2017 HOF Speeches

Forever Grateful

BrianG avatarIntro

I am not special. My intro is like most of you reading this. Started messing around with tobacco at an early age. By 15 I was buying my own can and the addiction had started. I tried to quit a few times. I usually planned a quit and it would last a few days at best. I talked about quitting a lot. People would make comments to me about quitting and I would laugh and say yes, I am going to quit. I remember when I was 20 years old going to college, I got these white bumps underneath my tongue. I was really worried that tobacco had given me cancer. I went to the campus doctor to get it checked out. This Doctor was probably 70 years old and looked to be bothered by some young punk coming into his office all worried about cancer. He actually laughed at me and then told me the worse thing possible. He said that I would have to chew 30+ years for tobacco to give me cancer and not to worry about it. I hung my hat on that comment for many years. Well, those 30 years crept up on me pretty fast. I remember turning 45 and giving thought to those words. I told myself that I should quit. I probably planned to quit, but I never got around to it. In December of 2016, I turned 50 years old. Something happened to me on that birthday. I do not think I had a midlife crisis or anything but I started to reflect on things. My life, my family and where was I at and where was I going. What I really started to see was that I had a chance to grow old. I have made plans for my old age, but in the back of my mind, I was never sure I would get there. None of us are promised a tomorrow, but I always thought my tobacco use would shorten my life. I started planning another quit. This time would be different. I was not sure how it would be different, but I was serious about quitting. I was in the car with a friend and I heard a commercial come on about this herbal mint chew. I took my phone out and jotted down a note to check this website out. When I got back to work, I went to Jakes Chew. I ordered some mint stuff and thought this would get me through the rough part. While on the site, I started to look around. I found a link to Kill the Can. I started to look around and thought this is different. If I am serious about quitting, why not give this place a shot. On Jan 17, I signed up into the April 2017 group. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

I do not remember much about those first few days, the fog was pretty thick. I know I posted an Intro. I know I posted my first Roll Call. And I know I was serious about quitting. I am not exaggerating when I say it took me about a week to feel human again. I was on such a roller coaster of emotions. One minute you think this is not so bad and then the next minute you feel like total crap. On day 2, I sat in my office and cried. If I remember right, it was because I started thinking about forever, broken promises and just flat out being scared. The anxiety of quitting hit me hard. The tears would not stop. I started thinking about what ifs… what if I messed up by making a pledge to people that I would quit today…What if I cannot do it. Believe me, in those first few days the thought of, I do not owe these people anything, was at the forefront of my thinking. Even at day 100, the thinking of forever can raise my anxiety level to a point that it becomes uncomfortable. Keep it One Day At A Time (ODAAT) and it helps with the anxiety.

100 days

I think the thing that I know at day 100 that I did not know at day 1 is that the 2 days are not all that different. Sure, Day 100 is easier than day 1, but it is not like I do not have craves or thoughts of tobacco. When I was in the first week and saw a guy posting 90 days or 100 days, I envied that guy. I could not wait to be in his shoes. He has it easy now was my thinking. Well, being the guy at day 100 now, I know that I do not have it easy. It is still a struggle to remain quit. Some guys talk about not even thinking about tobacco at day 100. I am envious again of those guys. Now don’t get me wrong, tobacco is not my every thought as it was in that first week. But, I have yet to have a day where I do not think of tobacco. I am told those days will come, and I am also envious for those days. (This guy envies a lot…)

The other thing I learned in these 100 days is that posting roll each day works. I have said it before early on that I am not sure why it works, but it does. I still do not really know why it works, but integrity and honesty play a big role. I posted roll every single day for 100 days. When I first posted roll, it was going through the motions of posting roll. I was trying not to mess up the roll. After a week or two, the act of posting roll became almost sacred. It really meant a lot to me to put my name and day count on that roll sheet. If you give it the respect that it deserves, posting roll can keep you quit.

Day 100 brings a sense of accomplishment, but the task at hand is not complete. I still am conscious of craves and mental battles and the fog that can pop up without warning. The mental battles may be the worst of it all. These battles are me trying to reason inside my head why quitting is a good thing. It would be so much easier to just continue to use tobacco and go back to the way things used to be. The mental fatigue that can happen to you with this back and forth is exhausting. It will flat out wear you out. I think this is where we lose some people along the way. They just give up the battle. In my previous attempts at quitting, this is where I would lose. I would give in to the exhaustion of trying to stay quit. The difference now is this site. I had always attempted to quit by myself. When I would run into the exhaustion, I had no one to lean upon to help get me through it. I always chose the easy way out. What a wonderful thing it is to be able to talk to someone that knows what you are going through. It made all the difference in the world to me. Sure, the exhaustion came in these 100 days, but I was never alone and I had the support to keep going until I got my proverbial second wind. At day 100, I am really starting to believe that I can win this battle. At this point it truly is mind over matter. I have taken tobacco off the table and it can never be an option in the choices that I have in battling this addiction.

