I have been sitting on my HOF for awhile because I was not sure what to say, but thinking about my brothers made me want to post it today. Before I talk about them I want to share my story with the “I’m not ready” people.
I dipped every day, all day for 20 years. First thing in the morning, a pinch in my upper lip during meetings, last thing at night. The only time I did not have one in is when I was eating or when I was having sex. So it truly was all day every day. Then one day I stopped. (after 1000 attempts)
Spent the first 72 hours in a chair like a meth addict checking this site every 20 min. Found the fake stuff and suffered through a fog for a few weeks. The fake stuff messed up my gums and I had to get mouth surgery (Still use it if you need to. gum recession is better than cancer.) Then I stopped the fake stuff. By the end of 6mths I hardly thought about dip at all. This went on for 10 years. 3650 days of freedom.
It was awesome and amazing. I cant find the words to explain how much better it is not being an addict not having this compulsion drive everything you do. If you have not quit yet you are thinking “How can I write that paper without a dip?” How can I watch that game or make that long drive? “I am different from the other quitters. I don’t have the strength.”
It is all bullshit. It is your monkey brain or your inner addict lying to you.
So why did I cave after ten years?
I forgot I was an addict. I thought that I was in control of this. I thought that I deserved it and now after ten years I was like everyone else. I started listening to my Monkey brain. We are not like everyone else. You can’t change it, you can’t fight it, all you can do is accept that you are an addict and move on. Moving on means not beating yourself up over the past. I think many of us when we cave start thinking that we are just too weak to do this. More bullshit.
I am now another 15k in the hole because of the dental problems from this last 5 mth cave. Am I pissed at myself? Am I mad I threw away ten years? Of course, I am. There is a difference between that and accepting that what happened yesterday does not define who you are today.
Now why did I decide to post today? Because of my brothers. Sean who has been there every day of this quit he has been a rock and an inspiration. Thank you brother. Badmoona and Bg124 thank you for helping me see beyond some of the nastiness on this site to understand the brotherhood. As another brother said “we are lucky enough to have guys…that step in and throw positive vibes everywhere and defuse the situation with humor and virtual hugs.” All three of you were those guys for me when I almost walked away after the October group. Some people on this site go beyond being hard on cavers. They are brutal. All I can say to those people is understand the difference between accountability and belittlement. Picture going to an AA meeting and saying the things you say online to a person standing in front of you. You wouldnt and I cant think of any addiction recovery group in the world that would do that. So I ask people on this site to think of that next time you belittle a caver. The people who supported said they were hurt and disappointed in my cave, they challenged me, but they kept me accountable in an honorable way. Which leads me to my man Cap 70.
Cap 70 was, and is, the man! His hilarious texts got me through some really rough patches. You never knew what he was going to send you, but you knew it was going to be good. After reading a bunch of the recent HOF speeches there were many people he helped and touched. So to Cap 70 I dont know what is going on or why you caved and I dont care. It does not matter. You are a good man, You are a good father and You are a great support for all of us. However you have an addiction that we all have, you made a mistake, and the past does not define who you will be today. I hope you understand the huge impact you had on so many people in this group, look in the mirror, dump the shit in the toilet and come back.
Last thought we are addicts. There is no one dip for us. Never ever ever. Once you accept that, life gets better. Not a little bit better, but galactically better. It is so hard to see that when you are in the middle of your addiction. Having been to the mountaintop of freedom for 10 years and fallen once again I can tell you it is so much better living without an addiction.