Just a girl…
I grew up in the country with three older brothers. Some might say we were a bit intense…we worked hard and we probably played harder. My brothers taught me to ride dirt bikes, clean carburetors, fall trees, run equipment…etc. I wasn’t left out on account of being “just a girl” (though they loved to say that to tease me!). It’s likely that my feeling of being “one of the guys” is partly what led me to this addiction.
How my addiction started…
At age 14, I got a job along with a few of my buddies. (I migrated toward the guys, because, well, teenage girl drama…) Anyway, when they passed around the dip, I honestly didn’t think much of it. But that same winter, I remember realizing that I felt I “needed it” while some of my buddies were able to leave it. Being in sports, I hated how dip affected my abilities. Yet, I still kept dipping every time I could get my hands on it. After high school, I got a job on a wildland fire crew. My addiction grew stronger there, but I still managed to hide it from almost everyone. When my (now) husband found out, it sparked my roller coaster of attempted quits. Not that he nagged or even really asked me to quit, but because I was embarrassed and I never wanted him to see me dipping. Even though he knew, I felt like I was sneaking around him.
My roller coaster….
I had stopped dipping off and on for varying lengths of time before we started our family. But, for all of my pregnancies, I promised myself that I was “really done for good”. This is where the really painful part is for me. Those stops lasted around a year and a half or so, but when “it wasn’t hurting anyone else”…I let myself believe the lies and justifications. I had stopped so many times before that I would tell myself I could quit again. “Just one” and soon I was back at it full time. Over. And. Over. I’ve always had a hard time asking for help, but I have finally admitted that I need help with this.
Outside KTC, I’ve only opened up about my addiction to a few people. My family and community view me as a fit and healthy person. I work in medicine now, so I see daily examples of the damage that poison does. Then there’s the social side, a woman dipper?! But the reason I still keep it a secret is more than just being embarrassed. In my heart, I know it would cause hurt to my family. I just can’t…so here I am.
I am mentally tough, about many things, so it makes me angry that this addiction has had such control of my life. I’m ashamed that I didn’t admit that I needed help sooner. But…the bottom line is, I can’t change the past. I CAN, however, control my choices TODAY. I can and WILL choose to put my life and my family above my addiction TODAY.
There is a lot written here about the community that makes KTC, but I don’t think you can really appreciate it unless you feel it. When someone reaches out with the perfect words at the perfect time and saves you from your weakness—it’s pretty hard not to love them. People here have invested their time to help me save my life and I won’t ever forget that. Whether it’s words of advice, encouragement, a good laugh or just to bullshit- it helps. I truly never thought I would become so attached to people I’ve yet to meet, but I really have.
In my opinion, the daily promise works when we have a deep respect and appreciation for the people we’re making that promise to.
(Motivation is a daily exercise— and that is why I continue to post every day. It’s why I am involved and why I strive to make and keep connections.
I wanted to give a special thank you to a few people, but truly, every single post made, all the work done behind the scenes, this entire quit community and all the people keeping it going deserve a HUGE thank you. To all those who’ve made a difference in my life – (you know who you are) – I sure as hell will never forget you!