2014 HOF Speeches

Bigate76 HOF Speech 9-25-14

Camel filters. My story begins with a pack, not a can… I don’t remember the first cigarette I smoked, and I damn sure don’t remember any of the 100,000 plus I smoked after that first cigarette. What I do remember is the need to get that fix again, and again, and again…

My High School was a 15 minute drive from home. I would manage to suck down three smokes before pulling in the parking lot. A great hiding spot during the day allowed for three more before getting released for baseball practice. Then hot boxing two more in the parking lot while getting my bat bag, huddled down between the rows of cars. Our coach smoked like a chimney the entire practice, it wasn’t like he was going to smell it on me. After practice was just a smoking free for all… I’m sure I had my first dip on the baseball diamond. Do I remember it? Nah, I was in love with her sexy twin the cig…

For the next ten years I was a pack or more a day smoker, Camel Filters. Tried other brands but always came back to the Camels. I dipped some during this time as well. Eventually settling on Copenhagen Long Cut. I was using dip as a nicotine replacement for when I couldn’t smoke up to this point, maybe only a handful of times a month, but an 8 lbs 4 oz bouncing baby boy changed all that. I had never smoked in the house or her car, but now that we had the big boy my wife started asking me to change clothes and wash off before being around him after smoking. That’s a hell of a lot of changing and washing when you smoke 20+ cigarettes a day. Copenhagen started to be the go to while I was around them and pretty soon my habit was split 50/50 between the can and pack.

Mobile, AL is not exactly a Mecca of fitness, so I was a little surprised when my work place went smoke free a few years after baby#1 came along. I was still middle man in a nic threesome so I made the decision to quit smoking and ninja dip at the office. Funny how easy it was to walk away from smoking after 12 years. Never even though about them again… Then again I had a fat lip of long cut constantly.

I’ll be 38 in Oct so for 22 years I have used nicotine. Ten smoking, two smoking and dipping, and ten dipping. That leads us to June 2014. My cheeks and gums had been raw for weeks, and every time I spit out my dip(which wasn’t often) I would taste blood. The solution? I switched sides and started packing my left cheek. WTF?? I never though about quitting, just moving the dip to a less irritated area. Sitting at my desk June 16th killing time reading CNN a flash popped up that Tony Gwynn, Mr. Padre himself had died. The full story was posted a few hours later and stated he died from complication due to Salivary Cancer.

That one moment, reading about the premature death of a childhood idol changed everything for me. I, for the first time in 22 years of nicotine usage realized my own mortality and could clearly see what the end game would look like if I continued to use… The next 24 hrs are a blur. I was Googling everything I could about quitting. Symptoms, side effects, strategies, tools, aids.. Do I use NRT or cold turkey? During this frenzy I found KTC and all you assholes that post roll EDD. Jun 18th I took the first step, and have not stopped.

Quitting has been far from easy. Holy shit that first week was brutal… Days one and two I was so dizzy I almost had to call my wife to pick me up at the office. Then the cold sweats set in, loved being in meetings with important clients with sweat running down my face and arms. Think the sweating scene in Airplane! There were times during the first 30 days that if someone had walked in my office they would have seen a big ass burly man crying like a two year old girl who lost her doll. Every dispute with my wife or kids would have me chanting over and over in my head “ you don’t need it”. “you don’t need it”, “you don’t need it”. I haven’t had a full nights sleep in forever, and still to this day I could be dying of dehydration when I stop for gas but I refuse to go in for a drink and only pay at the pump. I don’t want that temptation…

This fight will never end, but for today I have won and tomorrow I will post roll and win again. The day after that, who knows. One Day at a Time…Thanks to all you vets that like to hang out in Live Chat laughing at the foggy noobs. Tarpon, Franpro, SD, Klark, TW… you know the list. No way in hell I could have made it without you bastards! Laughter really can be the best medicine. Also my Sultan quit brothers Jubs, Landdon, and Breadherring. Spending time in Live Chat with them and seeing their name EDD on roll definitely strengthened my quit. Cavman and CBus you two are on my thank you list as well. Last but certainly not least the beautiful Mrs. Bignate76. She read the Spousal Support section when I was on Day 2 and followed it like a pro. Mrs. BN would ask every few days what day I was on, and was always supportive and understanding on those days where everything just plain sucked. I couldn’t have done it without you pookie! See everyone tomorrow for another +1!

NOTE: This piece written by KillTheCan.org forum member Bignate76

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