2010 HOF Speeches

It Has Been a Long Road – Now Where The Hell Am I?

DSmitty avatarI am proud to have reached 100 days and thankful for all the support I have received along the way. At the same time, I can’t help wondering what it means. After all, I’ve been here before. . . . . . . . . . . . No, that’s not exactly right. I have been in a similar place before. Perhaps some background will help clarify. I took my first dip, Copenhagen, when I was 14 years old. I still remember sitting in a chair buzzing so hard that I was sure I would puke if I moved my head. Apparently I got over the nausea, because I very quickly became a can a day dipper. I also didn’t restrict myself to dip. Nope, I used leaf, plug, dip, and even snuff (the real stuff you snort up your nose). That addiction persisted for the next 26 years. I did however have a couple of unsuccessful quits along the way. The first lasted almost a year and came to an end while I was hunting. I was walking through the woods in the pre-dawn hours when my brother asked if I wanted a dip. Well, I thought to myself, “How can one dip hurt? I mean I’m walking through the woods with a loaded gun, a dip is almost mandatory.” Anyone who has spent more than thirty seconds reading this site knows exactly what followed, several more years of can a day dipping. My other memorable quit involved my good friend and reliable March poster, bsides. We decided to quit dipping together and lasted almost a year. The end came when he came to visit (we live on opposite sides of the country) and we went out drinking. Many times in the past we had hung out drinking and dipping, so what could one for old time sake hurt? Again, you all know the answer to that one.

So I ask myself, “Is this time any different?” Thankfully, I am confident the answer is yes. This time is different because I didn’t quit because I was supposed to or for someone else. I quit because I was sick of nicotine organizing my life. There were honestly times when I would hate that I wanted a dip and would go ahead and do it anyway. I have dipped many times when I was sick and dipping made me feel worse, but I wanted the fix. Dip planning, making sure I had enough cans, etc., was a part of every activity and planning how to have or hide a dip influenced almost every aspect of my daily life.

This time is different because of this site (thanks bsides). When I started posting roll, I would have laughed at the idea that making a promise to a bunch of faceless strangers could change my behavior. I was wrong. Posting roll kept me honest and I grew to value the commitment because the members of this community value it so strongly.

This time is different because I recognize that I have an addiction, not a bad habit. KTC deserves much of the credit for that realization. It is hard to delude yourself about the level of your addiction when you read every day how we all do the same stupid shit in service of a nicotine fix.

This time is different because I can’t continue to look my wife and kids in the eye and pretend that I wasn’t being a complete dick by offering justifications for my bad behavior.

This time is different because I know that I can’t let my guard down. I know there is no such thing as just one. So, I will be here every day posting roll and giving my word to stay clean.

Finally, this time is different because it feels so good to have control back and I never want to piss that away.

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

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