2024 Hall of Fame Speeches

Learn to Hate Nicotine

Learn to Hate Nicotine
Photo Credit: dundanim on depositphotos

When I quit dipping almost 200 days ago, I looked for information about what to expect. I replaced dipping with reading about how to cope with the withdrawal symptoms. One piece of advice that I saw was something like “learn to hate nicotine”. At first, I thought that was a little simplistic. Nicotine is a chemical. It’s abstract. I can’t see it. I can’t touch it. How can I hate it?

Hate Nicotine

The more I thought about this, the more sense it began to make. I want to be clear here. I am responsible for my addiction. I put the first dip in my mouth. I put every dip after that in my mouth. I am responsible. That said, nicotine has properties that are particularly good at making us and keeping us addicted by hijacking the reward centers in our brains. It rewires our brains over time and makes us more and more dependent. When I look back, my 13 year-old brain didn’t have a chance against such a sophisticated enemy.

Through the past 6 months, I have realized that nicotine is just that, an enemy. It’s deceptive. It’s destructive. It’s dishonest and it’s determined. Nicotine continues to try to coax me back. I know that. Now though, I realize that I can hate an inanimate, addictive chemical. I can resist the temptation and I can know my enemy better and better defend against that enemy.

As I continue on my journey, I know I will never be completely free. I know that I am just one slip away from being that practicing addict again. I could be right back to the beginning, posting that “Day 1”. However, I remain committed to posting my promise, stacking those bricks, breaking that chain, and solidifying my quit one day at a time.

I want to thank all the members of the February 2024 Hard 14 for their encouragement and their example. We are that strong, quiet group that keeps our promise to each other. I want to thank @UncleBubba and @KodiakDeath who welcomed me when I hit the Welcome Zone. I want to thank @DonsOtherAccount for nominating me to be a conductor and I want to thank my fellow conductor for the April 2024 Dip Quit Posse, @Greendays for being such a great partner. I am proud to be quit with each of you and the entire KTC community.

NOTE: This piece written by Kill The Can community member B_man067

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