I understand that 100 days is just a start. I fully realize that it’s simply an early milestone along the path of my quit journey. I get it. But I’m damn proud of myself! This has not been easy. Not one bit. In fact, it’s been one hell of a lot tougher than I ever imagined it could be. At times, quitting has made me feel very weak and insignificant. The first nine or ten days are a blur to me. The fog I endured has fogged my memory of it. After that, things seemed to settle down. I thought I was on Easy Street; that I was somehow a better quitter than those struggling around me. Despite everything I learned and read from the veteran quitters, I honestly felt I was permanently cured. I got cocky. Then I hit day 79 and things went haywire. It felt like I was back on Day 1 again. What the hell was that about? It was a huge slap in my face and served as the humbling reality check I needed. Sometimes, I can only shake my head at my own arrogance. I’ve never been good at asking for help or relying on the support of others. Most everything I’ve done in my life has been on my own. I’ve created my own breaks and made my own mistakes. All the success and all the failure, both personally and professionally, is solely on my shoulders. I’ve never had to be a team player. Then I quit dipping. Early on, I knew I had to swallow my pride. I quickly came to the realization that there was nothing wrong with getting help from people who have gone through or are going through what I am. There are too many people to thank in this speech. You know who you are and I thank you from the bottom of my heart! I have shared laughs, tears, frustrations, and sincere happiness with strangers. I’m beyond grateful! The thing about quitting the nicotine is, despite all the help and support I’ve received from so many outstanding quitters, I occasionally have no choice but to walk down that dark hallway alone. I’m sure it’s like that for all of us. It’s a hallway of temptations and cravings. I know this hallway is where caves happen. It might be in the middle of the night, or while driving by the convenience store, or during that online meeting. I had serious “alone moments” the first time I fished and golfed this spring. Sadly, I’m not enjoying those life-long passions nearly as much as I dip before I quit. I didn’t realize that a good part of my enjoyment came from the dip and cigars I had with me. There are scary times when, if even for just a little while, I have no choice but to get through weak, difficult moments by myself. That’s where accountability regarding the daily promise I make takes over. I’ve discovered that those “alone times”, while uncomfortable and intimidating, are great opportunities for personal growth as I fight tobacco addiction. The more I visit that hallway, the less afraid I am. I feel I have the tools and support to walk right through it. But I also know that I’m always one bad decision away from going right back where I started. I quit for myself but I do it in the names of others on that daily list. I see those names posting roll each morning and smile because, even though I might not know them, I’m proud to be associated with them. I think of them many times during the day. 101 days ago, I didn’t even realize I was an addict. Now I remind myself of that absolute fact every single day, day after day, one day at a time. Quitting has not made me a better person. I’m still impatient, demanding, grouchy, occasionally rude, and not very good looking. I can live with those things. What I won’t live with is the shame and embarrassment of letting tobacco products control me like a puppeteer. I know I have a very difficult battle ahead of me. But, by God, I’m taking a few minutes today, before I continue down Quit Road, to pat myself on the back because, again, I’m freaking proud of myself! If I had biceps, I’d flex them! Next, I need to find an additional website to help me lose the weight I’ve gained since joining KTC. I’m tired of trying to enter the chatroom and getting an error message on my screen that says, “One at a time, please!”.