Not all HOF are created equal, so here goes my story. I was a clean cut, honest kid born the middle child in a low income family who knew nothing better than just getting by. Both Mom and Dad were chain smokers to the tune of 3 packs a day between them. My father was never one to push the kids into sports because he feared being that guy we all know from little league. Dad himself was an accomplished athlete that grew up without a father. He overcompensated and we didn’t start playing ball until 8-10 yrs old. The reason for the story is it relates to my introduction to baseball where I started seeing smokeless tobacco. When high school came, I was still trying to find myself. My older brother was the immediate idol early on, (9 years older), and I began seeing spitters lying around his room. I somehow stayed away from it through school, but started chewing with friends at age 18 and I was into men’s softball as well, where “everybody does it”. First it was Skoal (the entire rainbow of flavors, sometimes 2 at a time). Then Cope, then long cut Cope, then whatever I felt like day to day until I settled on Grizzly straight. Fast forward about 6 years….
I met my Wife. I offered to quit chewing for her in a chivalrous way, lost the can but would still buy for a weekend ball tourney, bum off friends and such. Along came a steady job. Then steady stress. Then I found myself trying to pick up and support the habit again. I didn’t want to be a bum, right? So I started to pigeon hole money. I sold unused hand tools. Skipped lunch. Did small jobs. All along it was to keep a can around. I strip mined collected cans in my work truck between cans to build one dip. Then the worst thing possible happened.
I got a better job and could provide and had a small income to support my HABIT. I was full time again and even worse my wife still didn’t know for sure. We had our first child almost 5 years ago, our second almost 2 years ago. I stayed out later, took more work, just to be a slave to tobacco. My family was suffering and my attitude sucked BAD because I basically quit in the evening to hide til the next morning. Sure , I would go out in the yard and cut grass on the weekends, do work around the house and run off the family so I could be alone, go play golf, anything to be with my first love. Got snippy with my wife if she got around my truck. Took the long way home to milk minutes out of that last dip.
It all changed when I saw my Tigers running toward a championship. I wanted to take an honest shot at quitting, and wanted to take down a friend in the process. We conjured ways to make it interesting, scaling back somehow every time the team got a win. I broke it down in my head. It was the first time I had made a conscious decision to quit for me and my health FIRST, then my family. I slowed to 2 dips a day. Morning in the truck, and coming home in the truck, when that final Saturday win came. I played golf that Sunday, 11-29-15, and chucked the half empty (or half full) can in the trash and started googling for help when I got home. KTC began my best friend on December 2.
So where does that leave us? Well, my friend is still trying to quit. I’m working on him. I spilled the beans to my wife about a month after quitting, then my brothers, my mother, father, my boss, co-workers. I’m forever thankful I have made it this far. My brothers in QUIT have showed me how to stretch my legs as a quitter unencumbered by the weight of smokeless tobacco. I’ve made multiple hours-long road trips for work, played golf, enjoyed more family time. Enough about me. I want everyone reading this to understand what your mind will make you do for this DRUG.I was a selfish, mean, irritable, husband. A stressed, loud, unforgiving father of 2. A one man wrecking crew at work with breath that would knock a buzzard off of a s#$%wagon. My world revolved around the next dip.
QUITTIN’ AIN”T EASY
And so now it begins. 100 days is just long enough to figure out what or who you are coming out of the FOG. I’m not HEALED. I have had the most real dip dreams. They still come when least expected. The first few left me rationalizing that I hadn’t purchased a can so I couldn’t have caved. Yeah it was that lucid. I feel like my little girls when going to the bathroom. Trying to figure out my colon over again at 38 is not fun. I still have triggers. I still have craves. 2O years of my life isn’t going to change so easily. Some days are still foggy somewhat but I think that is the first thing to fade.
No matter what happens to me from here out as long as I stay quit, I can say that this is the best thing to happen to me since my daughters were born. I have more compassion. I am more thoughtful. I am more patient. My mind is sharper than ever. And I met some of the coolest people in the world that care so much for my success. Thank you for reading my rambling. Take what you can from it please.(It’s Free!)
NOTE: This piece written by KillTheCan.org forum member superman