2022 HOF Speeches

Don’t Forget Your Brain

Don't Forget Your Brain

I’ll be honest I never even tried to quit despite countless nights in bed with a “scare” promising myself, god, whoever would listen that I was done… I woke up the next day and did what I did best. Ignore…bury my thoughts and emotions in the can(s), and carry on.

A few months ago, we’ll shit…actually 100 days ago…I had some dental work (shocker I needed dental work) go bad on me and get infected. Awful tooth pain that radiated down my jaw…terrifying enough were I finally said to myself, never again, and actually just meant it this time. I won’t pretend this was easy, the fact I didn’t murder anyone or end up in the looney bin those first two weeks is still a bit surprising. Few weeks in I found this godsend of a community and started really making strides and making things make sense.

What I specifically want to touch on and hope helps someone else that reads this is my mental health throughout all this. You see, I started dating that nic bitch at 16 years old wayyyyy before my prefrontal cortex was even remotely developed. Having the research under my belt now that I do, I understand how much my brain was altered and thrown off course and I never even knew it. I’ve always considered myself a mentally strong person who didn’t let anything bother them. Everything just rolled right off and I kept it moving. I’ve come to realize that I wasn’t mentally strong, I was just really good at burying my stress and emotions in my next dip.

There are so many things I’ve never learned how to handle or process without nicotine, and that has led to some of the darkest days of my life during this process.

During these 100 days I’ve unfortunately truly learned what depression is, and really learned what anxiety is. So much so with anxiety that I spent the first 60+ days thinking symptoms from chronic sinusitis were mouth cancer. I was convinced….to the point of 2 sets of X-rays, 6 trips to the dentist, 1 trip to primary, 2 trips to urgent care, 2 sets of cat scans, 2 different ENT doctors (second opinion at a nationally leading university), 2 sets of blood work, ultrasound of neck and jaw. All this and still couldn’t believe them all when they told me I was ok.

It took so much work to get to a place of peace and acceptance. Hard work everyday fighting cravings on top of learning how to deal with crippling anxiety and depression. Oh yeah while waking up and going to work pretending nothing is wrong. Oh yeah also while finding out my first kid is on the way!

This has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. And I would do it 1000 times over because I know it was worth it. There’s two factors that have helped me through my quit that I owe eternal gratitude, my wife (who has been an absolute angel and the most understanding person ever) And this community I’ve had the pleasure of becoming part of is something I will forever be grateful for. If anyone is battling with their mental health with your quit please reach out and message me, if I could do it, anyone can!

KBrady09 (Dec 22)

NOTE: This piece written by KillTheCan community member Kbrady09

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5 days ago

Great piece! Very relatable. Thank you for sharing this!

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