The past few days I’ve been really thinking about what to write about in my HOF speech and it dawned on me that I’ve never truly written an introduction. I made a half assed attempt at it back in my foggy days, but I feel like all of you BAQ’s deserve to know a little bit more about me.
I’m a 24 year old from Tipp City, Ohio. I went to school for criminal justice and became a certified basic peace officer (police officer). However, with everything that’s been going on in this country the last couple years I decided it would be in my best interest to not pursue my law enforcement career. I am now a junior at the University of Cincinnati and majoring in Accounting.
My dipping career began 6 years ago, a month before my 18th birthday. I never had any desire to use tobacco products, but my stupid self decided I could try it once and see what the hype was all about. After I had that one mint pouch it was all over. A can a week turned into a can a day and that turned into two cans day. Three years into my dipping career I began to grow tired of chew. I was tired of hiding it from my family and friends. Hell I could barely handle going on dates because all I could think about was when I could get my next fix. This stuff completely controlled every aspect of my life and I was ready to be done with it. Fast-forward three more years and I was still dipping. I didn’t enjoy doing it at all at this point, but I couldn’t scrounge up enough courage to quit. I was beginning to think that I would be a dipper for the rest of my life… but then the puking started. Last fall I would wake up in the mornings feeling sick to my stomach and puke up blood. This didn’t happen every day, but it happened often enough that I knew it had to be from dipping two cans a day for the past year. I have not told anyone this; not even my family, but that is what scared me enough to quit dip. I set the date I would quit and I never looked back. Within a week of being quit, I stopped having stomach pains and I woke up feeling great every day. It’s amazing to me that it took three years and puking up blood for me to finally get the courage to quit. This stuff is poison and it will never enter my body again.
To my fellow quitters and the anonymous folks lurking at the bottom of the page trying to sum up enough courage to begin your quit, this section is for you.
How I Stay Quit:
I don’t remember a lot of the first week of my quit, but to say that it sucked would be an understatement. The fog was so thick that at times I don’t think I could of spelled my own name. When I look back at it now, one way I can describe it is by a scene from “Saving Private Ryan.” Tom Hanks first lands on Omaha beach and a bomb goes off next to him, leaving him dazed, confused and utter chaos is going on all around him. I had to find a way to combat the chaos, so I loaded up on sunflower seeds and built some accountability by telling my friends and family I was quitting. This is only a part of my E=MCQuit though. I also came up with a list of reasons for why I should never dip again and whenever I get a strong crave I run those through my head. One of my biggest reasons is how much money I’m saving from quitting. In addition, a key tool I used to get me through my first week was to distract myself. I was in a war with my own mind, so the only logical thing for me to do was to not focus on myself. My work ethic improved immensely and when I wasn’t at work I was constantly on my phone or laptop researching the benefits of being nicotine free. I tried really hard to win the war in my mind and made it my number one priority everyday.
Once I got through hell week things began to look up. I could see a light at the end of the long bumpy tunnel; it was a dim light but it was there. My cravings were getting better with each passing day and I kind of felt normal again. I kept telling myself to take it one day at a time and use everything I learned from week one to keep myself quit.
I stumbled across KTC at day 18 and it was one of the best things to happen to me. I was no longer quitting alone and I got to add another tool to my quit belt. I scavenged through the forums everyday to keep myself distracted and to learn from the other quitters on the site. They helped me get through the rest of my first month of quit and after that things were great. Each passing day was easier than the last and I was fully confident in my abilities to say no to dip.
The biggest thing I always remember is to take it one day at a time and to not let my guard down. I keep a strong circle of accountability ranging from my friends and family to my KTC brothers and sisters who would hang me upside down by my nuts and light me on fire if I caved. However, the most important thing is that I’m accountable for myself. It is no one else’s decision but my own to stay quit, so if I have any shred of respect for myself then I will never put myself through a cave. Nicotine has cost me thousands of dollars, time spent away from my family, and most likely some years of my life. I will never let it back into my life. I am strong and I am QUIT.
I would like to give a very special thank you to my March brothers and sister. We have been a pretty wild group of quitters, but amongst all that chaos I was able to forget even my strongest craves and for that I truly can’t thank you all enough. Kchad and Clemte you guys kick ass! You take time out of your day each and every day to track down March members and update SSOA. I know that must take a lot of work and I appreciate all the effort you two have put forth. Tis and Harvest I have thanked you once before, but I’ll thank you again. Everything you two did for our hall of fame month was awesome and I couldn’t of wished for better conductors! Last but no least I want to thank the vets and all the supporters of March. The wise wisdom from the vets and the support from other BAQ’s kept my quit strong and made me see the true strength of brotherhood. Thank you all for the support the last 100 plus days. I really don’t think I could have done it without you!