The Battle is Won, But the War Rages On

KTC Logo Old PhotoMy journey here on KTC started back in June 2011 when I joined the October 2011 Inglorious Basterds of Quit. I was prompted to quit then by my first child turning one after I had promised myself I would quit when she was born and failing on my own. That’s when I found KTC. I had a good group of guys but never got too involved. I was a little standoffish about actually developing relationships with “fake internet people”, so I didn’t really text or get to know anyone. That said, I posted roll every day through HOF and really felt like the habit was behind me (note I said habit and not addiction). I started to post less and less and would sometimes go a month without posting and then do a drive by “check in” post. In retrospect, it was bullshit and completely unfair to my quit brothers but I didn’t respect them and our brotherhood the way that I should have. My last post in October 2011 was on 7/31/2012. I apologize again to wastepanel, eafman and the rest of those guys for how I handled myself in their group.

The first week of September that year, I took a beach trip with my wife and two daughters and my wife’s family. Her dad is a big cigar guy and I knew there would be evening time spent outside, so I grabbed a pack of cigarettes for us to smoke at the beach. A dumb decision from where I sit today, but at the time I felt I had the habit kicked despite everything that is posted ad nauseum to the contrary on KTC. I thought I could smoke a few cigs and toss the pack at the end of the trip with no consequences. No big deal. Unfortunately, I was was dead wrong.

We got back from the beach and I finished out that pack. Then I bought another. Then another. Eventually I was smoking about a half pack a day but it was cool because I wasn’t addicted…yeah right. Eventually, my wife got tired of me sitting outside for an hour smoking each evening and I agreed with her that I would quit…smoking that is. She never said anything about dip. So I bought a can and started dipping again without her knowledge. 

Eventually, it became an ever-present part of my life and thought processes. When will my next chance to dip be? I can get through this (long drive, tough day at work, frustrating time with wife/kids) because I know I can dip when I’m done. It was my constant helper…there whenever I needed to relax or escape. 

My wife eventually caught me when she found some dip shavings that I had spilled on the ground in our bedroom and quickly saw through my BS when I tried to tell her it was dirt…fucking dirt…give me a break. I was unfazed by this and she didn’t give me that hard of a time so I rolled on. I dipped when I was driving my daughter to school, dipped when I played golf, dipped when I watched Notre Dame games, dipped before bedtime, dipped when I worked in the yard, dipped when my wife ran errands with the kids, dipped at the office when I had a chance to close my door. I was (and am) utterly and completely addicted.

I finally came to the end of myself with respect to dip this spring. I admitted finally that I am an addict and that the only way I will ever quit is to go back to KTC, make amends and get involved and never leave again. This last 103 days has been a struggle, but if I am totally honest, the harder days for me are ahead. There is something of a rush in the early days of your quit. You get the constant encouragement of the vets and building the bonds with your brothers who are all deep in the suck and you really need each other to get through. As hard as those days are, they are easier in some respects than when things get quiet, when guys start drifting away from the board, posting and ghosting ramps up and the vets move on to new quitters. Those are the days that got me last time. I was deceived into thinking that I had won the war and I allowed myself to fall away from the board. My last roll post was at Day 404 and I caved on day 435.

If I can impart one message to anyone that reads this, it is this: at each checkpoint along the way (1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 50 days, 100 days, 200 days etc.) you are winning battles and building your quit wall as the vets say, and they are absolutely accomplishments to be celebrated. BUT, this is a war that you never win. Ask eafman and wastepanel who just posted 2270 and 2271 if they think they have won the war. They haven’t. I haven’t. You haven’t. We are addicts and we always will be. There is no such thing as “just one” or “just for this drive” or “just for this trip” for an addict. It is a lie and if you believe it, you are a fool as I was. Stay involved with your brothers, help the new quitters, post roll every fucking day, WUPP, be a resource around here and an encourager. The nic bitch is strong and she is cunning and she is patient. She will try to get you off on your own, away from the board and your brothers and then tempt you with the “just one” lie. There is safety in the group. You can stay quit forever if you just take one day at a time, post your promise and then be a man of your word. That’s all it takes…it’s that simple.

Last but certainly not least, thank you’s…first and foremost to my quit brothers in September 2017. I have loved getting to know you guys and look forward to many days and years ahead. I have learned things from a lot of you. I have appreciated your encouragement and tried to encourage you. I am proud of each and every one of you and I promise you that I will be here for you every day for as long as you keep posting. 

To the vets that have supported our group and me personally, thank you. You guys have no idea how much that support has meant to me, especially as a former caver who you welcomed back into the fold. I promise to follow in your footsteps and be as involved as I can possibly be.

Lastly, to all that have come before and left so much wisdom on this site, thank you. There is so much badass Quit wisdom on here that you can get lost in it. Anytime I am struggling, I go back and read some of this amazing wisdom and it helps me to recommit to my quit.

My parting word to my brothers is this: we have won a very important battle. Let us celebrate that and be proud of each other, but let us never forget that the war rages on. Let us remain ever vigilant so none of us is ever back here posting a Day 1 again. 

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

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