2011 HOF Speeches

The Nic Free Warrant Officer – Musings of a Decembro

KTC Logo BlueI’ve walked 100 days. The soles are worn, the legs are stiff and the mind tired. I’ve jumped off a 1,000 cliff, swam in shark infested waters, climbed endlessly tall mountains and negotiated vegetation so thick the arms In front of me we not visible.

100 days ago I was a man alone amongst many people. Wanting to let go of the one thing in my life I could truly be ashamed of but afraid of what a day without my “best friend” would be like.

I found this site on accident, like many. Only it wasn’t an accident. This was meant to happen. I was destined to meet up with the likes of azchief32, Leather Apron , NotDeadYet and JustinBlake2188. I was meant to come in contact with cavers like buckshooter52 and SGTsharp. It was all part of the bigger picture.

Long Story short, nicotine has been a part of my life since I was 13 years old. I switched from cigarettes to dip at age 18 and continued using it for 6 years. I was going to quit on May 24th, 2003…the day I got married. I was going to quit on April 22nd, 2004 when my oldest daughter was born. October 23rd, 2006 when my middle child arrived. February 19th, 2009 with my one and only newborn baby boy. The days rolled by. I then switched between commit lozenges and the dip for another 3 years. Then I found myself in the middle of Kuwait with no access to lozenges. Started dipping again, and decided that the endless carousel ride on the nic bitch had to end.

For the first few weeks of my quit things were hazy, uncertain and frightening. I never thought that feeling would go away. Then, slowly, it did. It went away and all was normal for about a whole week. Then came day 39. I will never forget day 39 because it was the day that almost ended my quit. I had made it 39 days without the bitch. The longest voluntary amount of time away from it in over 10 years. On Day 39 I hit a terrible funk, I was down in the dumps. Since I’m currently deployed to Kuwait, I didn’t have the luxury of simply texting a quit buddy. I jumped into chat…no one there. Then, I sent out the smoke signal on the December page.

Here was my plea on day 39:

Alright December, I have to say I feel like I’m breaking apart. It’s gotten worse in the last 4 or 5 days. My concentration for work and school is becoming even worse than the first three days. I don’t have the ability to just pick up a phone and call someone. What the hell am I suppose to do? I haven’t felt this desperate in any of my 39 days of quit. As some of you may or may not know, I’m deployed right now and I can’t help but feeling “I’m deployed, shit is stressful, I’ll give up my quit just until I redeploy. I fucking need some help.

I got no less than 15 PM’s almost instantly. It settled me down and helped me to regroup. Not since that day have I felt that desperate, but the people in here saved me from myself. That is what KTC is about. Having others to help you stay quit. The reality is that we COULDN’T do it on our own, or we wouldn’t be here. No one on here is too proud to admit that they are addicts and need accountability to others.

My mantra throughout my quit has been that giving in isn’t going to cure your crave. It’s not going to magically make you better so that you can move on. It’s going to rope you back in with the force of one thousand waves and you will be back to square one faster than you can say “Can of XXX brand dirt, please.”

The funks are real, the craves are real. If someone says they don’t have them, they’ve probably already caved. If someone disappears for two weeks and then comes back, they’ve probably caved.

Getting to the Hall of Fame in no way means that I’ve won this battle. It is merely another day in the fight for my independence from the Nic Bitch, and I’ve won today, 100 times. That is all. No more, no less. Quitting is not a mountain. You cannot measure it as a finite destination and rest on your laurels when you’ve reached the pinnacle. Quitting is more like circumnavigating the earth. When have you won? When have you finished? You don’t. You take each day, each inch, for what it is and enjoy the view on the way. You will never be “there” and that’s it, but as long as you are quit today, then today you are THERE. You’ve made it for today, and today is all that matters. 24 hours, 24 measly hours out of a lifetime that you have to make a promise. Keep it for a day. Easy? Sometimes Yes. Hard? Sometimes Yes. Will you get through it? Depends, do you trust yourself? How about your quit brothers and sisters? Quitting really comes down to this:

  1. Are you willing to make a promise to yourself and your quit group to stay nicotine-free today?
  2. Will you reach out for help when you are funked, weak and vulnerable?
  3. Are you humble enough to admit that you are an addict, that you are weak for nicotine?

I am an addict. I will always be an addict. But I will be an addict who has decided to quit for today.

All of my brothers and sisters on KTC, I love all of you. In some way you have all contributed to my quit. Special props to the Decembros: Ryne05, PogueMahone, hoyle21, bobcat95, kup, brotherofnomosko, saltslinger, mheltun, RI Quitter, AdamBomb, Carpy, Healthy New Me, Imwhip, grizkill, Charlie Hotel, JimWot79, timeless117,Throbbing Rod, Motrout, overdue32, chewife, GamerOnWheelz, jmadden, Jojo, Razd, CRUZ, and raudru83. Gump and TCOPE for reaching out from the beginning. Scowick65, Miles, Florida Luke and everyone I’ve chatted up on the chatline. This is the beginning, I will use my strength to help others and will remain with my group to elevator up to floor number two and beyond.

To toetag, even though you are a fallen decembro, you’ve been nothing but supportive to everyone in December and I will continue to support you in your quit. Thanks for all the encouragement and you have given even through all your struggles.

To my same-day quit brothers azchief32, Leather Apron , NotDeadYet and JustinBlake2188, it’s been a long road so far. It’s not over, nor will it ever be. When I return to the states I will be seeking each of you out for your numbers to stay connected, stay quit and share in our special bond. We all put down the can on the same day, and here we sit. 100 days healthier, 100 days richer, and 100 days nicotine free.

I quit with all of you for just today. Just 24 hours, 1,140 minutes, 86,400 seconds. One day, just today, you have my word. I am quit.

NOTE: This piece written by KillTheCan.org forum member wo1miles

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