I dipped Copenhagen for more than 22 years. I am addicted to nicotine but I have quit! I have quit for many of the same reasons all the others on this site have quit: fear of cancer, love for family, sick and tired of being a slave to the can. But I have also quit for one more reason…authenticity.
As a pastor for the last 13 years I rationalized that “I was dipping when God called me” so I really don’t have to quit. Of course I kept my dipping hidden from my congregations, friends, and most of my family. I kept it hidden and lived in fear that someone would find out my secret and jeopardize my ministry. I kept it hidden and felt guilty, sinful, and illegitimate in my work.
I quit so I could live my life with one less hidden part. I quit so I could minister with authenticity among my people. I quit so I could truthfully say to other addicts (of nicotine and other stuff), “I know it is hard. Hang in there. Keeping fighting. You can do it!” I quit so I could be fully and wholly me with my family, friends, and parishioners.
From the first day of my quit (May 1, 2007) I have liked myself better and been a better husband, father, and minister. My family didn’t always enjoy “authentic me” as I snapped and moped and exploded with nic-rage in the early days, but life is much better now. There are still difficult moments but they are nothing compared to the weight of secrecy and guilt and fear. I am quit and now I am really me!
Anyone out there struggling to be themselves, struggling to be free of the nicotine monster that steals and destroys lives, read over this site. See how accountability and community can empower your quit. See how you can be “authentically you” – struggles, warts, fear, weakness and all – and be accepted, encouraged, and challenged to quit.
Congratulations to my August quit brothers Moe, Sldbgolfn, Vanman, Iwantmylifeback. Thanks for your encouragement and continued companionship on this journey. Thanks, too, to Chewie, Loot, ODT, and all the other vets who chime-in, kick ass, and keep this site up and running. KTC may have saved my life and my ministry, so I’m eternally grateful!
Peace and calm,