2016 HOF Speeches

Freedom at Last – My Journey to Freedom

KillTheCamel avatarI can remember June 6, 2016 like it was yesterday. I was a real mess and addicted to nicotine for the better part of 30 years. I was a smoker on and off for many years. Started chewing tobacco and made a career out of that too. Not being able to spit and having to swallow the vile juice when I had to have a chew got in the way so I went spit less. Packing a snus or two, because sometimes one wasn’t enough, in my lip every awake hour of the day. Many times before bed I would take a turd out, set it on the night stand, and pick up the dried out turd and reuse it to reduce the down time getting to my tin and grabbing a fresh one. Plus I’m a cheap bastard. I would do the same when I ate, my wife and kids loved seeing them left on the kitchen counter, coffee tables, cars. Most times I left those pouches in my mouth until it became rancid and I would replace it with a fresh one. Long gone were the days I would pop one in after eating dinner, or after work, or any other reason, I was a slave. I turned down food, went out of my way to grab a can if I was out. One time I walked a mile from work in the rain to the gas station because I had no car and only one pouch to get me through the day. I signed up for coupons too. $2 off 2 cans, I was saving money killing myself now.

I was mentally battling a drinking problem when I knew I had to battle this addiction too. It was clear to me that the constant withdrawal from nicotine was affecting my sobriety. It was my elephant in the room for my recovery. I found this site and from reading about the signs and symptoms I was engulfed in that this was my only chance to break the chains. I had tried to quit before, and managed to stop dozens of times and had no success going it on my own quitting. When I woke up that Monday morning I signed up, posted an intro, posted my promise not to use, and kept my word. That day I turned from being a lying, sneaking, consumed addict to a recovering addict. I tossed my cans, coupons, and my old self that day. As it turned out there would be a cost to making this decision.

The next 30 days were hell. A torment of physical and mental hell took over. I entered a time warp and had to fight for my freedom. Minutes seemed like hours, and hours seemed like days. I was fighting minute to minute and using the tools to win every small victory. I asked questions, followed advice, got digits and used them to distract me and focused on the truth rather than believing the lies. After the first 3 days or so it turned into a real mental game. I wasn’t sleeping well, feeling strung out, irritable. Knowing I wasn’t going through this alone, helping others, and making and keeping my promise every damn day kept me quit. The nagging headache that lasted weeks and the feelings of rage began to subside in time. The lies and the lure to use were getting softer and less urgent to me. I still hear them from time to time but know deep down that never again is my only hope of remaining free. I will continue to do what worked for me which is the brotherhood of my fellow STD’s and others who have been there before, and accountability for myself and my brothers. I will stand and fight for our freedom.

Thanks for all of the support, the site, the brotherhood, and helping me break free and maintain my freedom. Today the program is working for me and I promise not to use today. I quit with you and that makes my quit stronger. Tomorrow I can expect more of the same.

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

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