There is a lot I can say about how I came to where I am today. I can talk about my struggles with depression and anxiety, I can talk about being young and impressionable being handed a packed tin for the first time, I can talk about how I thought it was cool to start smoking during a summer job and then say that dip would be a good alternative for when the swim season started. I can talk about how I was sold a bag of false promises with every tin I bought, I can talk about how for the majority of the past 17 years I have been asshole and a liar about my addiction, convincing myself the end was near every time I had a sore throat; making promises to everyone that this was it and then weeks or if we are being honest, most time days later being right back in the comfort of another tin of shit. Those stories will be for another time, because to me, all those stories are just excuses for not taking back control. I want this writing to be something more. I want this to be an invitation to everyone reading this to acknowledge that living well is the best revenge, especially when that revenge is against your own vices. I will always remember my past, but it does me no good if I am not going to learn from it and correct the course.
There is a lyric that resonated with me from the first time I heard it play across my speakers a year or so ago. It was another drive to work, probably with a lip in, and hearing it stopped my mind in it tracks, it was all could think about the rest of the way to work. I listened to that song repeatedly that morning. I still put it on repeat a few times every time it shuffles its way to the top of the playlist.
“My past is not the residence I choose to reside, and my future’s just a context, ephemeral, implied.”
Life is about the here and now, who you are with, where you are going, and how you choose to live it, because eventually, that time runs out, sometimes without any real warning. Do you really want to run the risk of that hourglass getting smashed before it empties on its own by a self-inflicted curse? I sure don’t. A running joke back in my college days was that I was on a race to the finish line with everything I did, I was very competitive in and out of the swimming pool and pushed myself to the limits, it didn’t matter what it was. In the midst of it all, I refused to ever connect that to my addiction, I was convinced I was invincible, and the saying was of course, just a joke. Life is not a race I want to finish. One decision in high school leads me to where I am today, I am the result of every decision I have ever made, and the decision to make a promise with you all every day for these past 100 days is going to be the result of who I can become. 100 days seems like nothing, but at the same time it feels like everything, a new never-ending journey, a new race I never want to finish. Nick-Otine Free said on my HOF day “Remember that the journey of 1,000 miles starts but with 1 step.” This says it all and these 100 days were just one more step, a milestone in the journey. I want to and want everyone reading this, regardless of where you are in your quit or if you are just here as a guest on the fence about taking that leap of faith into a better life to take that one step, that 1,000 mile journey just a little bit further in our minds. I want you all to join me on my new race that will never end because there is no ending to success. You will reach milestones and those should be celebrated, but success does not mean you can stop and rest because the challenges, the addiction that you need to overcome will never stop. “The race is continuous whether you agree or not. The achievement of tomorrow will supersede that of today and that is why we do not rest upon reaching a milestone, we are always looking for ways and means to perform better than the previous day.” Quit with me today and I make my promise that I will quit with you every day after.
Now for the thank you’s. I first and foremost need to thank my mother; she has pulled me out of some of the worst when it came to my quit; to the rest of my family and friends who have always reached out to me and supported me in my quit. To the No Lip Turd Herd of June thank you for making that promise with my every day. To the May MOMs, thanks for all the congratulations and the honorary title of step-MOM since my HOF day really falls in your month. Thank you to all the vets and moreover, anyone who has shared their stories on the KTC forums, if it wasn’t for you, I may not have ever found my footing without being able to read those threads the first 14 days before I took the plunge realizing that needed the support this community provided in my quit.