Let’s rewind to September of 2006. I had just started my 2nd year as an undergrad. I was 19 years old heading back to school right after Labor Day weekend at home. A college buddy and I drove the 400 miles back to my hometown just to get away from school and to enjoy the weekend. I noticed my friend seemed to chew when he traveled. He said it was a way for him to relax. At that time, I had never even thought of trying chew. I thought it was disgusting and wanted nothing to do with it. However, before I went to college I had never touched a drop of beer. Like most college students, this is a time of “growing up”. Living a fairly sheltered life I started to indulge in my new freedoms. Little did I know during this period I would become addicted to the nic bitch.
On the trip back I asked my friend why he chewed during certain times. I didn’t fully understand how it was relaxing. He said that he only takes a pinch when he wanted to relieve stress or just wanted to relax, but he didn’t do it regularly. So, of course being curious I tried my first a month later during midterms. It took that first one after my late night shift at a local grocery store for my mind and attitude to change. I needed something to relieve the stress associated with midterms. At first, my initial dip was very odd and foreign, but within minutes I knew what my buddy was talking about. I had my first nic buzz. This was an awesome feeling I had never felt before. The first mind games were already impacting me. I actually thought, “We aren’t perfect. We all have one or two bad habits and this one can be mine.” How stupid!!! HOW WEAK!!!
As I have mentioned before in previous posts, I kept this habit to myself for the majority of the duration. My parents both smoked; however, no one in my family chewed (until later when my dad switched after severe lung damage). Interesting fact… I have NEVER smoked. I grew up around it and hated it. My clothes smelled of it and I was constantly being accused by my peers of smoking. (Very embarrassing when you’re a nonsmoker to smell like an ashtray) But not being around chew made me more open to try it. Anyway, back on topic, I kept it secret because I was ashamed that I had bowed down to a carcinogenic leaf. Once again… How embarrassing!
After five years (nearly to the date) my can of Skoal went empty. I looked at the empty can and knew my savings account kept dropping rapidly (you’ll know why that’s a big deal in a second) as I was buying 4 cans every 3 days or so. I thought there was no way I could continue this habit. I then looked at my horribly stained teeth. It was only then that I noticed my gums had started to severely recede. HOW??? I had only been dipping 5 years YET my teeth and gums looked as if I had been a lifelong dipper. That’s when I said no more. I am done!!
As soon as I said, “I’m done”, chills went up my spine. I almost had a panic attack thinking NEVER AGAIN. I had to really think on the spot (since it was on a whim) about what I was going to do. I thought… “You can do this… You have stopped use for a full week trying to hide this crap from your friends when you would visit them.” I knew if I could give it up for a week, and then another, and then another, eventually I can quit forever. This was before I found KTC and learned of the 1 day at a time which makes “forever” a lot easier to comprehend.
I managed to beat the odds and remained quit despite many hardships. Hardships that would have made a weaker man fail. Or at the very least “mind-raped” them until they caved. I started my quit unemployed (and currently still laid-off). With no job, all I did was sit here in front of the computer and think about dip for the first month. I probably read every post five or six times during that month. Within my first week, my dad was admitted to ICU with pneumonia, which was a mind game in itself. I thought, “I am too stressed I NEED it” but something inside just kept saying no. It’s like I had something to prove to the entire world. Caving is unfortunate. I have read many “cave” posts and every cave ends the same… going back to nicotine. Some return and post a day 1, others disappear. Despite all the harsh cravings, I said, “there is no way I’m going to allow myself to fall victim” and here I am. Mind over matter is KEY!
I told NO ONE despite strong suggestions from veteran quitters. Sorry guys, I couldn’t do it! I started this on my own and I quit (somewhat) on my own (virtually, I had you guys). I’m just stubborn that way. So, my only support was and still is here on KTC. There will be no big celebration on my end. Even if I could afford it, the explanation of why I’m celebrating would be tough to explain. Now, to go on a DIET! GOOD LORD!!! These twenty-five extra pounds have to go. My family thinks it’s holiday weight… great timing on my part in terms of keeping my quit a secret.
To conclude (finally, I know I ramble) I will support anyone who is ready to quit (none of this TRY or MIGHT business). If there is a will there is a way. It’s up to you to take back your life and say no!!! As for me, I know I’m not out of the woods and I’m just as vulnerable as I was 99 days ago. I still have bad days on occasion. I will continue doing what I’ve been doing because it works. That includes posting roll and choosing not to use. I have not missed roll since I came here (I was on day 12) and I don’t plan on missing anytime soon. Thanks ToeTag, Tsmith17, and my Juggernaut brothers (and Hawkins) for holding my feet to the fire. I couldn’t ask for a better group of supporters.
NOTE: This piece written by KillTheCan.org forum member Southerntux87