2010 HOF Speeches

10,950 Days

ironman07 avatarI am a 30-year addict who is now 101-days quit due to a web site of lunatics, a quit group I’ve never met and 1-index card with 5-names and phone numbers on it – who would believe it…. 10,950-days of nicotine – 101-days of quit.

Our stories are the same – we’re all dumb-asses who finally wised up. My battle started with cigarettes – Skoal just came along for the ride. It was pretty simple, when I was not smoking, I was dipping. I’m an addict. If you’re honest with yourself, you are too. That’s why we got sucked in. We were easy prey. “We knew the risk, we knew the dangers but we did it anyway.” I finally quit smoking 12-years ago and just increased my dipping – Boy, was I proud of myself….

Just like you, I tried to quit dipping so many times I’d lost count. Always some excuse. Whether it was the death of a nephew, brother or a best friend, pressure with family, job or just life – nicotine was a constant companion. “I need a dip!” What a lie… The real problem was I didn’t want to quit. I loved it!

It was Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 7:15 p.m. I just broke the seal on a fresh can. I’m sitting at my desk at home on the computer with a dip in and it was burning. The ulcer was worse in the pocket so I moved it to the left side. I had an ulcer on my tongue and on the top of the left side. I thought for the 1000th time, “I got to quit this shit…” I was tired of the receding gum line, the ulcers, the mess… On impulse I pulled up Google and typed in “how do I quit dipping?” and hit enter. Guess what popped up? For some unknown reason I opened the site and began to read. It was time, I was ready. At 8:35 I sent the sign-up email. I got up, walked out on the front porch, poured out my spit cup, took the new can out of my pocket, open the lid and dumped it in the flower bed – guess how many times I’ve done that before… But this time, I walked back inside and got a can out of my backpack and then the one out of the console of my company car. I walked back to the front porch and dumped both. I remember standing there savoring that last dip, enjoying the cool night air because something felt different. I knew I’d had enough. I threw the dip out and walked inside. Panic time….

Next morning I remember waking up and thinking, “Crap!” When I got to work I immediately took the one out of my desk drawer, walked outside and dumped it too. I knew I couldn’t trust myself to keep it. I kept telling myself, “I can buy a can tomorrow but not today.” Ironically, on Friday, November 13, 2009 at 5:50 pm I posted my first roll for day 2 and “hell week” began. “Ah, the fog of hell week…..” As Hydro’s signature so elegantly puts it – “Day 3 was my favorite…” How true!

Has it been easy – hell no! Do I want to go through these last 101-days again – hell no! Did I almost kill some people – you bet I did. Was I a jerk to my wife and kids – unfortunately, yes. Did my employees hate me – absolutely. Was it worth it – you bet your life on it!!!! Every-last-minute-of-it.

As bad as quitting has been, dipping was worse. We’ve built up this mental picture of dipping – relaxation, calm, tranquility, clear thought, great taste, enjoyment, “pure dipping satisfaction” – Bullshit. I don’t know how else to say it – Just plain Bullshit. You just have to put some distance between you and the can to realize that.

You know what the really cool part is – everything I did the last 101-days was new. For those last 30-years I had not experience life without nicotine in my system. Let me repeat that, there was nothing you or I had done without nicotine playing a role. These last 101-days I had to relearn everything! Hell, I’d never walked outside without a dip! I didn’t know you could bow hunt without a dip. Did you realize you could drive a vehicle without a dip? Talk about panic attacks… There were too many episodes to name but if you’re an addict reading this, you know what I’m talking about. The sleepless nights, the anger, the anxiety, the lost feeling, the staring into the computer, the walking around not even remembering what you’re looking for…. THE FOG….

Quick story about the index card – I took the first five names and numbers I got and wrote them on an index card, folded it up and put it in my wallet. (…like most of you, I have a blackberry full of names and number from KTC but those first 5 became special). Early in my quit probably day 8-9 I stop off at a convenient store to buy a Coke and Snickers’ bar and without even thinking I said, “Two cans, Skoal blue – mint flavor.” Before I can say “no, wait a minute”, she’s already got them and back to the counter ringing up my order. I’m stunned. I broke out in a cold sweat. What did I just do? I went ahead and paid for all the items and thought, “I just blew $11 but I’ll drop them in the trash as I walk out the door.” Well, I didn’t. I get to the truck, my mouth is watering, I can smell it, I can taste it, hell my palms were sweating! Oh, I wanted it bad…. I climb in the cab and I’m sitting there with a 100-thoughts running through my head, most are justifications for opening one of those cans and then I remember thinking about that bunch of lunatics at KTC. I remembered the index card. I pulled it out of my wallet and read the names and remembered the promise that I would call them and ask permission before I caved. “Hell, I’m 47-years old, I don’t have to call and ask anyone’s permission. If I want a dip, I’ll DIP!” Then I remember laughing. What a crazy concept. I’m giving my word to a bunch of F… Nuts who I don’t even know and I’m sitting here rationalizing my cave and how I’m going to explain it – not to my wife – but to a bunch of F… Nuts! And then, just like that, it passed. I got out of the truck, without opening the cans dropped them in the trash. I got back in the truck, pick up the index card, folded it up and put it back in to my wallet. I opened the Coke, took a bite of the Snickers’ and drove off. That simple index card saved my quit many times!

Can you quit on your own? Maybe. But if you could, why haven’t you? You’re reading this for a reason. This system works. It’s simple but yet brilliant. You post roll every morning with a bunch of misfits who are just like you. They’re fighting the same battle, going through the same issues, and experiencing the same pain. You give them your word that for today you’ll not use. It’s that simple. You worry about tomorrow, tomorrow. Pretty soon you’ll find yourself obsessed with posting roll. You’ll look forward to it – You’ll crave it.

Does it get easier, they say it does. In a way, I guess it has for me. I don’t think about dip 24 hrs a day anymore, I’m down to probably about 10….

To my February Quit brothers – Thank you! QSX Endurance Enthusiasts Club – you guys ROCK! To you ‘ole farts that support us everyday – it wouldn’t work without you!!! I hope to be just like you one day… And by the way, my wife and kids thank all of you too….

Today I gave my word …. 10,950-days of nicotine – 101-days of quit. I’ll worry about tomorrow, tomorrow. Today, I’m quit!

Jim.

NOTE: This piece written by KillTheCan.org forum member jwbow

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