2018 HOF Speeches

Brandgris’s HOF Speech

Hall of Fame KTC 5My name is Brandon (aka Brandgris).  I reside in Colorado Springs, Colorado where I’ve been for the last 21 years.  I had not really come into contact with dipping until I moved to Omaha, Ne.  when I was 19 from California.  I remember that dipping was really prevalent in Omaha, seemed like every guy my age at the time was doing it.  After sometime living there, my curiosity finally got the better of me and I asked my best friend at the time for a pinch of Skoal Straight to try.  After that dip, I became addicted to nicotine for the next 23 years of my life.  I would smoke here and there but dipping was definitely my preference.  I had tried countless times over the years to quit without success.

As a Respiratory Therapist for over the last 21 years, I would’ve thought I would have able to quit dipping before 09/10/18 after 23 years since I had started.  Especially, since a significant portion of my job is caring for patients that have or are struggling with smoking cigarettes.  I’ve always felt so much guilt and shame when I’ve educated patients on the risks of smoking and the devastation it can cause to the lungs.  Not to mention, I routinely would put a dip in my lip during all my breaks all these years, therefore, I became a professional, “Ninja dipper.”  But the hypocrisy obviously was not enough keep me from dipping for 23 years of my life.  My point here is, as most of us addicts know, is that the the power of nicotine is undeniable.

I think the most difficult part for me all these years is all the empty promises of quitting to my family, especially my children, Demi and Elijah.  It must’ve been so hard on them after so many times of me going back to that shit!  Nicotine I am sad to to say, would come before my family to often throughout the years.  I would always take the extra long way home from work, just to have that Copenhagen pouch in my lip as long as possible, when I really should’ve been taking the fastest route to get home to see my kids as soon as I could.  Dipping is such a selfish habit.

After fooling myself all these years, thinking I could quit dipping by myself, I feel so grateful and blessed to have found the KTC community.  I really believe KTC has saved my life.  I could not be quit for 100 days today without all you awesome quitters on KTC.  The testimonials on KTC help me get through each day nicotine – free.  A special thanks to NoMark (Mark), Copequits (Aaron), Nick T (Nick), and Copenhagen (Josh) for welcoming me so warmly and reaching out to me with their digits.  I also need to give credit to my DipQuit APP brothers because that’s where I started my quit, couldn’t have made it 100 days without all of you.  Thank you for taking the time to read my HOF Speech.  Post each and everyday and never be complacent all you badass quitters!!

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

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5 years ago

Hey Brandon: Thank you for writing your HOF speech. Fitting, because I chew and love baseball. In any case, I’m on day three of my third legitimate attempt to quit. My quit attempts have come in about two to three year intervals. We probably all know the drill…desire to quit, get our head ready, set a date, quit, white knuckle it for a few days/weeks/even months, break down, stop at 7-Eleven for “just one,” nurse it for a week, maybe even hold out after the can is gone, but then we fall back into the pattern…or maybe some new pattern with a little twist from the old pattern. At least that’s been my story. Had my first chew during summer baseball in 1986 or so (I’m 47 today). It was cool to dip Red Man back then while playing baseball. After all, we were just following suit to what our baseball idols were doing. Anyway, easy enough to put it down back then…may have been a female involved. Didn’t think about chewing at all for about 15 years (not even on my radar). Then, a buddy offered me a dip at a golf tournament (Copenhagen snuff). We just called it “silver top,” “Cope,” or “Scooby Snack.” That was about 17 years ago. I went at it pretty cautious at first. No need to tell my spouse as I wasn’t a chewer, I just occasionally chewed. Right or wrong, I made the distinction in my mind. As life progressed so did my stress level and the amount I was chewing. Based on what I’ve been reading, some dudes (and women) chewed waaaaay more than me. Maybe that comment was just checking that box in my head that says, “well, at least I’m not as bad as that guy.” Anyway, I would buy a can about every 4 or 5 days. In the later years it was Copenhagen Long Cut (not as messy…ha). I got to where it was in my mouth about 12 hours/day and I didn’t spit. I would also sometimes hold the same dip for 90 minutes or even two hours. Basically, it was always there and it was my warm coat when it was cold outside. I’ve described it as so many things…warm coat, friend, or a meal when you are starving. I’m sure we all have our little names for it. Anyway, it became “my thing.” Not hurting anyone, not smoking them out of the room, not falling over wasted, not dying from an overdose, not going to prison, not losing my assets, etc. I had lots of reasons why I could have “this one little thing” just for me. In the end, I know I can’t. So, this Fall (2018) I decided to quit. I spent three months setting my mind (I could write a book on setting my mind), preparing, counting down, steadying my resolve, etc. Basically, going through my own process and not caring if it’s the “right way” or the clinically researched way. For me, it was my own process. With tongue firmly in cheek, I picked January 1, 2019 as my quit date. Partly because I hate resolutions and think they are largely BS and wishful thinking. Anyway, that was part of my thinking and the irony of picking January 1. The lead up to January 1 was hysterical, even to me. I was chewing harder, more, replacing more frequently, etc. After all, this is my swan song with chew, so let’s live it up. I could chew more if I tried during December, 2018. I likened it to one more trip down the candy aisle before a diet begins. I understand this is not the recommended way of doing things. It was certainly my way though.

