2012 HOF Speeches

I Am Not An Addict

Jameso avatarI am not an addict. I have never understood the addictive personality. I have always thought that people used that term to make excuses for being weak. I just cant fathom the the lack of will power some people can display on their way down their path of destruction.

Smoking, I have tried smoking before and never could understand how people can become addicted to that stuff. I have watched my grandmother and many other family friends and relatives die from lung cancer. It always astonished me that people would continue smoking while fighting for their lives against a disease caused by the product that they were addicted to. I mean how weak is that, people need to get some control in their lives.

Drinking, sure I have had some drinks in my life. Hell I even enjoyed drinking at certain times in my lfe. I just never could understand how some people could drink to the point where they threw their lives away. I lost my sister at age 50 and a good childhood friend at the age of 40 to the effects of alcoholism. I just could not understand how these bright and intelligent people would allow themselves to the point that they would cause their own death. I have seen other friends destroy their lives, family, and some even end up in prison over their addiction to alcohol.

Drugstried, I am almost ashamed to say that yes I have a few drugs in my younger days. Not something I am proud of but hell it happened. However, I am just not sure how somebody can become addicted to that stuff. Yet so many weak ass people do. How weak is that? You have to take mind altering substances to escape the realities of life. I have seen so many friends, coworkers, and family members throw their lives or jobs away because they can not quit doing drugs. I mean how can you keep doing that to yourself after you know how dangerous something is for you?

I took my 1st chew of tobacco when I was 5 years old. My dad gave it to me as we were riding around in the car. It was Redman, my dads tobacco of choice at the time. You see, chewing tobacco was considered gross, but nobody thought it was dangerous at the time. I mean hell at least it wasnt cigarettes. After that me and my buddies would sneak a chew now and then or save up $0.75 and ride our bikes up to the store to get a can of dip or a puch of chaw. I would go to Texas and see my older cousins pack a fat lip and I thought man those guys are awesome. My cousin who is closer and age would head off in the woods and chew or dip anything we could find. Man life was great.

About the time I turned 12 I started using tobacco on a daily basis. The parents were not exactly excited about it, but again it was not smoking. Sure, I stopped from time to time, but always ended up coming back to it. By the time I was in college, sometimes in my periods of stopping the use of chewing tobacco I would sometimes substitute the use of cigarettes. Don’t worry though, I really did not like cigarettes and certainly was not addicted to them. I always seemed to revert back to the can and had gotten to using about a can a day. I almost constantly had a dip in. It was my security blanket.

In spite of all I had learned about how bad smokeless was for you I continued to use it. I mean it helped me relax through a stressful day. How screwed up is that using a product to escape the realities of life even though it could kill you. Hold up, could I be addicted to this stuff? At the age of 40 I decided that I was not going to dip anymore as I am stronger than this. I posted on facebook that I was going to quit. That post, little did I know was going to change my life. Quit I did, for about a month. Then I gave in and started in again like never before. I knew it was going to kill me, but I did not care anymore. My love for this stuff was more important than my own life or my family. I may have been addicted.

About a year or so later out of the blue my cousin that I used to sneak off in the woods with and dip with sent me a message on facebook and asked if I was still quit. He mentioned that my post a year or so earlier had gotten him thinking about quitting and he had found a website called KTC and it was helping him stay quit. I almost embarrassingly typed back that no I was full bore dipping again but really need to stop. Nothing more was said. I had tried and failed so many times that i just couldn’t try again, i was coming to the conclusion that I really was addicted and there was no hope.

Move on down the road about a month or two later and I was going to try again. I quit cold turkey. I was doing fine until day 5. This was the worst day ever in all my experiences in attempting to shake the habit. I was about to pull into the store to buy a can when I remembered what my cousin had said about KTC. In the parking lot of the C-store I looked up the website on my iPhone. I read some on the site and thought it might work so I just posted in the May group that I was on day 5 and having the worst day ever. I was bombarded with words of support and encouragement and suggesting I post roll, but my head was spinning and could not grasp how to post roll so I told them I would figure it out the next day. I did not post roll, but that bit of encouragement got me to pull out of the C-store without making that purchase. I thought that maybe that site would work.

The next morning I posted roll and for the next 112 days I have done the same thing. Post roll, honor my word, repeat the next day. You see I am an addict. I am that person I could not understand. I am weak. I had a drug of choice that was stronger than me. I could not beat this. However through this site I have discovered that there are others just like me fighting those same demons. Fighting through the same addiction. Hell they are not weak, I have met real badass quitters here. I give them my word and they will not let me fail. They will hold me to my word if I give it. I will give my word, I need to remind myself that I am an addict after all.

The list of people I would need to thank that I have drawn strength from is too long and I have rambled enough. I will say to cousin LeeRon thanks for helping save my life. To my badass brothers of May thanks and to those that have gone before and still offer words of encouragement thanks to you as well. Life is good so quit hard or geaux home.

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

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