Maverick’s HOF speech – Thank You All

KTC Logo - RedI’d like to start this off by thanking everyone for helping me through my own personal quit journey. Every one of you guys has influenced my quit and I’m blown away by the collective wisdom of a bunch of guys who woke up one day and decided that they didn’t want to be a slave anymore. I feel guilty for not participating more in the forums, but I think these first 100 days were more about myself and my quit. I’d like to make this next part of my journey more about helping others and giving back, like so many have done for me.

My story isn’t entirely unique to the others on this site. I’m 28 and I made the horrible decision to start dipping when I was 18. Three years ago I read a book called “Allen Carr’s Easyway to Stop Smoking”. I quit before I even finished the book. It worked so well that I thought it was some sort of magic trick. I managed to last 2 months before July 4th rolled around and I made the poor choice of having a few puffs on a cigar. I knew it was stupid, but I did it anyway. As you would imagine, I full blown relapsed back to a can every couple of days. I spent the next three years desperately trying to quit again.

I reread the book four times, but it wasn’t working and I was wasting my time. The sinister shadows in the back of my mind had different plans. I can’t tell you how many times I would manage to quit for a week or two only to come up with the most ridiculous reason as to why I should just go buy a can. You are feeling better and you can control it this time. You deserve this. You are lonely, why don’t you just go to the store and get your friend? All pathetic lies to keep doing something that had been slowly numbing and killing me.

As I’ve said before, I think it is extremely important to really dig deep as to why you quit and latch on to it when times get tough. Write it down if you need to, just don’t ever forget it. Nicotine is a tricky SOB in that not long after you quit, you seem to forget every reason that you quit in the first place. I know a lot of people here have quit out of fear of cancer and although I certainly feared getting it, that’s not the true reason I chose to quit.

I’ve always been hyper aware of how things affect me such as caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine. I exercise 4-6 times a week, I eat extremely healthy, I have plenty of friends, work isn’t that stressful, I don’t drink much anymore and I get plenty of sleep. I’ve been blessed and my life has been awesome, yet why did I feel like complete shit all the time? I’ll let you take a guess. These last three years have been extremely bad. My blood sugar always felt like it was out of whack, my libido was tanked and my memory was starting to fall off to name a few, but those were all minor compared to the soul crushing anxiety. Not the worrying kind either. The kind that felt like my adrenal glands were completely burned out and I was constantly wired, yet tired. The kind that had me in fight or flight mode all day, every day, and the kind that kept me up at night because I could hear my heart pounding out of my ears.

Some nights when I overdid it with nicotine, I would wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air, convinced I was having a heart attack only to fall back asleep and have it happen over and over again. I have been like this for maybe 8 out of my 10 dipping years. 8 fucking years of being locked in a prison, and all for what? A shitty buz? I thank god that I didn’t develop cancer or have a heart attack when my blood pressure was unbearable. I reached a breaking point last fall when I went home on leave to visit my parents. I was spiraling into extreme social anxiety for months and it was so bad that I could barely speak more than a sentence to them. It was the same feeling you get before you step in front of a bunch of people and start speaking, but it didn’t go away. I felt so ashamed. Fuck you nicotine.

Out of desperation I searched the web, hoping to find anything that I could to help me escape, and that was when I found KTC. Funny thing is I came across it a few years ago but didn’t care read a single article, so I brushed it off as being a waste of time. What a poor decision that was. This time I jumped in feet first and it’s easily been one of the greatest decisions of my life. These last 100 days have been a breeze in terms of cravings thanks to the rules in place and the accountability system with an awesome group of guys. My anxiety was slowly been getting better but I was still having a lot of the problems listed above, up until about a week ago.

It’s hard to explain but I feel like my mind and body are finally starting to level out. Quite honestly I think it’s what it feels like to be normal and healthy, something I can’t remember ever feeling. It’s exciting, and I know that things will keep getting better and better for me. My quit is snowballing into other areas of my life and I’ve developed the courage to face my fears again. Other things such as finances, my career, and my relationships have drastically improved. It’s all thanks to KTC and of course my quit brothers. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you all. There are too many to name but I want to specifically thank Viking. In my eyes he has been the glue keeping this quit group together and the most badass quit warrior I’ve come across. Thanks for stepping up and staying on top of everyone. I know your wise words have helped a lot more than just myself. I look forward to the next part of my journey, and today, I quit.

NOTE: This piece written by KillTheCan.org forum member Maverick705

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