I’m on day three. We are really early in the game. Day one sucked ass and day two was worse. Day three has been a touch better, but not much. Quitting sucks, but the alternative is worse and my resolve is strong. My failed attempts in the past are helping me now as I know what I’m in for and what to expect. I also know how shitty it feels to try to quit and fail. These are all tools in my tool belt now. Decided to spend an hour on this page as part of my process. I’m glad I did and I’m glad I got to read your HOF story. Thank you for sharing it. It encouraged me on day three, so you can take that with you wherever you go if it helps. Most of us humans love knowing that we’ve helped another. You helped me today, so thank you. I am fully confident in my ability to quit. There is more knowledge on board, a more realistic perspective, an understanding that addiction is not about will power, an understanding that one is not weak if they fail or strong if they succeed. For me, it’s my own process and it’s cool if it’s different than yours or anyone else’s. How it is for me is vastly different than how it is for someone else or you. The common ground is the desire to quit, the triggers, the urge to pull in to the store, the urge not to pull in to the store, the mind games, the distractions, etc. We all go through it and do it differently and I think that is a good thing. Each of us has to go through it in our own way so that is true and real for us. I tend to think we all understand things in our own way and through our own experiences. So, here’s to all us quitters. I have quit chew for a host of reasons, the biggest reason is for myself. That is why I am confident, but certainly not arrogant or doing this with any sort of cockiness. For me, it’s just time. I don’t want to take the risk anymore. I don’t want to depend on a chemical anymore. I don’t want to scare my family anymore. I don’t want to feel like a piece of shit every time I break down and buy a can…or happily buy a can, but still feel like shit because I chew for 12 hours a day when I know better. That warm blanket, that friend, that thing that has owned me for all those years. Starting three days ago, I took ownership of my life back. I chose to remove the harmful thing in my life. I am craving badly, but writing here instead of stopping at the convenience store. I am firming my mind with each day, even though I’d love a Scooby snack right now. My reasons and my self resolve are much stronger than my cravings. Sleep has been spotty the last couple of nights, but last night was better than the first. Chew is very prominent in my rear view mirror, but it will get smaller and smaller with each passing day. If this note encouraged one person today, it was worth the twenty minutes it took to write it. One of the people it helped today was me. Thank you to all the quitters. You encourage and inspire those around you. My thought after day one on this page is “take what you can use and leave the rest.” Pointless to argue with those that are here doubting the science, dentists, and docs. I suppose if it came down to “who has your ear” or “who do you trust,” put me on the team with the docs, dentists, cancer researchers, university studies, etc. The discouragers on this site might look in the mirror at their fat lip and ask, “why would I ever go on a web page and try to discourage or argue with others trying to quit chewing?” That may require a little human compassion, self-reflection, and responsibility. You know, big kid stuff. The message I want to leave you with is simply, thank you. Thank you for your courage to quit and your courage to share your story here. This is my first time on this page and your story is one of the reasons I’ll come back. I’d also like to thank another Hall of Famer, the late great, Tony Gwynn, aka Mr. Padre. He was one of my favorite ball players of all time and he died from cancer caused by chewing tobacco. So, for me, I just want to encourage everyone that is thinking of quitting chew to do so. If nobody minds, I’ll hang with the docs, dentists, scientists, researchers, and fellow quitters over the discouragers. Stay strong friends. Your mind and desire to quit are a million times stronger than your fleeting cravings…even if it doesn’t feel that way. I’m in the middle of the worst part and these are my thoughts. Bet it gets a lot better on all fronts from here.

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