I don’t pipe up much on this site, but on this day, I give thanks that the guys mentioned above have saved, and changed, my life. I’m less than a month from the HOF, but I’m a lifetime from the man I used to be. This is my first Thanksgiving in 24 years that I didn’t have a dip immediately before and after Thanksgiving dinner. Thanksgiving used to be a day I dreaded, being surrounded by my wife’s family and friends, and unable to have a dip for at least 8 hours.
When I woke up this morning, I didn’t think of having a chew at all until I was on my way there for dinner, and only as an abstract thought. Once there, I literally didn’t think about it until after I got home. If you had told me a year ago that I would be required to give up Skoal by next Thanksgiving, I probably would have killed you on the spot.
As I mentioned earlier, I don’t chime in much, but the group of you — veterans from long ago, to the guys just starting, keep me on the right track every single day. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t sign on this site and see how proud the old guys are, and how much life sucks for the new guys. It keeps me quit, and I thank each and every one of you for that. The admins and mods deserve special recognition. I haven’t been able to determine that there is any other reason they do it than for the sole purpose of helping their fellow man, and I hope that someday I’m able to return that favor in any fashion.
I don’t remember where I read it, but it sticks with me. Quitting is simple — you just put down the can, and never pick it back up. But, as with everything, the devil is in the details, and in the doing. You have to confront yourself, and engage in that mental battle where you finally say that you’re going to quit, regardless of the consequences.
That battle is both terrifying, and liberating. Terrifying, because you finally come to grips with something you’ve long hoped you’d never have to make a decision on (quitting), and liberating because you made that decision, and have started on a new path on which you will either succeed or fail — no “nice try” bullshit — this is your life, where you realize that this is the point at which you can no longer avoid your weakness, but must confront it. I would not have made it without the people that have been down this road before me, and the people that are right behind me.
There are more people that have helped me get this far, and I’d fuck it up trying to mention each one and why — I’ll save that for the HOF. I’ll simply say this for tonight: I give thanks for each and every one of you, named and nameless, who have helped me get to this point. You saved my life. They don’t fully appreciate it yet, but my wife thanks you, and my one -year old son thanks you as well.