I Have The Key To One-Eyed Willy

KTC Logo SepiaIn the early days of my quit, reading the HOF speeches on this site meant the world to me… They gave me hope that quitting dipping was really possible. I was able to relate to dozens upon dozens of quitters in a way I never had with anyone before. Until KTC, I NEVER met a die-hard dipper who quit…NOT A ONE. I honestly did not know if it was possible for a diehard dipper to quit! I say this with the full intent of my soul…if you are a dipper and TRULY want to quit, you can join this site, BUY IN, burn the piece of shit boat you rowed in on and YOU WILL QUIT! But…if you don’t TRULY want to quit, if you are not fully committed to quitting, there is nearly a zero percent chance of you successfully quitting (reference your past quits). If you don’t want it, if you don’t really fuckin’ want it…if you’re not willing to temporarily upend your life…get back on that piece of shit boat you rowed in on and row back on out – come back and read the rest of my HOF speech another day….
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It was the beginning of my freshman year of HS during PE while playing softball that I had my first dip. At the time I had no idea what dip even was. I put in a tiny dip of Skoal Mint (that seemed to be all over my mouth) and I got a huge buzz. From there on, I’d have a dip here or there and would always get so fucked up. I recall it was a battle to put in the right amount – not too big or I’d get the sweats and probably puke, not too small and I wouldn’t get a buzz. But I loved it in any event. 

I grew up in South Florida and remember shortly after my first dip, I went night tarpon still-fishing with a friend in the intercoastal on a rare 40 degree “winter” evening. He threw in a dip and gave me one. I was soon sweating my ass off and had to shed layers down to my underwear and I was still sweating my ass off. Then my reel started screaming!….tarpon jumped, shook the hook and splashed back in the water. 

It started off as a dip here and there with lots of Redman’s in between…bumming chews and dips, sharing pouches and cans… Then I started buying my own cans and dipping more frequently. Dipping by myself… More and more times seemed like the right times to have a dip. Most of my coaches dipped which I think played a role in my increased usage. By my senior year, I was on a regular dipping routine. 

In college, dipping changed from more of a social everyday thing to a social + concentration needed/study “habit.” I remember trying to quit and it being brutal…could not concentrate for anything. Absolutely brutal. I only made it a few days without dip through college. I was a college athlete and dip was the acceptable vice. 50+% of players, coaches, equipment guys, etc. packed their gums with cat poop daily. 

I remember when I was an upperclassman thinking…man, I’ve been dipping for 5 plus years….I’m now getting to the point of some serious potential health concerns. I could get cancer!?! But the threat was unlikely. Or maybe in my mind the benefit of dipping outweighed the potential risks? Dipping made me feel good. Dipping helped me to concentrate. Dipping relieved stress and anxiety. Yes, dipping isn’t good for you but either is a healthy portion of what I did in college …what the fuck you gotta live a little… and dipping also didn’t materially affect my life choices…at this time in my life. I’d quit when I got into the real world. 

I graduated and told myself it was time to call it quits.

That’s what you do, you quit dipping when you get out of college! 

I was a grown up and was getting too old for that shit. I quit for a day or two, but ultimately life was better with a dip in. I couldn’t get my head around life without dip. It would fucking suck! I actually remember thinking…that I was glad to have discovered dip at an early age….it enhanced my life! A healthy portion of my friends dipped but not all. Those dudes that didn’t were missing out! For the first 5 years out of college I dipped pretty pretty much whenever I could. I had one job where I could get away with openly sucking on cat poop. Another job, I was strictly ninja. 

Then I got got engaged. My fiancee (now wife of 11 years) knew I dipped and hated it. Fuck!….it was time to quit… I was getting married! 

That’s what you do, you quit dipping when you get married! 

So I resolved that I would quit. My mind was made up. I’d been dipping now for over a dozen years and I knew it wasn’t good for me. She hated it. Eventually it would all catch up to me. And my other half didn’t approve. It was time! Yeah you’re a grown up when you get out of college but you really get there when you’re getting married. So I bought some Nicorette, spent several hundred bucks on the stuff while being pissed that I wasn’t dipping. I thought I had quit but I was just substituting. I substituted for 2 months and then went back to my trusty friend and companion – the Kodiak Bear. So me and my nicotine-addicted mind worked it out – I resolved that I wouldn’t dip around my wife/fiancée…ever. I would always pay cash to not leave any evidence. As long as I didn’t dip around her (and was diligent in hiding cans and spitters – i.e., she didn’t know), this was no longer a problem. I had quit for her but the problem was solved so the quit was not necessary. I had come up with a brilliant resolution to the problem! Dip on with free conscious!

