2011 HOF Speeches

Something Inspirational

tazmed avatarHall of Fame speeches are supposed to be inspirational, so here goes:

Pain heals, chicks dig scars, but glory lasts forever… and this speech just might too.

On the morning of June 21st I was sitting in my office getting ready for a meeting with our Emergency Department Manager and Security Supervisor and as usual I stepped into my bathroom to brush my teeth and get rid of the little specks of Copenhagen that were always there. As I stood there a thought crept into my head…it had been there before, but not quite like this time. “I should really quit doing this shit…it’s really not good for me.” For some reason the thought stayed with me all day long. The next morning went just like the proceeding days as far back as I can remember. Get up, take a leak, drop a dip in, and go make the coffee. Have one while checking the email, have another in the shower, get dressed and head out the door with another dip for the drive to work. Then around noon on the 22nd the thought jumped back into my head…”I need to quit this shit.”

Quite a few years ago I had a temporary stoppage of dipping while I was in paramedic school; I switched to Oregon Mint Snuff so I could have something while I was in class. So, I did a little search for smokeless tobacco alternatives and KTC popped right up. What the hell is KTC??? So I read around a little bit and see that, in addition to some guys who would make a sailor blush, KTC has a pretty good plan…accountability, brotherhood, success. Looks a lot like the AA meetings I ran in 1994, only online. How cool is that?

So, that afternoon I flushed three brand new cans of Copenhagen and posted my “Day 1” and I’m immediately hit with a bunch of guys telling me that I’d just made the best decision of my life. Ok, now who are these guys again? And, why do they care if I just flushed three tins of Copenhagen? Oh…that’s the support group??? Nice to meet you…damn, you guys swear a lot.

Over the next few days I’m a total waste at work so I spend hour upon hour just reading through the old posts of those who had gone before me. I’m starting to get the hang of this posting roll thing too. Then I find these guys who have 1,000 days…3, 4, 5 years quit. Man, I can’t make it that long…there’s no way. I dipped and chewed and smoked for 34 years. Then along come a couple guys who change everything around.

Souliman and Scowick decide to take an interest in my quit and now it’s on… Scowick is down to earth, straight up, no B.S., common sense and Souliman is the eastern religion, swami-guru, and Zen master of quit. Together they are my yin and yang…and they kept me heading in the right direction. Thanks to both of you for deciding to get involved in my quit…and the other life events that should have derailed my quit. You guys truly are the reason I’m still here.

Then there are Slattern and ShawnNJ. These two are my June 22nd quit brothers. On the occasional day when I couldn’t post early, or when someone bumped me off the roll and didn’t fix it, these guys would be blowing up my phone wondering where I was. I know I told them thanks when they were checking up on me, but I’ll make it official here and say thank you again. Having the three of us working together definitely made it easier to stay quit.

There are a bunch of other guys, and girls, who contributed to my quit too. Just off the top of my head…Medstudent, Dante, Colonel no Cope, Aglawyer (the land shark), Leahy, Jost2Brown, Gladitsnotheroine, IUman, and Prada88…I know I’m leaving some people out, but my brain is just about to shut down for the day. My apologies to those I’ve missed. You guys gave me an outlet for my frustrations, someone to just BS with, and provided an outside link to something my family could never understand. Thanks to all of you.

So what have I learned in my 112 days at KTC? Lots and lots of catch phrases…one day at a time, it’s simple but not easy, you got this, glad to be quit with you, just for today…the list goes on and on. Now I can go to any 12 step program and sound like an expert.

But seriously, the one thing that I’ve learned is that it doesn’t matter who you are or how long you’ve been a slave to nicotine. If you’re truly committed to your quit, you have more support out there than you could ever imagine. People will come crawling out of the woodwork to cover your back, but only if you have the strength and honor to stand up, give your promise, and keep your word. When it comes down to it, our strength and honor are all we really have to define our lives. I am proud to be able to tell my friends and family that I fought the bitch, head to head, and took my life back. I gave my promise to hundreds of people I’ve never met in person, and I kept my promises…every single day. The older guys helped me up those first few crucial steps…the mid-range guys helped me through some really tough personal crises…and the new guys helped me to stay engaged…all of which strengthened my resolve to stay quit. Now I will continue to give back to the brotherhood that helped me to take my life back. I plan to be available to anyone who reaches out…won’t you join me?

Stay safe, stay strong, stay quit…

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

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