I decided to wait until my one year anniversary of my quit to make my HOF speech.
I am filled with pride and a sense of achievement today. I have tried to quit here or there through my 25 years as a user but was never too serious about it. I would throw out a half empty can and maybe get through an afternoon without putting in a dip. Then, get a fresh can in the morning and be right back where I started. After a trip to the dentist exactly one year ago today, I finally got the courage to post to this site.
When I first posted on this site, I remember thinking others would be overwhelmingly supportive and friendly. I was promptly, and thankfully by the way, shown some tough love. I felt challenged. Nobody felt sorry for me. I was an addict, plain and simple. It was my fault, and not someone else’s. One after one, people started calling me out. It made me angry, but I couldn’t argue their points.
My biggest problem (besides being addicted to nicotine obviously) was that I was a “ninja dipper.” Nobody in my family knew I was a user. I developed a pocket inside my left jaw that allowed me to dip all day long with nobody noticing. Heck, I could even eat a meal without risk of swallowing it. I would hide cans in socks, in paper towels in my pockets, all around the garage, etc. I’d have a dip in from the moment I would wake up until the time I went to bed.
That day a year ago when I quit was pretty easy. The days, weeks, and months that followed were anything but. My irritability levels rose. I lashed out to my wife and my two kids on occasion. I really wanted to tell them, but also was afraid to admit I had been lying to them for 25 years. I’m sure they suspected and even asked every so often. I would always deny and deflect. I just figured quitting without their support would be the easiest. Others on this site encouraged me to tell my family, but I chose to remain silent. This was a personal decision for me and I think I made the right call. I’m year into my quit and I know my family would be proud.
Day by day, I slowly started to come out of the funk. It helped to see others in my group struggling like I was. I would get notes from Ruthless and BigDiesel90 offering words of encouragement and just checking in. These were two perfect strangers that I couldn’t pick out of a police lineup, but were “brothers” in this quit together.
I probably could have been more active on this site and more communicative. Most of the reason for my quietness was because I have been hiding this from my family. I didn’t want to be caught texting someone here or posting too much, given my reasons above.
Posting my daily day total was also an interesting dynamic. I get the WUPP concept, I really do. What I found so interesting is that for the first few months, I did this religiously every morning. I did so because putting in a dip was often the first thought I had when I opened my eyes in the morning. By posting, it felt like I was good for the day. I knew that I wasn’t going to break my promise. Some days over the past 6 months though, it all shifted. I might go all morning until I thought about putting in a dip. On those days, I might not post until noon. Some days, I might make it through dinner. Once or twice, I did not post at all.
The good news is that my goal of not dipping for a year has been met. I’m not interest in buying another can. I feel like a relapse is always possible, but I think I am through the hard part. Back in December, a buddy of mine from college and I hung out. He was using a can of the fake stuff to get through his quit. I did give that a try and I must admit, it felt really good. I decided against getting a can of the fake stuff myself because it was too much like the real thing.
I can say without doubt or question my quit would not have been possible were it not for this site. Getting that tough love out of the gate and daily postings made this possible. Posting this daily day count and commitment to the September Screaming Sea Monkeys is what got me through. Knowing that there was this group, with each member struggling like me really helped. Even though I don’t communicate actively with this group, I do thank each of you that posts every day. Seeing this inspires me every day and helps me meet my commitment.
While I do miss putting in a dip after a great meal, I know that I have beat this thing. I suppose I could always relapse, but I went through hell to get to this point. I’m never going back. I don’t want to endure something like this again. I thank you all for your commitment to this group and want you all know how much your quit is respected.