2010 HOF Speeches

Engineer’s Quit

engineer avatarI hit the 100 day mark last Wednesday, and even though it’s only been 100 days, it seems like much longer. I dipped for 6 years, and smoked for 5 of those. I dipped any time I was alone–any time. I know a lot of other guys here have been dipping for 15, 20+ years, so 6 doesn’t seem like much, but it’s a long time to me.

I was originally in the September group. I had quit for 4 or 5 days, then gave up. I got frustrated with work, or was out drinking, or was frustrated with my girlfriend, and I used dip as a crutch. That’s the thing for me, I’ve realized–I used dip, nicotine, as a crutch whenever I was feeling angry, sad, demotivated. A strange thing too, I used it whenever I was happy–any emotion I was feeling, I could rationalize having a pinch to make it better. If I was sad, it would make me happier, and if I was already happy, it would make me even more happier.

Or at least I thought; that was just the addict in me talking. Dip doesn’t do a damn thing for you except set you up for getting cancer one day. I had romanticized it–it was a friend, a comfort, and it was part of “me.” I liked dip being a part of my personality, and I liked being part of a secret society of dippers. In public I’d look for dippers, or look for the signs of one. I’d see the guy and think “he’s like me.” Or more honestly, “I’m like him.” I looked to other dippers to validate my addiction, and to tell me that I didn’t have anything to worry about. “That guy’s 60, and he’s still got his lip–I don’t have anything to worry about, dip isn’t that bad” I’d say.

As much as I thought I enjoyed being someone who dips, and being a part of that group, I much more prefer being a quitter, and being a part of this HOF group.

After I dropped out of the September group, I posted roll in October, and in the process angered a few people. So I had to explain myself–what went wrong, what I was going to do differently. So I made an honest post about how this quit would be different. But it wasn’t any different–I made it to maybe 5 or 6 days before buying a can again. After that I didn’t post roll any more, of course, but I did continue to read KTC. A week or so later, I quit dipping.

I really didn’t want to have to answer to anyone. I didn’t want to explain why I caved. I caved for the same exact reasons that everyone else who caves does: I’m addicted to nicotine, and I wasn’t committed, and I was weak. Actions speak louder than words. My plan was to wait until the 50 day mark to start posting roll again. If I waited until day 50 to start posting roll again, no one could ask me if I meant it this time, and if I was going to stay quit this time, because the number would prove it.

But around the 10 or 12 day mark I found that I really needed the support. The fog was terrible for me the first few days, as it is for everyone, but it came back around day 10 (and 20, and 40). I posted roll in October and took my fair share of lumps. I started spending a lot of time in chat, and I got a few phone numbers. Thank you Seth, Show, and Thor’s Hammer for sending me your numbers. Especially thank you, Seth–we’ve texted back and forth a few times, mostly me to you asking for support and motivation, and you’ve always helped. Thank you!

So that was the trick, then. I was committed to quitting–step 1. Anyone who wants to quit can quit, if they stay close to this site. Post roll, get numbers, spend time in chat.

I still get cravings, but they’re not nearly as bad as they once were. I see cans of Griz behind the checkout counter, and I look closely at them. Not because I want some, romanticizing it–because there’s no such thing as “just one,” but rather because I want to see how big the cancer warnings are now. Have you noticed? The big black warning fills have of the lid.

It’s a great feeling, knowing that I’m quit. Someone posted once that the best part of being quit is not having to worry about when you’re going to quit. I’d pick at the inside of my lips or cheek or gums with my tongue and wonder if what I felt was cancerous. Over the course of a day I’d make the smallest agitation in my mouth into something much worse by constantly picking at it, trying to get a feel for what it was. I’d look at my tongue in the mirror and wonder if what I was seeing was anything to be worried about. I’m free from that now! I love it. Never again will I have to relive day 1, and never again will I have to go through the fog.

This isn’t over–I’m going to be addicted forever. But I can choose not to give in. Every day is a new day, a new struggle–one day at a time. Thank you to everyone in KTC whom I’ve spoken with, thank you for all of your support, and thanks for putting up with my shit in the early days of my quit!

All the best,
Engineer/Skyler

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

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