2024 Hall of Fame Speeches

My ‘Why?’ and Why It Changed

My 'Why?', and Why It Changed

My quit started the same as many around here. Want to quit for my family, stop lying to my wife, and stop living as a bad example for my kids. Save some money too, maybe.

At the time, that seemed like a very good and important reason for me to quit, and honestly at first it was a good jump start to my quit. Soon after, though, life got pretty much back to normal and the initial pride of quitting for my family had worn off. Only as addicts do we truly understand what it’s like to quit, and keep quitting day after day. For others who see us going through this, they probably can’t comprehend the challenges that continue to persist even after the initial suck wears off and well into days 50-80 and on. After that pride wore off, I realized I needed some more motivation, and I needed the motivation to come from inside myself.

So I did some research about addiction, and ended up learning a good amount about our happy chemical, dopamine. One thing I definitely knew for myself, is that I wanted to be able to be “happy” in life. Whatever that ends up meaning to me throughout the various stages in life, it is important to me to at least have an opportunity to be “happy”. In learning about dopamine and addiction I came upon a comment from Andrew Huberman (www.hubermanlab.com):

“Addiction is a progressive narrowing of the things that bring you pleasure. Happiness is a progressive expansion of the things that bring you pleasure. The former emerges passively, the latter takes work.”

Hearing this really opened my eyes, and helped me really draw an understanding of a lot of my experience before quitting, and helped me start to really feel a lot of hope for my future. Basically it reminded me that I have control over my own future happiness and it starts with the work I need to put in to fight this addiction and to continue to put days between me and my nicotine use.

With nicotine in my life, it will always be my primary dopamine source, nothing else will ever measure up. Without nicotine, I can continue to work to establish new and healthier sources of dopamine and actually give myself an opportunity to live a happy and free life with more than one thing providing me hollow and fleeting pleasure.

I know too many people close to me, who in their old(er) age continue to feed nicotine addictions. Quite literally in 100% of those cases, I also consider these people to be more miserable. Always complaining and never wanting to do anything unless it involves drinking alcohol and feeding their nicotine addictions. Sadly this includes choosing their addictions over their children, grandchildren, etc.

Why It Changed

The quote above helps me understand, why this happens to addicts if they don’t take control of their life and addiction. Truly addiction is a path towards misery in the future. This was the motivation I needed and became my new “why?” to keep pushing forward. I know from my relatively short time here fighting this addiction ODAAT, that I absolutely must choose the latter path of fighting addiction to progressively expand the amount of life experiences that bring me pleasure and ultimately establish a foundation to build that happy life. After coming to this realization, I sparked a new level of commitment to take this battle on ODAAT every single day, because now I am doing it for myself. Yes, I am still very happy that I was able to get my quit jump started for others that I love, but I believe that the transition of my motivation to one for myself was massively important in keeping me going. I am very proud to have reached this milestone of 100+ days quit now, and I am happy as hell to keep this battle going ODAAT with my brothers and sisters in Jan 2024 as well as everyone else across the KTC community. To all those who helped me early on and continue to provide support day in and day out, thank you from the very bottom of my heart. I owe you all a massive debt of gratitude. Thank you all.

-Joe (jwid)

NOTE: This piece written by KillTheCan community member JWid

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Snuffy72 (Terri)
Snuffy72 (Terri)
4 months ago

Outstanding writing Joe! Thank you so much for sharing this great insight. Proud to be a Jabberwocky and proud to quit with you today. Terri

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