2008 HOF Speeches

40 Year Trip – Journey Out of the Fog

KillTheCan LogoI grew up in a little tiny cowboy town in Montana, where all my role models were loggers, dirt stiffs and cowboys. The one thing all these men had in common was that they all used their hands to work, so the majority of them chewed snuff, including my Father and I wanted to be like all them.

Me and a couple of friends stole a plug of days work and just like so many people, I got high, dizzy, threw up and fell in love with it from the very start! That began my 40 year habit of chewing snuff. I would put a dip in my mouth first thing in the morning, spit it out for meals or when it was time to go to sleep at night, otherwise I had Copenhagen in my mouth all the time.

The first time I tried to quit chewing was about 20 years ago when I quit drinking. It lasted about 9 months and then as a result of a broken relationship I went back to drinking and as soon as I started drinking, I started chewing again. I made the decision right then and there that I would never try to quit chewing again.

I want everyone to understand I love chewing tobacco.

The first thing I noticed with the dip is that I started having blisters in my mouth that I couldn’t get rid of. The next thing that bothered me was that my girlfriend kept telling me that I smelled like burnt rubber. I could only reason that this was from the Copenhagen because I don’t have any other vices. Then in November of 2006 we were moving into a new apartment and I broke my back, I didn’t realize the magnitude of this because I got up and walked away from the accident and didn’t find out that my back was broken until a month later when the pain forced me to go to the doctor. In March of 2007 I was helping move a computer hutch, and all I was doing was pulling up on the dolly when my back snapped again. This one put me in the hospital immediately and I stayed there for a week. One of the very first things the doctors asked me when I got in the hospital was if I smoked, I said no, I chewed Copenhagen. They told me that this could very well be the reason my back broke. Nicotine leaches calcium from your bones, making them weak. So how did I deal with it… I stuck a chew in my mouth while in the hospital bed. Every doctor after that, the first thing they brought up was asking me if I smoked. That started to chew on me.

I was talking to my youngest brother one day, who chewed also, and he told me that if I took Welbutrin, that it would help me to quit chewing. I went to the doctor and got a prescription for Welbutrin July of 07 and he told me that if I am not serious about quitting, that this wouldn’t work. The Welbutrin sat in the medicine cabinet until July of this year (2008). In June of 08, both of my brothers had health scares from the chew. One had the white mark in his mouth and the other had the sore throat and his tongue went numb. This started the beginning of the end for me. Even though I knew I had to quit chewing when I talked to my brothers, like so many of us do, I still couldn’t quit or wouldn’t. One other thing I should add is that I had no idea how closed off I had become from everyone around me. This all but ruined my relationship with my girlfriend who was all but gone the day before I quit chewing and still this was not enough.

On July 24th this year, I told one of my friends that even though I had all these problems, I couldn’t quit chewing. On July 25th of 08, and I still can’t explain how this happened, I made the decision that I was never going to chew again and threw my snuff away. July 27th, I was looking on the internet for a place to buy the fake chew when I came across the Killthecan website. I almost passed it by but decided to click on it. The first two guys I met were Skoaldaddy and Sigma. Skoaldaddy offered me his phone number and Sigma told me he would help me out with the roll call. As a result of trying to post roll, by the time we were done he called me a fucking idiot. Now nine times out of ten, I would have went off on him but for some reason the thought came to me that if I can take this crap from this punk that I don’t even know, I must be serious about quitting chewing.

The list of names that have been instrumental in my quit is longer than my arm. And if I don’t mention your names, no offense meant, you mean the world to me. The men that have helped me the most are the ones that quit in the November group. I’d like to thank Big Brother Jack and his brother for being a part of starting this site. I’d like to thank Visa for being in the alcohol-quit group; this made me feel at home. And for all the guys that are regulars in the chat room, Monte, Sigma, Mike1228, LancefromSD, Timmay, Ready. Especially for Bones, Ghoti and Solongskoal for quitting on the same day as me and staying here.

So this brings me to day 101 and one other thing that would like to say is that I still don’t feel very good about quitting physically but what has happened in my mind is unbelievable. If I continue to follow the suggestions of all the men on this site, and the ones to come, I might one day be able to become the man that I have always wanted to be, which is a gentleman (gentle man).

NOTE: This piece written by KillTheCan.org forum member kd4jet

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