I told myself that if ever there was even a glimmer of a health issue I’d quit. This was after I already had a skin graft on my bottom gums a few years earlier. Gum recession is also hereditary, I rationalized. Then one time while examining my teeth, my dentist asked if I dipped. After admitting, he said he’d like to refer me to a specialist to evaluate something he saw out of the ordinary. This was certainly a glimmer of a health issue! I had to quit. 

That’s what you do, you quit dipping when your dentist tells you to see a specialist for issues as a result of your dipping! 

Did I quit? For a day. Did I even go to the specialist!? Nope I didn’t. I resolved that I went to the dentist when my mouth was particularly raw…that’s the reason he referred me. 

My son born – I gotta set the right example, I gotta quit. 

That’s what you do, you quit dipping when you have kids! 

Couple days quit, then I made a deal that I could dip…just not around my son…the same deal I made regarding my wife! I had quit for my son but the problem was solved. Brilliant solution once again! Dip on with free conscious! (To be honest, I’m not sure who I really made these deals with…me?…God?….the Devil….)

A problem arose when I wanted to dip around my son. What was I to do? Then being the nicotine-addicted genius that I was, I again solved my problem! Unlike with my wife, my son was an infant and he didn’t know I was dipping anyway! What the fuck was I worried about? I wasn’t setting a bad example because there was no way he was aware of my lipper. When he was aware, I wouldn’t dip around him or anyone else for that matter. I’d quit for sure. My problem was once again solved. 

I quit for a couple days when my daughter was born 2 years later, but then just added her into the last deal I made with my first child – I could dip around them so long as they weren’t aware. But this time it felt like a firmer pledge….a stronger promise not just for my daughter and not just for my son and not just for my wife….but for all of them….for the family. When anyone was aware that I was dipping, our lives would be altered by my dipping and at that point, the dipping MUST end. Until then…I could dip. This justified my continued dipping. I wasn’t such a smuck because my dipping really didn’t effect anyone’s life!

When my kids got older and started mimicking me by spitting in the garbage or toilet, the whole “them not knowing” thing went out the window. I had to quit…they were aware I was dipping! They didn’t know what I was “doing” but certainly this was not something I wanted them to emulate and something that I didn’t want them to find out what I was doing or tell their mother what they saw. I was fucked! Fuck…fuck….fucking fuck! There were no ways out of this, I had to quit. Then I came up with probably the most BRILLIANT SOLUTION possible! Simple yes, but BRILLIANT. I could fix the problem by not letting them see me spit. BRILLIANT! Problem solved – dip on in good conscience! When my third child was born 2+ years ago, I didn’t even try to quit. I had accepted my fate that I would forever be a dipper unless something convinced me that my life would be better without dip than with it…which seemed highly unlikely. 

I loved to dip…absolutely loved it. There honestly wasn’t many things that I would prefer to do without a dip. Everything was better with a dip in. My preference was for a huge dip but a small ninja dip sufficed in between big dips. Over time I changed my behaviors to favor things I could do with a dip in. This generally meant less people interaction. 

Prior to my quit, I pretty much resolved myself to a life of addiction. In the last 10 years, the only reason I bought a can of dip was if the store didn’t have a log. In the last 5 years the only time I bought a single log was if the store didn’t have 2 logs on hand. 

Through my employers I have had the opportunity to see a lot of the world. After my first trip to Australia (when I was seriously under stocked and where smokeless is banned…which I didn’t know at the time) I would pack cans in several different places in my carry on and checked bags. I wanted to make sure if one place got confiscated, I had another place that may be safe. In advance of an international trip, I would carefully peel back the sticker of a Kodiak tin and then pack it to the max and then re-seal. When traveling with others, I always delayed or hurried up to go through customs/security by myself just in case I was caught by customs…at least work colleagues wouldn’t find out. 

My Kodiak (and later Grizzly Dark Wintergreen…Kodiak WG = Grizz Dark WG) accompanied me to 5 continents. I’d look up the max amount of tobacco allowed to bring into the country and then ration it up as much as I felt comfortable ….addict comfortable. I did chuck 5 cans of dip in the lavatory trash bin en route to Singapore. I chickened out and didn’t want to get caned and sent to a prison camp just for dip. (I took the cans knowing full well that there was an absolute ban on smokeless.). I resolved to quit while I was in Singapore and I did for a week or two after I returned to the US…but went back to the can. Reason – It sucked being quit! My life was better with dip! I hated it and loved it at the same time. There was nothing I wanted more to rid myself of yet nothing more that I looked forward to throughout my day. 

Every life event, 
every time I moved, 
every holiday season and New Year, every birthday, 
every doctor or dentist appointment, 
every new job, 
every new close friend I met, 
every time I got caught/embarrassed…
I gave at least some consideration to quitting. But I always thought I’d need a significant change in my life in order to quit. 

