As you grow up, you learn a few things about yourself—your strengths and, more importantly, your weaknesses. Nobody’s invincible. It took a long time for me to realize that, but when I finally opened my eyes to the truth, I knew I had to stop. I knew I needed to stop.

So, I stopped, and since then, I have to say that stopping was the best decision I’ve ever made.

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Sometimes I wonder why I didn’t stop earlier or why I ever even started in the first place. I guess at the time it seemed harmless. Hell, maybe for a while it was harmless. But you live a certain way for long enough, and pretty soon you forget that there’s a different path—a better path. Then suddenly, you wake up and you’re 40 years old and you realize that it’s time to just stop.

Sometimes I wonder why I didn’t stop earlier or why I ever even started in the first place.

Whenever someone asks me why I stopped, to be honest, I can’t pinpoint an exact moment when I realized that I needed to stop. The only advice I can give to people is to never start, because let me tell you, once you’ve started, you don’t know when you’re going to stop, and then where are you?

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Did stopping save my life? I can’t say for sure. But I don’t know where I’d be today if I had kept going.

The worst part is knowing that there are thousands more out there like me. People who need to stop, but who haven’t found the strength, the will, or—I’ll admit it—the luck necessary to stop. But if my example can inspire just one person to take that first step toward stopping, I’ll be satisfied.

I stopped. I’m done. If I can do it, anyone can.

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