This is not a story where I dipped in elementary school. I wasn’t 13 or 14 when I started chewing. I wasn’t ignorant of the risks. I knew you could get cancer and become an addict if you used the crap. I was an adult, I just thought it would not happen to me. Seriously, I didn’t believe I would ever be an addict. I was 25 when I started dipping almost 10 years ago. I still remember it. Sitting in a hot ass tent in the middle of Kuwait and my battle buddy offered me a dip to pass the time and like a F*(#ing retard, I took it. 25 years old and my sole excuse of why I started was’t I was stupid and board. I was a Dumbass. Well, he gave me the rest of the can and before the end of the week I went through it and was buying a roll at the local PX. Yep this dumbass was hooked.
I went through the next few years after coming home with no problems. I tried to quit when my 4 year old son got ahold of my spit bottle thinking it was soda and puked for an hour. Lasted a month. I tried to quit every year as a New Year resolution, but would cave and go running back to my good old can. The whole time making an excuse of why now just was not a good time to quit. I’ll try again after this semester of collage, or after things slow down at work or after we move, or Ect. Ect. Ect. I had an excuse for anything. I just didn’t want to quit and was using those excuses as my crutch, like most addicts do. But hell I wasn’t really addicted. I can quit, I have quit so many times before. Right? Dumbass.
On June 26th of this year my oldest son turned 15. I lay in bed that night thinking of all the things I had raised him to not do and wondered would he do it. Would he drink before he is old enough, if so would he drive or call me, what about girls, I though as I popped a dip into my mouth at 1 am. Would he be strong enough not to smoke cigarettes, chew, or use drugs like his mother and I have stated to him 100 times. Then it dawned on me, why should he listen to me, I use nicotine. So I quit and this time it was going to be for good. My wife doubted me. My kids doubted me. But I would show them, I wasn’t really addicted. Right? Dumbass. 2 days I think I made it. 2 days of hot flashes, no sleep, and nic rage. I decided once again it was just not a good time. I would go grab a can at lunch and just have a little dip to get me over, just so I could sleep tonight. Yeah that’s it. Dumbass. That’s when it hit me. Holy fuck batman, I’m addicted. Dumbass. I just figured out what my friends and family have known for years. Ok this requires different planning, better get a dip so I can think this through. 1 hr till lunch and a dip. Dumbass. Ok. This is when I hit bottom, I had just rationalized using nicotine as a way to make my nicotine addiction go away. Man, if that’s not a dumbass I don’t know what would be.
I went to Google and found the site actually because I was looking for a quick fix on how to beat this and came across a Tom and Jenny Kerns story. As I read I started thinking maybe that dip wasn’t a good idea. Maybe??? Dumbass. I read more. I never made it to lunch, thankfully, but posted a day one. I only had to make it to 100 days right. Then I was cured. Right??? Dumbass. The first month I did everything wrong but one thing. I got numbers. Hang around with a group of dippers; start to crave – text to Jag. Crisis adverted. Go to a party where people are drinking and chewing. text Mcarmo to get talked through it. Hanging out at the Drive in, almost caved, but called every number in the book , an all-points bulletin if you will. For the next 30 min I traded messages and hid in my truck, but I never had to post another day 1. Even when I was to big a Dumbass to protect my quit, they had my back. The Only thing I did right the first month was get numbers.
The guys on this site, Mike, Wedge, Derek, Sambo, Steve, Jag, and My big quit brother Bruce. Did the one thing that no one else could, they made me realize I was just some dumbass addict. Held me accountable, and gave me the brotherhood and support that I would need to make this quit permanent. A friend of mine, who still dips, once asked me what makes this quitting attempt any different from the last one. The answer is simple; I’m not a dumbass anymore. I know I am an addict, my group knows I am an addict, and they have my back. I am not alone in this fight. The difference is, I get it now.
A simple thank you to all the guys and gals in October and all the Vets who stepped up and led the way. Who talked me through the bad days and made me stand on my feet. Not only from me, but my entire family. You saved my life. I now understand there is no quick fix, no magic day that I will automatically be cured. This is a lifelong battle. After 100 days, I can’t say I am no longer an addict, but I can say I am no longer a dumbass.