I distinctly remember the first time I took a dip. It was a summer night on my parents porch with my best friend at the time. I was 14 and had been drinking beer and lifting weights. The crew I ran with all dipped. My friend was my age but most of the guys were 17 or 18. I looked up to them. He offered it to me. Skoal fine cut. He didn’t force me or peer pressure me but I tried it. The first time I put it in my lip it tasted weird. I started sweating. My heart started beating rapidly. In my 14 yo mind I worried I was having a heart attack. I felt the sting. Then I felt the bliss. You know the feeling. The rush. It felt great.
I kept dipping through high school through college. ALL THE DAMN TIME. It was rare that I was without dip in my teeth and gums. In high school everyone dipped so it wasn’t a big deal. In fact, one of my sister’s ex’s used to dip after we lifted at the weight room. He was a senior and I was a freshman. I looked up to him. He was a bit like a big brother to me. I thought highly of him. When I was a college freshman, I was one of the only ones that dipped regularly. I kept spitters but they stank. I started putting spitters in the bottom of my mini fridge so they wouldn’t stink as bad and so I always had one ready. I was taller and kind of a gruff man that dipped. Girls were attracted to the look. It sounds like bullshit I know. Most of the girls were preppy upper class so I was someone they hadn’t seen before. I liked the attention so it added to the dip cloud around me.
My dad knew I dipped throughout my life and tried to get me to quit. He never smoked or dipped because his parents smoked when he was growing up and hated it. All the years of my dipping probably hurt him knowing that I kept doing it. I knew it was bad for me. I knew I was doing something wrong for my body. I stopped for days, weeks, months sometimes years. I stopped in maybe 2013 through 2018. My gums have receded. My worst nightmare is that my teeth fall out. I have nightmares pretty often and I wonder if it is related to dipping (I know it is).
The triggers I struggle with and when I go back is when I remember how “good” it was. I remember that first feeling and think I can get it again. It’s all a lie. The last time I went back I was out drinking and the guy in the bathroom sold dip pouches. Then I started to reminisce.I saw the cans and I remembered. I remembered the inclusion I felt among my crew when I was 14. That is part of what I struggle with. I feel like I lost part of my identity with that nicotine shit. I think that since I have weeks, months, years I won’t pick up the habit if I get a can for old times sake. I would buy a pouch or two then realize I’ve spent $2 on two pouches and I can buy a can for $5. I buy the can. Dip is a tricky motherfucker. I’m pretty sure it has so much nicotine so it gets you addicted after the first can is finished. The sad thing is at this point I hardly get that burn or might get that burn the first dip or two. Then all I am doing is maintaining the habit. No more good feeling its just NOT feeling like shit.
When I start again I don’t remember pissing away $1,800/ year on and off for 18 years. Probably $16,000+ or so. The shitty car I drive now is probably worth $3k. I’m not poor but hate wasting money. I wasted so much on that harmful habit. I was in Vegas two weeks ago and didn’t gamble $1 because I know the odds and I hate losing money. I also don’t remember the fear I used to get about a red or white spot on my gum or on my throat and worrying it’s pre-cancer or cancer. I don’t miss any of it now.
I’ve learned a lot from KTC. I tried to quit countless times before but I learned I need a group to keep me accountable to WUPP EGDD. Another thing is I always thought I wasn’t the typical dipper. I played sports throughout life, hunted and fished when I was younger but I’ve worked with computers my whole life. Counter strike and skoal. I thought dippers were only outdoorsman but they can be everyone. I’ve learned there are a lot of professionals on KTC and I’m not the only one. I’ve moved up to near the top of my field with computers and I used to dip ALL THE FUCKING TIME. Nicotine doesn’t care if you are rich, poor, white, black, brown, attractive, ugly, male, female, mean, nice or whatever. That shit will get you and hold on until you are gone.
I’m 103 days of no dip or nic freedom today. I’ve been through the 103 days before. I’ve never had KTC in my back pocket tho (or front pocket when I’m sitting). The wisdom of the vets and my peers is what I will rely on when I get the stupid complacent thought in my head. I have 8+ other quitters numbers that I can reach out to. They feel like old friends at this point. KTC is my new crew. I will not fail it or myself.