My story is not that different from several of the other stories you have read here in the HOF, and on the main page as well…..
I started dipping in 1983, because that was what the real cowboys did, and after all, I was living in Laramie, Wyoming, a junior at the University of Wyoming. Wyoming is the cowboy state right? Copenhagen was 50 cents a can back then, and there were no warning labels on the can, and we all knew that smoking was bad for you.
Then in 1985, Sean Marsee died from cancer that he got from dipping. Should have listened to that warning as it ran on 60 Minutes, Readers Digest, and our local news, but I was not “addicted” yet, I just had a 2 year old half a can a day habit….
Fast forward to 1990, while in Officer Candidate School for the Army National Guard, had a prime opportunity to quit while the Army was making me into an officer and a gentleman, as Officer Candidates to not “smoke, drink, or chew, or associate with them that do”. Blew this first quit when I found out that a buddy of mine was on support staff and would smuggle it in. This is when I first started learned and practiced my “Ninja” dipping skills. It was still just a habit, I could not admit an addiction, yet….
Then, in 1991, I lost one of the most influential people in my life – my grandfather, to lung cancer from a lifetime of smoking (damn I hate those cigarettes). Since my wife also smoked, and we had started hearing what I will call the “smokers cough,” I promised my wife that I would quit Copenhagen if she quit smoking. She started her quit the next day, and has stayed quit to this day. I, on the other hand continued dipping……
In 1992 I promised the wife I would quit while in Officer Basic School – lasted 2 weeks, then went Ninja again, even remember justifying the cave by saying “I just put the woman I love on an airplane, I can quit in 2 weeks.” That summer, I lost one of the most precious things a man can have – the trust of his spouse, when I got busted with a can in my brief case. Dipped openly from then on, except in front of the wife, as she told me if I was going to continue killing myself, she did not want to see that shit in the house or know about it.
In 1995, I was diagnosed with a non cancerous growth on my upper cheekbone, and had it surgically removed, and had to quit for the recovery period. I stayed quit this time for 4 months, then caved to a financial problem. I remember my wife telling me that since she had just lost her job, I could chew if I wanted to, and I had to tell her that I had already started again. Not only was trust lost, but that was a helluva fix to a financial situation – throwing 5 bucks away every 2 days into a can of worm shit.
So I continued with my Copenhagen. During this time, I also lost one of my hero’s, and Wyoming’s favorite sons, Chris Ledoux, from liver cancer in 2005. Although I am not a doctor, I still believe that his cancer had to do with his dipping Copenhagen. (God Bless Chris Ledoux!) Then, on Sept 13, 2006, it all changed. That was the day my dentist told me that he saw something, and he referred me to the Oral Surgeon for evaluation. I set the appointment for Sept 15, 2006. I quit for the final time on 16 Sept 2006. (Since then, I have received a clean bill of health from the oral surgeon, and he did not do a biopsy). The first day of my quit was going extremely badly, so I called the American Cancer Society of Wyoming and they referred me to QuitSmokeless.org. This is where the story changes…..
For it is not my story any more, but our story…..On Sept 16, 2006, I registered here at QS2, and joined the December St. Nic O Frees, and I have never looked back…..
For those who are lurking, dump whatever you have in your mouth, burn the cans, and register and post up day one – this site and the power it contains will save your life – it has mine. The power lies in the people who are here and is very simple. It requires that you be a man, (or woman) and keep your word to yourself, your family, and your brothers and sisters here at QS2.
For those who are starting or are early on in the process, stay as close to this site as you can – the people here literally have your life in their hands. I know this has been said before, read and post, read and post everything you can. There is so much information, and the people are so amazing – take what you need to stay quit, and discard the rest. It is so amazing that so diverse a group of people can come together for a single purpose – we are all in various stages of quitting dip. It was a sad day when this fact was ignored, but that is all I have to say about that.
For those of you in the mid life part of quitting, also stay as close to this site as you can. We have all seen the discussions in each of the quit groups, yet no matter what the topic is, if a brother or a sister called out and posted “I need help”, things were dropped and the calvary came a running. I would also recommend (should be required) that you get the phone numbers of the people in your quit groups. A well placed phone call has saved many a quit.
I have rambled on enough in this speech, so now it is time to thank those instrumental in my making it through the last 104 days:
First of all to my wife – Thank you, I love you, God only knows why you have stuck with me through all of this. Even though your strength and support was often provided quietly, you will never know how much you mean to me….(side note – after the last 104 days, the trust of my spouse is returning – and we celebrate 20 years of marriage next Mar)
To those who have traveled before me:
Loot, Remshot, Lwmicki, SBTZC, 7-iron, Chewie, Hagen Junkie, Gi Kea, Arbcubed, Dionnja1, Rob AKA Indy, Penguin,and ODT. Thank you for the wisdom, and the laughs. Thank you for the lessons learned, and for the kick in the ass when needed, most of all thank you for being a part of the “calvary that came a runnin” when I needed it.
To those who traveled with me:
The December 06 St Nic O Frees – what a diverse bunch! Thanks to all of you, I made it to the HOF! Thanks Fran, MJ, S2K, JMR, and Ruxxy, you truly made this an adventure!!!!
To those who are following:
Thanks to each of the quit groups here at QS2. We may have been in different stages of our quits, but I learned as much from you as you have from me, and I thank you for that.
Mar 07 – thanks to Blue, Tireman, Sir DNM, and DDBB – you guys rock! Stay strong, and if there is anything I can do, send me a PM….the accountability you have established in your group is amazing.
Feb 07 – thanks to Dude, Snuggles, Satchmo, and bill – thanks for the chats, and for giving me so much to think about.
Jan 07 – thanks to Allswell – you are one funny guy, thanks for the laughs, to Killerattorney, the toughest SOB I have seen in the boards, if I ever need a lawyer, I’ll give you a call, and 6 – string – thanks for the chats.
A special thank you also to Matt, for starting QS1, and to FLAV for QS2 and what it means to me……
Rodeo Timer (Chuck) 12/28/2006