2017 HOF Speeches

My Journey – Tonifer’s HOF Speech

Tonifer avatarIn order to tell you about my quit I must first tell you about my addiction and previous attempts to quit. I had my first dip at 14 and by the time I was 15 I was hooked. My father died of lung cancer when I was 16. He was a lifelong smoker, and I said I would never smoke because I didn’t want to go out like that. I told myself that dipping was safe, it didn’t have the risks of cigarettes. Smokeless tobacco didn’t have the warning labels then that they do now, this was 1982.

Over the years I made several attempts to quit, some lasted a few days, some lasted months, but all ended in failure. In 1999 I decided to attempt to quit once again. I fought through the fog, the cravings, and the rage. I used sunflower seeds, candy, food, anything I could think of to get through it. After a while it got easier, and eventually I didn’t even think about dipping, it was the farthest thing from my mind. I had beaten this “habit”, and I won.

Then in 2003, a coworker offered me a dip. I thought to myself that one dip wouldn’t hurt. I was no longer an addict, and I could take one dip and walk away from it, after all I hadn’t had a dip in 4 years. I had that one dip and no more. A few weeks later a friend and coworker was killed on a motorcycle on the way home from work. I had to take over his job, and that was hard to do emotional. I ended up taking another dip at work to help deal with it. On the way home I bought a can. From there I was back to full time dipping. The point is, I thought I broke the “habit.” I didn’t realize it was more than a habit, it was an addiction.

For the next 13 years, I thought about quitting several time. I kept saying I would quit when I felt I was ready, but I never felt like I was ready. Then in September of last year I ordered several cans of fake dip and decided that I would quit when it came in. On September 25, 2016 I took my last dip of Copenhagen and began my quit. I had not found KTC at that time so I was doing it on my own for almost 3 weeks. I was searching the web for different fake dips and came across KTC. I read for hours that night and said these guys are on to something. I signed up the next day and posted my Day 21. I jacked up roll 3 days before I got it right.

I got off to a slow start at KTC. I was lost and didn’t know what to do. I read a lot, and some vets gave me some great guidance and advice. The January group started coming together and I made some great connections. KTC has been a place for accountability, a place for support, a place to vent and rage, and a place to share victories and challenges. We became known as the League of Extraordinary Quitters, and that is what we are. We have lost some along the way, but the ones that have remained are some serious, strong, dedicated quitters.

I have tried to quit several times on my own, all with the same eventual results. I have learned that I can stay quit as long as I work at. That means posting roll EDD, supporting others, and allowing myself to be held accountable. If I allow myself to stop intentionally trying to quit, I risk repeating the cycle of failure. I am, and always will be, an addict and I can never forget that.

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

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