2016 HOF Speeches

History of an Addict – Captum HOF Speech

Captum avatarI am at the first stop in a life long journey. I have gone 100 plus days now without nicotine in my system.

I started chewing 18 years ago. I was in airborne school waiting to do my first jump. One of the guys asked me if I wanted something to calm my nerves. It all started with a little pinch of cherry Skoal. From there I progressed rapidly to Cope. By the time I made it to RIP I was addicted. In the infantry it was cool to dip. Some of the guys started dipping because they could not smoke in the field. Everything about it made it so easy to use tobacco. You were convinced that you were somehow tougher and a bad ass. I remember going on training missions and having to stop by the store to buy a log before I could go the field. I would waterproof it so that the cardboard and wax would not get soaked and ruin my dip if it rained. When I went to Egypt I would go to the PX and buy the Cope in plastic cans that was made in parts completely unknown. It tasted horrible, but you know what? I dipped it for 6 months because I was addicted. Later on after I got married, when I went to Kosovo and Iraq, I had my wife ship it to me. That stateside Cope tasted great when compared to that plastic can Cope. I was a bad ass infantryman. Why quit?

After I left the military I worked at a car dealership. One day a Redman representative came in an asked me if I chewed. I said yes, I chewed Cope. She walked out and brought in a box with 72 logs of Redman straight and gave it to me. Yes, that is correct, 72 logs. 720 cans of Redman. It cost me zero. A year later she stopped back by and dropped off 52- 5 pack rolls. I did not pay for any dip for almost 2.5 years. It was free. Why quit?

I have to boys that love sports. I love to coach them. I have coached them in baseball, soccer, and basketball. Each and every time, I have done so with a dip in my mouth. At the baseball field it was almost a given. The president of the league was a smoker and the only rule about smoking was that it had to be done 50 feet or more from the fields. For soccer and basketball I just swallowed the juice. I kept the dip so far back in my mouth that you could not really tell if I had one in or not. No one called me out. Why quit?

Over the past 24 months I watched my marriage go down the drain. I decided that I wanted to improve myself. I had managed to take my GI Bill and earn a degree. I had a great job with great hours. I decided that I wanted to start dating again. So I signed up for a dating website and one of the questions was, “Do you smoke?” Technically I did not smoke but I did not want to lie. Also, I realized that I did not want to date someone who smoked but to do so was hypocritical. So after two weeks of trying to rationalize why it was okay to dip while I dated someone who did not, I ran out of dip. It was January 4th, 2016. At that moment I decided that I was going to quit. I was okay for about the first 5 minutes and then the thought of not having any nicotine made me frantic. So I started looking for advice. By chance I found help. I would set the timer on my phone to go off every 15 minutes. If I could just make it 15 minutes then I would be fine. When it would go off, I would reset the timer and start another 15 minutes. Eventually the cravings subsided. I knew I was in trouble if I did not find help. I looked at quit sites but none were targeted to those of us who used dip. Then I found KTC. After stalking the site for a couple of days, I even made an account, 78craft told me to get on that roll. You know what? I did and I have been here every day except for the one day that I missed roll. For those of you who wanted to know what happened, I had sex for the first time in over 24 months with someone other than myself. Needless to say, I was in a different kind of fog that day.

It has been fun. Reading all the posts is like having a soap opera to watch each and every day. When I am in need of a pick me up some poor bastard has posted a chili story. Thanks for being there, everyone. Each and every day I remember that I am an addict. When people say that they do not understand why he does not just quit, I do understand. Addicts use every excuse in the book to stay addicted. I used my ex-wife. I had her take time from her busy day to ship me tobacco when I was overseas. I would take time out of my day to go to the store for more tobacco. If it had been an illegal drug I would have been in jail. I had to get my fix. I would use it at work, on the baseball field, at school, in a nice restaurant after a meal. I understand that you have to want to quit for yourself. I just needed an excuse to quit. I knew that I needed to quit. My word is the greatest motivator for me and up until that point I had not been able to tell anyone that I was going to quit. If I tell you that I am going to do something then I am going to do it. I am going to stay quit. Thank you for helping me keep my word. Here is to 365 and beyond.

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

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