My name is Matt, and I am an addict. I am a recovering alcoholic, and addicted to nicotine/tobacco. I know this is not an alcoholic quit site, but it’s a big part of who I am, so best to get it out there on the table now. Quick bio, I am 35 years old, I have been married to my high school sweetheart for about 11 ½ years, and we have two incredible children, Emmett will be four in March, Alexandra will be two in February, and #3 is due March 11! I seem to have everything going for me, everything but a short memory, and I seem to forget all of that pretty easily, and focus on me, like a true addict, always all about me…
Flashback quickly to 1989, freshman year in high school, I wasn’t one of the cool kids, kept my head down, had some friends, but liked keeping to myself. Wasn’t big into team sports, skiing was my specialty growing up around Lake Tahoe, got to race during the week instead of school, and also got to enjoy my quiet time out on the mountains by myself. One of the “cool” kids drove me to practice from school one day, he offered a pinch of regular Copenhagen, and it was off to the races, yet another thing I could enjoy on my own, and just made doing everything that much better.
Flash forward to September 2001. My wife had accepted a temporary oversees assignment in Sydney, Australia. It was yet another “new beginning”. There had been a number of those in the past 12 years… I was going to clean my act up, and we had a fresh start. My job relocation didn’t go as planned, didn’t feel real good about myself, and needed to really rely on putting the foreign substances into my body that had worked so well… Ran out of my last bit of dip a week or so into the move, no second thought, run down and pick up some dip at the corner store. Went into the store, asked for chewing tobacco, and the lady looked like I had just arrived from Mars. Are you kidding me! A whole country without chewing tobacco/snuff? Really!? Yes sir…I think I actually had an anxiety attack right then and there, and then proceeded to smoke a pack of cigarettes per day for the next 3 years…
2004, yep, you got it, another beginning back in the States, Atlanta, Georgia. By this time my addictions were in full swing. Walking the fine line of losing everything, in 2006, I made a decision things had to change. August 29, 2007…I had been sober for a year and a half; I FORGOT I was an addict. The decision was made that I would drink again, it took me four hours, I was home alone with Emmett, then about 6 months old, wife came home to find me blackout drunk with the most important thing in our life, our son…I FORGOT. I haven’t forgotten about that day in the last few 24 hours; it’s the first thing I think of in the morning, so I can remember how it felt, and how it feels now.
I go through this to bring us up to current time. For the last 3 years or so, I have struggled with my tobacco addiction. Why would I stop one behavior that was destroying my life, and the lives of those around me, to continue doing it in another way…? Seriously, why would I spend my precious time at an AA meeting, just to go outside, have a big fatty, and discuss how much better my life is getting without the alcohol? Excuse me, but bullshit. Still the little ego driven, immature bullshit manner of living I had been doing ever since I opened up the door that day in 1989 with Copenhagen.
I signed up here September 16, 2010. I quit for 4 days, and quickly shit all over the house of my December ’10 GUARD family. I hadn’t changed, immature little baby, all about me. I had some tough love on September 21, 2010. Some people said some things that made me step back, take a long hard look at myself, and make some decisions about the person I wanted to be. I want to be quit; I want to be quit for me. I want to be an adult, its time, it was time a long time ago, but I am a slow learner. This site works because of all the aspects of it. I needed the tough love that day, but the truth is everyone needs to find their bottom, and realize this is the time. That seems a bit tough with tobacco; for I think when many of us find bottom it’s too late. Not me, I choose quit today, so that I can be here tomorrow. I had surrendered to the idea that I would die from cancer caused by tobacco, the only question was when, and how I would deal with that. Well, could still happen tomorrow, but I would look Emmett and Alex in the eye, and tell them that today, their father was a better man for dealing with and conquering the demons.
I thank all on this website, too many to list that I feel have had a direct impact on my quit. I thank the quit groups that have let me post with them for that last few days quit. I thank the GUARD, for letting me come back in, and get this right, for I know, there is no other place out there for me. I QUIT WITH YOU. I am truly at home, and FINALLY COMPLETE, thanks to KTC.