I started dipping way back in the early 80’s when I was maybe 14 or 15. I’m 51 now, so it’s been with me for one helluva long time. I “tried” to quit, “planned” to quit, told my wife I *had* quit and ninja-dipped for years. The only time I ever went without for more than a few days was when I was in USAF Basic Training, (and I ran right back to the Copenhagen the minute I got out of there.) In other words, I NEVER was successful even a little bit until I got here. 35 or 36 years I dipped, and I was “quitting” on and off for the last 15.
I haven’t given up dipping- the Smokey Mountain has been in my lip nearly as much as tobacco used to be. That’s surely been a huge advantage this time, but the main thing is that I looked around here at this site and saw that nothing about my story was new or different than dozens and dozens of others, and they were by-God quitting. There were Day 1 quitters and Day 30 quitters and HOF quitters and Day 1,000+ quitters all here, all doing it. You people- the ones who have gone before me, the ones who’ve caved and shared their stories, the ones who chewed cavers’ asses and the ones who offered them kindness and condolences, the ones who just posted how shitty they felt- you got me through the fog, got me through the wild emotional mood swings, got me through the insomnia and the weird headaches and all that shit. You’re going to get me through the things that are ahead of me that might want to lure me off the path. You guys made this possible for me because I didn’t have to be alone doing it, and because you made me BELIEVE. Because of that it was easy to say “no” to the shit this time, when it was absolutely impossible every other time I tried. It was possible just because you guys were all here, and quitting was finally not just an idea to me, but something REAL.
My tipping point. I was talking with my oldest granddaughter. She and I are extremely close, and she’s been Papa’s Girl for basically ever. We were having a conversation about something I can’t even remember and I told her “I will love you until the day I die.” She looked hard at me for a few seconds, and then she burst into a storm of tears, wailing that she didn’t want me to die. She… kind of broke me that day. I realized just what a selfish thing I was doing by dipping. Not just “realized” like you know something in your brain, but felt it and knew the truth of it all the way down from head to toe. I finally saw what my dying would *really* mean, when before it was just some vague idea I could put off thinking about. I knew I *had* to quit, because I could not stand to break that little girl’s heart, and I couldn’t look at her without thinking about that moment.
Then I found this place. I read the stories. I heard the successes and read about the missteps. I knew it was possible. I don’t have any eloquent words of wisdom, no earth shattering advice for future quitters, or anything too memorable for my “HOF speech,” but I need to at least say this:
Thank you KTC. I know from long and bitter experience that I couldn’t have done this without you.