2012 HOF Speeches

21 Years of Stupidity – 100 Days of Lucidity

rgross298 avatarTwenty-one years. Holy shit, that sounds like a long time.

I dipped tobacco for 21 freaking years of my life.

An Air Force career. Traveling the world, living in Mississippi, New Mexico, overseas, California, settling in Texas for a high-tech career. A college degree. I will quit one of these days. Not now. My Time, My Skoal.

Finding my dream girl. She hates my dipping, but she tolerates it. I don’t deserve a wife this cool. Oh, well. Hey, why stop now?

First child. I’ll quit before my daughter notices my dipping.

Seven years. Second child. I promise I’ll quit before my son notices. Heck, I hide it well, they rarely notice me dipping. I’ll just tell them to NEVER do this.

Three marathons. I’m in the best shape of my life. I can do what only 1% of the population can do. Dipping is ok — every man has a vice, right?

Twenty-one birthdays. I’ll quit when I’m 25. 30. 35. Okay, I have to quit by the time I’m 40, right.

Twenty-one christmases. What’s the best gift I could give myself or my family this year?

Twenty-one years. 7,665 days. 5,750 cans of dip. At least as many spit cans. $31,625 at today’s price.

For me, it was quite simple. I had comfortably submitted to the fact that my life revolved around tobacco. It was the first thing I thought of and did when I woke up each day, its use influenced my behavior with friends, loved ones, and my work habits, and it was there at the end of the day, keeping me up far past the point of exhaustion just to have “one last dip”.
I was trapped and enslaved, mentally and physcially. Whenever I would dispair at the extent of my addiction, what it was doing to me, my hopelessness, I would resign to the fact that I had been using for twenty-one years, and the likelihood of quitting was next to zilch at this point.

That’s, ok, because I found solace in the routine of life. Everyone likes a routine. You know,

  • Wake up, scrounge for dip.
  • Work out or run. Have a dip.
  • Take a shower, load another dip.
  • Breakfast? Maybe. Spit out dip.
  • Brush teeth, dip. Freaking dip right after brushing my teeth, man, every damned day.
  • Drive to work with dip.
  • Get to desk, load another dip.
  • Dip every hour. Dip for an entire hour.
  • Get stuck with a dip in for a 90 minute meeting.
  • Dip on the way to lunch.
  • Lunch. Dip after lunch. I hate business lunches. They want to talk, I want to dip.
  • Afternoon, more work, more meetings, all delineated by dip.
  • Drive home with that drive-home dip. Love that one. I’ve been dipping all damned day, though, tired of it. Spit it out early. Maybe today I’ll wait until after dinner for my next dip, show myself I’m in control here.
  • Shit, how’s my dip level looking, do I have enough to make it through to tomorrow morning?
  • Load a dip, pull into gas station to buy dip.
  • Honey, I’m home. Dip before dinner.
  • Dinner. Dip after dinner.
  • Load a dip, help kids with bath.
  • Read books to kids with dip in. They can’t smell it, right?
  • Unwind with the wife after the kids are down. Hey, great time for a dip.
  • Wife wants to cuddle a little, hide dip can in corner of couch. Hope she doesn’t want to kiss, I have a dip in.
  • She’s tired, cool, going to bed. I’ll stay up for that last dip in solitude.

Ahhhh, what a wonderful life I have, I am so fortunate. This calls for a dip.

100 days ago, I thought my daily routine was typical. I now look back and see myself as the absolute addicted freak that I was. All that I was, centered on tobacco.

Routine, solace.
Habit, comfort.
Addiction, helpless.
Slavery, frustration.
Hopeless, anger.

All things evolve.

When I decided to take the plunge and quit, my solace turned to anger.

Anger that I’m addicted to this crap. I don’t want to buy it and use it any more.
Anger that I can’t conceive of a life that doesn’t revolve around it.
Anger that it’s so hard to quit. Quitting has always been an insurmountable, impossible endeavor.
Anger that I make up excuses to rationalize using dip. Anger that I’m good at that.
Anger that I hide something from my children. Good at that, too.
Anger that I’ve spent twenty-one years trapped, addicted, enslaved, hopeless, resigned. To a highly addictive, highly profitable product.

Enough. I do not want to do this any more. I want to quit. I can do this.
You cannot.

I want a life without tobacco. I want to set a good example for my kids. I want to show my wife I am not owned by tobacco.
You shall not.

I want to take control of my life. I want to quit for me. I am more than a vehicle for tobacco addiction.
You are not.

I want to stop handing $6 a day to convenience store clerks for a product that can kill me. I am sick of thinking about tobacco, the agents of tobacco, tobacco in my machine. I am my own master.
You will not last.

Yes I will. Yes I did. F*** tobacco.

One minute, one hour, one day at a time, with brothers and sisters watching your back. Get a group of like-minded people together, post your word to quit one day at a time, exchange stories, personal messages, emails, texts, band together and hurl a collective F*** YOU to U.S. Tobacco. That’s how it’s done. That is what KTC is[/I].

If you’re new or lurking, thinking about doing this, consider this: I was the most resigned, hopeless tobacco addict when I stumbled upon this site. Now, well heck, I’m just about the baddest of the badass quitters on this site.

I hate tobacco and all of the companies and agents of tobacco that profit off its purchase and use.
I wipe my ass with toilet paper that has UST Exec mugshots on it.
Hell, when I fart, I think of the pricks behind the counter at the convenience stores, peddling the stuff.

I am FREE now. If I can quit, anyone can quit. I have no patience for people with excuses, now that I’ve been through this. There is life after tobacco, and that life is good. It is worth it. Freedom.

Huge props to my brother, dgross48, for showing me the way to quit, and to the BOMBers in May2012, for the support of a bunch of kickass brothers going through the same thing I am. Looking back, I now know that I needed one big thing that tobacco had taken from me: hope. I also have to give some special props to Rivers, Vadge, Rangy for being there and helping me out when I needed it. Also, watching mthomas (and several others in June, July, and Aug!) evolve into a badass pillar of quit with his sights on the tobacco industry has been a true inspiration. There are many more to thank but this is already long enough.

Lastly, I have to thank my family and, once again, my wife. I don’t think I’ve ever really accomplished anything great without her support. I also still don’t think I deserve a wife that cool. Perhaps that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

What a wonderful life I have, I am so fortunate. I am FREE.

NOTE: This piece written by KillTheCan.org forum member rgross298

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