I came in here to quit. Gung ho, ready to go. I knew it was going to be hard. I’ve tried before, so I knew I needed help. But what I was not prepared for, was the positive impact this site, and mostly this community, would have on my life. I have learned a great deal about myself, addiction, and moving forward/living life without nicotine.
Here’s my quit path (so far):
I have tried to quit before and I am a slave
Had my first chew at 17. Sometimes I would stop chewing for a girl, or for a sport, or being back at home around my Moms. But I kept being lured back in by the can. Sometimes I would be stopped for a month or so and go back because “I could handle it” or “I wasn’t addicted”. No big deal.
10 years ago I got my first professional gig. After work, I would dip at home or the car only. “Never at work” I said. Sometimes I’d throw my can away in the evenings…”gotta stop this” I would say. I’d make it a day or two and dig in the trash the next evening because I couldn’t go without my fix that evening.
Then the “never at work” mantra went away and pretty soon I was chewing every minute of every day. Long cut was replaced with pouches because my wife could “handle” kissing me better and “they must be better for your gums and teeth”. I would chew two pouches at a time. After I was done I would wait maybe 10-15 minutes and throw another pair in. Most people wouldn’t know I was chewing because I would gut the chew juice. The same substance I could control around my Mom 10-years prior, I was ninja-dipping in front of her 24/7 so I could get my fix. Now my teeth are so yellow, I spit butter when I talk.
I stopped in 09-10′ just to get right back on the can 60-70 days later. Played hockey with some nic-heads and a couple beers later I was chewing again. Because I am an addict.
I would fall asleep with pouches in my mouth. I don’t know how many pillows/sheets I’ve had to replace due to chew stains. Who’s flipped the couch cushions over to hide the dip stains? Me, that’s who.
I’d even dumpster dive for ABC pouches because the C-store was closed. How pathetic an existence is this?
Could I really alienate my family with the use of nicotine? YES. Was I medicating with nicotine to not feel any semblance of emotion? YES. Was I slowly killing myself with nicotine? YES.
These are the asinine things I was doing for nicotine…what about the things nicotine was doing for me?
It’s a pretty short list: nada, zip, zilch. I am a slave.
Why I am quit:
Read any of the support from other quitters on any forum page, words of wisdom, or HOF speeches on this site and the common themes you see preached time and time again are: mindset, connections, accountability.
Here’s what these topics mean to me and some examples that helped me in my quit. I hope they help your quit.
“Be pissed that you dug yourself into this deep pit that you now find yourself desperately trying to claw your way out of. Your family didn’t put you there. You did. They’ve been yelling down from the top of the hole for quite a while it sounds like. Well, you finally stopped digging and started climbing. Keep going. Not for them. For you. They couldn’t make you quit any more than they could force you to dip. All of this rests upon you.” – TUCO
“I am still an addict. I’m a dormant addict though. Every single day I wake up, I now choose to be my own master.” – KingNothing
Everyone says “Drink the KTC Koolaid”. I couldn’t agree with this more. Let go of ego and accept the process, starting with quitting for you. To mentally prepare for this journey you must be the one to take the reins at the onset in order for your rationale brain, rather than your addict brain, to start controlling your life. Admit you are an addict.
As your quit progresses, accept that you will need to address/confront behaviors in your life that nicotine was masking. The key to staying quit is this acceptance and having the courage to confront these issues in the absence of your old Band-Aid: nicotine.
“The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection.” – OakTree www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/07/09/drug-addiction_n_7765472.html
“Get what you need and give what you’re given” – ChickDip
Nicotine filled a void in my life. Now I fill that void with the things that should matter: family, health, career.
When I took that void away I had to fill it. That started here: In forum. In chat. In groupme. Texting other quitters.
My observation is the successful quitters, the people that are non-cavers, and keep off nicotine day after day, are the people that strengthen their quit through helping others. I know you are busy. I know you are stressed. Reach out to others and watch the quit-o-meter fill up.
I am quit today because some amazing people reached out to me early on.
“You are only as accountable as you let yourself be. That is the key to making this whole thing work, if you don’t let yourself be held accountable by a bunch of addicts you won’t last. Get involved and own your quit. It is your quit, we support it. ” – Candoit
For most accountability and posting roll EDD is to make a promise to not use nicotine and takes the place of that first nicotine slug we so foolishly placed in our mouth. This is absolutely true.
For me the accountability goes further: knowing that someone has my back.
I have had people reach out to me because my roll posting pattern changed. I was posting later and later each day. I got a PM from an Oct 15′ brother asking if I was ok.
Day 101 of quit, I am late posting roll. Noon PST rolls around. I have 5 texts from people: where are you? you ok?…having that type of support is why this place works.
FUN BAGS: Honored and privileged to quit along side you every damn day! KingNo: You are an inspiration. Oak, Bryan, ANC…thanks for being there.
Sir Nope: You sir, are a steely-eyed quit-a-holic. Thanks for always being there. I won’t forget what you have done for me.
“The Usual Suspects”, Chat dudes and dudettes. Too many to list (and I am going to forget one of you and feel awful) You know who you is. From Legends to HOF’ers to F.N.G’s: thanks for the support and the laughs.
Pab: Seeing my name in support EDD was sometimes all I needed. Thanks for that.
Joliver: Thanks for your unrivaled enthusiasm in those early days. GET BACK TO BEING QUIT.