A Year Without Snuff

The following note was sent along by a KTC reader who resides in The Woodlands, TX. They asked that I remove their name but I wanted to pass this along…

What a Difference a Year Makes

Friday, March 6, 2020 marks one year without snuff (or other nicotine) at all. I am proud, but I can’t say its been a great year.

I have dipped snuff for the better part of 40 years with some breaks in between. The longest break being a 2-year hiatus. The addiction was mine in that I hid it well. It gave me confidence, made me feel part of a club when I was with friends, but was mostly hidden – or stealth. A secret friend to calm nerves and feel confident. My MO was about a can a week, three dips a day (average) that would pack-in and last for about 3+ hours. I work in a professional environment, surrounded by (mostly) professional people that don’t understand that type of (nasty!) addiction. My wife thought I quit about 25 years ago when my first child was born. I did “stop” for periods of time, but I never really “quit”. There were times (weeks or months) where I would stop, swear-off, significantly cut back, etc. Again, my best effort was for about two years.

As I said, I have mostly been stealth without many friends to share my habit with, and conversely, not many supporters to understand what this past year has been like for me. I lived a lie and I hope not to return to that same place. What got me to stop this time – candidly, my jaw started to go numb on the side I was dipping (which was both sides) and the inside of my mouth started burning. I assumed those were bad signs and just sucked it up and “powered through” a cold turkey quit. I consumed lots of Excedrin’s for headaches and kept reminding / remembering how the burning and numb jaw feelings felt really bad. I also figured that I got to dip for 40 years and that was probably about enough.

I still think about it. Head, heart, body still crave it, but after that first 60 days or so, I quit looking at every gas station as a snuff depot. I don’t think about it every day…anymore. I don’t know when that stopped, but it did. It is still part of who I am, and I expect that will never go away.

I’ve read a bit about addiction and one of the things that stuck with me is that addicts can only “stop”, they can never “quit”. I believe this entirely and I hope that my current “stop” will last longer than two years. I can’t tell you how many times I came to your website, read the article “what to expect when you quit dipping”, but it was a bunch. My failure rate was much higher than my success rate.

I wrote this because I did come to your website so many times and I only took or consumed. Maybe this is my effort to give back. Maybe it is my way to celebrate “stealth success” with people I will never meet but feel I would be friends with if we did meet.

I appreciate the website and community that you have created and wish all that come to your place the best of luck in their desire to be better. Unfortunately, there is no pot of gold at the end of the 100-day journey. There is the next 100-day journey that won’t be as shitty as the first. There is personal satisfaction in knowing that you have done something special for you and no one else. Good luck to everyone’s journey.

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