Cancer and Quitter Stories


Mystery GuestI was just thinking about the “guests” I see logged in from time to time. I suppose that some of these are just grizzly old vets, too tired to type in their usernames and passwords. Certainly some are really just visiting. Perhaps they have never been to the site before or perhaps they have been stopping by regularly. One can certainly see and read much and still be anonymous around here.

The thing that saddens me is knowing that some guests come here, look around and then leave without quitting because they think this road to freedom will either be “too hard” or “not really worth it.”

So if you are a “guest” (or anyone else still dipping snuff), let me assure of two things:

1) Quitting is not too hard.

Is it difficult? You betcha! Could it be the most difficult thing you’ve ever done? Perhaps.

But too Hard? No way!

We are proof of that. We are getting it done around here everyday. Me? I started dipping cope at age 15 and continued that relationship for 24 years.

I too was scared to quit. I thought it would be “too hard”. Why? Because I would ponder a future without tobacco – my constant companion. I would get anxiety just thinking about giving up snuff forever. That’s why, around here, we do not use the word “forever”. Forever kills quits. Forever is not attainable – it does not work.

Around here, we make daily committments. We say “No Tobacco Today!” and then we do absolutely anything and everything necessary to keep that promise. The first few days will seem like an eternity so you will need to break up “today” into smaller, more manageable increments, but you can do it and each day’s success will build on itself. The satisfaction you achieve and the freedom you obtain will begin to drown the feelings of loss.

2) Quitting will be worthwhile.

Obviously, dipping snuff is bad for you. You’ve read the warnings labels … we all have. I would typically see the warning as I ran my finger nail under the metal lid and sliced open a new can of cope. They always appeared upside down so they became pretty easy to ignore, but I did believe them.

By removing nicotine from your system, your heart rate will slow, your blood pressure will decrease, you will become less prone to anxiety attacks and in other ways, you will become healthier.

When you stop using tobacco, the chemicals and carcinogens contained in it will no longer have an opportunity to damage your body.

Of course these are healthy choices and are therefore worthwhile. Perhaps a better question is, will quitting be “worth it.”

I can honestly tell you that many times during my first hundred days, I wondered if the physical, mental and emotional side effects I was experiencing would ever go away. Brain fog, headaches, weight gain, poor concentration, irritability, restlessness, hunger … it was no picnic, that’s for sure. Everyone kept telling me that brighter days were ahead. That at some point, staying quit would be easier and life would actually be better without tobacco.

Simply put … that at some point, it would be “worth it”.

Today marks 494 days since I have used any form of tobacco and/or nicotine. Am I cured? No. Am I immune from an occasional craving or dip-related thought? No, I may never be. Is staying quit easy? No, not always. Does that bother me or worry me in any way. No, not anymore. Why? Because …

Now I am free. Before I quit, I had no idea how much I would value my freedom from tobacco. Freedom is underrated. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from fear. Freedom from the shackles of nicotine addiction …

Freedom is a wonderful thing! and freedom is “worth it”!

So “guest”, why not give it a shot? What do you really have to lose that is not far outweighed by both the health benefits and by freedom?

NOTE: This piece written by forum member 7iron

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