My name is Ray and I started using nicotine around the time I left home for college when I was 18 or 19 years old. Old enough to know better but still too young to care would be an appropriate assessment of my situation. It was an exciting time being away from my parents for the first time and able to make my very own decisions. I made a lot of insanely stupid decisions during that time in my life and one that affected me greatly in the years to follow was my decision to become a smoker, mostly because I wanted to emulate some of my favorite peers. I remember having to learn to inhale and the nice little buzz I got when I first started. My habit escalated as habits tend to do and I became a typical pack a day smoker.
I don’t remember exactly when, but somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 or 4 years later, I was introduced to dip. My best friend had got it in his head that he was going to quit smoking by switching to dip. I half heartedly followed him on this path which did see both of us quit smoking for some time but ended with both of us becoming regular users of both cigarettes and spit tobacco. The years continued to roll by with me being a nicotine user whether smoke or spit. Much of the time it was both.
A couple years ago I met the woman I am now married to and at that point I quit smoking. Sadly this cigarette quit was mostly fueled by my belief that I could hide spit tobacco from her more easily. I am not proud of the fact that I spent a year trying to feed my habit behind her back. Imagine how embarrased I was to find out that she had known all along and wanted to know why I hadn’t just told her.
My embarrassment quickly gave way to feelings of relief because at that point I could have a dip whenever I wanted. I quickly increased my consumption to just about two cans a day in the year that followed my attempted ninja dipping debacle. I really began to get disgusted with my habit and I even threw away all my dip on several different occasions only to dig it out of the trash or buy more the very same day. I didn’t want to dip anymore as much as I NEEDED to dip.
I felt defeated and quitting didn’t seem like it was possible. I didn’t think I had the willingness or resolve but I was curious enough to search the internet for available resources if I ever did decide to quit. Thats how I found KTC and I checked it out. It helped to know that there were successful quitters out there to help and other people who were still new and/or potential quitters like me. A few days later I found myself signing up and taking the plunge. I stayed in bed or on the website for the first three days. I must of read just about everything from the main page during the beginning. I posted my name and promised not to dip and then I didn’t dip. The first 72 hours the voices in my head were screaming that I couldn’t possibly succeed and then on day four I knew that I could do it. I still went through some pretty nagging cravings even as recently as last night, but they will never have anything on what it was like at the start.
When you realize that this quit is possible it is almost magical. It gave me so much momentum and cravings became almost moments of empowerment because I knew I was breaking the hold of addiction. Alot of continued success seems to come from keeping that energy going. I know I have to keep myself excited about my quit by reading and posting in these forums, chatting up a newbie, and I especially love to read HOF speeches as they roll in. Some of the people I’ve noticed with big numbers on this site seem to be able to keep their energy up when it comes to quitting, so I know that I can do it too.
I am proud to have quit with all my March 2009 brothers. Thanks for being willing to put your name on the list with me every single day and keeping your word, it helped to know that you guys were out there not caving no matter what. I hope you all will continue to set goals and achieve them with me and with we move below the line.
I would also like to thank kd4jet for welcoming me to join the alcohol quit wildcard group. It helped alot especially in the beginning when I was feeling like the only quitter on this site who didn’t drink. I really appreciate the community in alcohol quit…even if we only have a small number of “regulars”.
See you on the Shamfuckinrockin Second Floor