One Day At A Time
I have hit the Hall of Fame. After dipping for the better part of 25 years, I have spent the last 100 days nicotine free. For those whom are fortunate enough to not know or understand addiction, that may seem like no big feat. But those of us on this site that have spent some portion of our lives chained to the can or to the pack, we know that making it 100 days IS A REALLY BIG DEAL!
I have been looking forward to the HOF for the last 3 months, like some sort of milestone or conquered mission. The closer I got the more I realized that HOF is just the opening ceremony, marking the beginning of a lifetime without nicotine. In my opinion, the HOF is nothing more than a celebration of commitment.
Most of us have tried in some way to stop using, to cut down maybe, or to just substitute our delivery method. I am no different. I have “quit” several times a year for at least the last decade or more. Sometimes they were “big quits”. I am graduating college. I am getting married. I am having a child. I am having another child. I am having my 3rd child. Those didn’t stick.
Sometimes they were just “little quits”, for health concerns or for no particular reason at all other than just being irritated that I was so reliant upon a substance. I would give it up for Lent each year or as a New Year’s resolution. I stopped using many times just to pass a urine screen for work. Well none of those worked out real well either. I would make it a couple days cold turkey, suffering through the suck, torturing my family, friends and co-workers with my bad attitude. Maybe mix in a little gum or other NRT. At some point in time, maybe a week, maybe a month I would rationalize my way back to the can. Most of the time I knew deep down that I was only taking a break and that I could allow that quit to fail whenever I wanted to. Those attempts were really over before they began. I could kick myself for suffering those first 4 days so many times over. What a fool, I didn’t know any better. If only I had known, if only I had believed I could do it. If only I had known someone else who had been there before.
Well I quit again. It was not even really planned. Just woke up on New Year’s Day, 1-1-13 and quit as per usual. Somewhere in the fog of day 4 I found KTC…..here is my 1st post, 100 days ago:
I can’t believe I have found this site today. I was about to cave, as always. I have tried to quit so many times before but always failed. A day, a week, a month even. Today is day 4, and it is as miserable as it ever was. All of the adjectives are there: tired, cranky, depressed, irritable, foggy, insomnia, mad, sad, and may other things including HOPELESSNESS, but wait………..then I found this site, and spent many hours here today. I shed many tears today while reading the material on this site. For the 1st time in many years I am feeling something other than HOPELESS, regarding this addiction. I cannot believe the honesty in so many of these posts. It has forced me to take an honest look at myself and at this addiction. It is helpful to see that other people know and understand the pain of my addiction and it is helpful to see that people can be successful at quitting.
Here we go, right now I still cannot think straight, I cannot see straight, I cannot picture what my future will be like without the can, I do not know who I am going to end up being. I woke up this morning saying “I cant do this”, “its not worth it”, “how can I do it?” At this moment I think I am seeing the answer, 1 DAY AT A TIME!! The only thing that I know FOR SURE is that 20+ years is enough. I have a wife and 4 children, I have so many reasons to quit. Thank you for this site. Its_Got2Happen
Where am I today? Today I am committed to staying quit. I can say that it is getting easier. In fact Monday – Friday is actually quite effortless now. I wake up post roll and carry on with my life. I never used to dip all that much during my working hours. So I suppose there was less reprogramming necessary to get through the work day. I must be honest though, the weekends are not easy at all. Even at 100 days, I struggle. I seem to struggle with the motivation to do anything. I used to be Mr. Perfectionist around the house and the yard. I was always painting, cleaning, updating and fixing things, even doing things that didn’t NEED to be done. Now, if I try to start any of the things I used to do, I get intense craves. I have figured out how to get by, without using. But I am still only surviving, not thriving. I truly believe that I used nicotine as some sort of a stimulant. I remember feeling like I could conquer anything. There was no amount of work, or projects that I couldn’t finish. Just give me enough dip and daylight and I could do anything. Forget the daylight, I could stay up until 3am, alone in the garage cranking out projects. I guess I know now that dip did not make me some “superhuman” work machine. It just made me constantly want to operate in this withdrawn and isolated manner, in the name of being “productive”. Well that is no way to live. I will learn to live another way. I will choose to live quit, and let the chips fall where they may. I have been waiting 100 days to feel normal again. At this point I don’t even know what “normal” is, and I am beginning to forget about what I remember it being. Here’s the beauty of it………………..I get to redefine myself. It is time for me to find a new normal, a balanced normal. A normal, in which my thoughts, my motivations, and my behaviors belong to me. I surrendered this control to nicotine for long enough and I are now taking it back.
I have no idea how to thank all the people who have contributed to my quit. I will get one off the table right now. I must say thank you to my wife. She has always been and continues to be an amazing inspiration to me. She has been unconditionally supportive. I am so undeserving of her kindness and support. I feel like I should have blown my last chance with her, 20 quits ago. Nope. There she stands ready to help. Never nagging, never pushing. Just waiting until I was ready. Because she understood that would be the only way it would ever happen. I love you honey. Thank you for believing in me.
Many people say “there are too many people to list and I don’t want to leave anyone out”. Well I am gonna try to list them all, because I think it is the most important part of this “speech”. These people listed here took time out of their day to help me find freedom, and for that I am eternally grateful.
For their wisdom and willingness to share it: skoalmonster, loot, wastepanel, diesel2112, mthomas, wt57, cleanfuel. Your writings have picked me up off the floor more than once.
For allowing me to send the daily texts and being there in the trenches with me: worktowin,cdaniels, cmark, dipweasel, dboelker, morgan1, spartanron, libertynow, camshaft, jdalrymaple, nickald, sprtsfan, diplessinjax, sirderek, 2mch2lv4, dpruett, jbradley, asleeman and bigwhtbeast. This contact has helped me more than you will ever know.
For sending me PM’s and posting on my thread: coach steve, jhaenel23, cbird, boomtho, kana, samboslice, roamcountry, evilone, tazbutane, Kubrick, 05wrxing, jbuilder7916, gr8whitebuffalo, e-payne, jw1977, asilva, omahaflyer, jost2brown, rickddd, nevershoulastarted, copinwithoutcopen, lospenquinos and all those mentioned above.
For always listening in live chat: wmcatty, moofus, timeless, kdip, mich34, ERDVM, sirderek and others.
Other vets that have helped me just by virtue of being here: Chewie, t-cope, magnum9, ready, scowick65,radman, redtrain14razd611, redyota, seth, per34 and others.
And thank you to a few people who have come a bit after me and who have let me be a part of their quit: toolshed, screwthechew, dlee3, blowpop, enraged thor and others. Watching your quits grow in strength has helped deepen my commitment to quit.
Thank you to anyone I may have forgotten, it was harder than I thought to mention people name by name. I hope I didnt leave anyone out. I can tell you that if you are part of this site, then you are part of this quit. This brotherhood is enabling me to accomplish something that I once thought was impossible and for that I am grateful.
So in summary, here I am at 100 days quit. I have “conquered” nothing. I have only learned what it means to be an addict. I have come to realize that the affliction I have can only be, “conquered”, ONE DAY AT A TIME.
See you tomorrow.