One April afternoon, my teeth clenched and head pounding, well into my second day of starving my body of nicotine, I Googled “quitting chewing tobacco,” and it brought me to KTC.
I spent the next couple of hours locked in my office, ignoring phone calls and emails, while I devoured speech after speech from guys who had made it into the HOF. I was in a complete fog: depressed, stressed, anxious, and sure I was going to run out of my office to buy a tin any minute. But I didn’t. I kept reading, I logged-on, and I posted roll.
So, what made me quit (again) in the first place? I woke up one morning and decided I felt like crap. I’d gotten fat (about 30 pounds overweight), hadn’t worked-out in months, was subsisting on a diet of just pizza, burritos and burgers, was drinking far too much beer and coffee, and dipping like a fiend – back up to between 1 and 2 tins a day.
I’d had enough. So, in one fell swoop, I quit it all. I went on a five day “cleanse” – which is essentially a starvation diet, where you drink this concoction of lemonade, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper, and you don’t eat. I also cut-out caffeine, alcohol, and most important, dip.
The first 72 hours were brutal. My body just revolted, and I had these killer headaches in the back of my skull. The fog was so thick I could barely think straight. But, I powered through.
By the end of the five days, I’d dropped some weight, and I’d gotten the physical nic bitch out of my body. The rest, I knew, was just a big head game. Now, 100 days later, I’m quit, I’m 28 pounds lighter, working out 6 days a week, and haven’t even gone back to coffee.
So, how did I pull it off?
It’s simple. It’s not over yet, and I struggle with not dipping every single day. I also realize I never would have gotten here without KTC. I would have caved for sure.
I started dipping when I was 16, and I am only now starting to remember what life was like before I dipped. Skoal Long Cut straight became my best friend, my constant companion – and no matter what was going on in my life, it was always there. I have tried everything over the years to quit – from cutting back, to going cold turkey, to swallowing a whole tin to develop an aversion, to going to a behavioral psychologist. I quit a few times, probably for a month or so here and there, but when I did, I’d always chain chew nicotine gum, until I eventually started dipping again. Nothing seemed to work.
I had every opportunity to quit too – I live overseas for eight years – first in London, then in Hong Kong, two cities that don’t sell dip, but I begged, borrowed and stole, placed lots of orders with friends in the states, and even found the few international airports that sold sleeves in duty free. Although I had the perfect chance to quit, I made sure I was never without a tin.
I counted the other day, and I have dipped in 67 different countries around the world – places like Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen. But, not just the bad places and the hotspots – I’ve dipped on beaches from Bali to Thailand to Costa Rica too. That’s the thing – I needed dip to calm me down when I was stressed and I needed dip to fully appreciate a good bit of relaxation. And, I needed dip in between.
The worst part of the struggle for me was that I thought I was in it alone. I’d never met anyone who dipped as much as I did, or who was as addicted as I was. So, I just assumed that while other people could quit, I’d never be able to – because I was just TOO addicted. What a dumbass I was.
What I realize now is that it wasn’t that I couldn’t quit, it was that I didn’t WANT to quit. Not badly enough to actually do it.
Then, I found KTC. If you are new to this site and are reading this speech right now, then chances are you are where I was just 100 days ago. Finish this speech and keep reading. There are guys on this list far worthier than I, with stories far more gut-wrenching than mine. Getting to know them and their struggles made me realize that there was nothing special about my addiction. I was just a regular, run of the mill addict. I started dipping 19 years ago and was too weak to quit. Simple as that.
Everybody gets something different out of this site. Guys will measure their members and argue about who is the better quitter and whose guiding philosophy should rule the day. Let them argue. Listen to what they have to say, and decide what works for you. There are a few things I feel strongly about:
- I could not have quit on my own
- I need the routine, for myself, of logging-on each and every day to record my quit. It makes it real. It keeps me committed.
- The more time I started to spend on here, and the more days I started to rack-up, the more I realized that there were guys on here who I could depend on if I was ever in a jam who would never let me cave
- The more time I stated to spend on here, I came to realize that I could not just take from this site without giving back, and that meant posting roll every single day.
It took me a while to warm up on here. To be honest, I wasn’t sold on the whole idea of the “brotherhood” for a while. I have a wife, two kids, a job that kicks my ass, and plenty of friends. I didn’t need a bunch of fabricated friendships with strangers on some website. So, I didn’t go to chat, I didn’t comment on the boards, I didn’t post support, for several weeks. But, I never missed a day of roll.
But then… I realized that this was serious shit here. That it worked. That is meant something. That this “brotherhood” guys talk about is very real. And, I realized that what keeps us together is a universal hatred for DIP and a commitment to each other to make sure what none of us, not a single one, ever, ever dips again. I also realized that there were guys who had my back and who would look out for me if I needed them. So, slowly but surely, I’ve been getting to know guys better and I’ve been paying it forward to the new guys. That’s the way it works.
There are truly too many guys to thank who have helped me along the way, but a big, giant shout-out to the entire July group. (At least the ones who are in it for the right reasons). A pretty solid band of brothers if there ever was one.
You’ll be happy you did.
— Andrew (RIPDIP)