Approx. 34 years ago, I took my first dip as a varsity football player at a major Div. 1 college. The tobacco companies would deliver cases of free Skoal and Copenhagen to the locker room. A number of the guys got hooked on the stuff. It started off as a fad and soon turned into an addiction.
Although I tried to shut it down a number of times, I always found excuses to do it again. 21 years ago, my first son was born. At the time, I was worried about mouth cancer due lesions in my mouth. I went to the doctor and he said that I was ok. So what did I do? I kept dipping. Although I never admitted it to myself, I was hooked.
I never thought in a million years that I would continue dipping for 34 years off and on, mostly on. The habit slowly took over my life and my focus. Many people on the KTC site have noted similar experiences to what I have experienced. Hiding dip cans, spilling dip in my new Mercedes, spilling dip cups in various places, picking dip cans out of the trash after my wife forced me to throw it away in a fury, the deceit, the self-sabotage, the self-degradation.
This addiction made everyone in my immediate family feel the consequences. Staying up late to get in a extra dip, only to drag myself out of bed for work tired and hung over from late night dip sessions. Dipping intermittently during the day became a constant dip obsession whenever I was alone or took a break. The hotel rooms while traveling on business, the car, the bathroom, going for walks, anywhere, anytime. Falling asleep while dipping only to wake up in a drastic panic after literally swallowing and inhaling dip which resulted a combination of choking and burning lungs. What a disaster. What an addiction.
So what made me stop? It was time to face reality. My self-sabotage was about to destroy my marriage and also destroy me, or what was left of me. I had slowly watched my very being deteriorate before my very eyes. It was time for the big charade and the addiction to end, otherwise, I honestly don’t think that I would have lived another 5 years the way I was going.
I thank my wife, for her patience, her support and unconditional love. I have apologized, taken responsibility and acknowledged what I have done to myself and those around me.
I thank the many people on the KTC site who have contributed their support and guidance, as well as the comedic moments that so many people create within their posts.
Most importantly, I thank God. I have never been very religious but 100 days ago – I realized that I could not do this alone. I began reaching out to God for a lifeline. Not just for me, but for my family. I needed a higher power in my life to pull this off and it has made all the difference.
I found the KTC site because I was doing a web search for addiction treatment centers, not knowing where to turn. I thank God that I found this group.
Finally, my wife and children thank all of you for all of your support and for enabling me to rediscover reality.
I have grown closer to my family and to God…and for that I am thankful. I look forward to a better life. Thanks to all for your support.
BubbaHouston -103 – / HOF 09-06-2010