I remember right after I embarked on my quit reading “What is Life Without Dip Like?” At the time, eliminating dip from my life was something I really could not fathom. I felt as if I had departed in a rowboat by myself to cross the ocean searching for new lands…. Dip was a part of my entire adult life and it was BONDED to just about everything I did. 

I wondered what it would be like when I was older, retired and able to spend quality time with my wife. Oh wait, I gotta have a dip at least every 3-4 hours… This weighed on me. What kind of partner would I be? Fuck…what kind of partner am I now?!

The last 2 years before I quit I was working at home…a dipper’s dream job. The last 9 months before I quit I was working to buy my own company. High stress and lots of alone time. 99% of the time that I could dip, I did dip. In the 20+ years I dipped, I never dipped more than in the days/weeks/months before I quit. For those slaves still reading – know that a tapering program where you gradually reduce your dip or nicotine intake is a prolonged rationale for you to continue sucking on the cat poo. If you are truly committed to QUIT, once you quit you will wish you had quit a day/week/month earlier. 

So how the fuck did I quit…?
After 20+ years of dipping, I realized it had a major impact on my daily activities. As I pondered more, it became apparent that dipping had negatively impacted my personal relationships and professional ambitions. When I got to the point in my business acquisition when it looked almost certain that my deal would close, it was D Day. If I was EVER to quit, the time was now! No more kids! No more new jobs to bank on as a time to quit! NO MORE EXCUSES-PERIOD. 

My entire adult life was spent somewhere between dipping all day long and sneaking away for 4 or 5 dips a day. Going forward, I didn’t want to make a single decision in my life because of dipping…NOT A SINGLE FUCKING ONE! The final day I dipped I found KTC. I didn’t initially sign up but knew I needed something to guide my quit. Several days into my quit I realized what I had found in KTC. 

As I read the HOF speeches and the intros of those HOFers and the blogs about the early days of quitting, a life without dip, the timeline of quitting dip… I found the hope I needed. I…for the first time in my life…HAD THE KEY to discovering a life without nicotine that seemed so foreign. This site IS the key to overcoming the seemly possible. Finding a pirate ship full of gold and jewels, losing all the gold and jewels, and then discovered some jewels not seized in order to save the homes of my family and my friends seemed like a more likely future for me than quitting dipping. 

As I read more on the site, I realized I was not alone! I was not necessarily more addicted or less addicted to the shit than the guy before me or ahead of me….but boy had my life been CONSUMED by it. 

It was very hard for me to imagine a life without dip. There were probably only a handful of days of my adult life nicotine free that didn’t totally suck. What I couldn’t get my head around was if life could be better without dip. I remember thinking that 100 days to the HOF seemed way too fucking long – It seemed like an eternity. Nicotine is out of your system in 3 days. It takes 3 weeks to break a habit. Sounds like after a month I will be cured! (Cough cough bullshit)

During the first 3 weeks of my quit, I gained 10 pounds. I authorized myself to take all available actions to fulfill my daily promise. I really didn’t care about much except getting through each day. I knew I’d lose the weight later. Over the first 5 weeks, I was in a constant fog. I accomplished the equivalent of about 2-3 day’s of work in those 5 weeks. But I was comfortable and at peace with this. I trusted it would not last forever…and it didn’t. 

I crossed a big hurdle when I realized I would always experience the urge to dip…not all day or even every day, but it would come and go and get better and get worse….for a long time…A LONG FUCKING TIME. My past, what consumed my life and enslaved me for 20 something years will always be with me. Today, I accept this. I acknowledge, accept and embrace the challenge. I AM NEVER FUCKING GOING BACK! 

Along the way, I wished I never had put the poison in my mouth. Upon a lot of reflection, I think if my life was played out a thousand times, 999 of them I would have become addicted to nicotine. Coming to the conclusion allowed me to forgive myself and focus on the future and to focus on something I did not believe was possible: LIFE IS BETTER WITHOUT DIP! Even after a full trip around the sun, just about every day I wish I could have a dip…I wish that I had not resolved to be quit…but every fucking time I think these sort of thoughts I reflect a bit and then am overwhelmed with pride that I quit …that I AM QUIT.

For August 2017, the Battling Bastards Who Beat The Bear, thank you! I was/am not the most active poster. But I can tell you for 3/4 or the journey to the HOF…,I read the every word written (besides the baseball chatter!). 

For Samrs and Weedsta…know that you made a difference in my quit and in my life. Brothers – thank you!

For those who created this site…I say this with the pinnacle of gratitude I can offer: THANK YOU for helping to change my life for the better and helping me to realize that life IS BETTER without dip. What you have done for others will live across generations. I have heard Chewy thrown around as the founder….regardless…for anyone who has ever reached out to a potential quitter, who has ever mentored someone in their quit, reigned them back in, and given them the hope they needed to be quit, thank you. 

A full trip around the sun,
TME 

NOTE: This piece written by KillTheCan.org forum member TME

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