100+ days wow! The main reason I’m going to write this speech is because during my dark times managing my addiction or when my addiction was managing me I found that reading other’s HOF speeches helped me very much. So, I hope to help someone else out now by telling my rather typical story.
I’ve been a slave to some form of nicotine for 15+ years, it’s hard to say when it all started but I have both smoked and chewed and at times simultaneously. I was a wrestler in high school and junior college and for some reason everyone had the bright idea that chewing would help lose weight. We would sit around at tournaments in the locker room just shooting the shit with a big old dip in. Every one of us was like this and I didn’t think it was strange at all, my dad chewed, my grandpa chewed, this was normal behavior to me.
So, I remained addicted thru college using both, smoking between classes and having a dip during classes. Then I began working in the oilfield out of college this is not an industry conducive to not using tobacco EVERYONE uses it! Late nights, working 100+ hours a week tobacco helped keep me awake (so I thought). Sometime during this time frame I started to think about how bad this lifestyle was for me but you all know the drill, I’ll quit after this or that and oh, hunting season is coming up I’ll have to have a chew then I’ve earned it. This is all the bullshit talk that goes thru all of our minds, the mind of an addict. Then my uncle who has smoked all of this life gets lung cancer. He dies a slow horrible death and I immediately stop smoking and move into chewing full time can a day. But in the back of my head I know that chewing is going to kill me if I don’t do something about it, but my mind thinks I NEED it. I heard a great quote on this site it said “the only thing nicotine cures is the problems it creates”. The nic had me thinking it was taking care of me, calming me, my friend that was always there but it’s all a bunch of bull it’s taking care of problems it created!
Let’s fast forward thru multiple quit attempts, nicotine gum, Chantix (made me CRAZY!), lozenges, everything trying to ease the pain of withdrawal. NONE of it worked I always ended up right back where I left off often times using even more.
I found this site about 2 years ago, signed up and did not use it properly. I did all the reading but I never posted roll. I thought I could go at it alone, guess what? After being quit for about 9 months I found myself in the gas station one day and thought “I can handle just one” I’m out of town and I’ll throw it out before I get home. The first can was the hardest to buy and it got way easier after that. Bam! I’m back to chewing a can a day cope pouches (the pouches are better for you right? Stupid logic). I’ve got sores all over my mouth now and I’m getting really paranoid that I’ve done enough damage to get the big C.
Finally I’m convinced that I have ulcers that won’t heal. One night I wake up and find a huge ulcer in the corner of my mouth. That’s it I’m done for I think to myself. Now typically I find an ulcer end up quitting for a few days and go back as soon as it goes away. This time I have had it. I’m sick of worrying about it, I’m sick of the sores, I’m sick of the paranoia chewing is just not fun anymore. I’m not in control of it and I start to realize it. So, I chuck the can and get back on the website. This time I’m accountable, I post roll, I try to get involved in conversations, try to help other people out. The start of the quit sucked and it sucked bad. But, this time I realize I’m an addict, I can’t go at this alone and I need to embrace this as it’s the last time in my life that I will have to go thru it.
Thank you everyone in the March 2011 quit group. You guys have helped me more than you’ll ever know, I will always be accountable to my group. I am an addict and I want to stay clean, I’m not going to fuck this one up. 101 quit, today and forever!! I was TOTALLY addicted to nicotine and if I can kick it so can you!!!