Hey everyone. I have a few things I wanted to share about my own struggles with nicotine addiction and subsequent quitting. Quick into – Real name is Alex and I am a 32 year old physician assistant who works in orthopedic surgery. I live currently in Raleigh, NC but grew up in the Albany, NY area and spent several years living in Queens, NY after grad school.
The nature of my addiction: I dipped a can a day for about 10 years starting in grad school. I hid it from everyone except my roommate at the time. 45 minute poop breaks, shower dips, secret spitters, etc. My wife knew I had done it in grad school but I told her I stopped when we moved in together – that was 2013. I hid it from her for 6 years. She thought I had IBS. Only addicts do that.
Life milestones: Like many others, I always picked an important life milestone to quit dipping. Here is a running list of all the milestones that came and went where I did not stop dipping: graduating Physician Assistant school, starting my first adult job, moving in with my now wife, switching from overnight shift to day shift, marrying my wife, moving to North Carolina, buying our first house, birth of our first baby (now 10 month old daughter). Forget the milestones. The one that ended up working was a random Wednesday in the middle of October. PICK TODAY TO QUIT!!
Failed attempts: I stopped dipping for about 2 months a piece 2 or 3 times in my life. I had a hard time grasping I can never do this stuff again. I kept all my secrets about dipping which is what an addict does when they are going to relapse. This time around I opened up to my wife and family about my addiction. I explained to my wife where I used to hide my cans and that I don’t actually poop for 45 minutes. This honesty was so refreshing and it will keep me accountable because I can’t just relapse into the same techniques of hiding.
My own quit: Make your quit about yourself and do it however will be effective for you. I have been mildly heckled for being a post and ghost type of guy (not badly heckled, many people understand). But you know what? It has worked for me. I’m always here if my group needs me, or anyone for that matter. I’ve always been a little socially awkward so I don’t go around asking for phone numbers. But I’m happy to share digits and do what I can for others if asked of me. At the end of the day what matters is not using nicotine anymore. If that means you post and ghost or you come on hours a day to vent do what is going to work best for you. That’s all any of us care about is everyone staying nicotine free – one day at a time.
Special thanks to the two amazing HOF conductors in our group @RottenTeeth and @buttons7886 . Also special thanks to @JJG009 – every time I’ve missed a post because of a stupid technology user error (like on my HOF day, what a knucklehead I am) thanks for checking to make sure I’m still quit.