I realized just how long it has been since I stroked an entry here and felt today was a good day to do so. I would be lying if I said I ever knew for certain I could make it 1,000 days without nicotine. There are just so many unknowns and although my resolve to beat the addiction to nicotine seems absolute, 1,000 always seemed like an extreme aspiration in the early days of my quit. The early days of the quit are intense and occupy most of your attention. The physical withdrawals, the emotional ups and downs, and the sickening attachment to that evil chemical force you to stay engaged. Thankfully I stumbled upon KTC and all my brothers and sisters in quit that got me over the wall of the first 100 days. Although the intensity and difficulty of those 100 days (and a good chunk after) were among the hardest in my life, it is the comradery and people of KTC that made it bearable and lifted me up countless times. To this day, I consider this quit and milestone to be among the hardest I have had to endure, and I say that over a brain tumor and the road back from brain surgery.
It is after you get that day count to the three hundred mark and beyond that complacency starts to creep in. The early days of being in the trenches have faded, and the physical pull of the addiction is not as prevalent. Dip and your quit are no longer the front and center focus of your day-to-day (or hour to hour) existence, thank God! So there is more room to forget or run on autopilot. I think that is OK to some extent, however after hitting 1,000 days, a mark that again always seemed so far off in the future, that I reflected back on the rough and winding road with my wife and wanted to record it here.
The nights waiting for my family to fall asleep so I could throw a dip in my mouth and whisper sweet nothings in my ear. Staying up well past useful hours with nicotine coursing through my body and wreaking havoc. I now relish the extra time with my kids and do not have this voice in my head telling me “they should all go to sleep so we can watch TV/play video games with a Copenhagen in”.
How my anxiety could never be addressed properly because I realized dipping was a quick fix band-aid I had used over 20-years to avoid hard truths. It prevented me from personal growth and from ever being truly present in the moment EVER, as dip would inevitably become a thought eventually. I now can try to grow a meditation and mindfulness practice instead that was never possible before.
Needing to take breaks at work to drive around pointlessly so I could dip mid-day, losing productive hours of work.
The swollen gums, yellow teeth, bad breath, and FEAR of the dentist visit.
The vast sums of money wasted. If you break it down to how many hours you need to work a job (in many cases that stress you out already) to then buy obscene amounts of a product that is only intended to get you addicted for life, ultimately killing you slowly, it is extremely depressing.
The fear of not having enough dip around on a vacation to a tropical paradise being a focus, rather than enjoying the limited time you have there with loved ones.
Being a slave to something so stupid.
That our days here are never guaranteed. To spend so much thought, time, money, and our lives on this chemical is a serious injustice to ourselves and those that care about us. Be here now.