I’m writing this “speech” for others as well as myself; for literally anyone who has interest in reading about my experience. I’m writing this to have something to look back on days, months, or years down the road as yet another piece of “ammunition” to protect myself from my addiction. You see, as probably anyone with access to read this knows, I’m addicted to nicotine. Up until 107 days ago, I never would have admitted to that. Sure, I dipped between a can to a can and a half per day. Sure, I spent $100/month on it. But I wasn’t addicted. I didn’t have a problem. I was just one of those few people who had stress / pressure / responsibilities in my life that REQUIRED nicotine to soothe the pain, give me focus to deal with the pressure, and help relax me at the end of the day because I deserved it. Yes, I had built this entire scenario where I had good reason to have a dip in my mouth at ANY given point throughout the day. Of course I see know that this is what an addiction is and this is what it does. Ironically, I’d seen addiction destroy members of my extended family. From prescription drugs, to hard narcotics, to alcohol; I’d seen these hard drugs totally dominate loved ones’ lives and I would sit back and judge them. Or I’d feel bad for them. I’d ask “How could you let that toxic substance take control of your body, mind, and soul?” How could you prioritize that drug/vice/full blown addiction over your family? How stupid of you. How weak and despicable. I’d ask/say/think these things while having a dip in my mouth. My wife hated my dipping since the day we met. Honestly, I’m lucky our dating relationship even took off because no part of me had any intention of quitting despite the lies I’d tell her. That wasn’t to spite her. It was because I had no desire to quit. It helped me deal with my stresses and life pressures. It helped me deal with the anxiety of having loved ones suffering from life controlling addictions because it was just so sad. You see where I’m going with this? This is what is now easily identifiable as 100% addict mind/speak. Back then it was just common logic. As my marriage aged and grew on some levels, so did her unhappiness with my “bad habit”. Ok, so maybe I’m a little addicted to nicotine but it’s a legal substance. I’ve avoided alcohol, drugs, etc. I’m much better than those loved ones I feel sorry for. They’re hooked on ILLEGAL drugs. Anyone knows if the US government says it’s safe it is so I’m ok with my “bad habit”. One thing I knew all along was that quitting was the easy part. I’d done it dozens of times in the past. (note the sarcasm) The times I’d “quit” in the past (referred to as stoppages from this point on) were “for my wife” or “for my parents”. I’d readily admit then I didn’t personally want to. So I’d tell me wife after a failed stoppage that it failed because I didn’t want to. How ridiculous is that? I don’t want, so instead I’d rather have this dead, canned, plant absolutely OWN me, my body, and my life. It makes decisions for me, and is the ONLY thing I can always rely on. For that reason, I can’t quit because I don’t want to.
Fast forward to 5/1/2017 and I’m perusing KTC which I found googling how to quit, etc…I’m reading about the timeline of what to expect, etc…reading some of the posts/commentary on the main front page. Man, a lot of people are going through the same thing I am right now. So I made a few comments and realized (through KTC vets) that using Nicorette in place of dip isn’t quitting… just substituting. Literally, it’s no different than “quitting” dipping by smoking. I’d done that before too and was able to not dip for 2-3 months. But I was smoking a half a pack a day. It makes me laugh as I’m writing this cause it sounds so utterly ridiculous but it’s actually not funny at all. It’s tragic. The things your mind convince you of in order to appease an addiction is serious business. So when people say this is life or death, it really is and should be treated as such. There is no doubt in my mind that I would never have made it to day 100 (probably not even 20) without the support of August 17’ and the veterans at KTC. I hesitate to go into individual thanks as I’m bound to leave someone out but the ones who have been instrumental in my quit know who you are. Your phone number is stored in my phone and mine in yours. So, I close honestly just saying thank you to whoever literally keeps KTC running, the veterans who are still here posting support after hundreds and, some, thousands of days. I plan on (and hope I’m able) to stick around and provide that same support to others as was and continues to be provided to me. So here’s to trudging towards two hundred with the knowledge that I’m not cured. I am still an addict. But I’m quit and have been for 100+ days. I know possess the tools required to stay quit for a lifetime. There’s no excuse(s) now. Thanks again to all, happy to quit with literally every one of you today.