This isn’t about me – there is so much more to me, this is about my addiction to nicotine. For my 16th birthday a close friend gave me a pack of wood tip Swisher Sweets, a can of Hawken and a can of Cherry Skoal. That was the start of my addiction to nicotine. No one in my house used tobacco (dad would have a cigar from time to time but I’m talking 2 or 3 a year). My mom’s parents both smoked but it wasn’t something I thought was cool. By the time I was 16 I knew better but I also knew I was invincible and I was positive this was bad ass in the eyes of all the best looking girls (dumb ass). I used Kodiak only during wrestling; we figured all the spit would help cut weight, like running with sauna suits under sweat suits, winter coats, hats and gloves wasn’t enough. Off season I still used Kodiak but it was easier to bum a smoke from other friends, then I learned that a smoke after a joint would send me sky high, no looking back now. Marlboro Red and Kodiak were pretty constant, except for when I was broke (then I’d buy Basics) or on a health kick (switch to lights or ultra-lights… those must have been good for me). This continued through the remainder of my high school career, college, mortuary college, and my 1st real job. When I started dating my now wife she made it clear that she didn’t like me smoking, that was enough to “quit” and switch to only using dip. I was never a ninja user, everyone in my life knew I used, except for the people I worked for. I never smoked or dipped at work. That lasted for about 5 years, and then I started going ninja at work – all day every day. During this time I started using more, a lot more. Rather than slow down I switched to Grizzly to save a few bucks. I thought there was a chance that I might live to retirement age and I might want the extra cash then! That went on for 8 years.
That brings us to 2012. I’ve known what I wanted to do and have had a goal to own my own business since I can remember. For the last few years things have sped up for that goal to become reality. As part of my buy/sell agreement a substantial life insurance policy was part of the deal. I knew that the rate would be so much better if I tested clean for cotinine (the metabolite of nicotine that the tests look for) I did my homework and found a half-life for cotinine and according to the numbers I had it was about 29 days until there would be no trace of nic left for a cheek swab, urine test or blood test to find. There was no way in hell I could go 29 days without using, The last insurance policy I had purchased required a cheek swab, I told the agent I would smoke a cigar a few times a year. He thought it might be best if I quit so I could pass the test that would take place in one month. I chewed every day including the day of the swab and I don’t know why but I was surprised when they hit me with the smoker’s rate. This time I knew I needed help so I did some looking online. I found KTC and signed up. I read some intros and looked around, saw what to expect and all the same things you’ve probably looked at here. I never posted roll and took a break for 2 and a half days before I bought a can.
A few weeks later I quit. On day 12 I was having a hell of a time so I came back to KTC. That damn insurance test was right around the corner and I couldn’t screw that up again. I jumped on the computer and found my way into live chat, I lurked. Someone asked how many days and I told them. Then I was called out for not posting roll. I was having such a rough day and those ass holes on live chat were busting my balls. I was furious, it’s a wonder I didn’t throw the laptop and go on a rage induced killing spree. I can’t remember who all was there, it’s lost in the fog but I know redtrain got to me the most before later extending a hand via pm. That night I made my first roll post to show those pricks I could do this. With the help of KTC and October 12 I made 30 days and passed that test. I wanted a chew but by now I knew I had given my word to make 100 days with these guys and gals.
I put my time in and tried to help other quitters. We got close to 100 and I was set to fade away. I wish I was a better person but I am just me. I was set to run away – I had mine. Then it happened – holy shit! On day 100 the conductor mentioned 100% roll post and said that his quit was stronger because of me even if I didn’t know it. Wow, a titan of quit said I was a help to that rock solid hard core quit!! I went on to help bring November to the HOF and was honored to welcome those quitters to the hall. Somewhere along the way I decided to quit for me and to stay quit – fuck that insurance test. I loved getting a pm saying thanks or a mention in a hof speech. I don’t text often or spend hours here each week. When I can and am up to it I’m here though. To all of you in live chat on my day 12, thank you for pushing me. To those who quit before me – thank you for the inspiration and wisdom. For those who quit when I did – wow can you believe it’s been about 300 days!?! To those who quit after me, thank you for reminding me how hard this can be and for letting me feel like I might be of a little help. I owe my quit to you all.
Thanks for reading this, I hope something I said helps you. I hope something I said makes you want to help someone.