Today may be the longest time in my life that I have not had nicotine in my body.
As I have gone through the last 100 days, I think about how nicotine has been in my life. I grew up with both parents being smokers and many of my friends parents smoked. As a child I remember waking up each morning to the smell of smoke and walking into the kitchen with it’s blue haze, then sitting down to enjoy my Fruit Loops and not being able to taste the full fruitiness with the taste of tobacco smoke with every bite. I learned to hate the smell of smoke and didn’t understand why anyone would voluntarily inhale something into their body which they knew was killing them. How naive I was because I was already addicted after years of second hand smoke, I just didn’t know it.
Though I hated the smell of cigarette smoke, when my college friend offered me some Kodiak, I thought it was not as bad for me since it wasn’t going into my lungs. The nicotine now had me first hand.. no more second hand smoke with small amounts of nicotine flowing through my bloodstream. I was getting 10-30 cigarettes worth of the addictive drug going right into my body. That nicotine bitch had her claws in me deep and I was in complete denial.
As any addict has said before, ‘I will quit ______.” (Fill in the blank) But an addict will break that promise with themselves over and over. I would say to myself:
- “I will quit when I graduate from college.”
- “I will quit because my girlfriend doesn’t like it.”
- “I will quit when the price for a can is $3…, $4…, $5…, $6…, $7…”
I kept my addiction secret. There were only a few people who knew I chewed. I was embarrassed of this ‘habit’. I would sneak around to have a chew when I could, hide my cans/tins so no one would see them – which is classic addict behavior who is in denial.
Years ago, I set a goal to bike 100 miles in one day. I trained hard and hit the wall at 80 miles. The next year, I trained harder and hit the wall at 88 miles. I thought, I will never make the Century Club for cycling. I looked at my bike and my other equipment I was using. I needed a new bike, one that was lighter and faster to help me to reach my goal. I needed new tools to monitor my progress, help me during the tough times and acknowledge my successes. On June 25th, 2016 I biked 101 miles in just over 6 hours. I felt great on my accomplishment.
Today is another accomplishment in my life, the longest time in my life without Nicotine. When I decided to Quit, I needed new tools since my previous attempts were not working. “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I needed new equipment and tools. I bought some Herbal Snuff (Smokey Mountain) and started reading the posts on KTC. Little did I know I was only scratching the surface of what KTC could offer. Once I joined a Quit Group, this really helped get me through the hardest times of my Quit. KTC provided me with the tools and knowledge I needed to get to today, but I need to continue to train, be vigilant and not become complacent. I need to be strong for myself, my family, my friends and my Quit Brothers/Sisters who came before me and those who will join us after.
I want to give a shout out to my Quit Brothers who really helped when I needed it the most:
Cochese598 (Brad), srains918 (Steve) and Phill – Taught me the importance of posting roll (WUPP) and were there when I first joined the March 2018 (The Underground Railroad of QUIT) group after quitting on my own for the first 65 days (I don’t recommend anyone doing this). I am so proud to quit with all of you.. I wish I could name you all… and looking forward to continuing to build our Brotherhood and meeting other brothers/sisters, both new and veterans.
Some things I have learned from this group over the last 100 days:
I am a BAQ (Bad Ass Quitter) and I am going to take it One Day at a Time (ODaaT), Wake Up, Piss, Post Roll with the promise (WUPP) to my Quit Brothers/Sisters and myself not to use Nicotine. Brotherhood + Accountability = Success (B + A = S).