Though I sometimes teach college courses and make public speeches, I find myself feeling a bit uneasy while writing these lines. Perhaps it is because when we talk about ourselves we know that sometimes we can hide the truth to others, but we can’t lie to ourselves and that is what this speech and journey is for, to be truthful, therefore, we have to speak from deep within and expose the real self leaving it vulnerable.
My vulnerability is tobacco. Until 100 days ago I would dip everyday like all of you reading.
I started during my Junior year in high school. A friend of mine introduced me to Levi Garret. I vomited violently that night when I tried it, but I wasn’t about to be less of a man than all those “cool guys” doing it and went back for more.
How Ironic were those thoughts because 32 years later I found out how much of a real man you have to be in order to unhook yourself from the nicotine yoke.
The addiction started as so much fun first, then turned lethal and slow like the grip of a python that once it had a hold of me, it proved incredibly hard to escape.
Continuing with my saga, I went to college with my newly found friend Mr. Levi Garret. I met Mr. Red man and the three of us would party on every day. I had no idea that others were looking up to me and following my bad decision to chew.
My younger brother and cousin started dipping because they would see me doing it. The good news is, they stopped right away, the bad news is that I continued, in fact I actually upgraded my addiction by trying Skoal mint, Skoal Wintergreen, Skoal whatever they had. I made the Skoal company a LOT of money.
Important things happened in my life, like I got married, my son was born, I went back to school to get another degree, full time and part time jobs, buying houses, birthday parties and so on. Life in general passing by with good things and bad things, the only thing steady and never changing was Skoal. It became the number one thing in my life. Unbelievable, but while you are dipping it becomes part of you. Even if you have a moment of sobriety and you recognize that this bad habit places everything else on hold, you usually shove those thoughts away to continue dipping.
I could go on with this same old exposé, but I don’t want to bore you people. I’ll sum it up.
I stumbled to this site and started reading y’alls stories. I started my quit and used to post as DeepyDeeDont (DDD), I did ok until I caved on day 99. I continued dipping for 5 years and wondered what happened to this site and all of the guys that were struggling to get off the addiction. So I quit again and by day 30 or so I decided to start writing everyday into this site. I was hoping somebody would see my journey and start their own.
I was asked “what is different this time?” and after thinking about it, all I could come up with was “I am ready to quit now”. No one can do this for you. It takes a lot of courage to redo your life, dedication and balls to negate temptation.
Thanks to all the guys that reached out to me, specially Chewie, I know that tough hombre is earning a special place in heaven for all the help he is providing. JayP, my bro that started with me 5 years ago and welcomed me back after I caved in, without judgement; it felt like the episode of the prodigal son. Bug Guy for his encouraging words and all the other guys in here helping each other.
One last thought before I step off the soap box. I learned that the second time I seriously tried to quit, the attacks and symptoms became more severe. I DO NOT want to go through it again.
I was born clean and when I leave this world I want to leave clean.
My tough Doctor told me once, “We all gotta die of something”. He is right, but at least for me, I WILL NOT die of my addiction.
Off the Box……