2016 HOF Speeches

Lingering Fog in My Rearview Mirror

Alex2508 avatarWhere do I begin, where am I now? Looking back on my quit, it started when I first tried chewing tobacco, Kodiak Wintergreen, in my Freshman year of high school. The senior, a close friend, said I will let you try some, but just promise me you won’t become addicted. Addicted, me? Not going to happen….. 14 years later, here I am with a new family in the KTC Community.

Chew to me was everything, it was the only thing that made me me in high school. All the “party dippers” knew they could look to Alex for a pinch. I was the only one of my friends that used chewing tobacco. I even bragged the first time I started gutting it and didn’t have to spit anymore, what a great accomplishment….. idiot. I wanted to quit early in high school but got successful in wrestling, and everyone on the team used chewing tobacco, so I did too. This continued throughout college wrestling and into my first career. My first marriage, I became a Ninja Dipper, my wife at the time was a dental hygienist and going to school to be an oral surgeon. I slowed up, but after my divorce, I reunited with my old friend in a tiny can.

3 years ago, my now wife, a former smoker, made a pact to quit together. She quit cold turkey. I did not. She has now been quit from nicotine this November for 4 years. When we found out we were expecting, I decided to quit, for the final time now. I found this site and snooped around for 5 weeks before signing up and posting day one. I read everything about what I should expect, but my journey was a very different experience. I had some fog, minor anxiety but really my quit was going easy and great. I made some great friends in September with the STDs, PMILS, DW, Sooverit, the list goes on. To my surprise, my journey would take a bumpy fork in the road. Around day 76, massive withdrawal, symptoms, depression and anxiety took over. I went to the emergency department several times for what I thought was actual heart attacks. The fog and depression got worse and worse. I sent several texts to DW searching for support and reassurance. Today, I struggle with anxiety and depression, something that I probably have always had but I am just now learning who the non nicotine slave Alex really is.

Last week, after constant sore throats, I went to my primary care doctor. A small “grape size mass was found at the base of my tongue. It was removed and biopsied. Results came back benign for the most part, but unusual cells on the membrane were detected and sent in to the Mayo Clinic. I still yet have not heard anything. I stay positive with my new growing family, learning to live nicotine free and healthier. I am happy to say no matter the results, KTC saved my life.



NOTE: This piece written by KillTheCan.org forum member Alex2508

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