One the famous Somebodies said, “write a HOF speech. If it helps one person it’s worth it.”
Another Somebody said, “do not let perfection be the enemy of good.”
At one hundred and forty-five days I hope both that I am early enough that my speech has relevance to new quitters, and, much less likely, that I am not so late as to have made the perfect speech here at the expense of making a good enough one.
Before coming to KTC I had dipped, maybe, forty years or so. I remember dip came in cardboard cans, cost 35 cents, and if you asked for Copenhagen, you damn well got snuff because that’s all there was. I know it all started with a neighbor kid giving my brother and I some kind of loose leaf, and somehow we both did it enough to become addicts.
As a forty, more or less, year addict, I can probably skip the details here because there is only one way for that to play out. I dipped every waking moment and sometimes even sleeping, and I quickly learned to gut it so that I could dip anywhere anytime. Yes, God forgive me, I have dipped in church.
I never really understood discussion about triggers; to me being alive was more than enough trigger to throw in a dip any time of day or night.
I made a few failed attempts to quit in my own, and by the time I made it to KTC, I was something of a “happy quitter.” Apparently at least I didn’t have any problems from dipping except for receding gums and brownish teeth, but over the years I had become pretty satisfied with my life. I simply got to a point were I was enjoying life and I realized it would be incredibly stupid to cut it short with oral cancer.
On finding KTC and vowing to really quit, it all became, if you’ll forgive me, foggy. I don’t remember what happened to who by whom how and when, but I became so disgusted with KTC I became a “post and ghoster.” At 145 days I know whatever the problems may have been, they were 90% my own rage and fog, but I lacked that awareness then.
I do remember arguments about how roll should be posted and even what constitutes a valid roll post. I saw in another group one long time stalwart quitter criticized for posting simply his initials and day count, for example if I posted RT 145. These kind of arguments, while too frequent in new quit groups, were productive for me. I decided if I was going to post and ghost, I’d be damn good at it, and thus began my habit of writing out my name and day count in long form: “RottenTeeth one hundred and forty-five NNT” in my own group. ( I do use a short form in other groups.) This allowed me to slow down and really think about what I was doing – promising my group and supporters, love them, hate them, be indifferent to them – that I would go one glorious day again without nicotine.
Insofar as I have a point, let me get there. If you’re struggling with the quit and the rage and fog that goes with it, post roll and make it meaningful. WUPP EDD works. Beyond that if you find you, like me, are not engaging with your group and forum remember there is more to KTC than arguing in the forums. I became a big fan of reading HOF speeches for example. A few words from a few quitters can keep you motivated, and there is no fighting in the forum involved. Definitely help out with your groups SSOA. Even as one of the chief architects of putting the silence in the November 2019 Silent Assassins, updating that SSOA kept me involved in a very meaningful way with my group without a lot of messy and contentious forum chatter. There were guys I never interacted in the forum with, but I knew when the could be expected to post and their day count better than they did.
Take roll seriously.
Interact even if you find ways to do it silently like raging introverts like me do.
For good measure, take roll seriously.
I believe there is something of a tradition to thank people who were big in the early days of a quit. Like everyone, and despite my rage, I have too many to thank.
I would like to give recognition to Halides, whose HOF speech kept me going at a critical time as I hope I help someone down the line.