Can I have a can of Skoal Straight? I don’t know how many times I have uttered this sentence in front of a disillusioned convenience store clerk. Main thing is: the last time I asked this question was more than 100 days ago.
Last week – in the middle of the increasing, Christmas like giddiness and excitement about the approaching HOF time that has engulfed our group in the last couple of weeks I expressed this sentiment and I wanted to recapture it here:
“Fuck HOF. It’s just another day. Maybe if it wasn’t for HOF, ghosts would keep on posting because there is nothing, absolutely NOTHING else to achieve in this fight than just another +1. Quick pat on the back at day 100? Fine by me. But we better realize that we’ll never graduate from quit school.”
That is how I feel about HOF in general. BUT. On the other hand, HOF also is the time to grandstand a bit, feel a bit special and drop some quit experience
every piece of which of course has been experienced and expressed countless times before on here. Enough of the cynicism now.
Like most of you reading this, I made many half-hearted attempts at quitting and came back dipping more than I ever did. Almost as if the nic bitch was trying to punish me, she upped the addiction level with each thwarted attempt to leave her.
Until I came here.
And I came here because I was ready. Oh, so ready to be done.
One thing I have learned about human nature is this: You don’t change unless it is more painful to stay the same.
And in my case it seems that only after having been a slave to the nic bitch for 20+ years, having failed to quit countless times and having a hard time looking at myself in the mirror because of all the shit my addiction made me do was it more painful to stay the same.
Like some young guns on here, I could have tried to quit when I was 20. But if I reflect back to who I was then, the nic bitch had me beat 6:0 6:0 every day. Didn’t have it in me. Only now, 20+20 years, when the pain, the disgust, the fear and fury have grown strong enough, do I have a shot at making it.
KTC has helped me realize a good number of things about my addiction. First and foremost that I have an addiction. I never saw myself as an addict. I had quit before, so I could quit anytime, with ease. So, understanding addiction and admit addiction. I now get that I can never let your guard down because (as some exceptionally wise vet said) the bitch does not rest, she’s doing pushups in the parking lot right now.
Some other revelations I’ve had while spending countless hours reading on KTC and reflecting on my past with nic:
- We forfeited the right to be normal the moment we dug our fingers into that can for the first time.
- Nic never makes anything better. It only adds to whatever trouble I have. I had a hard time to come around to this one because I used to romanticize the relationship. The next dose of nic was going to relax, motivate, relieve and help, but all it ever did was keep nicotine withdrawal symptoms at bay while also slowly killing me and alienating me from myself and others.
- Quitting is not something I did on the day I quit. It is an everyday activity, a daily renewal of the vow not to use nicotine.
- There is nothing unique about my situation that makes me special. I once caved under the pretext of having to get my cholesterol under control. The twisted logic was this: I quit, I start eating a bunch of shit, I gain weight, my cholesterol tips to the bad side, the doctor doesn’t like it. I start thinking that if I dip I get my appetite under control. I cave. It actually worked. Until I realized how fucked that train of thought was, I was firmly in the bitches fangs for another year and a half.
- You have to really, really want it. all the support in the world can’t make you quit until you are ready to make you quit. The bitch will find a way back into your life.
I am deeply grateful for this site. For 100 days this has been my second home, filled with people that get it. Thanks to vets Lipi, rkymtnman and basshaug for supporting my quit. Thanks to the RANT team and our leaders prof, mitchy, sox for running our group. Heck, I am even grateful for the ghosts of December that only posted roll and added nothing but mass to our group.
And I will be quit another day tomorrow. That can of Skoal Straight can stay right where it is.
See you at roll.