I’m going to take a moment to tell my story and my journey here at KTC. It all started when I was about 15 or 16 and a friend somehow had gotten his hands an a can of chew. We both took a huge dip. Both of us became nauseous and I had to lie down and close my eyes as the room began to spin uncontrollably. Most people would have sworn off chew right then and there. But that didn’t stop me. It was just the beginning.
It seemed everywhere I went, people were chewing. I played baseball and it was there. I would go hunting and fishing and there it was. No big deal right? Everyone was doing it. I told myself in high school that this was only a phase. I would grow out of this, right? I told myself I would quit when I went to college. I told myself I would quit when I got married. When my first child was born. When my second child was born. Finally, after almost 20 years and countless times lying to myself about quitting, I finally stopped when my third child was born.
I had stopped chewing tobacco for over 2 years when in November of last year, I picked up a can of chew and told myself: “Just one dip won’t hurt.” That cave lasted for eight months until something hit me. I realized that I needed to quit for good. I needed something this time to make sure I quit and stayed quit. And that’s when I found Kill the Can. I wasn’t sure if it would work or not, but there was some comfort in knowing that others before you and others currently were going through the same thing and were here to support you.
Over the last 100 days I’ve become the person I’ve always wanted to be. Some say that you need to be the person that you want your kids to grow up to be. I wanted a life free from being a slave to nicotine. To not have to constantly worry about when I might get my next fix. To not have to use nicotine to hide and not deal with reality. To be there for the people in your life who need you to be present. To live in the moment and not worry about the next dip.
On this journey, I found that I was weak for letting this substance control my life. Now, free from nicotine I get to be strong and show everyone my strength in kicking this habit. I think about how it was one of the most selfish things I could have ever done. I think about what it would be like to die from this addiction. How you would leave behind your loved ones to explain how you were weak. How you could not kick this habit. And in the end it took your life. What could possibly be any more selfish than that?
Through the last 100 days, I’ve gone through some of the worst days of my life. The first three days were the absolute worst. Filled with anxiety and fear, I got absolutely nothing done. The next two weeks were bad, but not as bad. After that, you get a little better each and every day. There are still bad days, but now there are more good than bad. Thanks to all of the support here at KTC, I’ve made it through 100 days without nicotine. For those just starting out; reach out to the people in your quit group when you need help. Reach out to the vets when you need help. It’s all part of the support that will help you get through your first 100 days. Know that you are not alone. That helped me quit and will hopefully help with your quit.