The ramblings of an addict as they were… I’m no special butterfly… There are hundreds of HOF stories in here and I bet many of them have a common thread of how they got started, how long they dipped, why they quit, who inspired them, etc… I have read several myself and am absolutely touched by each and every one of them, no matter how similar… Why? Because each is a story of survival about someone taking back control of their life and making one of, if not THE most difficult and important decision of their life. Each story is amazing!!
So I will tell you my story and hope that it brings you some inspiration, motivation, and dedication to your quit.
I grew up in Northeast Texas. Great family, good parents, one older brother… All nicotine user/abusers. Dad’s a Dentist, but he still dipped and smoked. Mom’s a nurse, but she still smoked. I remember taking my first dip from my brother when I was 10 years old. He was 14 at the time and brought home a can of Kodiak Wintergreen. The folks had left the house and we were left to burn some brush piles behind the house. I took that first dip, got dizzy as hell, threw up and damn near fell into the fire. Swore I would never do that shit again!!! Had my next dip when I was 11 spending the night at one of my buddy’s houses. He got a can of Skoal Wintergreen from his older brother. Took a dip, got dizzy as hell, almost threw up and almost fell down the stairs. Swore I would never do that shit again!!! Had the next dip when I was 12 hanging out at the school while my brother was playing in a basketball game. Buddy of mine brought a can of Copenhagen he stole from his Dad. Took a dip, got dizzy as hell, and said “damn, this stuff is pretty good”. That’s all she wrote… I would spend the next 26 years doing whatever it took to make sure I had access to my Copenhagen (and later Grizzly to “save” money). Snuff controlled every aspect of my life, my thoughts, my actions, and I didn’t even know it. It became a subconscious thought and that was just the way it was.
People would tell me I needed to quit, and I asked why… People said that was disgusting, and I would say then don’t look… People would say it stunk, I would say then leave… People would say that stuff will kill you, and I would say you gotta die of something. You gotta die of something??? What kind of fucked up response was that??? I now realize how utterly stupid that sounds and how ignorant I must have sounded for saying it… “you gotta die of something”… pffftttt!!!! That’s fucked up…
After 26 years of being an ignoramus, I finally started to feel how stupid it really was. Did I want my wife telling our children that Daddy “had to die of something”? Hell no!! Could I look at my kids any longer as they started to figure out what that lump was in my lip? Hell no!! Could I continue to stuff snuff in my mouth at an ever increasing pace and still never get the satisfaction I was seeking as my gums receded and skin was falling off the inside of my cheeks? Hell no!!
Something had to change, but I was scared to death. I didn’t know how to quit. I didn’t know if I really wanted to quit. I didn’t know if I could quit, I had never even tried to quit. Hell, I liked dipping, it was good, it was fun, and it was still cool at times. It made me feel “good”. Even after all that and after several months of agonizing, I knew I HAD to quit, but didn’t know how…
…until one day I was sitting at my computer when I received an email from the University of Texas. (Now keep in mind that this is my hated rival as I attended college at Texas A&M). We do construction work for the University of Texas (UT)and UT had just declared a nicotine free policy campus-wide. Not smoke-free… NICOTINE FREE. In this email, they described their new policy and provided links to several smoking cessation and a couple of smokeless cessation websites. Of course, one of those links was KTC.
Imagine that, an email from a hated rival led me to KTC, which led me to start Day 1 of my quit, and has ultimately led me to a HOF speech. The HOF is simply the first major milestone in my quit. Each day is a little milestone as I commit to quit each and every day with my December Wreckin’ Crew Brothers and everyone else on this site. I don’t think I can go into the day-to-day feelings I had throughout these 100 days. For you that have been through it, you know it sucks. You also know it gets better. Much better. I had my rages, my craves, my cries, my MF’ers, but what I never had was doubt. I had no doubt because it took me so long just to toss the can. I was so scared to let go, but once I did, I knew I could do it. I knew I could do it because of my own self conviction, but KTC and the guys and gals that make KTC provided that last bit of courage and strength to take the leap. You provided so much more after the leap, I can’t begin to thank you all enough. You all believed in me even when my closest of friends still doubt me to this day. I think my wife is finally coming to the realization that I am serious about my quit.
I am not going to go into specific names for the fear of forgetting someone but I want to thank everyone that stays actively involved in KTC beyond your own HOF date. That includes members, admin, and moderators. Without your continued dedication and support of new quitters, this site would not exist.
I am so happy to be quit with all of you today and so happy to feel the freedom of being nicotine free!! It’s a special day, but really just another day of +1.
Thank you all. God Bless. Stay Quit.