2007 HOF Speeches

If Only……. HOF Speech

If Only…

If only I never took that first dip. My first dip (Cope) was so small you couldn’t see the granules between my finger & thumb. I got sick instantly & vomited in less than a minute, swearing that I would never put that crap in my mouth again. Two days later I met my good friend Kodiak, while drinking, who gave me a buzzed & relaxed feeling that I have never felt before.

If only I had stayed a “casual” dipper. My first 4 years of dipping I never bought a can. I would bum a dip off of wrestling teammates or Fraternity brothers. I could usually go a couple of days without chewing at all.

If only I hadn’t turned to Kodiak to keep me company. I would chew when I was bored, chew during softball practices & games, chew at work, chew when I was paying bills, etc…. Chew became a necessity.

If only I wasn’t an addict….

If only I had quit the first time my son touched my chew. My oldest, barely a year old at the time, decided to act like Daddy & “eat” some chew. He got the can open & began putting it in his mouth. I was able to stop him before he actually swallowed any of it. It turned into a cute or funny story rather than what it should have been – a warning.

If only I had wanted to quit earlier. “Daddy giving up Kodiak would be like you kids giving up your toys. Daddy likes his Kodiak just like you like your toys.” I actually used this line many times when my children would bug me to quit. I also hid behind “I’m not hurting anyone other than myself – I’m not blowing smoke into anyone’s lungs or making anyone’s clothes smell bad”. How could I not see that killing myself hurt everyone? Any attempts at quitting always ended quickly since I just didn’t want to quit & I knew this.

If only I had a reason to want to quit. One day, as I sat holding my youngest daughter (about 9 months old, at the time), I received a phone call from my brother. A good friend of ours had to go to see a doctor to discuss the medical plan for his mother-in-law to battle cancer. His wife (the actual daughter) wouldn’t go because she didn’t want to deal with the horrific news. I pictured my kids (my oldest is now 14) having to go to the doctor with my wife to find out how long I had to live & how we were going to battle the cancer with chemo. I began to cry. Now, I know we are all going to die from many a different cause & we don’t know what is going to get us. However, as I watched my tears hit my baby’s head, I made a promise to myself that I would not go out from something that I could control myself!

If only I had accountability & support. I began to quit on my own, weaning myself off Kodiak over a couple of weeks. I thought I was doing well but just couldn’t put it away. One of my employees, who knew I was trying to quit, found KTC and forwarded me the site. Wow, a whole group of people who have gone through, are going through, and are thinking of going through what I am trying to do. I read everything I could – I knew that I wasn’t going to post until I was sure I wasn’t going to let anyone down. Accountability. Two vets, FranPro & 11×4 talked me into throwing away my stash NOW. They assured me that, with the support of this site, I could do this if I really wanted to. Support. I literally counted the hours, minutes, seconds, and nano-seconds to get through the first day. I posted day 2 the next day.

If only I could be a quitter……

If only I could get past these craves. I owe my quit & my life to this site. When I would crave, I would go through the different threads & READ, READ, & READ. This is what kept me busy & kept my mind off of dip. From drama, to humor, to sarcasm, to sensitivity, to information, to whatever – I found it.

If only I could pass this forward. If you are reading this, and you are not quit, then I hope this makes you think otherwise. Realize that you CAN overcome your cravings, your tendencies, and your fears. This site can help you in many ways. PM me if you need ANYTHING.

If only I could thank these people enough:

My family – My wife, Christi, who has supported me every step of the way. I love you with all my heart and am glad that I can begin to get healthier to live longer with you by my side. My son, Cody, thanks for encouraging me. I am sorry for not quitting sooner and dismissing your previous requests for me to quit – I love you more than chew. Thanks to both of you for putting up with my unpredictable behavior throughout this ordeal. My daughters, Kylie & Gabi, thanks for being my inspirations. You both are the most beautiful beings in this world and I would never want to think that you would have to experience anything without me by your side. I love you all.

My quit brethren – Speedy, Russ, Bird Dog, and everyone else. I could not have made it this far without having a sense of accountability to you all each day I posted roll. Larogers & Jarsmom, you both are incredible. Thanks for being hilarious, supportive, and a very active part of this group. Grateful and JJ, even though you are in a different group, I still feel like you are part of our group. Your daily posts have supported my quit from day 1.

The Vets – Thanks can not even begin to cover how I feel. Chewie, you are incredible. The time & effort you put into this site is phenomenal. What you do, for nothing more than to help others, can never be repaid. Thank You, my friend. Remshot, your posts are the essence of this site – you seem to always be there with the right thing to say. WhoDey & LooT – you seem to always be there with the wrong thing to say. No matter what, I know your passion for this site & what it means. Thanks for being there for me & providing outlets for myself & others. Elric, you were important to my quit. I have never posted or PM’ed you but you have provided some advice on how to deal with agitation that has been priceless to me – Thank You. Ashley & My Lil Secret – your stories are inspirational and your posts are must-reads for everyone! QT & ODT, thanks for being there everyday (alongside Chewie!) with your morning greetings – they brought daily smiles to my face. FranPro & 11×4, you guys are the single most incredible people that I will ever know. If not for the both of you, I would still be sprinkling my shredded beef jerky with Kodiak, at the very least. You helped me realize where I was at, where I wanted to be, that I could get there, and that you (along with everyone else at KTC) would help me. You both are nonchalant every time I thank you – “No, BAT, you are the most important in your quit, YOU made the choice”, to quote both of you. You will never know how much the time you spent with me in the chat room that first night meant to my quit. I know that I never would have made 1 day, let alone 100, if not for you two & this site. I can not say this enough – THANK YOU!

Now, if only I can make it one more day…………

Very Truly Yours,

BAT/Greg

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

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