I remember reading a book called The Shack a number of years ago. There was an ominous title to one of the chapters that stuck with me. Nothing scares you more than your secrets. I had a secret. To be honest, I had three secrets. Three addictions that were going to be the end of my life on this planet. Eventually one of them was going to lead me into a shit storm that I was never going to recover from. But which one was going to sink my vessel? I decided that none of them would. It’s time to start quitting.
Before I get to my nicotine story, I’m going to give an explanation of my name on this website, Lastaddiction. Like I said, I had three addictions to conquer and nobody in my life knew I was struggling with them. Nothing makes an addiction more of a burden on your mind than it being a secret. Addiction loses massive amounts of its horsepower once it’s in the public. While it hides behind a fogged-up window of shame, it flourishes like a sailor bangin’ hoes on leave.
A year ago I gave up drinking. That didn’t improve my life. Six months ago I gave up watching internet porn. That drastically changed my life. It left me filled with a motivation that I can conquer anything with ease. With ease? Ease would be the last word to describe quitting chewing tobacco, but I’ll get more into that later on.
Internet porn. Now that’s a terrible habit. Don’t believe me? Look up the statistics on porn usage. If that doesn’t scare you enough to quit using it. Check out the videos on youtube about porn addiction by Gary Wilson. I probably watched an hour of porn a weak for the last ten years of my life…and I can tell you my best friend was right there with me as I did it. A big old fatty.
I bet you were wondering when the fuck I was going to start talking about chew. Well, you see, chew had made its way into every facet of my life. I’ve chewed tobacco since I was 15. I can barely remember what life is like without a nicotine addiction. Wow, just reading that line over in my head sucks.
I don’t want to set a record for the world’s longest HOF speech. But I have no problem coming in second or third. These speeches on here SAVED MY FUCKING LIFE. The stories about the ups and downs of each quitter’s path to success were inspiring. Hearing about all the craziness that our addiction compelled us towards. Shit. After 100 days you really start to see just what this whole chewing habit was. An addiction, nothing more, nothing less. An addiction has no enjoyment, no bliss, it only controls. Once you’ve reached addiction to something, it lost it’s enjoyment and you’ll never get it again. That’s just standard brain psychology. Quitting porn and drinking pale in comparison to how difficult it is quitting chew. Here’s how my quit went.
I woke up on Ash Wednesday morning. Tired, already irritable, scared out of my fucking mind. I grabbed my younger brother and said you’re going to church with me. He knew I was giving up chew for lent. He doesn’t know how hard it is quitting because he’s never tried and has been a heavy “dip-shit” for 6-7 years. So naturally, on the way to church at 6:30 AM. He had a fatty. By the way, us chewers and our lingo…leaves us in a category of people that I like to call, douche bags.
I decided two months prior to lent that this year I was going to give up chewing. With the Big Guy on my side this time maybe it will be different. I’m Catholic. I curse like a drill sergeant, and by golley, I’m going to use every resource I can to beat the nic bitch. I prayed everyday, went to church multiple times a week, prayed some more. The only thing I prayed for was to have God help me treat others with kindness and respect while quitting. I also prayed that for this first 100 days, if God could keep my life as free of stress as possible. He helped.
God on my side wasn’t going to be enough. That’s crazy that I even think that. Are you starting to understand the power of the third most addictive substance on planet earth? I needed a couple cans of Smokey Mountain for the first 94 days. Then all of the sudden, day 95 came, and putting that shit in my mouth just lost it’s appeal. Haven’t used it since. I used this site everyday. Usually for excess of a couple hours. Post roll. Read. Interact. Repeat the next day.
On to how I felt during this fun adventure. Well, I felt pretty much the same the first month. People say it eases off after the first 3-5 days. Not in my case. There was definite stages. Each of which equally difficult, and each of which I NEVER WANT TO RELIVE AGAIN. That first month was stage one for me. Thick ass fog. Concentration? Ha, I could barely count to five or say half a Hail Mary before my mind would lose focus. This was an ugly time. But exercise and IQM (Initial Quit Motivation) got me through this part.
Days 31-80. I’d compare these days of my quit to the Pirates of the Caribbean. You know, when those dumb ass pirates get the curse where nothing in life has flavor. That’s what it was for me. In real life we call this depression. You don’t feel thirst. You don’t feel hunger. You don’t feel tired. You only feel one emotion, hatred. Your thoughts are dark. This was a scary time in my quit and I would say the toughest. I went to the doctor and tried WellButrin and that made things worse. I stuck to what this site said which is incredibly important once your IQM runs out. Exercise, fake chew, eat healthy, prayer, read on the site, interact with the people on here. The big rumor that I still didn’t believe at this point was that all these old farts on here keep blabbering on that it gets better. I was thinking, no way, this is how I’m going to feel for the rest of my life. And that my friends is the nic bitch trying to claw her way back into your life. Gosh I fucking hate her.
That’s when I started to realize just how bad nicotine has messed with the balance of neurotransmitters in my brain and it takes a long time to get it all back in sync. A bone takes a month to heal. A skinned up leg from sliding into first base is good to go in a week or so. When you break your brain with chew. Expect anywhere from 75-250 days for it to heal. It depends on how long you’ve used though. How often you used. And also, genetically…how tough is your particular brain at resisting addiction and healing from it. Nobody knows how long it will take. After it’s done and you’re through with it. You’ll know how long it took.
Now, on to the third phase. Days 81 to 95. I noticed something very different in my head starting to happen at this point. My brain felt a lot more like I was recovering from a concussion, it just hurt. The fog was all but gone. The irritability was pretty much in the rearview mirror. And the cravings were getting much more manageable.
Days 96 to the present. I’m still pretty emotionally wound up and by no means feel back to normal yet, but gosh, I feel so much better. There’s a clarity in my head that’s like something I haven’t felt since I was in high school. I feel, well, incredibly, human again. No secrets. Nothing to hide behind. No secret fix that I need to always attend to. That, is freedom. How sweet it is.
I’m so fucking proud to be here right now. I’m proud of my quit brothers and thankful for them. I’m not healed, or cured, we all know that’s a myth. But my condition is manageable day by day.
I thought long and hard about whether or not to include that shit about internet porn on here. Fuck it. I decided to. Ninety percent of guys use it, and I bet only a fraction of those guys use it with the understanding that it’s a drug. If abused, you’ll become dependent on it. Eventually, it ruins your life without you knowing it. And lets be honest, you probably chew while watching it. I didn’t know it was a major source of sadness in my life. If I can teach that to someone else who is unaware of it, then the embarrassment it brings upon me is worth it. Tell you the truth, I’m proud to live a porn free life and respect women. Internet porn is being compared to smoking cigarettes, AKA, nicotine…in the same way smoking’s true health concerns weren’t known to the first users. Guess how long it took to change people’s minds that smoking causes serious damage to the body and mind? The better part of forty fucking years. Everyone will wisen-up on internet porn eventually too. I’m not saying ban it, or end it, I’m saying learn about it…then make a decision for yourself.
My unique bits of wisdom: Don’t expect a single other soul on this planet to help you out or understand what you’re going through except the guys on this website. The rest of the world would laughs at us for being such dumb asses. Next, for me, telling everyone that I quit chewing helped the nic bitch lose a lot of her control over my life. Last, buy yourself something awesome on your 100th day. I got a kick ass hybrid fitness bike. I bought one that was two steps nicer than what my conscience told me. I don’t care. This is the biggest accomplishment of my life and I want to ride that bike around every time I crave a chew and think about how much better this new habit is than my last one.