A while back I was asked to answer some questions by another group. The only thing that has changed is now I’m two years older, 58 instead of 56.
Not too tough as far as questions go, here they are:
1. Tell us a little about yourself…what brought you to KTC, how long have you been quit, what quit group do you belong to?
My name is Mark. The nickname Romandog was given to me by a squadron mate in the Navy.. I received it within ten minutes of checking in and I’m glad that it stuck. Usually nicknames were less than flattering.
I’m 56 years old. I joined KTC on April 18th, 2011. I had dipped since I was about 18. Thirty two years.
The morning of April 18th, 2011 I was almost out of Skoal Long Cut Straight and was online looking for a source that was less expensive than the gas station on the corner. Not only was skoal killing me, but it was running me out of money. I had pretty much given up trying to quit at that time. Instead of finding a place to buy skoal cheaply, I found KTC..
Most of the details are in my HOF speech and my intro. Some good things there for folks new to their quit.
2. What were the hardest parts of your quit, and is there anything in particular that helped you get through those times?
The first ten days were horrible.. I couldn’t think, my eyes hurt, I was in a total fog. Probably the thing that helped me most was someone told me that the symptoms were an indication that my brain was healing, and with that the realization of just how much nicotine messes things up for the absence of it to make you so miserable. That and posting roll on the site, and knowing that there were many others who went through it and were successful.. If they could do it I could to. This site gave me that hope.
3. Do you still struggle with your quit at times or is it something you rarely think about anymore?
At this point (6.5+ years in) it really isn’t at the forefront of my mind too much. I have new habits and a new routine now that precludes going places where I’m going to be exposed to nicotine a lot. Outdoor events during the summer, you always run into someone who is smoking or dipping. Whenever I see someone with dip I tell them about KTC.. Some are appreciative, some sheepishly. I’ve never had anyone get belligerent. It helps me remember I was once enslaved. I will always be an addict, but I am no longer a slave.
4. What keeps you coming back to post roll this far along in your quit?
Several reasons.. One, this site still holds me accountable. I recently recounted a “dip dream”.. I never actually saw myself dip or smoke in the dream. I just knew somehow it had gotten in there and it was very disturbing. It takes a while after you wake up from one of those to realize it was only a dream.
There is a lot of drama on this site. There HAS ALWAYS BEEN a lot of drama on this site. Hopefully THERE ALWAYS WILL BE a lot of drama on this site.
I have been pretty hard nosed and at times very harsh with people and stirred up some of that drama. People sometimes have taken it personally. It has never been personal at all.
It has ALWAYS been targeted at the self-deception that addicts live in. You HAVE to strip away the excuses. You HAVE to burst the balloon, You HAVE crash the roof in, etc..
Until an addict realizes he has not a single excuse for his addiction, you WILL NOT HEAL HIM. It HAS to be done. Tough love.
The drama, sabre rattling, alpha male jockeying, chest thumping, language, etc, etc.. actually improves the effectiveness of the site. Get in each other’s shorts. Don’t let this site get too “Politically Correct”.
The last thing this site needs is people who are too easily offended. Put on your big boy pants. Dish it out like a Drill Sergeant and then take it like a man when it’s dished out to you.
Why? because this stuff messes with your brain. You WILL BE emotionally unstable during your initial quit. You NEED to have a place where you can vent. If you can’t do it here you will pour out the garbage on your wife and your kids.
And here we have people who will see through the fog induced addict brained smokescreen you will try to lay down and we will see it and cut right through it and strip away the self-deception and we will put up with your rage and your rant and your anger and frustration and then be there to pick you up when you finally realize you really have no excuse. BECAUSE EVERY ONE OF US HAS BEEN RIGHT THERE AND HAD TO REALIZE THE SAME THING.
People, particularly in the middle of the fog, don’t realize that this is part of the thing that makes this site so effective. How likely am I going to be putting that poison in my mouth again, knowing that after all I have dished out, I would have to come back in here at some point and fess up? Do you think I would catch it? You bet I would. And I would deserve every bit of it.
And that actually is the scary thing. Some folks cave and never return. Do you think that once going back to nicotine they will ever escape again? Highly doubtful.
This addiction is insane. Really.. What benefit do we derive from it? It is “slow motion suicide”. It creates its own need.
5. In your experience, what is the most important thing to your remaining quit?
The accountability here, and the realization that if I ever went back to it, it is very unlikely that I would ever be quit again. (2 Peter 2:22, Proverbs 26:11)
6. Is there any advice you would give the new quitters joining the HOF?
a. Endure. It does get better. You CAN beat this thing, it may be the hardest thing you will ever do in your life, but you CAN beat this. Endure
b. Follow the program here. I don’t know if statistics have ever been compiled, but my heartfelt conviction is that there is no other method as effective and long lasting as the method here.
c. Stir up some drama. Burn your own boat. Be such an asshole that if you EVEN THOUGHT about caving your fellow quitters would eat you alive. And then, after you have made your HOF, get invested in helping someone else quit.
7. What is the most memorable moment in your quit?
When I realized “c” above. That and when I realized that men can create just as much or more drama as any woman.
Some of it was downright hilarious, now..
But the main thing to remember is that this is no game. There are real-life stakes here. Cancer kills. Cancer steals Dads (and moms) away from their children. Nicotine impoverishes those it kills. It destroys relationships. It destroys lives.
HATE the addiction. HATE what it does to people. Hate it enough to deal with what it takes to get off of it and help someone else do the same.