I think you were the one to bring up that thread Michelle and I had the sense that you had somehow missed that warning. There were times where a person would bring up the thread with the message on it and make it clear that he or she saw the message but just had more to say anyway. In those cases we will just pull the string and the person's membership. But we do want people to really be careful for if they bring up the string by accident it is going to cause the deletion of the string and comments that might have been helpful in the early part of the string will be lost.
We don't actually have to bring this point often. Actually, weeks and usually months pass by without people popping up emergency or negative posts. Although this week we have had two such occasions. The one we are corresponding about here and another one from a few days ago. I added the comment of "Let this string drop" in bold letters and referred all readers to this string.
It was another example of where a person was having a tough time a few days ago, posted back that he was doing better, even posted in a new string that things had improved and yet the string was brought back up again. As this string here talks about, it is giving a false impression of where the member is at this point in time and can often bring people who have a limited time to post to support a person who is doing fine taking away their time from giving support to others who may be in a more problematic state.
Also, one other thing happened in that string that was a cause of concern. A day after the post was made and the person wrote back that he was fine, another member popped it up again and asked if he was still okay. You could see that the person started a new post saying that he thought that he made it clear that he was better and was sorry that he had worried others. He had nothing to apologize for, he did make it clear that the problem had passed.
I am going to recopy from the original post in this string why we don't want people bringing up posts like this:
There are a few already existing strings that address why we feel this way. They are:
Misery Love Company
(If you have not already read this one today please do and pay special attention to post 10 in that string.)
"Please don't smoke."
Acknowledge the negative--but dwell on the positive
Buddy Systems Each of these string address issues that are likely explaining some of the possible reasons that this post did get raised today. There was no real reason for this man's post to be singled out.
If you go back over the board for the almost three years since Freedom has existed, there are hundreds of people whose posts like this could be brought up every day if we wanted to. Why pick out one and forget the others? Why are we not working at dragging all these people into posting and maybe quitting?
The reasons given above don't apply to this what was happening in this particular situation but still the concept still applies. No one should be put on the spot or feel like they have to post. The only time that we request people to post is if they feel like they are going to smoke. We want them to write us first. We want them to give us the opportunity to point out what they are setting themselves up for. We want them to give us a little time to reply. In truth, we are just trying to give them a little time to really think through the moment.
If the person gets replies and decides to smoke anyway, it is of course his or her prerogative and choice. We hope they have the courtesy of just quietly pulling their own membership. For the person has clearly decided at that point that he or she does has changed his or her mind and realizes that Freedom is no longer the place for him or her. When the person joined he or she had basically promised himself or herself that he or she was going to quit smoking and to work at staying free, giving in essence a 100% commitment to the process. But once a person takes a puff it is clear that he or she is no longer committed to these goals. As our Our Mission Statement points out
we are not here to force anyone into quitting and we are not here to enforce personal resolve. We are here to help people who have already decided to quit and are sticking with that commitment. We are here to make sure that everyone remembers that the way to successfully stay smoke free for as long as you want is to simply stick to that commitment to never take another puff!