2010 HOF Speeches

My HOF Speech, Bitches – If I Quit, You Can Too

MichaelsNewLife avatarI didn’t want to write a Hall-of-Fame speech, but my wife insisted. Although this is an auspicious moment because there are so many who never reach this milestone (100+ days), I never should have started dipping in the first place. It’s like celebrating 100 days of not hitting your wife…it’s just fucking insane.

Being that as it may, I reached a serious milestone and I am encouraged, stronger, and smarter because of these last 100+ days – for that I am thankful. I am thankful that I do have my life back; giving more to share with those I love. However, there’s nothing really left to say. It’s all been said by Hall-of-Famers before me and it’ll be said by a lot of Hall-of-Famers after me. I am no more special than any other Hall-of-Famer previous or future. Nevertheless, this is what I have to say. Please keep in mind as you read this, let’s agree to respect each other’s views, no matter how wrong yours may be…enjoy:

It’s hard for me to understand how one small pouch of tobacco (i.e., Skoal Bandit) a fall evening in 1993 led to 6,065 days of cancer causing habit; almost destroying my education, marriage, and family and trashing my character (e.g., the lying, stealing, and manipulation).

  1. Education – I would skip classes to chew tobacco subsequently negatively affecting my grades and opportunity to graduate. I almost flunked out of school…almost didn’t get into graduate school.
  2. Marriage – I lied to my wife for 9+ years. She never wanted to marry a dipper, but I conned her into believing I wasn’t a dipper. My marriage almost ended because I was a lie.
  3. Family – I was putting my life in jeopardy by chewing. The cancer I could get because of my fucked up behavior, leading to an untimely, preventable death, would leave my three boys without a father. They would have to grow up without me.
  4. Character – I lied about chewing to everyone I know, I stole tobacco from stores, and manipulated those around me to maintain this secret and to create selfish opportunities to chew.

It’s hard for me to believe that I had been chewing tobacco for practically half my life (approximately 45.94%). And it’s difficult to fathom that I hid this habit from practically everyone for more than 6,000 days. But I finally got caught, again (third time), by my wife – now, for the last time. Honestly, for a long time I had been secretly wanting to quit, but I didn’t have the fucking balls, the courage to do it. I’m not sure when I began to feel this way, but at some point these last couple of years I started to really fear that I would die of cancer. But even with all of the fear of cancer, the understanding that what I was doing was 100% wrong, and the knowledge that I was an awful husband, father, and possessed no character, I still bought cans of Skoal to stuff in my lip. I was beginning not only to fear the cancer, but that I wouldn’t be able to ever stop because the Skoal had taken over my life. I couldn’t even look myself in the eye, let alone my wife. When I would look into the mirror, I wondered who the fuck was staring back at me. It was at this point I began to subconsciously “hope” my wife would catch me again so that I would be forced to quit. Yeah, I think it was really cowardly of me too; obviously I had no courage, confidence, or character. I was very selfish and to be accurate, a down-right sinister person.

On the evening of Thursday, April 8, 2010 my “wish” came true as I was giving my two boys a bath. I heard a gasp, muttering from downstairs and then she appeared in the doorway with my two cans of Skoal in her hand. On the surface I was scared, horrified, and dumb-founded but just below the surface, my soul was relieved. And although I knew I would be in for one hell of a hellish night and I didn’t know if I would have a marriage in the morning, I was thankful to God that I was finally free and clear and able to earnestly quit. In the end, God always exposes a lie – you never get away with anything. The next day my wife sent me a link to this site. I joined immediately.

I, like many, many of you, tried to quit numerous times before. You know the drill, it’s all too familiar; I’ll quit on my birthday, my son’s birthday, my son’s birth, at New Year’s, or the next solstice. Previously, I never was able to get past 11 days even though I knew the nicotine was out of my system after 3-4 days. That crave. I never had the strength to get past the crave monster, I would cave every, every single time. I hoped this site would be able to give me a way to beat down the fucking crave. KTC website didn’t do that per se, nor the people here, however walking through this process (i.e., posting roll on this site each morning) helped me introspect and I was able to find the answers, courage, strength, ability, etc. to quit and remain quit. And at times if that wasn’t enough, the Kern story was. So you may learn from me, here is what I learned:

  1. Never believe you can fail. When you wake up in the morning, failure is not an option and eventually you won’t even think about it. If you have doubts, read the Kern story.
  2. Tell everyone you are quitting. Keep yourself accountable (e.g., post roll) and make the option of caving more difficult by involving others (e.g., call buddies).
  3. Don’t carry cash. Make buying the product as difficult as possible with many points along the way for you to check yourself.
  4. Never use the fake snuff. There are countless alternatives to this (e.g., Jolly Ranchers, suckers, gum) and using will only prolong the frequency and intensity of the dip crave.
  5. Craves are nothing. Understand that the nicotine withdraw is done after 3-4 days and what you are feeling, or going through after this, is your body craving a non-specific substance that increases dopamine levels (linked to reward) in your brain. You need to learn all you can about this. Look it up in Wikipedia, Google it, etc. because the more you understand that these craves are nothing more than a crave you might have for White Castle hamburgers the easier this will be.

I’ve been nicotine and dip-free for the last 100+ days and never once did I believed I would fail, I didn’t carry cash, I didn’t use the fake shit, and I learned along the way that craves are stupid little annoyances. Oh, there were times I wanted to cave and give in to craves, but there are also times I crave one or six Skyline Cheese Coneys or a sack of White Castle burgers…what’s the difference? True, I was addicted to the nicotine – but those withdrawals were over 97+ days ago. As I move forward each day with my quit, I realize that craves for Skoal are no more different than craves for anything else in my life and as I ignore the temptations for Krispy Kreme doughnuts I can ignore them for Skoal. It’s easy, so easy now.

My words are no more special than any other HOF’er previous or future – but I leave you with this: I hate myself for this and I’m heavy with guilt. I’m afraid. But I’m quit. The worst is over and what remains is easy to heal. The hate, guilt, and fear will all be healed with time and forgiveness; cancer is a lot harder and deadlier.

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

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