2016 HOF Speeches

The Power of Words

stunur avatarNever forget the power of words. Each day at KTC, you have the privilege of promising to your group that you will quit nicotine for one day. These are words you can live by. I quit nicotine today, one day at a time.

Nothing is sweeter than words of kindness. They cost nothing to give and are cherished by the recipient. So why are they few and far between? Perhaps at some point in our society we are conditioned to think that kindness has no virtue, but instead is a sign of weakness. Nonetheless, we all crave the support of our community because that is what makes us human.

I didn’t ask to be born, but I was, and I was born addicted. Growing up with addicts as role models, I thought nothing of indulging in substances that were dangerous and slowed my development to a crawl. One of those substances was nicotine and was a personal favorite of mine when I was in college for electronics, 1984-1987. My professor encouraged me to seek treatment to quit through hypnosis therapy, to which I agreed to and was successfully tobacco free for 24 years.

At some point, a person may have a life crisis and say “I don’t care anymore”. That was the case with me in 2011. Both parents dead from addictions and me, successful from great years in technology and real estate was suddenly without purpose and direction. I because complacent and bitter that my winning streak was over and I had no real profession, so I indulged in pity, sloth and excess which included addiction. But I knew I was too young to retire at my current burn rate. So it took a 5000 mile / nine state motorcycle ride. I managed to injure my right foot with a full thickness burn from the tailpipe while checking a map in Denver.

Needing skin grafts, I discovered nursing while hospitalized and thought to myself, “I could do that!” while having no idea what I was in for academically and emotionally. Nicotine became my study pal once again. Then one day in clinical, I had the privilege of suctioning the airway of a man that had a permanent tracheostomy and was in for post procedural bladder cancer care. Each procedure was the signature of nicotine use and I couldn’t justify my nicotine use anymore.

Googling is what I do when I don’t know what else to do. That is how I found KTC. I would like to thank the Juvenile Jackals of July, and dedicated board admins Lumberjack Tim and ChickDip, the Bad Ass Supporters, especially thewolfe and zquitter from July ‘14 DDs, Randall of the June Goons and Teray of the FN’ Misfits of May 2015 for reaching out to me during these difficult days of quit.

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

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