I can vividly remember my first dip. I was probably 15 or 16 years old and one of my buddies had a can of Cherry Skoal. His only orders were, “Do NOT swallow any of it!” I remember sucking on that first dip thinking about how cool I must look. I can even remember some of the thoughts I had that night. “Your old man has been doing this since he was 18 and he’s fine. What’s the big deal?”
I didn’t buy my own can for awhile. I got along bumming dips from friends or sneaking a pinch out of my Dad’s can while he was asleep or something. But once I hit 18 and I could legally buy my own dip there was never a time when you would catch me without a can of Grizzly Straight in my pocket. By the time I got to college there was nothing stopping me from pounding the good part of a can of Griz per day. I can remember thinking to myself one day, keep in mind that I am 24, that I will probably dip until the day I die. That’s fucking crazy to me.
At the time that I decided to quit, I was living with my Dad and it was just us two guys. See, a lot of the guys on this site have wives and young children that they were hiding their addiction from. There was no one there to tell us anything. We didn’t have that nicotine-free, level headed person to tell us how stupid we were being, how ridiculous we looked, or just how gross that shit truly is.
You know how drug addicts in recovery will talk about hitting rock bottom? That one experience of feeling so low that they just have to make a change? Well, if you can hit rock bottom from dipping I truly did. I was so broke one day that I was pulling up used dips out of the spitter and throwing them back in my mouth hours later. Fuckin’ gross right? Damn right its gross. It’s fucking sad is what it is. I also had a huge open sore on one side of my mouth, but the fucked up addict brain would tell me, “Not a big deal at all just put the wad on the other side.” My mouth hurt so fucking bad, but I just had to keep feeding my addiction nonetheless. I remember spitting my last dip out and looking at myself in the mirror asking, “is this really how you want to live your life?”
After I made the decision to quit I didn’t tell anyone right away. I was scared that I wouldn’t have the balls to carry it out so I just keep my mouth shut. I survived the first day and then I found KillTheCan. I read something about casting a wide net of accountability and telling anyone that will listen about your plan to quit. I took the advice and put my decision to quit up on my facebook wall asking for any support that I could get. Immediately friend after friend gave me support and by the end of the day like 25 different people, some of whom I hadn’t talked to in years, were telling me that I could do it. THIS WAS HUGE FOR ME. I got through the next few days because I didn’t want to have to explain to everyone that I couldn’t do it.
I remember telling my Dad my decision to quit. I got so choked up because I knew that I couldn’t live with him anymore if he was dipping. I could hear every single bit of uneasiness in his voice. I remember him saying, “just give me one more day buddy. I just bought a new can and I need one more night.” Yeah-fuckin-right I thought. Every single one of us has said that many times, so you can obviously understand how skeptical I was.
He was true to his word and that was his last can. I remember bringing him a bunch of seeds and gum at work while he was on his 1st full day without nicotine. I could tell he was hurting. When I asked the guy he works with how he was doing he said, “Yea your Dad is definitely on the rag today.”
We make a great team though. There were times after work on the long drive home that I would have to call him and talk to him until I got there, just so that I knew I wouldn’t fuck up. Both of us beat our first set of tests together. For me, it was mornings. The first thing I had done for the past 6 years was throw in a dip. Fuck breakfast, give me a dip! For him, the softball field was a huge trigger. Shit, to us addicts, everything is a trigger. But we beat all of these together.
I know I couldn’t have done this without you Dad. Yea, it would be nice to take back all those years of dipping, but I know we are better people for having the courage to face this addiction and beat the living shit out of it.
To all my May brothers: thank you guys so much. Just having some of your numbers in my phone is what keeps me quit everyday. I will not let you guys down.
100 days free from dip and feeling better than ever. As always, I promise not to dip today.
NOTE: This piece written by KillTheCan.org forum member jdferguson07