This is not a Hall of Fame speech. I never wrote one.
My first HOF date was March 21, 2009. At that time, I didn’t think it would a big deal if I never posted a speech. I was wrong, it is a big deal, and I won’t make that mistake again. So, for me, this is more than a Hall of Fame speech.
On July 31, 2009, after 231 days without nicotine, I acquiesced to the persistent pressures of my addiction and gave up my quit. Today, I am crossing the 100-day milestone for the second, and final, time.
When I was a child, my mother used to tell me that if I had to hide something I was doing from other people, then I must already know that it’s wrong. For several years, I hid my addiction to nicotine from my family and friends because I knew it was wrong. The problem with chewing was that knowing it was wrong wasn’t enough to make me stop. Instead, it took a public acknowledgment of my addiction, an honest commitment to change my behavior, and consistent involvement in a system of accountability to rectify my dysfunction.
I do a lot of writing for my job, so I know the power of the pen. When you write something down for another person to read, you better be sure that you are ready to stand by your message. One hundred days ago, I wrote my name on this website and gave my word that I wouldn’t use tobacco for 24 hours. That simple promise has been more powerful than I could have ever imagined. For the 99 days since then, I’ve made the same promise, and I will make it again tomorrow. My word is my bond.
Thank you to the men in March ’09, especially Hydro, Greg40, ForemanScotty, & Raven, with whom I started this journey, and to the men and the woman in November ’09, especially Ansaka, Enough, Nodiak, GoBlue, Kranich, & SamCat, with whom I will be finishing it. Thanks also to the several other members of this site that have been personally invested in my well-being, especially CJ, kd4jet, Smokeyg, justquit, QT, PbKid, rkymtnman, nmc, and animal.
This is only the beginning.