2022 HOF Speeches

What Is It Going To Take?

Whatever It Takes

What is it going to take?

I am a nurse and a medic. You would think that my education alone would be enough to make me realize I needed to ditch tobacco and nicotine. Wrong. Instead, I used it to suppress and bury my stress, anxiety, and emotions. I did this for over 16 years. So how about seeing countless patients with head and neck cancers suffer? No way, that couldn’t happen to me. They probably dipped way more than I did or maybe they just had bad genetics. I remember one patient vividly. He had esophageal cancer and didn’t have much longer to live. He was so desperate for a drink of water but the pain of drinking anything kept him from trying. His wife standing by his side with a hopeless look on her face. Do you think that was enough to get me to quit? Of course not. No way that could happen to me? How about having to have a lesion cut off my own tongue by my ENT doctor? Nope, the results were negative for cancer so I just kept filling my lip with poison even while my tongue was still healing. Looking back it is mind-boggling to see just how delusional my addiction made me. What I have found is that if you don’t quit for yourself because you genuinely care about your health and well-being, then you will never actually quit.

This is my second time entering the HOF at KTC. My first KTC stoppage lasted around 180 days. I had quit because I had a newborn son and I never wanted him to see me use nicotine in any form. I had successfully quit and was on cruise control. I let my guard down. I stopped posting regularly, believing that it was no big deal to miss a day here and there. That was a huge mistake. I caved shortly after I stopped posting regularly, despite having several of my brothers at KTC texting me and checking in on me. You see I wanted to cave because I am an addict. And if you want to cave more than you want to be quit, you will find a way to do it. That is exactly what I did. I will always be an addict which is why I need KTC. I need brotherhood and accountability. I have tried to quit on my own more times than I can count and never made it more than a few measly weeks. KTC absolutely works. It has gotten me this far again and I will never take it for granted again. KTC has given me my life back. I am no longer tied to a spit bottle. My wife doesn’t have to ask if I have a dip in before she decides to kiss me. I can respond to people without nearly drowning on tobacco spit. Most importantly my son won’t grow up seeing me dip and hopefully won’t repeat my mistake. If you know someone that is struggling with a tobacco/nicotine addiction please tell them about KTC. We would love to help and it might just save their life.

NOTE: This piece written by KillTheCan community member mikehoncho

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