I never fathomed I would quit for a day, let alone 109 days. Here is my story – I hope it can help other “serial dippers” who stumble upon this site in an attempt to find some hope that they are capable of killing this monster. My story is not unique or really that interesting, but I suspect it is similar to the stories of other addicts.
I’m 32 years old. I spent more than half my life (17 years) with a mouth full of dip and, as I would later found out when I quit, a brain controlled and poisoned by nicotine. My father is a serial dipper – 3 cans of Cope a day for 35 + years. Initially, growing up, I thought Copenhagen tasted and smelled nasty, but I thought it was cool nonetheless – just couldn’t stand Copenhagen – no worries, UST cleverly made a dip called Hawken (not sure if they still make it) – Hawken was made to smell and taste more like candy. I started dipping Hawken when I was 14 – I had spit cups all over my room when I was still sleeping in a twin size bunk bed.
By highschool I was addicted – I had moved on to dipping a can of Kodiak wintergreen a day. It seemed like it just fit me – my dad did it, my baseball and football coaches and teammates did it – I was going to be a dipper and I liked to be known as a dipper. More importantly, I used the dip (actually nicotine as I now know) as a crutch to deal with problems growing up, primarily issues surrounding the divorce of my parents – the dip kept me company – the dip helped me Cope.
By the time I reached college, I was dipping over a can of Copenhagen longcut a day. My need for nicotine increased even more throughout law school where I spent hours studying – I always studied with Cope LC and used the nicotine as a crutch to focus and deal with the stress of law school. By the time I was 23, I was dipping over 2 cans of Cope LC a day. I never went more than a few hours without a dip – I literally romanticized this shit. My whole day began to revolve around Cope LC. I kept using the dip as a crutch to focus and deal with the stress of studying for the bar exam and practicing law for the last 7 years. I had no idea until I quit that the nicotine levels in my brain were so high I might as well have done intravenous nicotine like a damn heroin addict (see days 1 – 4 quit below) – in fact I would often be woke up early in the morning by my falling nicotine levels.
For the 17 years I dipped, I never tried to quit or even wanted to quit, despite pleas from my wife and friends – I loved Cope LC, it loved me and we kept each other company – that was the way it was going to be until the end of time and anyone who tried to stand in our way could go to hell.
Then, by the Grace of God, two things happened – my wife gave birth to our first child, a baby girl, and almost simultaneously I heard the story of guy in my hometown, Jason Bland. As many of my fellow September brothers are aware of from me posting the story on occasion, Jason Bland lost a horrible cancer battle at the age of 37 after 16 years of dipping – UST again with blood on its hands. Bland left behind two young daughters and a wife – if you haven’t read his story, copy and paste the link below – if you’ve already quit like me keep the story close – if you have not quit yet, you have a choice, quit or run the risk of ending up like this dude:
I never met Jason Bland even though we went to the same highschool – however, I feel certain he saved my life. God knew I would never quit without fear – thanks to Jason Bland, the fear finally outweighed the crutch. I did not want to leave my daughter without a father – I still wake up daily scared that I waited too late – I know there is no guarantee that I still won’t get cancer, but I’m living one day at a time knowing I’m doing all I can do now.
Even with the fear of God that Bland and my daughter brought into my life, I still needed help defeating this monster (nicotine). I hung around the KTC website for about a week before I posted day one – just reading, chatting on chat etc. I had cut my dips back to two a day that last week and started using Commit and Nicorette (Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) – what a rip off). I was scared of quitting cold turkey – figured it might kill me or something. That’s when I met Can Crusher and RJ (I believe that’s Raging Jew) on chat on a Thursday – they basically laughed at me and told me I was an idiot to use NRT – that I was delaying the suck – “why would you continue to use nicotine to break an addiction to nicotine.” Made sense to me, so I trashed the NRT – thanks CC and RJ.
The next day, Friday June 18, I posted day 1. I owe a great thanks to my September group members and a few guys in particular for helping me flush the Cope LC and take the leap on day 1 – Crick, Lvn4u23, and fhy16, I am forever indebted – you guys helped more than you know. I’m also thankful to Capt. J- Pine for the humorous banter, particularly early on, which kept me distracted. I’m also thankful to Tomh for helping give me confidence that I can continue to focus and practice law without nicotine. Finally, I must thank my wife for putting up with my addiction all these years – fearing all along that I would eventually kill myself, but still daring to make a life with me.
For those of you looking to quit, I wish I could say it was easy. I stayed in the bed on days 1 and 2 – I could barely drive a car on day 4. Instead of day 4, my fog started to lift on day 18 – I recall posting roll around day 13, legitimately asking my September group members if it was possible that the nicotine made me slightly retarded – I literally could not kick the fog. The fog eventually passed and the craves got less and less and here I am on day 109. I still think of Cope LC and cigarettes (even though I never smoked) daily, but I’m confident that my fear and the tools this site has given me will make my first quit my last quit.
Fear – the greatest motivator!!
Rest in peace Jason Bland