2007 HOF Speeches

The Sting

Do you remember that part in Pulp Fiction when Bruce Willis decides that he is going to take a fall in the boxing ring? Marcellus Wallace goes on and on about how that sting Bruce is feeling is Pride? Pride can sting like a son-of-a-bitch. Well I have felt that sting. One night I told my wife “I am going to quit dipping again”, and she said “I don’t even want to hear it”. You see, that was the first major wake up call I had. I had promised, and let her down so many times that she didn’t want to get her hopes up again – and that stung me. I had let a tobacco addiction affect my wife’s faith in me – wow! I didn’t say anything else to her that night about it, but made up my mind that it was time to quit screwing around with snuff and either quit dipping, or quit telling my wife that I was going to quit dipping.

I have had a can a day habit for about 12 years now. More than some, and less than others. We are all addicts though. This addiction, like any other, is like an elevator – you are in control of when you get off. Some get off after messing around with snuff for a very short time, they are the smart ones. Some of us choose to ride this elevator all the way to the basement – and when we choose to get off we have lost many things. Pride, self respect, trust from love ones, lots and lots of cash (I have spent the equivalent of a brand new jeep on worm dirt) and, not to mention, health. I hope I have jumped off the elevator in time. You see, for me, I might not have heart damage due to high blood pressure, I might not have progressive gum disease and tooth decay, and I might not have cancer cells growing in my mouth, throat or stomach. Only time will tell.

I had a buddy in high school that dipped. We went to lunch everyday and road around in his truck. (In Tx all the guys drive trucks, wear boots and dip in high school) He always shared his snuff because he liked having a dipping buddy. I only dipped during lunch. Well, graduation came and went, and I started mowing lawns during the summer. I hadn’t had a dip in at least a month. One day I finished a lawn and though “hmmm, a dip would be nice – but – this would be the first can I have ever bought myself” I KNEW I was crossing a line that day. And, like a good o’l West Texas dumbass I drove straight to the c-store and finished jumping across that line. Within a week or two I was at a can a day habit.

Right through college I went – studying to be a nurse. A health care professional. Graduated and went right to work. Nighttime in a hospital is a great time to work if you are a dipper. Nobody cares if you dip, as long as you take care of your patients. And patients? Well, they don’t care if you dip if they are intubated (on a breathing machine) and sedated. Lots and lots of Dr’s and nurses dip. Shocked that a healthcare professional dips? Well, then you are naive. You see, an addiction has no boundaries. It doesn’t care if you are black, white, brown, educated, short, tall, literate, funny, straight, or gay….IT DOESN’T MATTER WHO YOU ARE, YOU CAN GET HOOKED!

Let me back up for a sec. Around the time I was almost done with college, I met my wife. While we were dating I made sure that she knew that I was a dipper. I didn’t want her telling me what to do later on if things got serious. This way she knew what she was getting into. You see, I was not shy about dipping. I didn’t hide it. I did it everywhere. Fishing, camping, reading, watching movies, playing video games, playing poker, working – I mean everywhere. I don’t know what else to say about my dipping career except that is was all consuming. I wouldn’t think twice about driving to a c-store at 3 A.M. for a can. It was the last thing I would do before going to bed and the first thing I would do when I woke up. I had family members that dip, and I have many friends that dip. I rarely felt uncomfortable enough to crack open a can and get a pinch. In short, it was a great environment for someone dipping, and a bad environment for someone quitting.

At some point I wised up and thought I would give quitting a try. I wanted to “ease” into quitting. I thought I might just dip on the weekends, or on long car trips, or when doing things outside. That didn’t work. Of course it didn’t. It wouldn’t be long before that mental obsession to get a dip would settle in and drive me crazy. I could always justify a cave by telling myself I could try again at any time. Not to mention, the mere act of “trying” was progress, right? My quit attempts never lasted over a day. I had the New Year’s resolutions, the Birthday promises, the next week promise, the Price Hike promise and all the other usual promises to myself. Each failed attempt would be followed by that “sting” of my hurt pride that I would get to know so well.

