I grew up to Nicotine. Both my parents were/are heavy smokers. I remember all the times in grade school reeking of the cigarette stench going into school. My backpack, my clothes, my hair, etc. I was used to it though. I was addicted. Second Hand Smoke caused my Tobacco addiction. I’m not putting that as an excuse even though I was just a kid. I was hooked. I remember when I’d go over for sleepovers and each time throughout the next day I would suffer headaches. What I come to thinking now is that I was suffering nicotine withdrawal. Imagine being 10-11 years old and wondering why do you get headaches all the time you’re away from your home? That’s how potent the smell in my parents house was. I caught the addiction.
I was 21 years old when I had my first dip. New Year’s Night 2006. As per usual when it typically happens I was drunk. Had my first cigarette on a drunken college night in Arizona. (In all reality I’ve been huffing for years) For 9 years I’ve dealt with my own personal addiction to Tobacco, but ALL my life I’ve been around it and consumed by it. To no fault but my own did I sink into that bottomless pit.
Most people do not realize or are self aware the consequences they leave their children when they smoke in the house. Second hand smoke IS real and not some make believe story.
Fast forward to me becoming an adult. My friends and family chewed, smoked, snuffed, whatever. It was nicotine. It’s all I’ve known but I knew it was an issue. I had to quit at some point couldn’t I?
Countless drunken nights I could remember late at night crying out “This will be my last dip” “This will be my last dip” “This will be my last dip”. I was thinking each time I was done but the next morning I’d be back at it again going to the gas station to pick up a dip. I must’ve quit about 50 times. My addiction continued to grab hold of me.
I once had stopped chewing tobacco when I was introduced to chewing tobacco in 2006 only to smoke cigarettes in my hiatus of my tobacco addiction when in all reality I still was falling victim to nicotine.
Even when I was in my extremely healthy days back in 2012 where I went from 238 pounds to 170 I was still victim to chewing tobacco. I had gone about 30 days of being nicotine free but went back to it. It was then I began a new job selling food and driving around in a truck all day long. I would use tobacco to relieve anxiety and just out of boredom. I was using only about a half a tin then but then once 2015 hit I was cashing through almost 2 tins per day.
My fiancee was not thrilled in the last bit that I was a user. But she stuck with me even though I had one of the more disgusting habits there is. She knows if I was going to quit it was not going to be for her but for myself.
I’ve been a regular church goer for the past couple years and Lent was coming up. I wanted to take my faith more seriously as there had been plenty of other times I’ve tried quitting Tobacco for myself but just ended up falling on my face. I started making a game plan. I called my insurance and got introduced to QuitPlan who then introduced me to KillTheCan. I was ready this time. I wanted to make sure I had all my ammunition to fight this battle.
The battle had begun on February 17th, 2015. Walked through a blazing fire but I was doing it. I wanted to believe that I could once say I’ve quit Tobacco. Through gallons of water, countless seeds, and toothpicks I made it through the first couple weeks.
It wasn’t until about Day 52 I had my only pure “almost caved” challenge. I had been drinking a few beers and was out of my Smokey Mountain. I had a rough week of work and during any of these times would have been when I put the old pile of dirt in my mouth. The whole night I kept in close communication with my quit brothers via text and the chatroom as I was very near to caving. But by the Grace of God I did not. I was being watched a lot more closely that night.
For not having my Faith, acknowledging my past, and having a great firing line of support I would not be able to type this HOF speech today. It is extremely important to have that accountability. To say that you’re cured at 100 days is absolute crap. Good luck to you if those reading this and are just beginning the journey believe in that magic number. It’s a trap for nicotine to get back into your life.
I will always face this nicotine addiction but I’m relieved to say that I am staying quit now so my future children do not go through the same thing that I had gone through growing up.
Nicotine is an evil drug one that I continue to defeat each and every day. I will never be cured from nicotine but I know that I’m quit today.