First I need to emphasize that 100 is just a number in a long string of numbers although it is a milestone, there were many that lead to it and should be many that come after it. My story with this love/hate dance started in high school with the wrestling team in the early 80’s. I would use dip during the season to lose weight. I was lucky enough back then to put the can down at the end of every season but the seeds of destruction were sown. When I reached college I started dipping to cope with the stress and added expectations. This pattern carried on and off for nearly 20 years. While in the army as a combat medic I would dip as much as 1 can every 2 days, all to cope with what life was throwing at me. Finally I had enough, the love/hate was turning to more me hating myself everyday that I shoved that crap in my lip. So I decided to “quit for good” and I just put the can can down and walked away as I had done many times before but this time I wanted it. I went a couple weeks on my own before I stumbled on to Kill the Can. When I first found the web site I started posting comments in the “what to Expect when quitting” page. Then I found “The forum” or the quit groups what ever you call it, it was the life line I was searching for. I found a group of people who were suffering as much as me, hated themselves as much as me, and hated what nicotine had done to them as much as me. I posted my first roll call 25 days into my quit( and everyday since) I faithfully gave my promise not to use nicotine but to also come back tomorrow and do it again.
During the last 100 days I have seen my old crutch of stress, the reason I always fell back into the can, surface time and again each time stronger and more determined to make me cave. At 40 days quit my wife of 23 years told me she wanted a divorce and left me with no place to live, a week after that the dentist tells me there is a spot that needs watching as it might be cancer, a month later my soon to be ex wife tries to take my kids from me. Yet through all this I did not cave. I’m NOT looking for sympathy but showing that no matter what the circumstance, if you reach out to your life line(mine was my group) for help you will over come. I leaned on my support group more than they will ever realize, the more I helped a brother struggling the more I helped myself. When I couldn’t find the strength inside myself they helped me rise above myself, despite myself. That is the true meaning of strength in numbers knowing that someone will always be looking out for you when you can’t see past the crap of life to look out for yourself. The pattern of post roll, every day, post as soon as you get up, make the promise to not only quit but come back tomorrow to do it again. Get involved help someone else, commit to their quit as well as your own(this gives to a deeper commitment to keep your word for fear of letting down a friend). Reach out when struggling don’t go it alone, chances are eventually you will fall if you go it alone, get the support from those same friends, they can be the voice of reason when you can’t find the reason. These are the reasons I’m at day 100 and these are the reasons I will be at day 200 and past. They work plain and simple.