Well, here I sit at quit day 126 attempting to collect enough worthwhile thoughts to finally compile a HOF speech. I procrastinated because of two things: I stink at writing speeches and I thought something philosophical would eventually pop into my head. Since it hasn’t, I’ll just throw something together that will hopefully help out any future quitters who find it.
My history reads like many others here, but I feel it is important to share because it may help someone to relate and realize that they too can walk away from a long history with nicotine. I had been chewing Redman and various other loose-leaf trash for over 19 years. That has always been my “old standby” and was a comfort for me when life threw drama my direction. I picked up the habit when I was 16 or 17 years old. My main excuse was that I needed something to keep me awake during late-night drives on long rural roads. Besides, I believed that chewing was part of what “good ole boys” like me did. I am, and likely always will be, mad as hell at three parties for that belief; 1: myself for being stupid; 2: the tobacco companies for advertising campaigns that reinforced my stupidity and 3: my friends for going along with the lies. Just like many other chewers, I soon added dip to the rotation. It was, at first, an occasional thing when I wanted a little more kick than the chew had to offer, but that soon evolved. During my college years, nothing changed. There were situations where I would avoid tobacco out of shame, but I was always looking forward to a few idle minutes to grab a chew or pinch. In the 13 years since college, I have worked for a couple of different companies. I am an engineer by trade, so much of the time I was constantly hiding my habit as a dark secret. See a pattern here? Sound familiar?
I put the habit down for the first time around August 2009. Within a couple of months, some bad news at work was the excuse I need to throw the towel and scurry out to buy a can. Of course, that “just one can” turned into an even worse habit than I had before. The worst part was the fact that now my wife, family, and friends thought I was still quit, so I couldn’t dip or chew at home without hiding somewhere or finding an excuse to run outside. Somehow, a relatively intelligent person had been reduced to a complete idiot and basket case.
Fast forward several months to September 2010. The shame finally got the better of me and I got mad enough to quit again. I threw out all my stashes and marked the day on the calendar! The problem then was that I was suffering through the fog, funk, and rage by myself. I had nobody for support because everyone thought I was already quit. I dealt with it alone until somewhere around day 60 and was real close to giving up again. I put everything on hold, started searching around online, and landed at KTC. That one single thing, my friends, was the turning point in my quit. Within minutes of registering and posting some nonsense in December 2010, I had emails with all kind of instructions and questions. For the first time, I had met some folks who had the same goals and problems that I had. I was real hesitant about the whole concept of this site at first, but after a few folks sent me their numbers right out of the blue, I decided to just go with it. I can’t explain it, but the guys who started this place had it figured out. Accountability to a bunch of complete strangers somehow works. Before I knew it, I had a whole group of brothers and a sister that I could lean on anytime I needed them.
Finally….I want to thank everyone on this site. From the crusty old guys that keep everybody in line and shoved me in the right direction, to the folks in my HOF group who (still) post roll with me daily, right down to the new folks that signed up today and give me the incentive to set a good example….thank you. Thanks to all of you. Many of you have no idea, but have strengthened my quit many times over. Emily, Matt, Ready, and Greg….had y’all not hit me with those first few emails in my moment of weakness, I may have left the site and gave up the fight. A few well-timed words of wisdom drew me into the amazing world of KTC, and we are all the better for it.
I will be here posting roll tomorrow. How about you?