2015 HOF Speeches

How Can I Live Without Chew?

Im-done-with-chew-avatarQuitting makes us better men….

IDWC…. I posted this tonight in May and thought it would be a good opening to my speech

“My worst day quit is better then my best day as a slave. I never believed I could handle a few hours without a dip let alone 4 months. I was an open chewer who took pride in the image I portrayed. I am sad at how long I let myself believe the lie and so very grateful I was given the tools to dig myself to freedom. Our quits are the most precious things we need to protect. We can never forget how we felt just before we finally quit. The despair and sense of defeat. We are free today because we have chosen to honor our word and commit to ourselves and others that we will remain dip free. This has taught many of us that we are able to change other deficiencies in our lives and made us better men. Quitting has been the best thing I have ever done and it has rippled throughout my life and those around me.”

I can still remember the way I felt 4 months ago as I was throwing out the last dip of chew I ever “hoped” to have. I felt hopeless and full of despair. I wanted to quit in the worst way but I didn’t think it was possible to last even a few hours without the crutch I had been leaning on for half my life. How was I going to last forever? That was a concept my enslaved self couldn’t comprehend. I searched the web for hours looking for NRT options. I was convinced that I would be most successful if I weaned myself off Nicotine. Somehow I found KTC amongst all the propaganda associated with NRT’s. This was about to change my life….

The next day I cleaned out all the spit bottles in my house and made sure I had nothing left to sabotage my quit and joined the brotherhood. I was completely lost, I had never been on a forum based site before. I wasn’t sure I would even want to talk to anyone anyway. How could a bunch of strangers help me? Somehow I figured out how to post roll and make an introduction. Not sure why but I introduced myself as Jacob Johnson, which is my first and middle name. Guess I was a bit guarded at first. It was several days before I actually talked with anyone. I kinda sat back and observed and tried to read as much as I could so I could understand what I was dealing with. Talk about being in a fog! Eventually I felt comfortable enough to reach out to a few of my Misfit brothers and a few Vets who I felt I could relate to and who where people that would strengthen me. This was when I really started to grasp the concept of KTC as a brotherhood and what accountability really meant.

Over the last four months I have grown to truly care about my fellow Misfits and those that support me. My quit (like most others) has been tough in many ways. I have been tested. It started with the fog and mood swings. Then my mother was in a head on collision early in my quit, and I had to deal with the cancer treatment and ultimate death of my wife’s grandmother (who I was very close with). Recently I lost the job I have had for almost a decade, only to find another very quickly that had more benefits then ever expected. Throughout each of these trials I had the support and the ability to lean on my Brothers here. They carried me many days, even if I seemed strong on my own.

We have had many issues in May. People have come and gone. Some have caved and returned, others have left in a furry of drama. Some days are filled with anger amongst ourselves and towards others posting with us. The thing I am most amazed with is the bond so many of us have formed. MChapman was the first I became close with. He has been a huge asset to my quit in many ways. Hawsman, Kramer, Flredneck, Tom92673, JimJamRustin, Jpfabel1073, PJ8324, you all have been equally instrumental in my success. The conversations on GroupMe have allowed me to get to know you on a personal level. And I always look at your KTC posts with respect. I know that you are all in the trenches with me daily and I would do anything for any of you if the day comes that you need it. My other brothers in May are just as important in other ways. As they grow I grow with them. As they suffer I suffer as well. Our lives are intertwined and success and pain are equally felt. My quit is strong today because of my supporters outside of May as well. Candoit and Pope were the first Vets that took an interest in my quit and helped me through some of the worst days I’ve had. They were amongst the first I called when My mother was in an accident. I talked with them before I had even reached the scene because I knew I was going to need them. You both have played a large part in my growth. Basshaug, Tuco, 30yrAddict, Rkymtnman, all have challenged me and led by great examples. The involvement you have had with May and myself personally has been key to leading me in the right direction. Some of the Apes have helped my quit as well. Pab, Your the man! Kash, Woosel and BigK, GA, believe it or not I have gained a lot and learned a lot about myself and quitting from you. I see good intentions daily even if we don’t always agree.

I have learned that “forever” is a concept left for others not dealing with addiction. As addicts we can only focus on today! Our success comes from making a promise to ourselves and our brothers to not use Nicotine for today only and then honoring our word. If you have truly committed to KTC principles then you will understand that Honoring our word and being men of integrity are two of the most critical things needed to remain free of this poison. Some days are easy and some are hard. It is during the hard moments where integrity alone may be the only thing keeping us from failing.

KTC provides all the tools needed to quit Nicotine and regain the freedom we all so foolishly gave away. It is up to each of us to learn to use these tools and become men we can be proud of. Men who do not leave their wives to be widows, and children to be fatherless. I am thankful that I found this group of Misfits and pledge to stand by each one of them as long as God allows me to breath. I am an addict. I will never be cured. But with the help of my brothers here and the integrity I am building, I will continue to add +1 daily. I will not be going anywhere.

Thank you to all those who have led before me and all those that will follow. I will continue to honor my word and offer support to anyone who needs it. This is what makes KTC strong.

IDWC -125

NOTE: This piece written by KillTheCan.org forum member I’m done with chew

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