What does 100 days mean? To answer that, I need to go back to the beginning. I was 14 and wanted to feel unique. I walked into a store and bought a can of Skoal Mint – long cut. I threw a pinch in and thought, ah what a feeling. I threw the tin in my back pocket and started to ride my bike home. Before I could get home, I thought it would be a good idea to throw another pinch in as I rode. Well, I got sick shortly afterwards and chucked the can in the woods. I thought about that can for the next 4 years. That was the first sign that I had an additive trait that would haunt me for the rest of my life.
When I was 18 I bought some Redman, my commitment to the nic bitch was established and a 28 year relationship born. When I was 20, another relationship with alcohol started and quickly proceeded to ruin my life. After only 13 years of drinking, I found myself in front of a judge ready to answer for things alcohol had blessed me with in my life. The hardest part was saying goodbye the previous night to my 3 year old daughter, my baby girl of 3 months, my wife and family. However, God had other plans for me that day as I was given another chance when all charges were dropped due to a mistake on the part of the prosecutor. I was free and I committed to quit drinking and have stayed sober for 13 plus years. Well, guess who was by my side this entire time?
For the next 15 years, that bitch told me I chewed because I could not drink. I chewed because it was what made me unique. I chewed because it kept me from depression. I chewed as a reward for a hard day’s work. I chewed because it made me happy. None of my friends chewed. My family didn’t approved of it, so I never chewed in front of them out of fear of having to choose them or chew. I did not want to get judged, so I hid it from everyone I knew. I just wanted to be left alone with my chew. I became a ninja dipper for it was apparent, the nic bitch had gained complete control of me.
Then it all changed 2 years ago when my daughter asked me to quit, as she was learning about cancer in school. I didn’t know she knew I was still active. “Of course, I will quit. I can quit for you”, I said. I had no intentions of quitting. This addiction had turned me back into the liar and cheat I was in my drinking days. Sure I would stop for a few weeks and months here and there, but as soon as fishing season or some event came up, I was on the boat with a fatty in my lip. I was caught many times, and made many promises to quit. I broke every one of those promises. My wife would find a spit bottle and say those infamous words I had hated to hear so many times before, “I thought you quit?” Then my well rehearsed reply would follow, “I did, this is just a phase and I plan on stopping again soon.” Each time my usage would increase, and now I needed to find a way to get the focus away from my addiction. They wanted me to quit, but that is not what I wanted. I found a can of fake chew that I had purchased during one of my many past quit campaigns. I showed them what I was chewing now, the fake stuff and kept it in my drawer. Meanwhile, my cans of Cope rotated in out of my closet.
This lasted about a year. Over the course of last few months of my usage, my body started rejecting the very thing I loved. Headaches became frequent. Mouth soars and dry mouth, was common. That nauseous feeling every time I put in a dip. I was no longer chewing for the pleasure, I was doing it to get my quick fix. With all this happening, I still could not stop chewing. I was no better than a drug addict on cocaine. My hatred for this addiction grew and I started realizing all that I thought was great about chewing, was actual the controlling hand of the addiction.
One afternoon, I was at work and had just placed a chew in. I did a search on fake chew reviews as I once again was ready to quit. Weird, I was always strong about my quit with a chew in my mouth, or right after. Hmm? I stumbled on Chewie’s reviews on KTC. I started reading the blogs. Then read some of the forums. It scared the hell out of me how real this addiction was. Was I really ready to quit? Did I really want to quit? Could I make a commitment to these people and keep my word? I couldn’t do it in the past, so why would it work this time? I kept reading. One story after another I could relate to. Quitting alcohol taught me not to compare, but relate to the struggles in those forums. I knew it was time. That night, October 26, at midnight, I spit out my last dip. I looked in the mirror and I quit for me and committed to October 27th as my quit date. 100 days ago.
My family does not understand addiction, so they are not part of my support system. KTC has become my support system over the past 100 days. My path to 100 days has had its ups and downs, like anyone else’s quit, but the ability to relate to those around you is so valuable. Those who lead by example, I follow and do as they say. Those who offer support, I accept and rely on as words of encouragement to new folks just joining. Those who have stated that this site has saved their lives, I continue to be intrigued. After all, it’s only been a 100 days for me. Has it really saved my life? Perhaps after a few more days and little more time I will realize just how valuable this support is in my life. For now, I keep it simple. I wake up, post a promise to my quit brothers and sisters that I will not use that day, and then keep my word for that day. The next day, I repeat. I do not look ahead, I do not dwell in the past, but I do not ignore the past as it holds all the answers to why I have not been able to quit, until today.
I thank all of you for your continued support, and I look forward to staying quit with you for the next 100 days. Until then, we will see you in the Roll or on chat. Peace out, bokie.