As I sit here three days after passing the Hall of Fame milestone (100 days quit) on Kill the Can, I find myself stressing over what to put in this speech. After all, there have been so many others who have gotten to this same point as me and they’ve written some damn fine speeches. So my natural inclination is to think, what the hell can I say that hasn’t already been said by somebody else on here? And truth be told, this speech probably won’t have anything that is dramatically different from the others. It won’t necessarily have any earth shattering revelations on the key to staying quit either. But what it will have is my story and my thoughts on what it takes to make it these first 100 days of being quit.
So to cheat a little bit and borrow from my initial introduction post, here’s the quick history on me in regards to chewing. I started chewing Kodiak when I was 19-20 years old in college (34 now). I still remember my buddy offering me that first dip as we were walking back to our dorm after a night at the bars. I remember absolutely loving the buzz that it gave me and the very next day I went and bought a can of my own. What started off as a once every few days (mostly after going to the bars) habit, pretty quickly turned into an everyday thing. For the first several years, I really didn’t have any desire to quit chewing. Sure, I was educated on the dangers of chewing and the increased risk of cancer, but I guess I just didn’t think that it could happen to me. Besides, I figured once I “became an adult’, graduated college, got a real job, got married and had a family, it would be something that I would naturally stop doing. Quitting wouldn’t be a big deal at all.
Fast forward 10+ years to me being married and having 3 kids and here I was, still dipping on a regular basis. In fact, I was doing it more now than I did back when I didn’t have the family. I had to come to terms with the fact that I was indeed addicted to chewing, and quitting was going to be way more difficult than I would have ever imagined. I knew several months leading up to my official quit date that I was going to be quitting; I just didn’t have any type of plan in place. I would maybe try to go a day or two without chewing, but I would always find myself back at the gas station buying another can. Anyway, I guess what finally pushed me over the edge was that I seemed to be getting sores in my mouth and on my tongue with increased frequency over the last few months. That’s what it took, I guess, to finally get me to see the light and decide I was going to be done with chew. I did a quick search on Google, as so many past quitters have, and Kill The Can was one of the first links that came up. After reading the site for about a week and not having a chew, I decided the accountability and support of the KTC community was something that would help me tremendously, so I registered and posted roll.
As I said in the beginning of this speech, a lot of what I’m going to say now has already been said, but the reason I’m putting it in here is because these items have been key to me staying quit so far. I say so far, because believe me, the battle is far from over. Until I get to the point where I can’t even remember ever chewing tobacco, I won’t claim that I have this thing beat. Keeping in mind that everyone is different, here are my thoughts on staying quit:
- You have to want to quit for yourself in order for this to work. Yes we all want to be here for our wife, kids, mom, dad, dog, etc. Yes we want our wives to not bitch and moan at us about quitting, but the bottom line is that until you feel like you truly want to quit for yourself, it won’t work. It took me a really long time to get to this place (with the reality check of the sores in my mouth being the kick in the butt I needed).
- Use this site. For some, like me, that means mostly reading a ton. I’m not super vocal and I don’t post a ton on the forums, but I was on the site everyday reading threads and other’s HOF speeches. Those speeches and threads that others posted in, served as motivation for me to stay quit. If you have the personality that is more out-going, by all means, post until your blue in the face and put yourself out there a ton. I guess the bottom line for me on this one is, use all of the information and support that KTC and its users have to offer.
- Post roll every day. My promise to not use chew on a daily basis, even if it was to a bunch of people I never met, meant that there was no way I would use nicotine that day. Really this is pretty simple to me, you tell somebody you’re not going to do something, and you don’t do it.
- Get phone numbers or e-mail addresses from other quitters and don’t be afraid to use them if you are feeling the urge to cave. It’s one thing to just go through the motions of getting contact information from others, but make the commitment to actually contact them if you need to.
I know there are more items that others have pointed out, but for me, these four things have helped me the most.
A few things I want to say to anyone out there who is reading this right now who is thinking about quitting:
- Quit wavering on the decision. Make the commitment right now, this second, “I’m going to quit chewing.”
- You CAN do this! We all felt the same way you do at this very moment. Ask me 100+ days ago if I thought I would be here writing this speech, no way, I would have said. But I am here, and I did do it, and so can you.
- Are you a weak-minded, easily controlled individual? Yeah, I’m not either, and that’s why I took control of my life and chose to kick this nasty habit to the curb.
- DO YOU WANT TO DIE? I didn’t think so, so dump that can in the toilet, register on this site and go post roll.
- It’s a great day to be quit!
Before I bring all this random rambling to an end, I do want to thank all the members here at Kill The Can for providing me with a much needed support group as I battle this addiction. Specifically, to all of my July brothers who consistently posted roll with me; you’ve been great and it’s been an honor going through these past 100+ days with all of you. I know this is only the beginning in the grand scheme of things and I look forward to making it another 100 days with all of you. Also, I want to thank a handful of individuals who went out of their way to check up with me on a regular basis: rkymtnman, yammerhammer, nmc raymwiii and bman, thanks a lot guys!
Well, I’m still stressed about this speech and I fear it’s turned into more of a rambling string of random thoughts, but oh well. If only one person reads this and decides they should quit chewing because of it, I will be eternally happy.
Take care and stay quit!