Found KTC on the first eligible day for the Sept 2017 PRE-HOF group, pretty sure I was the inaugural member of the September team. I was on the brink of losing my wife for lying about using chew, which she said was a deal breaker waaay before we married. In addition, I consumed copious amounts of drugs and alcohol, which were also hidden from her.
One day I got drunk while she was at work and chewed my jaw off, just to leave a spit cup on our coffee table. That night she waited for me to admit what I had done. . . honesty . . . what is that? When she finally asked if I had chewed I lied to her. She said she would be leaving me. I didn’t know where to turn for help. I thought about killing myself.
How stupid and disrespectful could I be. The reason she didn’t want me to chew is because she knew it was dangerous and didn’t want to start a family with a man who didn’t even care about himself. I turned to an unlikely place for help. I was delirious, confused, angry, and lost. I found the KTC community and signed up after talking on the chat. Literally, I felt like I was running in an early form of AOL chat. But I knew this was an opportunity to keep myself accountable and a mission that I could buy into.
At this point, I wasn’t fighting for my marriage, I thought it was over. The move was for me, regardless of my circumstances. I didn’t want to be captive anymore. After 8 years or so of slavery, I was encouraged by veteran of KTC to move forward with my life. And true to my promise I’ve been except for a slip up early in my quit, ODAAT.
I’m an addict of many things. When I couldn’t have other substances, and even when I did, I chewed to have something to do and have something to alter me in some way. When I did other substances they triggered my cravings. Life itself triggered them as well. My entire life was associated with being buzzed. A little buzz here, a lot of buzz there, and a mix that kept me coming back.
The day after joining the group, with a divorce looming, a real hate of my work, and anger that turned me into a pint sized pocket Hulk, I threatened to kill myself at work. That same morning I hadn’t even realized I had already put myself and others in danger of dying when I drove up the highway at 120mph on my way to clock in. I was a wreck waiting to happen, literally. That day I was removed from my place of work by the police, sent to the looney bin, placed on leave, and was checked into rehab the following day.
After entering rehab, I found myself angry and unable to remember one moment to the next. I was unable to drive and unable to keep my body from shaking. All I wanted was something to do…chew, smoke, drink, swallow, blame others, and fight my sober mind. I quit nicotine the same day I quit everything. That challenge to better myself manifested in my posting every day and to stay true to my promise.
However, 20 days into my quit, I caved, thinking I could get away with one time off the wagon. I seriously bought one can, took a plug, and tossed the rest of my wasted, hard earned cash into the trash. Faced with the shame of deception to myself, my wife, and this group, I manned up and shared my fault. Not only was my wife probably abandoning our marriage, but the relationships I was building in KTC were likely to go as well. Some tough love, understanding, and a renewal of my promise resulted in posting a Day-1 for the second time. I dusted myself off and have been quit ever since. The hardest part to this lifelong quit I’ve begun is, and always will be, myself.
I struggle at times with the thought of nicotine and other substances, but I’ve committed myself since my cave. I rarely think of them. I rarely think off all the substances I’ve left behind. But when I do, I talk it out and think about who I am now. It’s crazy that one thing, or many things, can rule your life and not even truly understand how they affect everyday being. I’ve had to change my behaviors, like never going into a convenience store, never carrying cash so that all my purchases are accounted for, and finding hobbies and activities to do that replace my need for chew. Change starts with oneself. You have to undo all the things that made you who you were to become the person you want to be. That’s hard shit man, but necessary to heal and take control.
Time and patience is the biggest factor to anyone’s quit, in my opinion. Being ready is step one, but making a commitment to change your life is where time and patience really come in to play. Honesty is a major player too. Honesty has proven so powerful that it has saved my marriage and offered me perspective and peace in dealing with the real world: a world I realize I had not been a part of for over 20 years.
My mind is damaged goods. Nothing I can do about that. I now understand why substances have played such a role in my life. To cope, I turned to mind altering, unhealthy, toxic, and downright nasty things to deal with my, until recently, undiagnosed mental illness. At least I know. At least I am educated on the power of negative thinking and the liberation of change for the better. I’ll continue to do my part when I am able. I’ll continue to live my life One Day At A Time.
Without the people in this group and their inspiration for creating a culture of accountability within myself, I’d still be chewing and be without a wife. I may not be the most prolific poster, and I may have missed some days, this group always picks me up. Thank you Joel for talking me down, Jran for your consistency, SAMRS for your sometimes alright but mostly decent daily jokes, and CaveMan for your tough love.