After using dip for approximately 10 years, I decided to take my life back on the morning of April 21, 2012 and flushed my cans. I had no idea what a journey I was in for. Without a doubt, posting roll on this site on my 3rd day of quit was the best decision I could’ve made. Through the process of quitting I’ve learned A LOT about both addiction and myself. The hard times in my quit have been the most effective teachers. The day in my quit that stands out above all others was day 59.
During this time I had several things going on in my life that were combining to pull me down emotionally and mentally, putting me into a funk. Not surprisingly, I had also been drifting away from the site. I wanted to cave and I wanted to cave BAD. I remember clearly it was a Sunday. I spent almost the whole day justifying to my wife why I should cave. I wanted to be DONE with the funk and I thought dip was just what the doctor ordered. I spent a great deal of time compiling evidence from the internet to support my decision to cave. I used statistics from actual medical research to show my wife that my chances of contracting cancer from dipping really weren’t that high. My addict brain had craftily woven together bits and pieces of misinformation from the internet to accomplish its goal. I said it was an acceptable risk given the funk I was in at home and at work. Looking back, it’s truly sickening. My wife, in true badass fashion, called me on my addict bullshit.
I had previously discussed the reasons for my quit with her at length. Although I wasn’t at the time, I’m now happy I did because she threw them right back in my face. You see, my quit made me realize things that dip made me feel and do that were worse than negative health consequences. Over the 10-year period that I used tobacco, I developed a relationship with it that trumped every other relationship in my life. Hell no, I never would’ve said that or even allowed myself to believe it, but my actions proved otherwise. Here are things that I did (and probably you did too) as a tobacco user that showed where my priorities were:
1) The obvious… I chose daily to use a product that was slowly killing me. Every time I put a dip in I was basically telling my wife “Using tobacco is more important to me than being alive to spend time with and take care of you.”
2) I would try to avoid being around friends and family who I couldn’t dip around at all costs; or, I would find some way of getting away from them to spend time with my dip. This, of course, included my wife. Although she knew I dipped, she didn’t like it so I would sacrifice time with her to go do something where I could dip in peace. I looked forward to time home alone with my dip so much it was sickening.
3) I would drive any distance, at any time to get my hands on a can of dip.
4) I romanticized dipping. I never really realized how much I did this until I quit. I thought dip put the meaning, the glory, in life. When I quit I thought there was no way anything I loved to do (hunting and fishing especially) would ever be the same. I thought my relationship with dip brought happiness and meaning to my life.
So it was on that day that my reasons for quitting were set in stone. I wanted to quit because friends and family matter more to me than a ground-up plant. I wanted to quit because I was tired of hiding behind dip every time something in my life went wrong or I got stressed out or anxious or tired. Quitting for me was (and continues to be) an overall life-philosophy change. Every morning when I wake up and post roll I’m making a promise to my fellow quitters that today I will man the fuck up and take responsibility for myself and my actions. This mentality has since grown to affect all areas of my life.
Early in my quit I wrote in my introduction thread that the legacy a man leaves behind when he dies is essentially the sum total of everything he does (or doesn’t do) throughout his lifetime. It’s what you’ll be remembered by. I don’t want to be remembered as a slobbering, drooling, bottle-filling loser. I don’t want to be remembered as a man who sacrificed part of his lifespan and time with family to feed an addiction that he thought made it somehow easier to deal with life’s problems. I DO want to be remembered as a man who took responsibility for himself and his actions and had the self-discipline to participate only in things that affected him and those around him for the better. How do you want to be remembered?
I’d like to start my thank-yous with a big thanks to all of my quit bros in July, particularly Wedge, Cmark, and Kubrick who’ve invested A LOT of time into all of us. I’m proud of our group.
Grizkill- you were the first vet to really take me under your wing and you got a lot of texts from me during my shaky times. Thank you for being instrumental in my quit and seeing through my BS.
DennyX- thanks for posting with me early on and letting me steal your quote, even though you said it’s not originally yours. Your PM on my HOF day was very much appreciated and added fuel to my quit fire.
Finally, I’d like to thank everyone who comes on this site and quits, one day at a time. It gives me hope and reminds me of how many true badasses remain in a world where everything is someone else’s fault.
Stay quit badasses,