:

    Um..... A, are we on Day 12 or 13???? I am losing track, maybe that's a good sign!

    ~Sherri

  • Don't worry Sherri, yesterday i told my mother-in-law i quit smoking. She did not say "good for you", she told me it's ok if i start again, i must just try to stop again. WHAT?? And my father-in-law was here earlier, i told him and thought he'd understand, he smokes 3 packets a day. He told me i don't know what smoking is, since i only smoked for 13 years, 35 cigg per day. WHAT?:confused::confused::confused::confused:

    I understand your frustration...

  • Don't worry Sherri, yesterday i told my mother-in-law i quit smoking. She did not say "good for you", she told me it's ok if i start again, i must just try to stop again. WHAT?? And my father-in-law was here earlier, i told him and thought he'd understand, he smokes 3 packets a day. He told me i don't know what smoking is, since i only smoked for 13 years, 35 cigg per day. WHAT?:confused::confused::confused::confused:

    I understand your frustration...

    Hi Vicki

    I am sorry your inlaws cannot be happier and more supportive for you, it smacks of jealousy and sour grapes to me!!!

    Never mind, I for one am really pleased and proud of you :)

    They are more to be pitied if that is their attitude! :rolleyes:

    Take care and do not lose heart :)x

  • Vickie,

    That was really insensitive on both their parts, wasn't it? I got the sense from what you wrote that it really hurt your feelings and I am sorry for that. I know how you're feeling.

    Well, For what it's worth, you know that WE are all proud of you!!! Keep it up!! Next time you see them mention just don't even mention it and see how long it takes them to figure out you still don't smoke lol.

    Teflon,

    I couldn't agree with you anymore. You and I are birds of a feather on this issue. Loved what you wrote, it strikes with me exactly how I feel. I don't come on here saying hey be my friend, it's just the way I feel about some of the people I have met here and you know what... they know who they are ;)

    ~S

  • I think the emphasis here is how you define friend?

    To me, I can count the number of friends I have on one hand, these are people I trust 100%, and trust me 100%. I also have lots of people I know, ie work colleagues, forum friends etc.

    I find the people on forums are very 'fluffy'. Lots of Ohhh well done, ohh congrats, oh dear you caved, pick yourself up and carry on. This can be helpful when it,s what you need. People on these forums Need something from others on this forum ie support. I do need anything from my real friends.

    Whereas my real friends will tellme it as it is. (the whole ugly truth of things)

    This is all IMO, although people vary and that's what makes the world fun.

  • Hi Jane,

    I appreciate your opinion, I truly do.

    For me, it's been my experience here that there are a few people at least in my case that have had no problem telling me what time it is lol !! ;)

    I would be happy to name a few: Kat, Max, Nifty, Hellesbelles, Una and a few others that have shall we say given me some tough love when I have needed it.

    Yes, maybe we all define friends differently, maybe the answer is there is more than just one type of friend that we can have?

    I don't think the arena just includes those we see on a daily basis. Lots of people move away from each other and remain close.

    Or as Helen and Teflon say there are online clubs and so forth that you get to know people over time. Possibly that is one of the key elements is time. Conversations evolve and grow when you talk to another over time. Like it or not you begin to get to know them. they become a familiar and maybe just somewhere along the way a friend.

    Last point... people can be deceptive whether or not they are in your life daily or online. Totally agree with that as well.

    Sounds like perhaps there may have been for you an experience here that made you feel deceived. It's certainly possible. If so that sux!!

    Sorry to go sooo long!

    Doesn't really matter if your opinions differ or not..... I will respect them anyway, no BS ;)

    ~Sherri

  • Hi Vicki

    I am sorry your inlaws cannot be happier and more supportive for you, it smacks of jealousy and sour grapes to me!!!

    Never mind, I for one am really pleased and proud of you :)

    They are more to be pitied if that is their attitude! :rolleyes:

    Take care and do not lose heart :)x

    Thank you Jess, the support means alot and i am just not going to even reply when they ask me how i'm doing, because i know they don't want to hear. I am really so tired of people that goes on about you smoking and then when you do, they still have something to say. It's just never enough. But i am strong and i'm doing it for me and my 2yr old daughter. My only regret is that i did not stop sooner.

  • Vickie,

    That was really insensitive on both their parts, wasn't it? I got the sense from what you wrote that it really hurt your feelings and I am sorry for that. I know how you're feeling.

    Well, For what it's worth, you know that WE are all proud of you!!! Keep it up!! Next time you see them mention just don't even mention it and see how long it takes them to figure out you still don't smoke lol.

