2007 marks my 48th year in this world and I started dipping when I was 15. 33 years I have been held hostage by nicotine. I did quit several times along the way but the song of nicotine always drew me back – she knew how to keep me hostage. I had resolved I would never be able to quit – though I kept putting it on my New Year’s resolutions.
I am like so many of you – Copenhagen was my biggest secret and possibly the main source of my insecurities. I was ashamed of the habit and how disgusting it is so I hid it from the world. Over the years not only did this consume my daily routine it also consumed my self confidence and my belief in myself. Addictions seem to do that, have you noticed? You keep the secret from the world, quite a feat in itself, and amidst all this you consume any element of self respect – at least that is what my affair with Copenhagen did for me.
On February 23rd, 2007 my wife found some Copenhagen I had spilled on the floor and wanted to discuss it. She knew I had gone back to dipping after thinking I had been quit for years and was adamant I not bring it in the house as there are children and pets around. Obviously I had and as she was giving me a hard time about deceiving her and I found myself arguing that this was a hard addiction to beat and she did not understand how hard it was and how bad and embarrassed it made me feel. As these words were coming out of my mouth I was struck with how sick that was. Instead of understanding how someone could be concerned about the tobacco being everywhere all I could focus on was my addiction. I threw out my cans and quit. Today, June 8th 2007 I posted roll with 105 days under my belt.
I guess that could be the end of this Hall of Fame speech save life does not end with the success of being quit for 100 days. A week after I had been tobacco free I began to take stock of life and came up with some hard choices. I have read on the web site that we use tobacco to medicate ourselves and often do not face issues/situations. I know I used Copenhagen this way – it was my refuge when things went wrong. For way too many years I had been living in an abusive marriage that was sucking the soul out of me – not having Copenhagen left me to deal with all these emotion “straight”. I realized I could not continue and keep my sanity or soul and am now in the process of ending a 25 year union that produced 4 wonderful kids but was a mistake from almost the beginning. It is by far the hardest most painful thing I have ever done made even more so without my old lover Copenhagen. The perverse part of this is that during this whole ordeal my craves for Copenhagen are one of the things that keep me from falling apart. As long as I can feel the craving and pull from the nicotine bitch I know I am in the land of living – any pain from the divorce and from the quit is makes me know I am still alive and not numb to hurt. It is not pretty and it hurts like hell but it is real – to put a dip back in would mask this hurt and make these feelings trivial. I hope that make some sense to someone besides me.
I owe a great debt to this group for keeping me quit. Once I post roll each morning I am committing myself to another day tobacco free. My brothers in the June group – you guys are my safety net. Given the insanity of my life right now I haven’t posted much so many of you probably don’t know me well but in reading everything that you post I gathered a lot of strength and resolve. You were instrumental in my making it this far along with Sheriff, Porter, and imskratty. No words to adequately thank you all. M,C, D,J – my kids – the best things their mother and I ever did. My quit is dedicated to seeing each of you grow old. To my best friend and closest thing I have ever found to perfection, dkb, I thank you for all your support, love, and inspiration. I could not have weathered the quit and the divorce without your support.
The road is just beginning. I am an addict that can never put his guard down. The opera is not over until the Nic Bitch sings. Her song is death and failure and loss of self. I am dedicated to keeping her mouth closed in my life.
Thanks to all.
June 8th 2007