100 days. Seems so smallish, yet monumental at the same time. My journey began at work on January 13th, 2012, at 11 pm. It was the last time I have had nicotine in my body. I remember spinning that can between my fingers, and actually saying “this is fucking it! I am better than this shit!” I remember how my gums hurt and how nasty the top of my tongue tasted. I had visited but not joined KTC, and I texted the following to my wife:
Me: BTW, I’m quitting all nicotine this weekend.
Wife: Oh great! Lucky us!
Sounds very cynical, huh? However, understand that my wife and I have been married for 16 years, but I was with the Bitch for 22. How could she not be cynical? She knew my Jekyll and Hyde moods. She had witnessed my failed attempts to stop. Unbelievably, she had even told me multiple times that “I had to quit for myself”. No shit. Way before I found KTC, my wife understood a quit fundamental that so many of us addicts struggle to grasp.
So I quit. I did not join KTC but lurked some. “I didn’t have enough time for that” the Bitch told me. Those first 3 days, my wife kept the kids away from me. I played video games, drank coffee, drank tea, engulfed Luden’s cough drops by the case, almost collapsed from salt toxicity due to the sheer number of dill pickle sunflower seeds that I ingested, and I trudged along. Almost caved day 4 when I “found” the safety can I had stowed at work, but I continued. Maybe not valiantly. More like pathetically. I barely existed. I was a ghost. A lost, wandering soul. And my eyes boggled in their sockets….
Day 12 I whimsically joined KTC. Wasn’t sure it would help. I remember thinking “there are some weird fuckers on this site! Feels like I’m pledging again.” The accountability seemed cool, but quite frankly I was intimidated by an “online community”. Or so the Bitch told me. Looking back, I was not sure I could quit, or, sure I even wanted to. But I took a little baby-sip of the Koolaid that day and posted roll.
One of the dudes at the top of the page pm’d a welcome to me. Cbird65 was his name. He was from Plano, TX. We exchanged a few pms and actually exchanged phone numbers. Someone mentioned putting the numbers (digitiz) in your phone to use in case you need them so I did. I took another little sip of Koolaid.
That weekend, the Bitch stalked my quit like a wounded calf. 2 of my 4 kids were in a soccer tournament in Dallas. So, me, my wife, my 2 teenagers, and my 5 year old twins road-tripped to Dallas. We hit traffic, my wife was griping like only wives can do, my kids were fighting, and when one kid vomited in the back seat, I lost it. My kids witnessed a side of their father that no child should encounter. They heard words from my mouth that I hope they never hear again. And when we finally got to the hotel, and my buddy comes up to high-five me with a beer, a smile, and a huge wedge of winterdeath in his lip,
I gave up.
I could smell it.
I was defeated.
I couldn’t handle it.
His wife actually noticed and asked what was wrong. Against, that protective, self-preserving fiber that we all possess, in a hotel lobby, I shared with her and my friend that I was quit. She told me how proud she was of me, and asked me questions about my quit so far. Weird that the wife of another addict could sense my weakness even better than my wife, but my quit survived. I later logged on to KTC with my phone in the room. Read some crazy-ass shit about a fellow brother with a Groucho Marx avatar, and took another sip of Koolaid.
The next day at the soccer fields, my cravings would not subside. I purposely stayed away from my “friends” on the sideline that dipped. I drank coffee, I chewed seeds , I chewed gum. My mouth was raw. My jaw was sore. And….I was losing. I restlessly paced up and down the sideline like a caged lion. I even went to another field to watch a different game. But the Bitch continued to stalk. “Who are you kidding?” she whispered. “You need this. You’re different. You probably at best have ADD, at worst are bipolar. Nicotine’s better than lithium, right? Quitting during a soccer tournament was foolish and you know it.” She persisted, and I gravitated closer and closer to my friends. “Bum one and be done with it..” she tongued in my ear……..and then…..my phone vibrated.
I had a voice mail. From Cbird65. The Watcher.
It felt like a first date in 8th grade, when I texted him. For which, the Watcher called me back, and we talked. I remember talking about all the drama in April, something “verboten” whatever the hell that meant, and that he would “prefer me not text him because his old Nokia flip phone was very difficult to text on”. I laughed out loud. We talked a little longer, I told him about my trip and the craves, and he listened. And he understood. He was just like me. Damn.
What Cbird65 doesn’t know is that on that chilly, January day in Dallas, Texas, he reached out of the window, grabbed my arm, led me back inside off the ledge, and unknowingly saved my life.
I then drank deep, the Koolaid of KTC….
I have continued to drink deep everyday since. 100 days of joy and fear blended with a bunch of crazy ass addicts who are just now learning how to deal with life. Day by Day. Just like me. What’s next? Well, I have signed up for another hundred, and my plan is to Post Roll Daily. Keep My Promise. Repeat. And to QUIT LIKE FUCK!
Thanks you all. I owe you my life.