    Teflon,

    I couldn't agree with you anymore. You and I are birds of a feather on this issue. Loved what you wrote, it strikes with me exactly how I feel. I don't come on here saying hey be my friend, it's just the way I feel about some of the people I have met here and you know what... they know who they are ;)

    ~S

    Sherri, i did hurt my feelings A LOT, more than it made me angry. And i am going to do what you suggested, i am not even going to say anything. They can find out i STILL don't smoke when they see me. Thank you so much for your support!

  • I understand what you are saying Max, but you yourself are saying 'people, in the flesh can be deceitful' - not real friends!!

  • I understand what you are saying and I think it boils down to how you define friends!

    I, myself met my partner (15 years later and 2 children) on a bike forum, so I know that forum friends can be true friends.

    I also know you can connect with certain people, but as for calling them friends, hmm, I like to think I don't take the word to flippantly.

    Let's agree to differ ;)

  • This is a fascinating thread and and one i've been keeping an eye on all day at work (I am working boss, honestly!). Anyhoo, this is only the second forum i've ever joined up to (the first was an online gaming forum a few weeks ago by the way) and have been umming and ahhing for ages about what to write and generally walking on eggshells due to not really being a very confident person online. I just thought that it would help me give up talking to people going through the same thing I am, not actually knowing someone in real life sort of makes me feel as if I have to be on my best behaviour. Anyhoo, i've had a rubbish day and am rambling so i'll stop now

  • On the whole I do agree with Max .....

    This is a very subjective topic but to sum it up I think that from my experience on here I have found people on the whole to be very friendly and supportive ..... It has been a godsend to me!

    If you personally find otherwise then don't interact with those particular people - we are all flawed and will probably not rub along with absolutely everyone! Just keep an open mind because at the end of the day our goals are all the same :rolleyes: x

  • I have made some lovely 'friends' on here. People who have helped me and supported me immensely and I will always be grateful. You can definitely connect with people through the written word, it is just like having a pen friend after all:)

  • I have made some lovely 'friends' on here. People who have helped me and supported me immensely and I will always be grateful. You can definitely connect with people through the written word, it is just like having a pen friend after all:)

    'What Hazel has just said" x

  • No hope for me!

    Blimey just read original post - i imagine its probably a bit of jealousy or just feeling he can not serve his purpose of provider Ii.e. you get support from others. I met my wife online - and i think she is real - well she has a Manchester accent anyway!:)

  • Totally agree with Jess and Hazel.

    I Googled for and joined this forum because I am committed to quitting smoking.

    My BF's mum seemed to find her local NHS support group really helpful and my partner has been packed off to a similar weight loss support group which has really helped him to stay motivated.

    I'm sure I have a local NHS support group who would welcome me, once a week? My working hours make it difficult for me to go out during the day and occasionally evenings too. It would be too easy to not bother going and not take advantage of the support on offer.

    I can pop on here anytime I feel weak, or strong and share my highs and lows. Most of the time it's just good to get things off your chest. It's helpful to hear other people's stories, opinions, thoughts, experience and advice. It's all about supporting each other.

    In that respect this forum, like many others, is no different to the "real life" equivalent. It is no less likely to result in real life friendships.

    I have online friends who have become "real" friends and I also have "real" friend who have become online friends, both due to proximity.

    I think it doesn't really matter how you define friends. Amicable acquaintances, people I am grateful to (thank you!) or true share your soul mates. We all need all types of relationships, casual through to meaningful and as long as no one's being intentionally nasty it's all good.

    I've been told over and over on here, whatever it takes, just don't light up. It's so true! Sheri, I'm guessing your OH isn't a smoker or isn't joining you in quitting. He clearly doesn't get that you need all the support you can get. My OH is trying to be supportive but he has no idea what I'm going through so his "well done" seems a bit lack luster. On here I get a resounding "you're doing fantastic!" from someone who completely understands just how hard it is. That support has made a massive difference! If support turns to friendship great, amicable acquaintance cool, if it's just temporary mutual support still great.

  • And oh yes, met my fellah online too. But he doesn't have a Manchester accent, does that mean hes not real!?!?! :eek::eek::eek:

  • Hi Bridie

    You have said so honestly and eloquently what I think everyone feels about this wonderful forum. I, like you, have a husband who says well done you and that but as you say it is not like someone who knows how you really feel at that time?

    Thank you x

    PS: I think Mancunians are sooooo cool!

  • I consider people my friend who I can rely on to have a nice chat, someone that understands me even if I am talking in sammish. Someone who I can talk to about anything.

    I believe there are such people on the internet. I met a girl on a facebook game years ago and we have been talking for years.

    She probably knows me more than my BF!

    I wouldnt take it personally, sounds like he was just being a jerk

    xx

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