First let me start out by saying for as long as I have dipped, which was almost 20 years, I never thought or saw my self as an addict. It was just not an adjective I would have used to describe myself. The truth, however, is that I was and still am an addict. I will always be an addict, but that doesn’t mean I have to live being controlled by addiction, KTC taught me that.
I was addicted to nicotine for almost 20 years, my addiction began early in the year 2000, when I was in the Marine Corp. It was some what of a right of passage to throw a dip in while out on the flight line working on helicopters. Right from the start I found my self quickly falling for nicotine. I loved the buzz, the taste, and the way it allowed me to “fit” in with my fellow marines. Little did I know that when I took that first dip I had allowed into my life a passenger that would stay with me for the next two decades. Not only would this “friend” of mine called nicotine be with me everywhere I went for the next twenty years, it would also start to influence my behavior in ways I could have never imagined. From having to make side trips to grab a can when I was younger, to eventually hiding it from my wife and kids when I got older. By the time I was in my thirties, nicotine had gone from passenger to a secure and solid part of my life. I was dipping everyday, sometimes as much as a can a day. I would go to work and have a dip in all day, only taking it out to eat, and then right back in. This relationship continued like this for the next 9 years, I would tell myself and my friends that I didn’t want to quit, and that the reason I dipped was because I liked the taste, and that it helped me be a better dad and husband. Little did I know that my addict brain was lying to me and leading me deeper into the pit of dependency where I had already been living for 10 years prior.
So what was my trigger point for quitting, what was it that made me decide to finally to take my addiction head on. Well it was a day I was out in my yard working, and my five year old was helping me out. He was moving some rocks or kicking dirt or what ever 5 year old little boys do while they travel through their imaginary world. As I looked over at him I noticed he was pretending to spit on the ground, just like Daddy. At that moment I knew I had to quit. I realized that I was gently taking my young boy’s hand and leading him into the pit of addiction where I had been trapped, all the while telling him not to be afraid, and to just do what daddy does. I couldn’t do this to my son, I had to make a change.
So how does one go about starting the quit journey with nicotine? First I had to get it through my head that I was an addict. Then I had to make a conscious effort to quit. After that I needed help. I had tried in the past to quit for one reason or another but as soon as I got to about the month or two mark my addict brain would tell me “see you can quit whenever you want to it wont hurt to take a dip now, you’ll just stop again right after”. And bang just like that I was using again. This time it had to be different so I needed help luckily for me a good friend of mine was already on KTC, many of people on this site might know him as hilltop. Brother, if you read this thank you, and that’s not just from me but my wife and kids thank you as well. You helped me start my quit and got me involved with KTC which made all the difference in the world. Once on the site I had so many people there to back me up on my bad days, and encourage me when I had a win. There is truly no way I would have made it 100 days without the help of KTC and my April brothers. Between the fog of those first few weeks and the ups and downs of the journey that followed thank you for being there for me, and know that I will always be there for you.
So from this addict to all of you thank you again, and see ya at 200 and beyond.