2008 HOF Speeches

The Animal Story – Long But From The Heart

animal5473 avatarWell 100 days quit? Everyone out there it is possible to do this. Here is why…

If we only knew what we know now right, things might be different? But there is always a reason. Maybe it’s so we can help others out later on like now.

My story begins when I was 15 or 16. It was more a sporting habit. When you joined both wrestling and football everyone was using it to cut weight. Wow what a mistake in the long run it can really cut a lot of weight. But we don’t realize or we just think damn it can’t happen to us. Well I then kept using the tobacco on thru all my life. Now I was the most secret person in the whole world just like the rest of you Ninja dippers. No one knew unless I was caught. I mean I kept everything hidden. Until one day many years ago my wife at the time we were watching Young Guns. They were spitting. She had mentioned that it was a bad habit. I told her I did it. Wow 1st time at honesty. I was creamed for it. She tried to leave me. Told her I quit, which was the biggest lie. I just hid it more. Now many times I had to lie way out of it. Kids didn’t know (or I thought). I used it thru work (called it my thinking juice). I had tried many times to quit but to no avail I wasn’t able to do it, many because I was so secretive I never told any one I was trying and didn’t have anyone to lean on.

Now 5 years ago I was kick out by my ex wife, it was an infidelity issue arising from alcohol consumption and many years of lying about tobacco. Damn my lies caught up with me. It was time to clean up my act. Now if you notice I decided to clean up my act but it wasn’t for me it was to come back to my ex wife at the time. I stopped drinking, stopped smoking, stopped chewing, and even thought since I am doing all this lets remove caffeine. Now doing all this sounds great but it was HELL on earth. I should never have done everything all at once body just really freaked out. But one thing good I lost 60lbs of fat. I went from 250 to 190. Damn I was buff. Well the things didn’t impress my ex. I became pissed and a buddy took me to a company golf outing. We drank, chewed, and smoked cigars. There went the 1 yr clean. I was on a down hill spiral.

This brings me to my alcohol problem I kicked. I drank way too much and partied until there was no tomorrow. We ended up going out 2 times during the week and every other weekend. I also would buy a bottle of vodka and drink it at home when I had my kids. Now this started to scare me because I don’t want to be an alcoholic. I decided something needed to change, but how and when? I had many warning signs. Many times I was pulled over and released but I was over the limit. Even driving home from dinner (no alcohol involved I hit an Amish man on a bicycle. I was going 55 mph and it was at night, the guy wasn’t killed but I totaled my car. He broke his leg in 2 places). This didn’t sober me up at all and I still had many other problems. Then I was busted for a DUI. DAMN caught finally and served my night in jail. I will NEVER EVER do that again. I cleaned up my alcohol side. Decided cold turkey I will never drink like that again, took my court mandated classes and learned that I didn’t need the shit. I have determined my limit. I can now drink 1 beer a week on Fridays w/ my wings its great.

This brings me to 3 years ago. I am clean sober and feeling great. Divorced and have done many times of soul searching and determining where I wanted to be and who I wanted to be in life. Ah but I didn’t think of one thing, my tobacco problem. Everything else I fixed about myself. Figured out what had caused bad problems w/ my relationships and determined never again.

So I met my current wife. We hit it off right away and married after about 1 year. It’s great. But I was lying to her. Yeah one thing I couldn’t get out of my system was the tobacco. Not a great plan. About 100 days ago I was caught one last time for chewing tobacco. Yeah dishonesty again, I thought I had this handled but I was fooling myself and everyone around me. I was on the verge of my 2nd divorce. I couldn’t do this. I needed to put the last pieces of my life’s puzzle together one last time. I was out of the house sitting in a Wal-Mart shopping center parking lot. I was mauling over what I have done and how I never have been honest with anyone about my addiction. I realized this is not who I want to be and where I should be at this point of my life. I need to stop this shit and start admitting I have a problem. I told her what I had found out and why I was hiding this from everyone and that it is changing. I changed my whole life due to this tobacco addiction. The next day I searched the web and found KTC.

We are addicts and can NOT have just one. It’s impossible and don’t let you fool yourself with that. I have been just like every one of you dippers reading this; I have hidden my tobacco use from everyone. I decided it’s finally time to make a quit stick and use it as a life change. No more hiding no more being dishonest. I searched myself and decided I needed to do it for ME. That is the only way to make this work. But I knew I couldn’t do it alone. I searched the internet for help quitting. I found many things but this site just stood out among the rest. I thought HELL lets do this and go full out.

