2018 HOF Speeches

A Lot Has Happened – a Goodbye to Copenhagen

Saying Goodbye

How bad does nicotine warp the brain? I’m sure people a lot smarter than me know all sorts of nasty stats and stories to scare you (plenty of good stuff on KTC). For me, all I know is what it did to me. I dipped for 18 plus years and spent countless late nights, important life events, car rides, and everything in between letting nicotine whisper sweet nothings in my ear. A lot has happened in the time period I fell in love with nicotine, but the constant throughout all of it was my unshakable affection for that poison in my cheek. I let the lie fester and take root for so long that it held the answer to all life’s problems, as well as made all of life’s sacred moments that much “more special”.

While all these things were happening a small part of me knew it was a lie. And that small part would constantly scream out that I needed to listen and to “get help”. I stumbled across KTC countless times, read the stories, but usually said “that’s not me”, “I can quit on my terms” and eventually I said “I’ll sign up and have it ready when I’ve decided its time”. I signed up in May of 2013 but never posted anything. Part of that was from looking at how serious everyone was, I knew deep down I could not in good faith make that promise, I loved my Copenhagen too much. Once again, Nicotine pulled me away with its lies. A lot has happened since May 2013.

Since I finally decided it was time to post with KTC more than five years went by and I finally posted that day one in June 2018. In that time a lot has happened; I started a new job, bought a home, got married, had my first child, found out I had a brain tumor, had successful brain surgery (while temporarily quitting dip), sold our house, bought a new house and moved in, had a second child , and all the while continuously trying to find a purpose in life. I had a lot happen to me since 2013 and every reason to “man up” and quit, but the hold was too strong and I let the lies continue.

Through all that time before I posted a “Day One” nicotine had always found a way to slither back into my life. Despite all the reasons that should have been enough to quit, Nicotine still took precedence. That’s how powerful and nefarious it is and why I’ve come to loathe it so much over the last 100 days. That is why I owe so much to KTC’s methods and most importantly the countless people that threw me a life preserver. A lot doesn’t have to happen to find a reason to quit! Only your resolve to finally take back your dignity, self-respect and freedom need to finally take precedence over the poison.

In the last 100 days a lot has happened as well. I’ve learned to despise nicotine and the hold it has on me and all of my brothers and sisters here. That loathing applies to big tobacco as well. I’ve learned that accountability can be an immensely powerful tool to strengthen resolve. Keeping my word to strangers (now all brothers and sisters) helped me fear slipping more than the countless times I tried to quit on my own, or “for my wife & kids” or any other reason. I’ve found numerous friendships and now have the direct lines to dozens of BAQ’s, some I’ve already had the honor to meet in person (and I hope to add to that list).  The “fog” has lifted a bit and I’m slowly starting to notice a “new normal”. I know there will be setbacks, but I now have some tools in the arsenal to combat these. I have a sense of accomplishment and focus that I could never have felt 100 days ago as nicotine had a funny way of pulling all focus when the fix had been too long between sessions. A lot has happened since I found KTC and certainly a lot will happen the rest of my days. I’ll be tested as we all are with a lot of ups and downs but the difference this time is that I have new tools and a list of fellow brothers to hold me accountable.

Methods that worked

There are a ton of lengthy and great things KTC taught me and gave as tools in my quit. But the most solid, and important for me were the easiest to remember and made up the foundation of the quit; ODAAT (One Day at a Time): Don’t think about the rest of your life without dip. Make your promise for today only, keep your word and repeat the next day. WUPP (Wake up, piss, post): especially in the earliest part of my quit, this was crucial. Don’t give nic a chance to slither into your ear. Wake up and make that promise.  Get Digits of other quitters: Was freaked out at first but as soon as I got to know my fellow Rawktober Rawksters I was hooked (in a good way). Couldn’t have made it thru without them and the vets that reached out. So dive in new quitters, because the alternative of doing this alone isn’t as pretty.

People to thank; The list is impossibly long and is in no particular order (that’s the beauty of KTC, so many people are quitting with you and in your corner) but I’ll do my best. First, every single person in our quit group. Biased opinion that October 18 is a pretty unique and tight knit crew of BAQ’s. Clevelandfan , Aumegrad (Aumer), KickinWing, Quit’N, Hutch, EW, RfWeezy, Scott, Hutch and Steve. Thanks for the texts and GroupMe motivation and PM’s.

Thanks to all the vets for showing me the way and being generous with your time; Worktowin, Candoit, Pab, Steakbomb, Oliver, BluManChew, KodiakDeath,  FishFlorida (and the daily memes), Cochese (for the patience in teaching the SSOA), and Capital70 (for being the first person to give digits and holding me accountable).

To my New England meetup Crew, the best looking group of quitters on the East Coast and great daily texters; DeanCapp, DOOFUS and MikeP. You guys all made this quit real for me and will always be grateful that you give your time to meet up and keep each other on track each day. Thanks MikeP for forming the team.

Rawkster trifecta of BAQ’s; SeanFiske, Croakenhagen and the SSOA wizard CopeQuits (aka “quickdraw”). You three are part of that bedrock of quit. Just like all those I mentioned, I couldn’t have made it to 100 without you boys. Looking forward to continuing to quit with you guys for a long time to come (and Cope’s bump fixing into the twilight years).

I only hope I can pay it forward to new quitters as much as my fellow October 18 Rawksters and Vets have for me. Don’t let a lot happen in your life before you find your way here and start making that daily promise.

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

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