2008 HOF Speeches

Liberation In Noticing The Choice Stage

joeyjojo avatarBy the time I graduated college, I was up to about half a can per day. What started as a weekend habit had become a full fledged addiction. One of the last regular visits I had to the dentist brought up the question, “Do you use tobacco?” Being a closet dipper, I immediately answered a terrified No, and vowed to quit that day. That quit lasted about a month, then I convinced myself I could control it, I had been stupid before, just don’t get out of control.

Fast forward 11 years, countless failed quits, my controlled dipping was now up to a can per day or more. I finally reached a tipping point. I had convinced myself that I was only hurting myself, so what if I die young, that’s the hand I’d been dealt. I ran across an old acquaintance from high school that had leukemia for about 5 years. He was winning the battle with cancer, chasing his dreams. Then suddenly, the cancer came back. Before you knew it, he was gone, leaving family and friends in shock.

As I read about him online, I found so many people were touched by him. Everyone talked about his class, his kindness, his unselfish attitude and how sad they were for his family left behind. That motivated me to want to be a better man. That’s the kind of stuff I want people to say about me when I’m gone. If cancer can take someone like that, someone who did everything right, what was I doing killing myself by choice? I don’t want my kids to see me lying in a hospital bed when I’m 40 getting chemo treatments. I don’t want to have to look them in the eye and say “You’re daddy was weak, he took the easy way out.”

In my search for mint snuff, I found a link to cancer.org, and subsequently a link to KTC. I got online and read for about 3 hours that morning. I laughed at the top 100 things you won’t miss about dipping. I cringed at the Jenny & Tom Kern story. Ultimately, I signed up that day, knowing I was done with this stuff once and for all.

There have been several times in this quit I would have convinced myself it was okay to dip again had it not been for this site. What I’ve learned here has saved my life. I’d like to thank all the admins for keeping this site up and running and all the quitters in the April 2008 class. I read almost every post and looked forward to posting roll along side you everyday. Thank you for sticking to your word day after day.

Finally, my favorite daily meditation – Remember there is always a three part process in any reaction. First, the event needing a reaction. Second, a moment to choose a response. Finally, our reaction. When we are caught up in addiction, we often lose sight of the choice stage. It feels automatic (I have to dip when I drive, I have to dip when I hunt, I have to dip before I go to bed). There is liberation in noticing the choice stage. Make a choice to not dip today and follow through with it. It’s tough to stick with your choices, but ultimately it makes you a better person.

Joeyjojo

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

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