I can name many people who have been instrumental in helping me reach the 100 day mark in my quit, but I won’t…they know who they are and how they have helped. It’s not that I don’t want to recognize them; I want this speech to be about YOU, not them or even me. Yes, that’s right…YOU.
If you are reading this you are likely in need of some encouragement, some trick, or some boost to help you over the hump, to get past the current crave, or some help to prepare you for the coming one. Here is my contribution to YOUR quit.
There are several things that make up a successful quit. The following are my top 10 list in no particular order…
1. Don’t believe the lies. If you are addicted to nicotine…its all lies.
YOUR nicotine dependent brain will continuously persuade you to believe things that are not true in a desperate attempt to get you to use nicotine. This will take the form of many false thoughts and lies that you will be tempted to believe as truth. The more time that passes the better you will get at recognizing these lies. The following are just a few…
- I can’t enjoy life without tobacco
- I can’t fish, hunt, drive, study, read, nap, drink, gamble, etc. without a dip.
- I need a dip to help me relax
- Dipping would help me feel normal.
- Life is not the same without spitting into a two day old sun-baked bottle of my own saliva!?
Any rationale that prompts you to dip again is a lie.
You CAN do everything without tobacco, and you WILL enjoy it just as much…give it a bit of time.
2. Post roll every day!
If you are a part time poster…you will be a part time quitter. If you post sporadically, you WILL fail. Don’t believe me…do your own search. Those who don’t post daily just fade away. Every quit group is plagued with members who have just disappeared. It is always preceded by sporadic posting. You don’t have to be heavily involved in the site to be successful, but it will help. By posting, you are making a commitment not to use tobacco for the day. I suggest that you make an additional commitment as well. Make a promise to yourself and your group that before you will choose to use tobacco again, you will call a brother/sister and tell him/her of your intent. If you are willing to do this, you won’t have that dip, and you will have preserved your quit. If you are unable to post personally, text or call a fellow quitter. No one can care more for your quit than you. Contrary to what anyone will tell you…the only excuse for not posting or having someone post for you is if you have caved or died! Your better off dead than to come back with a cave excuse (it’s not pretty).
3. Don’t confuse hunger with a crave for tobacco.
When I get hungry…I crave tobacco…or at least I think I do. When I eat to satisfy my hunger, I lose my desire for a dip. Most of us usually dipped to stave off hunger. Consequently, when we get really hungry…we THINK we are craving tobacco. What we are really craving is food. Ask yourself “is this a crave or am I really hungry”. Don’t allow your mind to play this game with you.
4. Replace your nicotine addiction with something good.
Dipping in the past has been a habit as well as an addiction. As you are breaking the addiction, you need to break the habit as well. It is only human nature to seek to fill the void left by your tobacco habit and you undoubtedly will replace something…so replace the bad with the good. Choose a healthy substitute at the occasions that you used to dip. Give yourself many healthy habits/alternatives at former dip times rather than a single one. An example may be to brush your teeth after every meal, or chew a piece of gum as you drive, chew on a toothpick when you fish or hunt. You will eventually relate this new experience to your new habit and away from dipping. Some quitters will advise against starting any new oral habits and avoid herbal snuff (fake dip). Unless you are a stone cold, “Bad Ass” quitter, you are going to replace your former tobacco habit with something, either consciously or unconsciously…might as well make it something healthy.
5. Make sure you have phone numbers and a plan
“Those that fail to plan…plan to fail. Get the phone number of someone who is willing to help you in your worst crave times. You WILL get to the point where you want to throw in the towel. You need to have permission from a quit brother before you dip again. Good luck finding a brother that will give you this permission. One of my brothers once talked me off the ledge by telling me that if I could give him just one valid reason…he would give me permission to dip. In our conversation he helped me to realize there is NO valid reason to dip again (Thanks Dean!) The hardest support phone call you will make is the first one. You may think as I did that you are bothering a fellow quitter or are somehow showing weakness. The truth is you will make an instant friend and you will strengthen that person’s quit ten fold for the day. In the early days make sure you have a plan to succeed especially on the weekends. Learn to expect “triggers” and prepare what you will do as a result.
6. Perception is not reality
After you have broken the physical addiction to nicotine, you are left with only the psychological warfare. Your nicotine damaged brain PERCEIVES that you are missing something of great importance in dipping. The REALITY is that you are NOT! Talk to any caver and they will tell you they wished they could take back the cave. Many realize they are not missing anything and rebound quickly into a quit. Others continue dipping because they have lost their self respect, feel powerless and ended a great quit. After the initial few days of withdrawal, the only power tobacco has over you is that which you give it. Don’t give it any power!
7. Don’t wait…start today
Finding a good time to quit is like looking for the best time to have your leg amputated…there is no GOOD time. It’s going to suck, so my advice is to “Embrace the Suck” I initially set a quit date as I was looking for ways or helps in quitting. I always bought my tobacco in rolls because I would never allow myself to wonder where the next can was coming from. I was surfing the net and found the KTC website. Scared as hell, I ended up tossing the entire roll at the advice of veteran quitters. Best thing I ever did. I had set many quit dates in the past only to change them because I didn’t want to waste “good tobacco” This may be your last opportunity to quit…don’t let a $3.89 can of tobacco take your life. If it means that much to you…call me, I’ll reimburse you for the last can if you will quit today.
8. You support your own quit by supporting others
One of the best ways to stay quit is to support someone else. There are countless opportunities to do this on the KTC site. Get to know at least one other person and commit to looking out for each other. One of my favorite ways to do this is to send PMs to new guys encouraging them following their introduction. Everyone that has been quit for at least a day has experience worthy of sharing. Just because you are not at day 200 doesn’t make your experiences any less valuable. By helping others overcome their addiction, you help yourself stay quit.
9. Keep your quit alive!
There will come a time when you forget why you’ve quit. The pride, enjoyment or determination that you initially enjoyed will somewhat diminish and you may ask yourself “Is there really a point to this?” Find ways to remind yourself of the importance of your quit.
10. Dipping is not a solution to any condition
I hate the term “Caver” but I use it to refer to someone who was quit, and then starts using again. When someone begins a quit again…I call them “Quitters”. Cavers always have a reason for caving. They will often cite stress, marital problems, alcohol induced use, death of a loved one, loss of job…you name it. Tobacco is not the solution to ANY issue. In fact it can only complicate your condition. One of my favorite statements from one of the Vets is “caving will only add stress, shame and guilt to the condition you are attempting to cure or affect”. KTC is filled with people who have suffered greatly in their personal lives and still maintain their quit. There is definitely someone who has suffered through what ever personal strife you are experiencing and has resisted the temptation to dip again. Post a need for help on the site and you will have your inbox flooded with responses.
I haven’t ARRIVED at anything other than to resist putting tobacco in my body for 100 days. I learn daily from those who have more time under their belts and from my own “quit” experiences. There is no magic involved in quitting. It’s not up to chance, luck or even will power. It just takes practice. In order to live a life free from nicotine, we need to practice abstaining. If you want to be quit for life …practice every day. God Bless you and God Bless KTC.