Today, Monday April 24, 2017 marks 100 days since my last hit of nicotine. I began my love affair with nicotine in 1999 as a 15 year old kid with one hidden cigarette behind the barn. I thought I was so cool throughout high school as a smoker and dipper. I would do anything I could to get that fix and once the cool wore off I was just an addict.
I grew up and still live in Eastern NC in the heart of flue cured tobacco country. Our part of the world is financed by the money that a tobacco crop brings in. Everything from schools to roads and all things in between have benefited from the cash crop. I was no different as my family farmed tobacco from the 50’s up until 2005. Therefore, I was exposed to nicotine and cigarettes my whole life. My mother, father, uncles, grandfather, grandmother and several other family members were smokers and couldn’t say much when the found out that I had taken up the habit. I now work at an agricultural retail facility and my livelihood depends heavily on the tobacco industry. After my grandmother died from lung cancer in 2008 my father, uncle, and I decided to quit smoking at Christmas 2009. They quit nicotine all together while I became a dipper. I didn’t break my promise…I quit smoking. I started chewing Skoal wintergreen and loved it for a while.
I have 2 children ages 3 and 6 and I could notice that they were exhibiting some habits of mine. My son would spit when I spit and pretended to pack a can of dip. I tried quitting with the gum and patches several times with no luck. In December of 2016 I decided that I was finished forever and I got on the patches. On January 15 2016 I decided to quit the patches because if I didn’t I would always have to have a patch on.
My quit journey was done mostly on my own for the first 60 days and it was not that bad to be honest. I had some trying times but no risk of caving. Around Day 50 I began to experience depression and anxiety symptoms. I did not recognize these feelings because this was something I had never experienced. I let them fester way too long until I was unable to function on a daily basis. I had a breakdown at work in front of my coworkers. All of them were very supportive and understood what I was going through. I found KTC on Day 61 after an extensive internet search about depression and the correlation to quitting nicotine. I have never been in a forum group before and really didn’t know what to do. I put out a call for help and let me tell you the lord sent a group of angels to save me. You guys that sent me PM’s in the early days saved me. I yearned for contact with others that knew what I was feeling. I would like to give a special thanks to iyouruwhoami and heliken who have been a rock to lean on during this whole thing.
If you have made it this far then maybe you’ll keep reading from here. I am a believer in Jesus Christ and I believe that God puts you in situations to be able to help someone else down the road. I have been tempted with nicotine worse in the last 40 days than any other time. In Luke chapter 4 Jesus was tempted by the devil for 40 days and 40 nights. Luke 4:13 says “When the devil had finished all his tempting, he left him at an opportune time.” I hope the devil has left me at this time, but I know he is right there waiting to swoop in and ruin it all. I have prayed harder and have come closer to god than any time in my life through this ordeal. This is my trial that God put me through to bring me closer to him.
If you are not a believer, I urge you to seek out Jesus Christ and give your life to him. When you do you will have a guide and a shield with you for the rest of your life and for eternity. Thank you for reading and quit on.