So yes, day 100 is a big win for me. I am proud of myself for getting here. I am in unchartered territory when it comes to how long I have been quit in my 35 years of using tobacco. My new goal is day 200. I have more confidence in making this goal than I did the last goal of 100. One Day at A Time should get me there.

April 2017 — The Roll Wreckin’ Fools

My boys. These guys are some bad ass quitters. The guys that have made it to day 100 are some of the toughest guys in this battle against nicotine. I like to think that we kept the drama to a minimum and the Roll Wrecking to a maximum. Holy Cow can these guys mess up a Roll. We were not limited to just messing up our roll, we were not embarrassed to go into other groups and mess their Roll up. To be honest, we took a little pride in a good Roll Wrecking. We had our fun, but when it was time to get serious about quitting, these guys got it done.

The April 2017 group as a whole got me to day 100. I say this with all seriousness, I would not be quit today without the group of April 2017. I am proud as heck to quit with you guys and I truly value the friendships that have been made here. I wish you guys nothing but the best in life and I am damn proud to call you brothers in my quit (There may be some bat dust in here, give me a moment…). I am forever grateful to each of you for the support you gave me. I hope this is the first of many milestones we celebrate as a group. We are much more powerful against our addiction when we rely on each other for support. That is why I will be posting roll with these Roll Wreckin’ Fools for the foreseeable future. No need to fix what is not broken.

The Vets

I am truly grateful to the creators of KTC and to the vets that help keep it going. Early in my quit, let’s be honest, most of you were jackasses. As my quit went a long and got stronger, as the fog lifted a little, it seemed like you became less of a jackass and more of a friend. It was really strange how that worked. Although there were many vets who helped me along the way, a few of you stand out in helping me reach this point. NJohns23 was a valuable asset to the April group. No way do we get things done smoothly without his input and guidance. Thank you Nick for your example and great leadership. The guy who calls himself Ready was very valuable in my quit. He always seemed to know the right thing to say and his logic always made sense to me. He has the best quote that I used many times over the last 100 days, Never Again For Any reason(NAFAR). It was/is my mantra. Jubs is a friend that helped me to forget about the quit at times with his great sense of humor, but would have words of wisdom for me when he knew I needed lifted up. I am grateful that he reached out to me. There was an entire group of vets in the chat room that helped me get here. I have not missed too many days over the last 100 days of being in the chat room. Finding a way to laugh while going through the pain of quitting can be a great relief. Thank you Chat Room! I am very grateful to the supporters who posted below the line and called me out by name. This meant so much to me and it really helped to strengthen my quit knowing others were watching and cheering me on.

The vet who did more than anybody to help me stay quit does not even know it. We have never exchanged words with each other. I have read everything this guy has written on this site and I encourage you to do the same. He seemed to me to be the master of how to quit. He writes well and always seemed to have the right words for what I was feeling. I am forever grateful that 30YrAddict took the time to write all that he did.

30yrAddict —
I look at the nic bitch at this point as a lion looking at a herd- she is waiting for someone to lag behind, waiting to pick the next one off, looking for a sign of weakness, looking for someone who is not thinking about the fact that they are still vulnerable. She is patient, in some cases she waits thousands of days to pick one off.

I’m stayin with the herd.

Wise words 30, I will do the same.

New Guys Who Want to Quit

Yes, I am talking to you. The guy planning his next quit. I dipped Skoal Fine Cut for 35 years. I was not sure if I would ever quit even though I knew that if I did not, something bad was going to happen. I was angry that I had to quit because I thought I truly loved to dip. If I was awake, I was dipping. Not one person reading this can say they did it more than me or that they love it more than I thought I did. I will not lie to you. Day 1 sucks. Day 2 really sucks. It all just sucks. It took me a week to start to feel human again. The roller coaster in those early days is just crazy. You get 50 days out and you think you are doing well and then it hits you again. I am telling you now, it is not easy. I say this because I want the person reading this to quit for good. I want you to know what 100 days quit feels like. I know it feels better than the last day I dipped. I was not enjoying Skoal anymore. I was dipping not to feel bad! The withdrawal from nicotine is what kept me dipping. Hell, when you dip 35 years, you are long passed any buzz you get from dipping. Do I feel great? No, but I feel better. Jubs has been nicotine free for over 1,000 days. He says it gets better, I believe him… Let’s get on with the quit….

The Quit Continues…

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

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