I remember the day I started my quit. I remember the countless times that I was sure I could quit on my own. The countless cans I tossed out the window of my car. The countless times I walked back into the store making it less than 24 hours. Now here I am. At 20 weeks. I’m far from tipping the scales to more days without nicotine in my life than days that nicotine were present. Far far from it. That is my motivation. I want to live long enough to have the 25 years of nicotine be less than half my life. (Age 38 as I write this).
When I started my quit I was being praised for every single day by my friends and family. My wife was less than enthusiastic about such praise, and for good reason. Each time someone congratulated me (in front of her) I felt more and more ashamed about the number of times I swore to her that I was quit. For REAL THIS TIME. Only to fail, and fail again. Each time putting that dip in my mouth the instant wave of relief coming over me… only to be clouded in shame and self loathing. Man, what a vicious fucking cycle. So my first days were bittersweet. But I was determined. And since my quit was sparked by her calling me out in front of our couples counselor… when I had called her out for not being attracted enough to me to enjoy sex… she and I were at least finally on the same page and discussed my quit daily.
Don’t get me wrong. My quit is for me. My quit was for me, and still continues to be centered around wanting to live a long life. Not slowly killing myself. Had I not found Kill The Can, I would not be at 20 weeks. Without the accountability, the brotherhood, the camaraderie and sometimes the tough love, I would most likely have caved by now.
She didn’t give me any reward for being quit. In the words of a rehab website I found around day 70, “You don’t get a trophy for doing the right thing.”
I can remember some vivid days of my quit. One was day 43. I can remember being in our couples therapy appointment and the counselor asked, “How’s it going?” And I said, “Terrible. The only thing that has changed in 43 days is that I haven’t dipped in 43 days. Everything around the house is still the same.” And boy I fucking meant it. We discussed that and hashed it out pretty aggressively. When I got home and decompressed, like a pressure cooker letting out steam slowly and over time, it hit me like a sack of bricks. I thought, “Thats just it you fucking idiot. Nothing HAS changed except you quit dipping.”
Do you get it?
NOTHING HAD CHANGED IN ME!!! I HADN’T DONE ANYTHING EXCEPT STOP DIPPING!! So I started concentrating on making some changes in me. Getting better at my job, getting better about getting things done around the house, etc.
But I was still missing the point.
Day 69 was the next explosion.
I wanted to celebrate Day 69 with a true 69. Thats right. Num num num num num num!!!!
The day came and went. Had a huge fight in the evening. She finally said (probably yelled), “I still can’t trust you!” “And for me I need trust before I can do anything like that.”
Boom. My head exploded. What the fuck couldn’t she trust about 10 god damn weeks and blah blah blah.
So I Googled, “Regaining Trust with your spouse sobriety”. The results were amazing. I suggest you do it.
The next 30 days flew by. I read the book “The Four Agreements”. I worked on me. And the closer I got to 100 days I had a mixed reaction.
First, it was something that I knew was a big deal on day 1. But the closer I got to it the more I realized that there is some real genius in such a number. It is close enough to day 1 to be attainable. 3 months and 10 days. It is big enough to be a benchmark–100. But what does it mean? For me I have 25 years of addiction. Thats 9,125 days of self inflicted turmoil, grief, mood swings, depressions, self medicating, ups, downs, and bullshit. Compared to my 100 days.
In our July 2019 group we had a number of people stop posting after 100 days. And I think about what I just said. What did they feel like they accomplished? Cured? Beat addiction?
I can see why the vets on here insist that most people cave after 100. That there are very few with real quit time under their belt. And who is going to hit 100, cave, and come back to the bullshit they know they are going to get on KTC??? That takes some guts.
So here I am. Day 140. No real answers, except to keep your eye on the prize. The prize is going to sleep each night knowing you conquered a beast that used to conquer you. Rest up, and prepare for the next day’s war. As in any war, not everyday is a brutal savage fight. Most of it is dull and filled with boredom. But you always have to be ready for the day when your life is on the line. Will you fight? Or will you cave?
Semper Fidelis my brothers and sisters and KTC. I’m glad I found this place.