2016 HOF Speeches

Quiet Storm – My First 100 Days

KTC Logo - RedReflecting on my first 100 days of quit, these are my thoughts and experiences up to this point. Sometime in mid July, I had discovered this site and lurked around. Even ordered some fake dip around then with intentions, but never a plan. Every day I would wish I’d quit, but occasionally it would really hit hard. I smoked for a few years from my senior year in high school, and somewhere around 1994 I started dipping to quit smoking. See my dad had started to show signs of emphysema, and I wasn’t going to let that happen to me. Besides the collision industry I was in, wasn’t exactly a great environment, as a painter I’ve been exposed to many years of bad chemicals. By the way, as of right now, my wife smokes, my father dips and so do some of my closest friends. I’ve seen many people attempt many methods to get off nicotine. Most don’t seem to work long term. My wife has tried several of the latest medicines and was on one and still smoking when I decided to quit. I have a good friend that had agreed to quit Kodiak, when I was ready, just let him know. He’s also still not quit, and I wish they all were. I don’t want to become the reformed addict that preaches, so I don’t say much. I also understand they must quit for themselves.

August 1, 2016 I woke up looked at my tin, and a tin of fake dip and said let’s get at this. This is and was about me, one of the most selfish things I’ve ever done. At first I really needed to take it hour by hour, sometimes minute by minute. By noon I had become so angry because of the one sole thing, that I believe will keep me from ever using again. The realization of the hold nicotine had over me, after 22 years of use. I had never really committed to a quit, I actually loved the shit, up until that moment. I was enraged at how weak of an individual I really was. The reality of this stuff having control over me made me furious, and actually fueled me through my worst moments. I could not have imagined the withdrawal was going to be as bad as it was, “The Suck” is actually the most accurate description I’ve heard. I was a wreck those first three days on many levels. Lost my composure on many occasions. Couldn’t sleep, my kids were afraid to go near me. My wife was a great support through it though and I can’t thank her enough. I was not properly prepared to quit. I hadn’t become a KTC member with full access to all parts of the site, I had no digits, could read some topics on the site but I needed more. The Live Chat saved my ass! I’m gonna say that again Live Chat saved my ass, and probably my life!!! Pretty sure that’s where Brown71 and I connected and I’m sorry that I can’t recall who else was in there. But if not for that 24 hour access to people in the same situation, or having been through it. I would have failed right there on the spot. I thank each and every one of those people.

Within a few days I had passed the worst of “The Suck” and entered “The Fog”. In my opinion they both sucked. And they both etched memories into my mind of things I would prefer not to experience ever again. All just reaffirming the fact of how strong a hold nicotine had over me. I wanted my freedom and every struggle reminds me of that. No more panic attacks of not having Kodiak with me, not being able to make it through a work or family event without starting to detox. Most nights I’d wake up for a middle of the night dip. I’ve now developed an extreme hate for the thing I once embraced.

My “Fog” lasted much longer then most people I spoke to. As did the terrible insomnia. I did spend many nights soul searching listening to Hank Jr, who I also feel probably saved my ass as well. I would say my quit became a personal struggle, and I was mad and holding a big ass nicotine grudge. I’m much more prepared these days, always have water, seeds, gum and fake dip. Some days I need none. But some days I need them all. The one thing I know I need even at 100+ days is this site. I still have my moments. But without a doubt logging into KTC and making a few text promises every morning to some members has helped me. It’s part of my day, a part I like. Another promise, another day, sometimes I lean on people, sometimes they lean on me. Bottom line, if you don’t know, if you’re on the fence, if you’re new to this great place….it works! You have to want it. You have to do the work and have the desire to succeed. But all the tools you need and help are right here. I know without a doubt, KTC, the site, the people have saved my life. And I thank you all!! I’m sad that there were some people that dropped off along the way, I hope they return and I think of them often. I know I’m still an addict and 100 days is really nothing in comparison to the amount of time I used nicotine. I own my quit and refuse to fail, and only I am responsible for that. No one else can do it for me.

I’m 46 years old and used nicotine through the prime of my life. I can’t undo that. But I do rise early every day, train in the gym harder then I did at 36, and feel better then I have in years. My quit forced me back into the gym after a long layoff, I am eating the way I should and maybe at this age, I’ll be in the best shape of my life. The lifestyle change has been for the better. There is no doubt nicotine hindered my training and aspirations when I was younger. I was just to blind to realize it. I cannot rewind the clock, or undo things I have done. But moving forward life is better without nicotine. Many stresses and uncomfortable situations have come and gone since my quit started, none would be any better with nicotine. I look forward to the days passing and putting me further into my quit. I hope my story helps at least someone through this journey, and felt it was something I needed to share. It isn’t easy for any of us. I really want to thank each and every person that has impacted my quit from KTC. Whether it was a story of someone else’s experience I read, or a friendly message from someone that said, this is my number and let’s promise every day to each other to not use nicotine, it all makes a difference. Thank you KTC!

NOTE: This piece written by KillTheCan.org forum member Quiet Storm

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