As a kid, I remember spending a lot of time riding my bike and exploring the woods around my house. I clearly remember the day that I decided what clique I wanted to fall into when I went into high school. At thirteen, I was already a budding analyst. I had weighed my options:
- I could not make football in middle school because I was too small (under 100 pounds), so being an athlete was out.
- I was not smart enough to be a nerd.
- I was not creative or skilled enough to be an artist or musical type.
- Those goth kids and the religious kids are a little too intense for me.
By process of elimination, I determined that the party life was for me. From there, I decided how I would make my new friends. Even at a young age, I figured out that, in order to break in to a group of addicts, you needed to consistently have something they wanted. I did not have the connections to be the THC or alcohol guy so I became the nicotine guy. Shoot, it was cheaper anyway. I learned how to smoke a cigarette shortly thereafter in a car junkyard off of two cigarettes that were melded together by a melted Laffy Taffy or something.
As a wrestler in middle school, I was always around dip but never considered it. It looked disgusting. However, at age 15, one of my newfound friends was giving me a ride. He asked for a cigarette while he had his dip in. I expressed my surprise that he would do both at the same time. He expressed his surprise that I had never tried it. He explained the more intense buzz that comes from a dip and how you could do it for longer than cigarettes. SOLD! To the idiot in the passenger seat! I clumsily tried to pack the can and then sloppily threw some in my lip. Luckily he warned me not to swallow it and to be ready for the spins. They came and I was off to the races from there.
In my mind, this high school partying plan was just that, something to get through high school. I would go to college and start to live like a grown up. Next thing I knew, I was a ninja dipping father of four. I had spent years quitting dip only to smoke more cigarettes. Then I would quit cigarettes and drink more. Then I would quit the drink only to find I dipped more.
As a ninja dipper, I would put games on my phone and go to a park to play them while I packed a fatty before work, or going home, or a big meeting, really anything. I started to pack dip at my desk, with a rig up to watch out for the boss man. I would get so excited when my wife would leave so I could pack a dip. The dip bottles were everywhere. Oh, man, when they would break or leak in the car! (gag) I would always say that I was done and then pack one up hours later.
Last year, my work implemented a wellness program where you get punished $50 per month for nicotine in your system. It was on an honor system so I, of course, lied about it. I even quit with just enough time to spare to pass the blood test last year only to pack one up right after I gave my blood. This year, I found out that they can not access my results so I did not even bother quitting. I tried just to see if I could and found that I could not. I was tired of being controlled! After many attempts to quit, I finally reached out to a wellness coach provided through our work benefits. We spoke a couple of times before he recommended KTC. I started reading.
The Top 100 Benefits of Quitting Dip made me realize that you were my people. I read that multiple times to pass the craves in the first week. I read about The Fog of Quitting Dip when it seemed like everything was getting worse, not better, after a few weeks and again around 70-80 days. I read Jenny & Tom Kerns Story and My Son Aspirated Dip and realized the road that I was on and how lucky I am that my family did not have a story like those to tell even though I had dipped for 15 years! 15 years! Shit, I still feel like I am 15 years old in my mind.
Anyhow, this quit feels different. For the most part, everything I do in my life starts fast and ends faster. I am a great opener and a terrible closer. The rabbit for anyone who runs. This was different. I read. I posted. I talked to others. I made myself vulnerable. I got numbers. I had limited expectations. Before I knew it, I had a month and knew it was a mind game from there. At 103 days, it is hard to remember just how desperate I was to not dip anymore on my many day ones before KTC. I can not thank the community of KTC enough for changing my life. This is truly a special place.
I have to give special thanks to Jake, my HealthCheck 360 coach who got me to KTC and called me every week early in my quit to check in. I will never get to meet you but you saved my life bro! Thank you to Chewie for building this outstanding community. As a member of AA with 3.5 years, I am so thankful for that community. I found myself wishing that there was something like it for nicotine cessation. You have built something truly special and I hope you are revered as a modern day Bill Wilson. Next, I have to thank 69Franx and Phill for being my backbone and texting me everyday. I may never meet these guys but I plan to be texting them my +1 for the rest of my life. Thanks for being there for me guys. Finally, thank you to Samrs for the jokes. My wife will forever be resenting the day I got your number. Some people just do not know a good joke when they hear it. Lol!
Bottom line: WUPPEDD is the key.