To My Three Boys:
238 days ago I went to the dentist. The dentist found a growth on my tonsils. “Based on your history, we need to have a specialist look at that.” By history, the doctor meant your dad used nicotine. What you guys called my chew-bacco. Your old man had been using it for about 22 years. Everyday. Most days multiple times. I put poison into my body and now I was suffering the consequences. A surgery later (and another to go) it looks as if it is non cancerous. But there is more tests and more work to go. So far so good.
You guys know all that information above. You have helped your dad stay quit. What I never told you boys was your grandpa, which you guys now only have fleeting memories of, put himself in the grave at 71. Why? He drank, smoked and chewed for 30 years. He had quit long enough to see the last of you guys be born. And that was after a battle with cancer in which he almost gave up. He often told me the thought of seeing grandchildren (and his own boys calling him a quitter and a coward) was what dragged his butt back into chemo. I went through that with grandpa as a witness. Watched the strongest man I knew grow weak and frail. I watched a proud man be humbled by getting a colostomy bag and having to ask for help to clean and drain it from his children. Through all this – your pop kept on chewing. I kept putting poison into my mouth. Hey I rarely drink. Don’t use any drugs (uhmm – any other drugs besides nicotine). Eat right…whats the harm…
Through Infantry school – the first time on a plane was to fly to Georgia for it and I was terrified. I chewed. Through airborne, ranger and air assault school. Tired, scared, hungry. I chewed. Leaving the Army, getting accepted into college and trying to learn how to study all over again. Getting my degree and becoming the first (with my brother) in our family to get a degree. I chewed. The day your uncle handed me my police badge and your mom pinned it on me. I chewed. The day all three of you were born. A day when I cried and celebrated life. Three little people that showed me unconditional love DID exist because the second I saw all three of you I knew I would trade my life for yours. I chewed. On the day your uncles and I told the doctor to pull your grandpa off life support. Hardest day of my life. I chewed right after he died. On the day I thought I had throat cancer and cried as I imagined my three boys growing up without a father. I chewed right after.
I am an addict boys. I will be forever. And though I write this letter for you, I quit for me. Because I refuse to be a coward any longer. I will not have you boys stand over me in a hospital bed because I was too weak to put a stop to my addiction. I found this sight (KTC). I read and read and read. I realized I needed support. But not just from you three or even your mom. I nedded other addicts. Those that had quit. They would guide me. Those that had suffered and stayed strong. They would inspire me. And to those just starting out in ther quit. They would remind me of where I had been. I threw all my cans out but one. I put a picture of you three on one side and KTC logo on the other. Strength to help me quit on one side. The means to stay quit on the other. I love all three of you. I will be there when your children are born. And I will be there to watch you raise them.
I love you – Your Pop
KTC Brothers and Sister in Quit:
Stay the course. Post roll. Read. Get in chat groups. Do whatever it takes. Stay quit. I was never one to be overly talkative in my group of June Goons. Not my way. I posted roll and after that it was here and there. Was not a 100%-er but never below 90%. But what my group probably doesn’t know (but you new quitters need to) is this: I read every damn post and every chat I could find on days or times I felt like caving. It was their words I found strength in. Their stories that helped me pass the craves away. It was what kept me quit. Make your quit your own. Be accountable but find your way. Whatever it takes. And always ALWAYS remember – FTZ!!!
Today I wrote my HOF speech.
KSO June Goons 2015