I wasn’t involved at the beginning, like many of you have found out you must be involved on this site. I just posted roll. That was all no more no less. Thought hell I can just read up and make this quit. Then to my surprise 4 days into my quit I FAILED. I had a message from Bill to welcome me aboard thought that was nice. But after I caved Big Brother Jack sent me a message asking if I was ok? Hmmm how did he know I wasn’t ok? That’s odd. So I bit on his pm and told him NO it wasn’t I caved. He told me to come clean to my group. Hmmm honesty, that is exactly what I wanted to do w/ my life. So I did. That day was the worse day in my life and the hardest. I had to come clean to a bunch of guys that I’ve never met. Should be easy right? Well it’s not because you feel you let them down and yourself. I caught holy hell and Mule gave me good advice. It’s about how you take the information that is being given to you on the site. These guys are wanting to dip and I DID!!! I wasn’t thinking of it that way. I needed to be strong and keep this quit and show myself that I could beat this addiction. I live my quit day by day.

Now 100 days later I am still quit. Do I struggle? Yes but it’s farther between each crave. I turned my posting roll into more involved w/ the site. I have even taken a few under my wings to help them out. I noticed some time back that Mustang was hurting and he was needing my help so I did the pay it forward and what ever was given to me I give back 10 fold. That is one thing we must remember. Sow what you reap. If we are helped make sure you help the next. Eventually the things you do will come back to you more than that was expected.

100 days isn’t my final goal. That is just the start. This is a lifestyle change. We must bring this throughout our whole life and make this stick for ever. Make sure you change your mindset and how you look at yourself. You are an addict and you can’t handle the tobacco no matter what you think. Also make sure you help the ones in need out no matter if they ask. But there is a time to cut ties if they don’t accept the help. It’s a fine line to walk. But I still will offer the same amount of help that was given to me just full force with a vengeance.

Very interesting thing happened yesterday at work. The company I work for initiated a tobacco free policy about 1 month ago. No big deal because I was quit, right? Well hell yeah it’s great. This tobacco free policy states NO TOBACCO any kind on the company grounds. This includes CHEW. Wow that’s strong statement but that’s still great I am free and quit. Our company also offers a tobacco cessation classes. These classes go 6 weeks, 1 hour on 1 day of each week. We receive $100 to go into our insurance deductable. I think this is great and why not take this class to reinforce my quit. If you have a change TAKE the classes I recommend it. This is the second set of classes the company is offering and I am the ONLY ONE in the class so I am receiving one on one teaching. It is for smoking but now she has changed it to smokeless tobacco cessation class great news. I told her my story and how long I was quit and my HOF is today. She was just as supportive as everyone else is here. I also gave her the web site name. She is going to incorporate this into her classes at other companies due to many people going to smokeless since there is a smoking ban in our county. She loved the concept of tough love like AA. Her father was sponsored by the guy directly under the founder of AA. He was 3rd man down on the list. After the class was over she asked if I would be interested in helping and speaking at future classes whether it is at corporations or schools I told her YES I want to pay my support forward and help as many people as I can. It’s the most important part of my quit.

Now I will list who touched me during my quit. But this is just a short list. Everyone that posts their information or stories has had a major part of my quit. I appreciate everyone to no end.

Now for all the quitters that have helped me:
(Mostly every one has helped me in their own way from reading their quits to seeing their struggles to even reading their banter, it has all helped to the 1st milestone of my quit and lifestyle. I appreciate that to no end and would love to shake everyone’s hand that has had involvement in my quit).

Big Brother Jack – you helped me come back to the fold and texting you in the am or any problems I have really helped my quit.
Bones – HELL man it’s been a ride. You are one quit MOFO I have enjoyed everything that has gone on in this NOV quit.
Theo – hell man thanks for being there in the group you shed so much new and good perspective. You also sent a pm right after my cave. It really brought this whole thing into perspective
Admins (Mule, Ready, 11×4) – you guys also showed me how to take what is given on this site and use it for good to better myself.
Mustang – ahhh you are the best man. I will always watch out for you for ever man. I will always be by your side
Rest of Nov – you guys really have added to my quit w/o you none of this would have been possible.
Builder Chad – I know you are not on here but still, you have helped in your own way I know the BC was a persona but it kept it lively on the site. I miss you man and wish you the best.
Insane and Ferret – you guys are there even though I’ve mentioned you in Nov here towards the end you are in my text messages I love hearing about your lives.
All other new quit groups – if this old man can do it and keep it going then you can too. Just keep the faith and keep doing what you know is right. Lean on us and everyone that has been there. If you have my number keep up the text don’t forget we are in this together.

Now I want to request one thing from everyone that reads this, I challenge you; I want you to do the same. Pay your support forward. If you are helped by anyone anywhere I want you to pass on this support 10 fold to the next person. You never know who you will touch or what bearing you will have on someone else’s life. It’s the most important thing in life. You sow whatever you reap. If you give and give and keep giving until it hurts give some more. You don’t know what benefit you will receive until it’s all done. Please just remember that. Thanks again everyone.

Now wish me well on working with my son. Maybe he’ll realize that the example I set will help him to quit chewing also.

Dean (The Animal) Weldy

NOTE: This piece written by KillTheCan.org forum member animal5473

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