I started dipping when I was in high school but didn’t become a routine user until I was about 20 in community college. I remember telling myself at the time that this is something that I would just do for now, I’ll quit when I’m done with college. Next thing I knew I was 31 and a chemistry PhD student and still dipping. I finally hit my breaking point and decided to quit. I was in one of my last months of graduate school and I remember I was at my desk running low on cash and running low on dip. I was using an emergency reserve tin which was not my preferred brand, and I was stressing myself out thinking how and when I would have money to buy a new tin. I finally started thinking to myself that day: screw this, this needs to end. Dipping at that point was actually making me feel bad. I was tired of being broke, wasting time at work, planning my day around when I could sit and pack a lip. It was unhealthy and nonproductive, and I was sick of it.
I would always make excuses that it was just too stressful of a time in my life right now to quit and that it would disrupt my studies or work. At the time I decided to quit, I was under extreme pressure to finish my PhD studies. I had one semester left and my chemistry wasn’t working. I wasn’t getting consistent results that would be acceptable for my thesis. My boss was anxious and was pushing me to graduate. The pandemic was still going strong at this point in 2021, the job market was weak for postdoctoral positions and limited for teaching jobs. I had applied to several jobs but hadn’t heard back. Despite all this, I knew I needed to quit dipping.
I went to KTC and found a link to a website a former dipper made about the jaw removal surgery he had to go through, a direct result of his dip habit. The images were extremely graphic and disturbing to me, but it solidified in my mind that I needed to quit immediately otherwise that would be my future. None of the other stresses I was experiencing in my life would compare to going through that. I started my quit and about one month in I ended up hearing back from one of those jobs I applied to. I had been hired as a visiting chemistry professor, my first real job out of college. I had one month to create a year’s worth of curriculum and lab experiments to teach in the fast-approaching spring semester. The whole semester was one of the most stressful experiences of my life. I was constantly working to make sure I had lectures, homework, tests, labs; making sure that all these course materials were prepared in advance of classes that coming week. I was also being underpaid all semester and had a prolonged battle with the college administration over it. I was even having frequent fights with my girlfriend. Never for a moment did I consider caving on my quit.
If I was able to make it through all this while continuing to quit, anyone can. I’m living proof that it doesn’t matter what personal, financial, or professional problems you’re facing in your life, you can still quit and that is something you can have forever. Everyday I feel good about having quit and feel regret that I hadn’t done it sooner. KTC is a great resource to help get you quit and there will always be support for serious quitters here. I want to thank everyone from KTC especially the Feb22 crew and a special shoutout to EdT3329 (Jan22). Thank you for checking in on us every day, always helping us stay motivated and inspiring us to remain quit.