I am no wordsmith. I can’t relay my tale with the same eloquence as those who have come before, and will follow after me. What I can do however, is give an honest account of it. Like so many others here, my affair with tobacco began at a very early age. Eleven if I remember correctly.
Some older young fellows to whom I looked up were fooling around on a nice spring day. A pouch falls out of an older boy’s pocket, and I retrieved it.
“Who’s Levi Garrett?”
“Oh that’s my tobaccer. Want some?”
“I don’t know…..”
“You chicken or somethin’?”
Well now I couldn’t be a chicken in front of the cool kids could I? So I take a single leaf. One single leaf of Levi Garrett chewing tobacco was the beginning of a 25 year addiction.
Fast forward two years. I am now proficient at the art of stuffing my jaw with a baseball sized wad of chaw, and can spit as accurately and as far as any of the gang. Same older boy says one day, “You still chewin’ that sissy ‘baccer? Here, have a dip of this here man’s tobaccer.”
For the first time in my life I held in my hand what would become a very familiar burgundy and black cardboard can complete with a shiny tin lid.
“All it takes is a pinch”
What a pinch it was. I was literally drunk with the nicotine. I staggered the first few steps after my first ever dip of Copenhagen. I didn’t like the slight ache in my jaw, but loved that buzz.
As you all know, the buzz goes away as the addiction sets in. My tin was kept on the nightstand and was in my hand every morning before I even opened my eyes. It was the last thing I lay down each night. In between, it was my constant companion all day long. I dipped all day every day and loved it.
I never considered myself an addict. “I like my dip. I don’t want to quit. Addicts are people who want to quit and can’t. Since I don’t want to quit, logic bears out that I am no addict.” My wife begged me to quit, as did others in my family, but I simply did not want to. “I like my dip. I don’t want to quit. I’ll quit if and when I am good and ready.”
I realized I was an addict when the price of a roll made a huge increase. I started to think of what might be trimmed out of the budget to compensate for the additional cost.
Electricity… nope gotta have lights and heat
Phone……… nope gotta communicate with the world
Gasoline…… nope gotta get to and from work
Only for a split second was this thought in my mind before it was replaced with this
one “What kind of person (even for a split second) contemplates cutting back on food for their family to buy 1.5 oz. cans of moist snuff?”
We all know the answer to this one. An addict, that’s what kind.
How to quit? I began by just trying to cut back. The plan was on day 1 to go 1 hour between dips. Day 2 was 1½ hours etc. All I could do from the time I spit out one dip was watch the clock and ache for the time to pass so that I could take the next one. This was not working out very well. I began to realize just how addicted I really was. I needed help, but where to get it? Many people smoke, but few in comparison dip. No one would understand what I was going through. Who in the 21st century other than me was addicted to snuff?
I stumbled upon this website and wandered into the chat room, just curios more than anything else. I had never been in a chat room before so it felt strange at first. There I met WildWildBil and lee’d. They convinced me that the time to quit was not next week, not when I finished the remaining 7 cans from my last roll, not tomorrow, not after just one final ‘goodbye’ dip but right NOW! These two guys who were suffering through weeks one and two of their own quits took the time to forget about themselves and their own demons to help me begin my battle. I was afraid of life without dip. Imagine that, fearful of how I would be able to cope with day to day life without chewing. However, with the encouragement of two strangers I dumped every last grain of Copenhagen I owned and have not since looked back.
This is my official THANK YOU WildWildBil and lee’d. You guys saved my life. THANK YOU to every one else here for the encouraging words, or just for being here, because for me, it helped to know that I was not suffering alone, (as cruel as that sounds). Misery loves company as the saying goes, and I hope that my being here has helped to inspire others as well.
Until now neither I nor anyone who knows me would ever have believed that I could survive for 100 minutes let alone 100 days without Copenhagen. Yet here we are celebrating what I consider to be a great achievement. This is all due to the fine people here and the strength that we draw from one another.
To anyone contemplating quitting who might read this, join up, post roll, and be held accountable as the rest of us are, and get your quit on. Remember that fear of life without dip that I spoke of? There’s nothing to be afraid of… the quitting is fine in here.