In a recent post, I talked about how we’ve recently grown to 13,000 members. As you may imagine there’s a lot of time and effort that goes into growing and running an organization such as this. I have the utmost respect and admiration for the mod and admin team that puts so much of their blood, sweat and tears into helping others. It’s truly an amazing thing. THANK YOU!!!
I’ll be honest here… There are times when I wonder if we’re making a difference. There are times when I wonder if our little band of brothers on a small quiet corner of the Internet stands a chance against the evil bankroll called Big Tobacco. There are times when I wonder if this whole KillTheCan.org thing that we’ve been building is really worth it. And then I get an email like this from Lydie:
Dear Kill The Can –
I logged on this morning to try to write a testimonial regarding my husband Marc. His user ID for your site is gutty12 and he is part of the January 2012 HOF group. I couldn’t find where to write it so I will do it in this email. Today is his one year anniversary. Marc is doing well and has not gone back to the can and is even off the mint leaves and the fake stuff (what our kid calls it). He still chews seeds sparingly. More than anything, I wanted to write a testimonial of what a wife and two kids deal with in the first year.
Last October, Marc had gone on a weekend retreat with a leadership group for work. At this retreat, Marc had a lot of time to look on the inside of his leadership skills. He was asked to write himself a letter that he would receive one year later. In that letter, he was asked to write about the things he wanted to change in his life and to hold him accountable for. Upon his return, Marc and I sat down and agreed that his habit had to stop. I was a social smoker and smoked 1 cigarette at night once the kids had been put down, so the quit wasn’t as toxic for me as it was for him. I was able to stop cold turkey and not have withdrawals. Our daughter Chloe was just over 12 months old and our son Justin had begged him over and over to quit. Justin got to the point of finding cans and flushing them down the toilet. Marc would get mad at Justin and feel bad after he went and got another can. I would not allow Marc to chew when holding the baby because I would find chew specs all over her clothes and towels.
One day I found chew particles in her rocking chair and in her crib. I lost my mind. There was nothing left to do but tell him it was going to stop or he was going to lose his family. Finally, Marc realized that he was being an idiot and teaching his son that it was OK to be an addicted and selfish person and not put your family first. He found your website and became addicted. Personally, I thought your website was a little dramatic and intense. He was constantly on the computer or on his phone. I thought he was having an affair! He would read me stories and finally I realized, Kill the Can is Marc’s life saver and sponsor. Like any addict, he needed someone to bounce ideas off of and it couldn’t be me. I had to let this affair with a website online chat group be.
Marc’s first month was hell. He went through detox ranging from emotional outbreaks, cold sweats, nightmares, and many many fights. Through it all, we stuck by him. Every week, the kids would congratulate him on another week and for being so strong. The second month was worse. The doubt, insecurity, and self-consciousness issues that came up every day haunted Marc. He was broken. Let this be told: if you are a wife of an addict and you are committed to his quit, then you must be committed. You must not take the words personally, you must protect your kids by being knowledgeable about what is happening and most importantly, you must be the cheerleader. I truly believe that Marc made it through because of the true support we gave him. We told him we didn’t like when he was acting mean, we told him we thought he was acting out of control, but we always started it with “Dad, I know it’s hard right now, but you are acting……?” It soon began to get better, but it was never easy. There is no sugar coating the recovery process. There is only living it day by day.
In the process of his quit came the challenges: Marc coached Justin’s all-star baseball team where other coaches chewed, he spit seeds. Marc and I bought a home, stress levels with money issues, and work all could have easily made him cave. But he didn’t. In March, at a work conference, Marc started to show his interest in drinking straight gin vs. a gin with tonic. Fights have come up with us arguing that he has replaced one addiction with another. But the family still fights on. This is a battle that will never end. We will always be aware that it takes one slip to start this all over again. Marc’s drinking now has improved. He still drinks straight gin, but he does it in moderation and NEVER gets drunk. Having one drink vs. a few makes a difference.
In September on a routine dental check, I was informed that there was a need for an emergency biopsy for a lump in my mouth. They were testing for oral cancer. I was so mad. I thought to myself…how does this happen to me? How am I the one getting tested for cancer of the mouth when he is the one that chewed for 17 years? I called him to let him know and Marc was beside himself. He was in shock. The one person who stood by him and continuously advised him on the benefits of quitting was living his nightwear. In a few days, good news came. I did not have cancer. It made us both take a step back and look at the big picture and appreciate that we were doing the right thing in quitting and supporting each other.
Since October 3rd, our family has been improving daily. There are no tobacco/nicotine products in our home. There are days when Marc says things like I had a chew dream….or when I see someone smoking on TV and say god that looks good….but then we both take a deep breath and appreciate that we have our health and we have our kids to mentor and teach the right way. I don’t think Marc could have made it to this point without your website. I don’t feel he would have been able to comprehend what he was doing without the support of the guys in his quit group.
I am grateful for you for saving his life. I don’t know how to get that message to all in his quit group and to all the wives and moms and sisters out there….so I hope you can do that for me. Kill the Can is the real deal. If you have someone who needs a support system, this is the right place. It?s the only place. Thank you Kill the Can. Thank you for giving me back my husband and that you for giving my kids back their dad.
With much love and gratitude, Lydie
I quite literally get chills every time I read this.
Lydie… thank you. Thank you for helping Marc in his quest for freedom. Thank you for taking the time to reach out and give such an incredible testimonial. Congratulations to both you and Marc for for such amazing success in your quits and even though we’ve never met I simply cannot tell you how happy I am that you got great news after your cancer scare.
Not only did Lydie take the time to write this email, but she then followed up and sent me some pictures which I’ve included throughout this post. Here’s her note that accompanied those pictures:
I think it is nice go put a face to the name. Below are some pics of the family. Just to show that this habit affects all types of people:) we are just your typical family. Here is a pic of Marc, Justin and me in August at Justin’s birthday party. A day where he normally would have gone through 1.5 cans…but not this year thanks to you!
Yep… It’s worth it.