Let’s sit back and reflect upon the journey that brought me to this miraculous day 100, shall we.
Let me take you down the road to my past, at fourteen years of age as I’m opening the mailbox to bring in the days mail. I can’t tell you the entire contents of that mail haul, but I can tell you about one piece in particular. It was a shiny cardstock with pictures of dudes hunting and fishing, looked like a lot of fun to me, hell I loved to hunt and fish. While it was addressed to my step father I couldn’t fight the temptation to fill out the enclosed card and mail it in. They made it super easy, shit it was even postage paid. I forged my step dad’s signature on the card, placed it in the mailbox and then made sure to check the mail every day before my parents got home.
It felt like an eternity of checking the mail, but that one day, “holy shit this it” I say to my buddy Kevin as we scurry to the back yard to check out the loot. Somehow the back yard didn’t quite seem so safe so we climbed up to the top of the roof. Yeah I know sounds like a fucking genius move doesn’t , lets climb up on the roof to sample some dip. It was like heaven, they sent all of the latest flavors in regular form and Bandits. I’m having blast, spitting all down the roof side, thinking of how much this must make me look like a man, how cool I must be right now. Little did I know my boy Kevin, he wasn’t fairing so well. When I turned to say some bullshit to him, my man was green. I mean all kinds of torn up and puking. Now, how do I get his ass off of the roof? How great of an idea was this? I finally got him down and had to have his older brother come to retrieve his sickly ass. Later that evening he calls to let me know that his brother knew what we had done.
Now back up some more in time. My mom and dad had divorced when I was four. I only visited my father in the summer, seeing how he lived in Illinois and we were in Oklahoma. My earliest memory of my father was the smell of Skoal Longcut Wintegreen. So imagine all year I don’t see my dad but if I smell Skoal Wintergreen I instantly get taken back to being with him. I remember the brown hour glass shaped Michelob bottles wrapped in gold foil labels, scattered around the house with the smell of wintergreen buzzing around them. As I sit here typing this I am amazed at all of the stupid shit I can remember, do you ever wonder why you remember shit like this?
I can tell you why. Chalk it up to marketing. From the day you were a little child you have been targeted, and filled full of shit by corporate America. And the worst of these companies, Big Tobacco!! I guess I better get back on track I could go on all day about these bastards.
Fast forward to age thirty five.
Here I sit on day 86, counting the days until I can publish this letter. To tell you guys of my journey, my individual battle with the nic bitch. When I was fourteen years old I placed that cat shit in my mouth for the first time, why? I have no damn idea. Regret? You bet there is regret. Do I let it hold me down? Hell no, for I once was lost but now I am found. If you guys are still reading this, I want to thank CMark for getting me here today. Now he is not the only person who had mentored and coached my sometimes whinny ass along the way. But, he is however the guy who was there on the other end of the line when I jumped into an open chat room on January 7th 2013. I read this “Go flush that shit down the toilet right now and then call me when you are done”. So, I got my ass up from this very spot and walked to the restroom to pour out sixteen dollars’ worth of Copenhagen Longcut, walked back to the phone and dialed his number. Twenty nine minutes later, I hung up the phone, posted roll and started the first day of the rest of my life.
That my friend was a crucial moment in “MY” quit. You see I had attempted to quit time and time again in the past. One excuse led to another as to why I had to start again. I had quit for a year, a whole year had gone by nic free. I get a phone call, the voice on the other end says to me “your dad is very sick, I think you should come quickly, we don’t know how long he is going to hold on”. What the hell? OK well guess I’m going to drive to North Carolina with my brother to visit the old man before he goes. Problem being; twenty minutes into our road trip I get another phone call, this time the voice says “I’m sorry but your father has passed away”. WTF? How do I deal with this shit? Then BAM!!! There she is, riding in the truck with us, the good ole’ Nic Bitch. You see my brother was an avid dipper of Skoal Long Cut Wintergreen, and he just happened to have a brand new can in his console. My mind is racing, I had been clean a year, but “you can’t handle this alone” she says. At home I have a two year old daughter and a newborn along with my wife, I’m wondering how to take care of everything, them my dad, still hearing “let me help you out, just take a little pinch it won’t hurt”. So I caved after 365 plus days, my world collapsed, I let her back in to my life.
There she was by my side while I took care of all my dad’s arrangements. With every day that passed she rooted herself deeper and deeper into my life. My wife hated it, did I care? Nope, hell no I had my mistress back. As the days went on after my dad’s passing I dipped more and more, spiraling out of control I wound up divorced and alone. Oh my, how those were some good times. Thank God for the upswing.
Two years later I met the love of my life. I made her a promise, that I would quit dipping when she said yes. That is the only promise I have made to her that I didn’t keep. Well kind of, I may have not quit dipping on the day she said yes, but I have been quit for 100 days today. All though that promise was made to her to quit, that is not the reason I chose to be quit. I had, had enough the days of being a slave to a can were over for me. So thank you KTC and all my brothers and sisters of quit, for it is because of you that I am here today.
There were many dark hours on my travels to get here, I will never forget day four. I spent day four in Van Buren Arkansas at a Holiday Inn Express. I was in the fetal position on the bed physically shaking and dripping with sweat. Thank God for the live chat, and thank God that my wife and kids weren’t there to witness that. So with my rambling speech winding to an end, I would like to thank all of my Bumping Bastards of April II, along with all of the old school dudes who supported us. Come see me on the Train and look for me on the second floor , as Spartonron and I take the stairs up.