I didn’t write a HOF speech at 100 days for the simple reason that I didn’t feel I had accomplished anything significant yet. You see I was a slave to the can for over 35 years. 100 days of quit just didn’t seem to stack up well against 35 years of use.
I grew up in a rural area where almost everyone chewed, kind of a way of life. I was never a ninja dipper, it was as much a part of me as the way I dress or the way I talk. Firmly hooked by age 14 or so, I chewed almost non-stop through college, marriage, two children, a career. For 35 years. I was pretty much a serial user all day, every day only taking it out to sleep at night (most nights). I stayed with it despite my children begging me to quit. Despite having some tooth and gum issues. Despite becoming the office pusher for other ninja dippers. Despite having silly-assed events like accidently dropping cope into my then young daughter’s eye as she was trying to hug me and I was trying to load up on my drug of choice. Despite being a primary caretaker as my wife went through cancer treatment. Despite panicking every time I got an unusual sore in my mouth. I convinced myself I was a good guy with a minor vice.
I had never seriously even tried to quit before. I had 1 planned stoppage of a month or so on my own a decade or more ago, but even then I considered it a stop rather than a quit. And then 2 weeks when I discovered they don’t sell that crap in Austrailia and failed to plan ahead. Bought cope at the first gas station in the US I came to.
By the start of 2012 I was coming to the end. My mouth was trashed, constantly sore and raw. I could no longer put enough cope in my face to eliminate the withdrawal symptoms, and couldn’t keep the stuff in there long because my mouth hurt. The warm fuzzy buzz was long gone. I started to realize I was running my entire life around cope. Making sure I didn’t run out. Making sure it was always accessible. Trying to do it discretely in places where it rightfully would have been frowned upon. Not kissing my wife or kids. I started to realize I wasn’t in control, that I was exhibiting the behaviors of an addict. It was a sickening feeling as I began to understand just how weak and out of control I had become. I knew I needed to quit, for all the same reasons you all showed up here for. But I also knew before I came to KTC that I had to quit to simply gain my own self-respect back. I quit on Feb 10, 2012 by myself.
Fortunately my pal DW3 recommended KTC to me, I looked around and joined on Feb 13, 2012. It was exactly the tonic I needed to actually learn how to be a quitter. So what I have learned here at KTC is this: the KTC recipe for quitting works. But you have to buy in all the way and actually want it. There is no magic pill to make quitting easy, and there is no date by which you will be cured. We are addicts, we will always be addicts. But that doesn’t mean we are doomed to fail or that it is ok to fail. I am a quit addict, but I am in control and I can easily choose to NOT fail today. And I can make that same choice every day. And so can all of you.
There are tons of people who have helped me on my quit journey so far and deserve thanks. DW3 for the initial suggestion and support, Keddy as the first person to contact me when I joined to help me navigate this place. My Brothers of May (Bitch!) 2012, the BOMB. Vadge and CS for timely support and harassment. And the many others I got advice or just inspiration from. And there are a number of newer (than me) quitters who continue to boost my quit today, WT, dkite, sportsfan, trauma, wmcatty to name just a few. Thanks to you all who have support or just interacted with me.
New or potential quitters, you can do this. You can be free from the slave-like behaviors that being an active using addict brings. You can reclaim your self-respect, your life. It is simple, but it isn’t easy. But you can do it, and it is so worth the effort.