**Ready is saying something, speaking to the crowd, standing on a soap box… now what is he doing? Damn, these lights are bright. Oh, shit he is waving me up – time to stand on the box… where did I put that damn speech I prepared? Oh, here it is – crumpled in a sweaty palm. I’ve never really liked public speaking but here goes..**
I’ve always been pretty happy, oblivious to the world around me and just living my life. Pretty much like a standard Midwestern, smaller town, life. 2 kids (boy and a girl of course), Decent house, great wife, family… got it all. I had been chewing since I was 21 years old, switching from smokes because it was easier on the lungs as I glided in the outfield while playing competitive softball. Lots of friends, laughs, drinking, good times. I never really wanted to quit chewing – for all the reasons that people have put on here before. It was a pal that got me through the day…. I knew I should quit for health reasons BUT WHY? Nothing happens to me…
Then I got some news about my Mom along the way, 5 years ago that she had breast cancer. I thought Whoa, should I be nervous? No, I was told as she went through chemo, and kicked its ass. Remission, we will just watch her counts. Back to normal, enjoying life. But only 3 years later she had a double mastectomy and another dose of radiation – it was in her lymph nodes. Should I be nervous now?
It was about 140 days ago, when I first felt it. A weird pang, followed by an indescribable feeling of hollowness. Something I have never felt before – a terrible, empty, gut-punching type feeling… DEPRESSION. It was Christmas, and I finally saw what cancer had done to my Mom. You always look at your parents through the eyes of a child, even if you are 38 years old. I really never saw it before. She was wilting away. There was nothing I could do but go spend time with my mother and watch her die. I have never been depressed about anything, life was easy. Until now
I stewed in my own thoughts and although I couldn’t do anything for her, I would do it for myself, my kids, my wife. I would DO SOMETHING ELSE. I needed a distraction, and as I watched her show me what real strength was, to be able to put on a face for her family… I thought – I could do this. I could quit nicotine.
I searched on Google for something to show me a path. I found KTC, read up a little on If you are planning to quit, read this first and 100 days ago was immediately drawn to the no-nonsense approach that is here. No Nonsense I needed a place to vent. Not necessarily about the craves, the fog, the shit. I needed to DO SOMETHING ELSE. So I jumped in, started fixing roll posts, got into the SSOA, and welcoming others into what turned into another Family.
MAY ’17 – I know I am biased, but how blessed am I to be with this colorful bunch of personalities. This group is fun, hard nosed, and exactly what I needed at this time in my life. Thank you all for the distraction and the real conversation. Good Times
Vets – Thank you MNxEngineer, CavMan83, Viking, Ready – and so many more for all you have done for me. The path to freedom has been paved with the souls, sweat and tears from those who have come before us. I appreciate the shit out of you.
100 days of freedom. I know this is just another day. But I want to celebrate and go into this summer with a bunch of hard nosed, no nicotine,
Bad Ass… Nah – just the 30 different digits I have compiled as tools, ammunition to DO SOMETHING ELSE with my life as a non-user.
**Stepping down, looking up at Mom, and smiling.**