That’s what drove me, and I’m pretty sure it’s part of what drives all us addicts – shame, guilt, and at least a certain level of not liking ourselves very much. I know that none of us get through life without scars. Some scars seem worse than others, and we say “wow, glad I didn’t have to deal with THAT” – but that don’t mean we got away without our own. After more than 100 days nic free I’m still fighting the craves hardcore just about daily, but that’s because I’ve used nicotine as my escape from all the shit inside myself I don’t like.
For over 30 years I always had a dip in. Usually Grizzly in my lower lip, and the last 8 years I added a camel snus pouch in my upper lip every waking hour so I kept the nic level high. In the military you can’t spit on the hardball, so I started swallowing my spit regularly at 18 years old – that was 29 years ago. Can you imagine what my Gastro-Intestinal tract looks like? Honestly, I’m surprised I’m still alive.
I tried to quit 6 years ago without any support, and that was a disaster. I ended up getting divorced because of it. Since then, I’ve been working on my internal growth and self awareness, got remarried, and I was terrified of quitting again. I found this site in October 2015, created an account, and gave myself 3 weeks to get my shit together & quit once and for all time. I went to my doctor and increased my dosage of Zoloft that I was already taking for PTSD & ADHD, I read a lot on this site, and I steeled my resolve to quit on October 30th. For many folks this is a bad idea – going cold turkey is the best advice – but I knew that I had to be ready for it, had to make a decision I could believe in and live with for the rest of my life, no looking back.
October 30th 2015 was my first day of freedom from nicotine, and I gotta say it has pretty much sucked since. There is no “getting back to normal” because for all of my adult life “normal” included nicotine. I haven’t really been any more of an asshole than I normally am, in fact I’m a bit calmer, nicer, and more at peace – but make no mistake, it has sucked every single day getting here, and I have a LONG way to go.
I’ve learned to live with myself, not hide from the truth. I’ve learned how to forgive myself once in a while when bad memories come up, which has been a motherfucker lemme tell ya. I’ve learned to speak a truth that helps me quite a bit – “I did the best I could with what I had at the time”. Letting go of shame, guilt, and self-hatred has been the truly hard part of quitting nicotine for me, because I’m not going to stay quit if I keep hanging on to all that old shit.
So, after 116 days of being quit, and 112 days of being a part of this community, I gotta confess that there is NO WAY I could have quit without this group of wonderfully insane people on KTC. Too many people to list & thank, every single person here has taught me something about myself, and I have been blessed by all their wisdom, kindness, and sometimes brutal honesty. There’s no escape for me, I’m an addict, and I will be for the rest of my life.
Here’s my secret plan to stay free, and to find peace:
Step 1 – I’m gonna make a promise publicly to not use nicotine in any form today, before I walk out my door & get tempted.
Step 2 – I’m gonna keep my damn promise today, all day. When shit gets tough, I’m going to hit up some hard, pipe-hitting brothers to go to work on my weakness with some pliers and a blowtorch if that’s what it takes.
Step 3 – If I wake up tomorrow, I’m going to do the same damn thing.
I DARE YOU TO DO THE SAME DAMN THING