Well, here we are. I’m now in the KTC Hall Of Fame, enjoying my 100th day of freedom. The awesome majesty of that gleaming locomotive pulling up to the main platform in Union Station in Washington, DC to pick me up is a sight I’ll not soon forget. A finely tuned, grand old locomotive, truly befitting the finest rail station in the entirety of the United States; the eight railcars she tows being no less majestic and sumptuously appointed. The ornate gilt script proudly yet tastefully identifying her as ‘Old No. 100’ displayed upon the ebon-black casing containing her nuclear reactor catches and pleases the eye. As I settle down into my seat, listening to the train pick up speed as she imperiously speeds Northward through our Nation’s Capitol, across Interstate 495, and up into the verdant Maryland countryside, my mind rotates over to Retrospective mode…
I started tobacco when I was a teenager – I believe I was 16 years old at the time. Back then, the minimum age for tobacco was 16. That is when I became hooked. I was a fool who thought himself immortal. Initally, I smoked cigarettes – three packets of Marlboro 100s each and every day. These things were my constant companions, day in and day out. They followed me everywhere. I switched to dip in the year 2007 because I read that it’s “safer than smoking”. As it turns out, it’s more accurate to say that it’s less lethal than smoking. However, with a mortality rate of 1 in 12, it’s still something to avoid. There’s also the fact that going through life with no jaw isn’t exactly fun. I quit dip when my teeth started to rot – back to back to back root canals can be one heck of a motivator. I could go on and on about my childhood and adolescence, but I find it highly unlikely that anyone would give a damn about the whole matter. So I’ll let that go.
Now, here I am at KTC. One hundred days quit. One hundred. This number is used to signify perfection – the word ‘perfect’ coming from the Latin word ‘perfectus’ meaning ‘finished’. I suppose this would describe the withdrawals; these are indeed finished. It would also seem to signify…many other things. That said, I prefer to think of the 100 in this case as signifying completion. My dedication to quit is complete. My resolve towards staying nicotine-free is complete. I have no desire to use tobacco any more. I will never use nicotine ever again, and I will never change my mind. My God will do for me what I cannot do for myself. ODAAT is all well and good – I am in complete accord with this philosophy – but the end goal as I understand it is to be and stay perenially nicotine-free. The quit is perennial. Unfortunately, so is the disease. So, until the day nicotine addiction gets a cure, I will continue to work the quit.
Here’s how I did it. Please bear one thing in mind: I am simply sharing what worked for me. What works for you is something that you will have to discover for yourself. We can and will help you, but ultimately the responsibility for discovering your way to freedom is yours and yours alone. Firstly, I trusted in God. That sounds trite, but I mean it. Secondly, I stayed in the here-and-now. Anyway, I never use nicotine now. See, it’s always now, right? It was now when I wrote this; it’ll be now when you read this. So…I never use nicotine now. The concept of ‘later’ is in God’s hands, not my own. So, when the craves come, my mantra is ‘never nicotine now’. I say that to myself over and over – Never Nicotine Now – and it works. Granted, it’s not exactly the Salve Regina, but it keeps me clean. Counting clean time is helpful, but if I lost count of my clean time entirely, I’d still have the commitment to being clean for life. Lastly, we must think of being free from nicotine addiction as being paroled from prison. Just as parolees from brick-and-mortar prisons must follow terms of parole, so those of us paroled from the prison of nicotine addiction (NicoPrison) must follow a term – Never Nicotine Now. Granted, it’s the only term. But it is still yet mandatory – and violating this term leads back to NicoPrison. Finally, I did a lot of reading and researching. I did my quit Smart Turkey – I researched nicotine addiction and learnt from other quitters’ testimonies. It is through this research of knowledge – and, most importantly, its application – that I have the quit I have today.
There’s one special point I want to mention: I remember a few days into my membership, I received a text from Law asking me why I hadn’t posted roll. At first, I was offended – why, exactly, does this guy care? Then it hit me – of course he cares. We’re a Fraternity here. For the first time in my life, I felt I belonged to a group that really valued me as a person. This group, which styles itself “Cult of Quit” was the first time I really felt welcomed and loved, anywhere. Law wants me to stay quit because he values me as a brother. Wow; I don’t know how to react, but I can tell you that I truly value that attention. I still have that text; I look at it every time I’m lonely.
There’s some people I want to thank. Law, Bicycleptic, Viking, and Miker; thank you for being there and helping my quit. I really value your comradeship. Thank you so much for everything. Syndrome, you get a special thanks from me – your being clean for nigh-on a full decade (a decade is 3652 days) tells me that life without nicotine is indeed possible. Prohunter and Lentz, thank you for taking over posting roll for February. I have the roll template still on my computer, ready to go for 1 March. You new quitters out there, I assure you that your being quit is both possible and doable. Remember NNN always. For everyone else (too many to list, no bumps intended), thank you for keeping this board going.
Finally, my future with this board. I promise you that I will stay with you until every member of our beloved Cult either abandons their membership or gets to the Hall of Legends. Whether or not I shall remain after this happens remains to be seen. I promise to post roll every day – however, I should tell you in advance that I’ll be moving to Florida around the summer of 2017. I might miss a day or two during that time, and be unable to text / email anyone. I give you my word that if I ever do leave this board, it’s because circumstances outside my control left me with no choice in the matter. Like my death, for example. No matter what happens, I promise to you that I will be helping other nicotine addicts get and stay quit for the rest of my natural life.
So…that’s it for now. I look forward to helping others quit. I’m in the formal lounge, sipping some good Colombian coffee and reading Sherlock Holmes’ mysteries with a little Nox Arcana playing softly on the stereo. Come in and say Guten Tag any time you would like. I imagine the quiet formality will be a welcome break from the beer, fried food, sports, strippers, and other excerable silliness that the rest of the CoQ will be wasting their time on in the other cars. This car is soundproofed, so we don’t have to worry about being distracted. It’s a good, classy old car – a fully restord old 19th century coach with a rosewood interior, fine leather furniture, linen drapes, bronze doors, and gas-jet lighting. Feel free to put your feet up and relax – this is old-world quality we’re talking about here. It is heavy-built and meant to last for centuries. I enjoy meeting new quitters, and entertaining the old. There’s plenty of coffee (both iced and hot), dates, olives, broiled chicken with rosemary, sparkling water, and buttermilk for our enjoyment. There’s also plenty of good atmospheric music on the stereo – I keep Nox Arcana and Enya on heavy rotation. Did I mention checkers, chess, darts, and shuffleboard? We should have plenty of good, gentlemanly fun. Oh yes, do you see that big easy chair with the letter F embroidered into it with gilt thread? That’s my chair. Stay out of it.
One final thought. Do you remember the one who gave up? Neither does anyone else.
Clean since 11/11/2016 3:30AM United States Eastern Time.