The unfortunate part of a “contest” is that there needs to be one “winner“. With the kind of contest that we recently concluded (without sounding too silly), that EVERYONE was a winner. After all… these are QUIT stories! We have a tendency to do things a bit differently at KillTheCan.org and the voting was super close. I’m happy to report that we’ve decided to award another prize. When the decision was made, I reached out once again to our contest sponsor Mint Snuff to see if they’d help us and they were gracious enough to do just that!
And with that… the second winner is… Nate T!!! Nate will be getting a 500 chip poker chip set courtesy Mint Snuff.
I started my dance with nicotine when I was 14 years old. Skoal spearmint was my first dip. I wanted to try it because my uncles did it and I thought they were the coolest guys on the planet. Made my head spin for a little bit and then once I relaxed it felt good. I continued to dip all through high school with the idea that I could quit anytime. I wasn’t doing bad maybe 2 cans a week, that’s not an addict, right? I got married when I was 20 and my bride did not like me dipping, so I told her, “when you get pregnant I will quit, I promise”. Four years later she was pregnant. “I’ll quit when he’s born, I promise”. Nine months later, “I’ll quit before he’s old enough to know what I am doing, I promise.” Four years later she was pregnant again with our daughter. I told her the same thing, “when the baby’s born I’ll quit, I promise.” Nine months later, “I’ll quit before she’s old enough to know what I am doing, I promise.”
Two years later still slowly killing myself and telling myself that I can quit at any time no problem. My ten year anniversary was coming up soon and I had to make plans. Married with 2 kids requires a lot of planning to make one evening special. I started thinking and reminiscing about how we made it this far. I started to go back in my mind and the things that kept popping in my head were the promises I didn’t keep. I’ve always tried to be as honest as possible. I’ve always tried to say what I mean and mean what I say, but the hard reality was that I was a liar. I have lied to myself, my wife and my kids and why was I lying? To feed a habit that gave me nothing in return except grief and death? This didn’t compute logically and I could no longer ignore the facts. The justifications I had been feeding myself (I can’t get cancer, I can stop when I want to, they are not sure if this is bad for you, I’m not going to lose my teeth, it’s safer than smoking….) no longer pacified me.
I really tried quitting on February 22, 2012, but I failed. I couldn’t even get past day 1 without caving into nicotine. That made me angry and sorrowful all at the same time. Trying to rationalize this in my mind I could not figure how a little pinch of tobacco could have so much power over my will and my actions. I remember saying, “this can’t be happening, when did I lose control?” I continued to dip over the weekend and hating every minute of it knowing I was a slave and nicotine was my master. This was war.
I started to strategize, looking at alternatives for dip. Nicotine replacement wasn’t an option at all, I wanted to be free. I formulated the opinion that an alternative would cause me to crave more, so I decided to go it alone for the first few weeks. My true day 1 was February 28, 2012. That’s the day I won my freedom for a 16 year oppressor. That was also the same day I found a new family. I was searching quit methods and any other tools to use in my quit and stumbled on KTC.org. I looked around for most of the day and quickly realized that this was the best tool I could have in my fight against nicotine.
The first four days were almost unbearable, but the guys got me through the tough craves. They were there when I needed them. After that it was a constant mental game of craves and victories. Every time I craved I dealt with it either by chatting online or reading others’ posts. I did use an alternative dip after 2 weeks of being quit. I bought some cans of Mint Snuff and some cans of Smokey Mountain. This helped with the mental craves of wanting something between the cheek and gum (i.e. after meals, fishing, hunting…)
Needless to say, my wife is thrilled about my quit and has my hall of fame date marked on the calendar. She and the kids mark off each day as I get closer. Today is day 59 and as I look back I have only one regret. Not being a man of my wordand quitting when I promised. Looking forward, I am excited to be quit and enjoy my freedom every day. I also love my brothers, they keep me accountable to my word and have my back when I need them.
Told ya we’d be having more contests soon! Thank you again for everyone who submitted a story. They were all epic. And you’re all winners… cause you’re quitters!!!
UPDATE: Nate was kind enough to send us some pics with his chips. Thank you sir!