Like many of us, I started using tobacco in my late teens. Smoking was the cool thing to do so I started too. That was around 1980 or so when a gallon of gas and a pack of butts added up to about $1. It was a long time ago, and it’s hard to believe just how long my tobacco addiction continued. Around 1984, I got a part time job, and just about everybody smoked or chewed. Over the years I either dipped, smoked, or did both. I was a full fledged nicotine junky with no desire to quit. I tried quitting snuff once about 15 years ago. It lasted about 15 minutes. I didn’t have the desire to quit, and I didn’t have a real reason or the tools to quit.
I thought at that point that I would be a tobacco user for the rest of my life. Day after day, I would stuff my face with with that garbage, about a can a day on average. Even when the price approached $7 a can, I kept on dipping. I ignored the health risks as well as the signs telling me I should quit. When my mother died of lung cancer in 2002, I quit cigarettes for good but kept right on dipping….
Fast forwarding to 6-7-08, my tongue was on fire from dipping all day, and I decided to look for a way to quit. I stumbled onto KTC and started reading some of the articles. I read the Tom Kern story and ODT’s story. Shocked and saddened, I spit out my dip and went to bed. The next morning I woke up and my tongue was still on fire. I could feel my heart pounding as my blood pressure had soared to 170/110. I knew right there and then I needed to quit. I had to quit.
If I didn’t quit, I truly felt I would be next. I didn’t want to end up having my jaw removed. I didn’t want to wake up in a hospital bed with my family staring down at me in pity. I always used to ignore the warnings. Oral cancer couldn’t happen to me, could it?
Something hit me like a ton of bricks. I was scared straight. I got back on the KTC site and decided right there and then: I QUIT! No trying, no “cutting back”, no nicotine patches, no gum or any of the other BS waste of time and money gimmicks. It was cold turkey and I knew it was gonna be the most difficult ride of my life. Luckily, Chewie was on the site that morning. I sent out an SOS. He picked me up, dusted me off, made sure I had spit out my last dip and got me signed up. I posted my first day quit on 6-8-08. At first I counted minutes, then hours. I was a mess. This was the first time in over 27 years I had gone more than a few hours without nicotine. Even my wife stopped nagging me years ago. It did no good anyway. The first 10 days were hell. The NicBitch and I were going thru a nasty divorce and she wanted no part of it. At first she screamed and raged at me. I raged back. I went into acute depression for several days, but still I kept counting the hours. Soon I made DD’s and her attacks became less frequent and less severe, but she would still tap me on the shoulder and say “It’s time”….NO IT ISN’T!!!! I QUIT YOU!!! I was sick and tired of being a weak little man. A slave to a worthless little weed in a can. It was time to take back my balls and my life. It was time to control my life and my destiny. United States Tobacco and their disgusting product were no longer in charge!
Every day I posted up. Each additional day is another nail in the NicBitches coffin. Minutes turned into hours, hours in to days, days into weeks…You get the picture.
Quitting isn’t a destination. It’s a journey. One of the most rewarding journeys I have ever been on, and it keeps getting better! On my quit journey I have realized: I am a nicotine addict and will always be a nicotine addict. Forever and Never are concepts I don’t deal with. I only deal with today. When I post roll each morning, I am giving my word to myself and to my brothers that I will not use tobacco that day. My quit brothers were there to carry me when I could barely take another step on my journey. They listened to me rant and rage. They tolerated my depressed monologues and fits of anger. I could never have done this on my own. Never. I probably owe them and this site my life. My word is my bond. Like Tony Montana said: “The only things I really have in this world are my word and my balls, and I don’t break ’em for nobody”
I want to thank everybody who helped me along the way: Sioux, Chewie, Skoaldaddy, BigBrotherJack, Monty, MNS36, Ready, 11X4, Ash, Amazing, Jpine, Maddipper, Sigma, FranPro, bubblehead, L00T, and everybody else from chat that gave me a hand when things got rough. I also want to thank ODT. Although we’ve never talked, you’ve been a tremendous inspiration.
Although I’ve made the 100 day HOF, the journey is still at the beginning. 27 years of tobacco addiction doesn’t get cured after 100 days. The nicotine bitch will always be out there somewhere, lurking. Waiting for an opportunity to hit me during a moment of weakness. I must remain always vigilant and on my guard. Locked and loaded at all times.
I was told on day 1, “Hold onto your ass, it’s gonna be a helluva ride”
The ride has only just begun, but now I can actually enjoy it……
Payin’ it forward…
NOTE: This piece written by KillTheCan.org forum member slug