100 days quit. I now see this as both a small and major accomplishment. 100 days ago, I didn’t think it was possible. 100 days ago, I don’t even know I wanted it to be possible. There was always a voice in the back of my head (let’s call him Carl) telling me that I wasn’t strong enough to do this. That same voice (Fucking Carl) told me I needed nicotine more than anyone else or that I was weaker than other people and my dependency was greater. But I told Carl to go fuck himself and made my promise each day. 100 days is a huge number.
100 days quit. This isn’t where I stop. This is the beginning of my journey. For all the fear and uncertainty in the beginning, I now feel determination and resolve to stay quit. I recognize that addict voice (Fucking Carl) in the back of my head and I no longer let my inner voice control my actions. I want to stay quit because I feel free. There is no end to the number of days I want to stack. 100 days is such a small number.
How did I get here? Five years ago, my wife (now ex-wife), gave me an ultimatum. Quit or she was going to leave me. I was a stealth dipper and she never truly saw me dip, but always found my evidence. A tin, a spit cup, a stain from a spilled spit cup, or bits of dip that I dropped when packing a lip. I quit for 30 days, and it didn’t fix my marriage. So, I went back to dipping after we split up. After all, I just quit for 30 days, cold turkey. I’m a stud and can quit anytime. 5 years later and multiple failed quits under my belt. This stud had to face the truth. Addiction makes me weak. It wasn’t until I realized that I was lying to every woman I started a relationship with, to my kids and to myself that I finally accepted that I needed help quitting. I wasn’t going to have a healthy relationship with any of those people (myself included) if I didn’t try to change. So now, I’ve admitted addiction makes me weak, I’ve admitted I want to stop lying to people, but how can I possibly do this?
Enter KTC, Chick (our fearless mentor) and a dozen or so vets who actively shared their wisdom. 1 week in to my quit and we had 2 cavers, and this group of veterans blasted them to no end (at least that’s how I saw it at first). They laid down the law and said we aren’t going to enable your caving, but guess what, we will support you getting back on track. You just need to promise day 1 and swear you won’t use nicotine today; tomorrow will take care of itself. Wake up and do it again. And again. And again… If I hadn’t witnessed this, I don’t know if it would have made sense, but it was during this first week that I realized I could do this. I don’t want to let anyone down. I’m a man of my word and I can make a promise to make it 24 hours. And I’ll do it again tomorrow. This group makes sense to me. From there, I need to calm the voice in my head that was always filling me with doubt, negotiating with me to dip, and rationalizing that I could quit again if needed. This is when I decided to name my voice Carl and it gave me someone to curse. Fuck You Carl! I’m not going to dip Carl, so fuck off! Finding a place to direct my anger, finding something to defeat was the key for me. Carl is my inner voice, Carl is big tobacco, and Carl is anyone who has ever doubted me.
Part two of my quit was dealing with anxiety and my health. I’m fortunate that I work from home and was able to have a flexible workout schedule. I began attending local workouts and boot camps. They kicked my ass but also distracted me from wanting to dip. I also started looking for supplements to help with stress and anxiety. I found a few that work Vitamin B Complex (for focus, and defeats the fog), Ashwagandha Root (helps with stress), etc. I believe combined with working out have helped. Neither of them is a recipe for everyone, but KTC has great resources to find the things that help you. I encourage everyone to set the ego aside, You are not different from the rest of us, and your dependency is not greater than anyone else’s. You just need to let the ego go and name that asshole, bitch or douche and tell them fuck off!