It is only fitting that I write this up on an airplane, as that seems to be the only thing that remained constant through these first 100 days. Well, there is one other constant but I’ll get to that in a minute.
I gave my word from 3 different continents, 4 different countries and 8 different states all in 100 days. Missing a day of posting roll was never an option for me. If I left myself and “out” for even a single day, my feeble mind can talk me in to all sorts of bad things. Remove those options by giving my word first thing in the morning – whatever time zone that may be in – caving is no longer something that can be done for that day.
My relationship with the nic bitch started back in ’85 when I was 15. I was a bad ass know it all high school punk who smoked just because my friends did. I was a pack a day Marlboro guy before my junior year of high school. Add in the drugs, alcohol and parties, I was somewhat of a lose cannon. College came and everything was taken up a notch. I remember hating 90-minute classes because I couldn’t have a smoke. I hated late night homework sessions because I couldn’t smoke. That is when a very good friend of mine introduced me to Skoal Long Cut Wintergreen. I remember my first dip like it was yesterday. Never got sick, dizzy, green – any of that since I was already a serious nic head. Hot damn – I think this chew stuff is for me! That was nearly 17 years ago. I continued to chew and smoke for the next 6 years until becoming a full time chewer 13 years ago.
The partying and drug use began to fade to some extent as I got older and had more responsibility but the nic bitch was still my main babe. I met my wife and things really began to change for me – especially when we had kids. The drugs and partying all but stopped – after all I had kids now – I had to be responsible. Somehow, that didn’t include my little green can. That was exempt and harmless in my mind.
Oh I tried to quit – always with some crutch and always for the wrong reason. My favorite was when I quit for my wife. She is a medical person and constantly nagged at me to quit for all of the 11+ years we have been married. It went like this – I quit for her, got pissed at her for being a pain in my ass for some reason then “I’ll show her – I’m going to start dipping again.” I sure showed her. What an ass I was and never realized it. If there is a quit nic crutch, I have tried it. You name it – I did it. None of them worked for me because I always had to rely on myself to stay the course and was only ever accountable to myself – and from time to time, my wife but she didn’t count (see above) because it was “her fault” I needed the chew to relax. If she didn’t stress me out, I would be able to quit. I love the rationalizations – I invented 99% of them I think.
Back in the late fall, I get a call from Hydro. Remember my very good friend who introduced me to Skoal? Same dude. He tells me he is finally calling it quits and found this kick ass web site that is helping him though it. Nice I thought – good for you but I’m still really enjoying my habit. I love being a chewer. Now that I am on the road a bunch and stressed out all the time, my love and me are doing just fine thanks. Let me know how that works out for you. I get a couple calls and an email or 2 with links to KTC. Being the curious cat I am, I thought I’d see what all the fuss is about.
I signed up never thinking anyone would actually notice a new user on the site – I had NO INTENTION of quitting or posting anything – just wanted to look around. Out of the blue, I get a pm from this Ready dude asking, “Do you need a shove in the right direction?” Uh Oh – someone knows I’m here. What’s worse is it was Christmas Eve. No one quits on Christmas Eve (except you, Ed / LOL). I decided that I might as well give it a ……..TRY……. God I hate to see that now – but that was me, 100 days ago. I woke up on Christmas morning and flushed my ¾ full can of Skoal in the toilet (no I didn’t strain it for a later chew), posted up roll and let the fun begin.
Remember I talked about one other constant over the past 100 days back in chapter 1 of this NOVEL? That other constant is the support and people here in KTC-land, without whom, I’d have a mouth stuffed full of the shit right now.
April ’09 – you guys are absolutely the bomb. JpCrew – without you on the other end of my text messaging rants I know where I’d be. Fucker can talk me off a building ledge (regardless of what country I may happen to be in) and I sure as hell appreciate it my Brother. You my friend are a class act and I am proud to know you. The constant support whether by example or actual communication from Rooster, Wildcat, Tfurrh, Niwot, Ron (Fu.. whoops, sorry man…) TCOPE, Ed, Hoss, Mike, Trapper, Jester, hell – every damn last one of you guys (and girl) – keeps me strong. I consider all of you FOQers friends and brothers (or Sister, BG) without which, I would not be writing this now.
Some other quitters need shout outs as well.
Hydro – I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you – on a number of fronts / LOL. At least I was already a nic addict when we met. Thanks for turning me on to this place and leading the way brother. If YOU can quit, I certainly have no excuse!
Ready – dude, you gave me the push I badly needed and never even knew it. Your pm’s were life savers and always seemed to come at the right time. You cared more about my quit than I did in the early days.
BBJ – the first number I got was yours – and knowing I could use it at any time was a huge help.
11×4 – I don’t even know what to say my friend. You helped me through some of the toughest shit I have ever had to deal with. Just listening to me and offering some nuggets of wisdom helped more that I think you’ll ever know. I have no doubt that on that day back in January without your pm, my quit would have been over right then and there.
Mule – thank for being a sounding board for my rant early on.
Animal – the daily text messages always brought a smile to my face. I’m still not sure what I like better – the chicken suit or the evil leprechaun.
LOOT – Brother I’m still laughing at some of the shit you wrote in the old roll posts. Folks – do yourself a favor and go read these old roll posts. Some of these guys aren’t overly active but trust me – their posts from 2 and 3 years ago are just as applicable today as they were back then. In reading them I felt like I was getting the beat downs you were handing out. I appreciated your pm’s and got unbelievable strength and resolve every time I was fortunate enough to get one. Once I read “LOOTS got your back” there was no way I could ever cave.
SmokeyG, Monty, Jpine – Thanks for everything. You guys definitely helped make April 09 a stronger bunch of quitters as well as kept my mind off chewing for hours on end. You al strengthened my quit along the way.
Well – if anyone is still reading this book I am in shock (and you are probably still in the FOG). I’ve never been shy about saying what is on my mind. Bottom line is I NEVER WANTED TO QUIT. Hell, I’d like to throw one in now but since I gave my word already for today, that is not an option. A very wise man – and now personal friend – wrote something that I have carried with me from early on in my quit – I will not say I am quit for forever and I don’t have to. I only have to be quit for TODAY. I will do the same tomorrow and forever will get worked out in the process.