2011 HOF Speeches

Romandog’s HOF Musings… It’s Long… But You Know Me

Romandog avatarThanks to all of you.. You all are nothing short of amazing.

There is no way I can adequately express my appreciation and gratitude for all of you fine quitters.. For the outpouring of support – not only today – but since I first posted roll. That there is even a site like this at all still just blows me away. 

What follows may be a bit long winded and overly detailed. You all know me, that it’s “par for the course.” But there is a reason, which is:

  1. Maybe something I write can help a new quitter
  2. When the “new” of this quit wears off and I begin to thinking I have this thing licked, I may need to be reminded of what I went through and that, no, Romandog, you don’t have it licked.. Once an addict always an addict. Stay Quit!

So here goes…

I. Romandog meets KTC

Back on the morning of April 18, 2011 when I stumbled upon this site I had pretty much lost hope of ever being out of nicotine’s clutches. Having dipped for 31 years I’d tried it all to get off of this stuff. Nothing worked up to that point. So I had come to the conclusion that I would be a dipper the rest of my life. 

Actually, early that particular morning I was running low on Skoal Long Cut Straight, and had gotten online to try to find an outlet to purchase a large supply less expensively. At $5.40 a can not only was it going to kill me, it was also running me out of cash. Instead I found this site called “KillTheCan”.. 

“Hmmm.. What’s this?” 

I read through a number of posts.. 

“Now here are some folks who have managed to get off this garbage.. Unghh.. Cold Turkey.. This is gonna suck.. Been down that road, but I know that is the only way. Gum never worked, those patches never helped. Chantix is out.. Guess I’m just gonna have to suck it up and just quit.”

I prayed.. “Lord, help me. I know I have to be done with this.”

Next thing I know I’m spitting out my last dip, and flushing it and what I had left in the can down the toilet…

…and posting Day 1 in July 2011.

II. The Last Quit Begins

Well, April 18th was a Monday — and a workday to boot. That first several days I couldn’t think, my eyes hurt badly, my skin was crawling, I was utterly exhausted and was barely functional at all. There was anger and rage.. There were tears. There was confusion. There was depression, remorse and regret for ever putting tobacco in my mouth to begin with. And there was much fog. 

I found it to be a great encouragement that this was “normal”. 

Someone said “Embrace the suck, Romandog!!!”

I understood that meant the only way “out” was “through” — a “Head’s down, shoulder to the grindstone, yes it sucks but you are a man so shut up and deal with it” type quit.

And it sucked.. 

Someone else told me: “After 72 hours the nic is out of your system.” – I knew this.. But only one time before had I made it past 72 hours. This time it was like a finish line. I was counting those hours.. Minute by minute.. Second by second. Every moment I’m one moment farther away.. Running hard.. Running fast. Just another moment.. One more.. I began to realized nic withdrawl was “all bark and no bite”. I remembered from a clinical psych class that while Alcohol DTs can kill you.. Nic can’t. It just makes you wish it could.

Yes, it sucked. Like an ice-pick between the eyes. 

Thankfully, my boss is a former smoker and understood the fog, the rage, etc.. She talked to security and allowed me unrestricted access to the site and chat. My employer got very little productivity out of me for the first ten or so days…

…Did I tell you it sucked? I mean it really, really sucked.

III. “It is good to be quit, ‘eh Romandog?”

Since then, the suck has faded. In it’s place the mind-games and the random craves, The funk and the moments of temporary irrationality surface. Nicotine mimics a neuro-receptor remember? Who knows how it really screws up the brain!

Nic-brain still kicks in once in a while – I ride the ups and downs and shoot off my mouth – earn yet another stripe on my Jackassery sleeve and find I need to apologize. The Craves come and go. When that happens I use gum, seeds, and Smokey Mountain as necessary.. I walk, go cycling, get in Chat, post my tail off, or call someone just to see how they are doing, and give a word of encouragement, and the craves subside.

Still, things have slowly improved. Having used tobacco in some form since I was about 15 and dip since 18, I have no idea what “normal” adult life (without nicotine) really feels like. I’m only beginning to understand… 

…And folks, I don’t EVER want to go back there!

IV. So, where do I go from here? I’ve drunk the Kool-Aid. I post roll, of course…

  1. I am still, and I will always be, an addict. There is no cure.
  2. I cannot have even one dip, one chew, one puff, one smoke, one whatever, ever again. Never again. No, not even one, period.
  3. I will post roll every day that I am able.. If I am not able I will call, text, e-mail, send a note via carrier pigeon, bottle in the ocean, carved on a coconut given to a native in a canoe.. Something. If I don’t, light me up. How many folks have my phone number? At least 20.. Probably 30. 
  4. My plan? I will ALWAYS have an “Out”. Gum, seeds, Smokey Mtn. I will post, chat, call someone. I will post roll. I will be quit.
  5. I will “Pay it forward” and “Pay it backward.” It tears my heart up to see or hear of someone cave in. Why?
  • Because I know I could also. I am not steel. I am a man. I am an addict and addicts lie. Nic promises the world and delivers nothing.. But like a fool I know that I will lie for Nic unless I am strong and have a plan.. Addicts deceive. Nic makes me a deceiver. And the first person, and often times the only person I deceive is myself.
  • Because I know that this might be the one time they dip when that first cell mutates, and now they have cancer.
  • Because I know that if I cave, it might be the one time I use tobacco when that first cell mutates, and now I have cancer.
  • Because I know that they while they may well get quit again, now they have to go through the suck again.
  • Because I know that I may not get quit again.. And even if I did, I would have to go through the suck again.
  • Because I know that after 31 years of dipping, I may still get cancer.

V. So, KTC.. I am quit with you.

Special thanks are deserved by so many. I would like to put everyone’s name here, but I cannot. Still, I want to thank Cornwallace, Peace, Princess, Troy, Ryan, 30, BtH, Ace, Colonel, Leahy, Onelegrus, Rebel, Rocket, Shawn, Keddy, Seth, Josh, All of the July Tornadoes of Quit, Sayrah, Loot, Mule, the Feb 10 Fucknuts, Wyoming, Mark and of course, Klark (I’m staying away from desk drawers, Kevin!).

Trevor, should we live to be 85 years old, 35 years from today you will be posting day 12,890, and I will be posting Day 12,883.. 

Let’s go for it, shall we? 

NOTE: This piece written by KillTheCan.org forum member Romandog

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