The night I talked to my wife about me quitting “again” and she said “you are full of shit” I found the quitsmokeless website. After poking and prodding around a couple of hours I joined up and started the journey of a tobacco free life. It hasn’t been easy. You see, shortly after joining this website I came to the realization that I have dipped my entire adult life. From age 18 to age 30. Virtually everything I have done as an adult has had tobacco tied to it. I am basically having to learn HOW to live nic-free. You see, until I found this site, I didn’t know how to do that. I wouldn’t expect the non-chewer to understand, and that’s o.k. The journey hasn’t been smooth sailing since I found the website. I had a couple of caves early on. I didn’t think much about it at first, because I was making progress. Until I found this site I had only gone a day – two max without a dip. I caved once here after hitting 21 days. I could justify that cave because I really HAD made progress for the first time in years. The change in me happened when I realized that I was getting comfortable caving. I was getting comfortable letting other folks down and I saw that in a short time, I was going to be back at a can a day with that massive stinging sensation eating away at my soul. That wouldn’t do.

You want to know how this thing works? You want to know how hundreds of folks have beaten this addiction today? It is simple – become accountable. You see, it wasn’t hard for me to cave when I didn’t really know anyone here. When I would just post roll and not make an effort to get to know someone on a personal level – it was easy to throw away 3 weeks. When I picked up that telephone for the first time (it weighed about a thousand pounds) and called someone – I became accountable. It is a humbling experience to call a complete stranger from across the country and tell them that you need help. Tell them you feel weak and feel like letting yourself down and that you Feel that you are the only one on the fucking planet going through this. You tell this complete stranger that you feel like your manhood has been taken away by a weed in a can and that you honestly don’t know if you can beat this thing. If you are having a hard time with this addiction – try SWALLOWING that PRIDE that has been DRAGGING you DOWN! Pick up the FUCKING phone and ASK for HELP!

By the way, life isn’t going to go on hold because you decide to make a change in your life. Life will go on if you choose to dip or not. I have had plenty of shit go down while I have been quit. A few fights with the spousal unit, fights with parents, fights with bosses, arguments with group members, financial stress etc. A week before Christmas some asshole in Spain cleared out my checking account – I had about a hundred dollars left to my name, and I wanted to dip. When I hit day 50 (a huge milestone) I was going through something that only Mikeybr2 knew about. Everyone was high fiving me and congratulating me, but my day 50 was the one year anniversary of the day that my best friend put a bullet in his head, he was 32 years old – and yeah, I wanted a dip. I have also dealt with family members with depression. And, try getting stuck in the DFW airport for 16 hours as a test of resolve. SOMEDAYS THE ONLY THING I HAD CONTROL OF IN MY LIFE WAS THE ABILITY TO SAY NO TO THAT LITTLE CAN.

O.K., enough of the doom and gloom. I can’t say enough good things about this website. It has become part of my life. I have replaced and addiction to snuff with a daily need to log in to www.quitsmokeless.org., and QSX and check in with my quit brothers. I love the people on here! I know my group members very well. The thought of letting them down has saved my sorry ass from caving more than once! Many times at night my wife can hear me laughing out loud as I read the insane amounts of bullshit that is posted here on a daily basis. I couldn’t belong to a quit program that didn’t have a sense of humor. As we heal, we all learn to laugh at ourselves from time to time. I would love to say that at almost 6 months I have absolutely no urges to get a dip – but that isn’t the case. It is a hell of a lot easier than it was a one month though, but the battle is far from won. “Just don’t dip today”. There is true power in those words. You see, to beat this addiction, we develop a sideways thought process. “Forever” is way to long, so we take little bites out of forever – and those bites are “todays”. Also, here is a little secret – very few things will give you great joy, and solidify your quit, like helping a fellow quitter in his/her time of need.

I have to tell you – I haven’t had that familiar “sting” in some time now. That isn’t to say that I have forgotten what it feels like, I just don’t want to feel it “today”. It is so empowering to be able to go to a c-store and be able to walk by those little cans and not even contemplate buying one. For me, it takes a daily commitment. Some days I want this quit more than others. My word means something to me though, so as long as I post roll bright and early every day, then I am safe for another day.

Time for my “thank you speech”. My LTQ brothers – I doubt you know what you mean to me. I owe the bulk of my quit to each one of you sick twisted assholes. To the CCU bunch – I started out a CCU and ended up an LTQ, as long as the end destination is the same – it doesn’t matter how I got here. There are many many individuals I would like to thank – but I don’t want to bore any new potential quitters to death. Each of you know who you are and what you mean to me.

If you are a potential quitter and don’t think you can do this, believe me, you are no more addicted than anyone of us that are already here, stick around and get to know some folks – you’ll be glad you did.

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

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