Jeff was sitting at his desk talking on the phone to a business associate. The Stop Chewing Clinic which his company was sponsoring was about to begin. He was in the process of debating with himself as to whether or not he should show up for the group in which he was enrolled. Finally, he said to his friend, “No, I don’t think this is the time for me. Maybe next time I will be more ready.” All of a sudden a loud cracking sound filled the room. Jeff looked down at his glass ashtray and to his amazement he saw that it had split down the center. Without being physically touched, his ashtray had cracked in half. He looked up at the ceiling and said into the phone, “I have to hang up now, it’s time for me to quit chewing.”
The above story may sound like an unlikely occurrence. But it actually happened to one of our clinic participants. While most chewers do not get such divine revelations, all chewers get direct messages that they should stop chewing. The messages come from the chewer’s own body. It may be in the form of a cough, a chest pain, tingling sensation or numbness in an extremity, headaches, indigestion, difficulty in breathing and a multitude of other complaints. Unfortunately, though, while the messages are constantly being sent to the chewer, they are not often received.
Sure, the chewer will feel the symptoms, but he will often disregard any association with chews as being the causative factor. Sue, another clinic participant, had constant bouts with chronic bronchitis. Her doctor told her she was highly allergic to chews and had to quit chewing. She accepted the fact that an allergy was causing her problems, but refused to believe her sensitivity was to chews. She changed her diet, got rid of her carpeting, wore hypoallergenic make-up, and dusted constantly. She did everything possible but quit chewing. Even with all the positive changes her condition did not improve. But when she finally quit chewing, the attacks immediately subsided. She could then no longer refute the evidence–chews caused her bronchitis.
The odds are when you chewd, you too received personal messages that chewing was not for you. Always remember these warnings for they become very powerful ammunition for overcoming the occasional urges for chews. Whenever Sue would get an urge, all she had to do was remember the pain and terror involved with a severe bronchitis attack. Jeff kept his cracked ashtray on his desk as a constant reminder of how he should not chew. Think of your personal messages when the thought occurs and it will be easy for you to NEVER TAKE ANOTHER DIP!
One humorous side note. On the fifth day of the clinic, Jeff confided to me that he was a little concerned because he was snacking more since he quit chewing and was afraid of gaining weight. I told him not to worry. When it was time for him to diet, he would probably go to the refrigerator and see the door fall off.
© Joel Spitzer 1986
The original article has been modified to be more relevant for dippers and chewers.