Disclaimer, this is a bit lengthy. I’ve struggled in making too much of this milestone, as I don’t want to decrease the urgency and importance of day 101 and beyond. However, the more I thought about it, the more I felt I really wanted to highlight this monumental day, especially given where I was 100 days ago. Please don’t take the length of this speech, or the personal detail and triumph as being conceited or boastful – we’re all one terrible choice away from posting a day 1 no matter how far we’ve gone, and that absolutely includes me. My hope is that even one of these sentences positively impacts someone lurking or browsing KTC, someone as knee-deep in addiction as I was and doesn’t know how to battle this struggle, someone who is ready to quit.
Let’s rewind to August of 2015, where you’ll find Moses24 ready to quit this addiction that’s been steadily getting stronger for the past nine years. I signed up for KTC with a general idea of what the game is – you “join” a group and post roll promising you won’t use nicotine for that particular day. Ok cool, sounds easy enough. I got into a groove, posted roll, and had some nice things to say next to my number. Things like, “thankful for this group”, and “quitting with you today”, etc etc. Hell, I even posted roll from the labor and delivery room on the morning my first child was born. Now that’s dedication. And it was…but it was nothing more than a 15 day paper tiger. You know that MIQ label that inevitably gets assigned to a handful of folks in each group? Yep, that was me. Moses24 – MIQ. To even type my name with “MIQ” next to it just then was really difficult. You know why? Because it means something to me now. Going MIQ in 2015 really wasn’t that big of a deal to me, because all I really left was a website with a bunch of inanimate names and confusing graphics. I didn’t REALLY leave anyone or let anyone down…it was just another failed quit under my belt.
Now, let’s fast forward to the end of 2018. A lot has changed since my MIQ – but a few things have remained constant, especially my friend Skoal. We’re up to two cans a day now – we’re really crankin’ man. But here’s the catch: I’m tired of this. I can’t do this anymore. I can’t handle the mental battle every time I buy a can, every time I put a lip in, that I’m going to end up another statistic – or even worse, with half a tongue or half a jaw. And my wife and kids, what about them? I kept playing the scene over in my head of the day the doctor confirms the cancer, and the regret I would feel. I’m tired of building my schedule and days around a can. Always knowing to the T how much I had left and how long it would last me. The gas station roulette routine that ensued when your go to place was out of stock of your addiction flavor. The shame of having to point out and direct the clerk to my exact can while everyone waits in line behind you. The shame of watching my children watch me spit into a bottle, and then just looking at me and smiling really big, because they don’t have any clue what I’m doing, they just think it’s funny. The late nights on the couch watching meaningless television and falling asleep with a bottom horseshoe full of nic in my lip. The hiding and concealing, buying coffee just to have a stealth spitter handy at all times. The fear and anguish I put my wife through for all of these years. I could go on and on and on.
So, what the hell, maybe I’ll try KTC again. And I did. I signed up again, not really thinking much of it. A new quit, a new resolve to beat this addiction, so we’ll make a new username and head on over to the introductions page to let everyone know a little about me. I was honest and mentioned I had been on KTC before a few years ago, not really thinking that it was a big deal. Little did I know the shit storm that would ensue from that one statement. And boy am I thankful the storm hit me, because it opened my eyes to what this “website” is all about. Not only did I get called to the carpet, I got roasted…and I returned fire accordingly. It pissed me off to no end (and being in the fog certainly didn’t help things). Here I was trying to beat an addiction, joining this group and being nice enough to introduce myself, and all I got in return were kicks to the nuts over a few days in 2015 where I had a cup of KTC coffee and peaced out. And you know what? The first 25% of my quit and roll posts were pretty much done strictly out of spite for the assholes who let me have it.
But, the funny thing was this. Each person who ripped me a new one upon my return, they also sent me a personal message with their phone numbers for support. What? What the hell is this about? Ripping my head off, but then offering support? Hmm. Maybe these guys are for real about this. Maybe this is more than just a web address. And then I just bought in. I exchanged numbers, I texted when I needed help, hell I even called when I really needed help. And the days started to snowball. 1, 10, 20, 50, etc. And now standing at the front door of 100 days nic free is hard to contemplate. I’m typing this while my eyes are tearing up because my addiction was just so paralyzing and deep that I didn’t see a way out. And there is a way out…and it’s called buying in fully to KTC. KillTheCan.org is not magical…it’s just another website URL, just as it was to me back in 2015. But, the living, breathing, struggling, battling faces found on roll posts, HOF speeches, comma clubs, etc. – that’s the magic. That’s real. The phone numbers are real, the addictions are real, the battle is real –and the FREEDOM is real.
We’re almost done here, but I’m going to begin wrapping this up from a slightly different angle. I’ve got some bad news for you. Getting to 100 days nic free was a bitch. The first 1-2 weeks, it’s a literal miracle I wasn’t divorced on the spot. My wife put up with a raging asshole, to say the least. These last 100 days I’ve basically had to learn how to live again. What do I mean by that? I mean that I’ve had to re-learn how to do almost EVERYTHING in my life without a lip full of Skoal. I’ve had to deal with shit in my life that was locked away and numbed out by a constant stream of nicotine. I still find myself being bored at times, because dipping was what I did. It was a literal time-filling action that took precedence over everything.
And what’s worse than all of what I just mentioned? As I sat down to write this speech, the thought crossed my mind how nice it would be to pack my bottom lip, turn on some tunes and get to writing. Literally, that desire hit me while sitting down to write my HOF speech. That’s damn funny to me, but also scary. Scary because I know this fight will never be over. Scary because this HOF speech can go up in flames as soon as I think I’ve got this whipped.
But here’s the good news: I’m not in this fight alone, because I chose to not be in this alone when I pushed all my chips in and embraced KTC. You can do the same my friend.
Thank you to everyone who has supported my first 100 days of quit. It would take an entire new page to call out each one by name, but please know I’m here because of you. Being a quitter never felt so good!