The morning I dropped my can in the dumpster was like any other morning, the thought of quitting chew was the furthest thing from my mind. I had accepted years ago that I was going to be chewing for the long haul and I had no thoughts of torturing myself by trying to quit. I was praying in my office before starting the day and I was asking God to please help me and deliver me from the slavery of debt. I’m a developer and I’ve carried debt for most of my life for machinery, real estate, homes and buildings along with cars, motorcycles, boats, planes and hangars. I just turned 60 in April and I was starting to feel the load of my financial burdens. For most of my life I’ve helped in the funding of missions work to further Gods Kingdom. I wanted to spend more time doing that and less time working to make a buck and I was feeling a pressing need to reduce my debt. As I prayed for help to be free from the slavery of debt a question popped in my mind, “What makes you think that God is okay with Selective Slavery? What makes you think you can pick and choose what you want to be a slave to?” I immediately knew what “Selective Slavery” meant. I wanted to be free from the slavery of debt but I had agreed to be bound by the slavery of nicotine. The Slave Master Nicotine was walking me like a meek little sheep to the slaughter and I wasn’t even putting up a fight. I was choosing to be a slave to nicotine and I couldn’t ask to be free from one master (debt) while agreeing to the bondage of another.
I didn’t write a HOF speech at 100 days because I didn’t figure a hundred days on this quit road meant enough after traveling the road of deception with Mr. Copen and Mr. Hagen for 12,775 days. Today is six months, 180 days quit and it’s still not enough but I owe a HOF Speech to all those who are out there reading the posts on this KTC site like I was six months ago and wondering if they can quit without losing everything they have. When you believe that your ability to think and function normally is going to be taken from you when you quit then you also believe the lie that being a slave to nicotine is worth it because the alternative is too awful to consider. Having a failed business, gaining 50 pounds, fractured friendships, divorce and being thrown in jail for beating the crap out of somebody is not what a rational man will accept as a fair trade for abandoning nicotine. I could see all of the above coming my way if I quit because the calming effect and steady hand of nicotine wouldn’t be there anymore to help me. In some ways I had the twisted notion that I was sacrificing myself for my family and friends and people I didn’t even know if I kept on chewing. I’m a much better person when I’m chewing.
After 180 days with no can let me report the reality of what’s happened to me versus the perceived threat in my mind of what would happen to me if I quit that I mentioned above.
- The cloud of guilt/conviction for accepting addiction and putting my trust in Copenhagen is gone.
- The deals I’ve made in the last six mo. since I quit will retire all my debt with a ton of dough left over.
- I gained 15 pounds.
- My friends understood my temporary insanity and now six of them are working on their own quit.
- My wife and I just celebrated 18 years of marriage.
- I managed to stay out of jail.
- My blood pressure went down to 120 over 80.
Six months ago I wouldn’t have believed any of this would be possible for me if I quit. The things I thought would happen to me if I quit were not accurate my thoughts when contemplating a quit were not thoughts of faith but thoughts of fear. I was defeated before I ever got started and that’s why I never got started. Anything you let push you around for fear of failure wins every time. You might have succeeded if you gave it a go but you’ll never know because you never threw the first punch to start the fight. Your knuckles are clean but your back is marked with the stripes from the whip.
Anyone who’s hooked knows what’s coming when you put the can down so I’m not going to talk about the absolute hell of withdrawal for the first 3-4 days. You just have to tuff it out and do whatever it takes to get through it and this site’s a great beginning. What’s important to know is that your life will go on without nicotine and the lie that says, “I can’t do______________________________________, without nicotine” is just that, a lie. Jesus will help you get free from this slavery if you ask Him, He helped me and He doesn’t think anymore of me than He does of you.
I’d like to thank JP and Jeff who responded to me when I threw my first punch to quit. It was a hard time and their words of encouragement helped me a lot. I never posted or joined a group because I couldn’t figure out how to do it and less has always been more for me anyway. Thank you KTC and thanks to all the people who took the time to write down their struggles and inspirations while on this quit road.
Anyone can get one dog down and beat it but it’s a lot harder to beat down a pack of dogs. KTC is a good pack of dogs to run with if nicotine has been beating you down.