It all started in January of 2020. I had been feeling sick for about a week and was having really bad chest pain. I had gotten a pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs). I could not walk or workout for over a month. I gained 40 pounds in 2020 and my health was deteriorating rapidly. I started to feel sluggish and not motivated to do any exercise and outside activities. (I am an active competitor in Jiu-jitsu and love to go hunting and fishing.) My check engine lights started going off. I could sleep, I had a constant sore throat that would last weeks, and my blood work was all over the charts and I received a low white blood cell count scare.
I started chewing 20 years ago during the summers in high school to pass the time on the ranch. I would stop during cross country and Track seasons but would chew during wrestling. When I joined the Marines, it was Copenhagen Black and Marlboro 27s. Being an athlete I kicked the Smoking after a couple years. When I got out, I changed to Grizzly Wintergreen because it was affordable, and I could brush my teeth and hide the smell from my wife. She always knew anyway.
I used chewing tobacco as a crutch in so many ways in my life. It is unbelievable the habits we created and how our mind normalizes them. I would chew 1st thing in the mooring with my coffee just to start my day, another one in the car on the way to work to help focus, another dip to participate in the morning staff meeting, Lunch time Lipper, another dip on the way home to stay awake, another dip when I would get home to help relax form the busy day, and the after dinner good night Lipper. The habits were the hardest thing to change because I had walked around on crutches so long. When I go to the bathroom, I scroll through Discord now vs chewing. I couldn’t even go to the movies and I didn’t go to until day 121 because I was afraid, I would be tempted to cave.
I realized how weak I really was. It is always tough to admit when you are weak and feel helpless. How can this little can have so much control over my emotions, activities, and my mind? Find 1 person on this feed and build a strong relationship. Everyone needs support at some point. This person you build a relationship with will help you in ways you won’t understand until they have already helped. You will have bad days, you will want to cave, you will not want to post, that’s OK. The person or people you build relationships with through this journey is people like @Freddie #8383 who will help hold you accountable and get you through another 24 and People like @ chick (July 15) and @ sawyer (Jan 23) who always sems to float around and are always available for questions. This Is only the beginning of another 24, Stay aggressive Stay Quit another 24.