It was 5:15 Sunday morning, Nov 27, as I stood in the shower getting ready to take my mom to the airport after she had come down to spend Thanksgiving with us. Of course I had my morning dip in, something that had been a morning ritual for 28 years now. As I stood there letting the water run over my head, I said a simple prayer. I told God I would quit today and asked Him for the needed strength. I said, “Amen”, spit my dip out, and watched it break up on the floor of the shower as it slowly found its way down the drain.
There was no preparation, no “gearing up” for this moment, no “countdown to quit” day. Even just the day before the thought of quitting hadn’t crossed my mind. This was a spur of the moment thing that I can’t explain. In fact, some time ago, after another failed attempt at quitting, I told myself that this was simply a vice that I could and would deal with for the rest of my life. I convinced myself that everyone has vices, and that this one wasn’t even that particularly bad – after all, I wasn’t an alcoholic, or a heroin addict, or cheating on my wife, or…. I became an expert at comparing myself to others who had “worse habits”, and I always came out smelling like a rose.
But there was always this nagging in the back of my mind which told me that this was something that was just as wrong as any addiction out there. Why did I need to look over my shoulder every time I went to buy a tin? Why did I try to hide it from my wife, my kids, and my friends even though they all knew full well I dipped? How could I tell my boys not to use tobacco and pretend not be a hypocrite? And most importantly, how could I be fully committed to the God I gave mouth service to, and yet would not surrender everything to him? I knew in the back of my mind that tobacco had become my idol.
Two years prior to the day I quit I googled how to quit dipping and ran across KTC. I scanned through some of the stuff on the site but never joined, geared myself up to quit, tossed out my can of tobacco, and stopped dipping… for about 12 hours. I was attending Non-commissioned Officer’s Academy at the time, and I convinced myself that there was no way I would be able to concentrate on my studies if I quit now. Maybe I was right, but I didn’t stop after I graduated. Two years later on Nov 27, 2016, I logged back into my computer, joined KTC, and posted a day two on the 28th.
There is power in numbers. Shared misery builds bonds that, I believe, are as strong as any bonds can be. The brotherhood of those suffering through the same agonies, leaning on each other, crying out to one another, encouraging each other, sacrificing for one another, and yeah, sometimes raging on one another, that is a brotherhood that I want to be a part of. March, I want to thank all of you for helping me through this tough time, and I hope in some little way I have helped all of you as well.
A special thanks to Tonifer & Roy, two brothers who have strengthened my quit through their encouragement and prayers. Guys, I have the utmost respect for both of you and will always hold you in the highest regard.
March, we have all heard it hundreds of times and we all know the mantra well – “100 days is just a number”. We are not cured. We are still addicts. But we will continue to fall forward, God willing together, and we will continue to conquer this addiction one day at a time.