Every morning around 4:45am I would stop at the one Tim Hortons, on Long Island, and get a tin of Kodiak wintergreen thrown to me while they made my coffee. Typically, that would last until my ride home around 3, I would start the routine all over again, get a tin tossed to me as I walk in and another coffee. I am a complete creature of habit, with a very addictive personality. I never notice this until I met the one woman I have ever listened to me in my whole life. She does not find it as big of a compliment as I think it is, but she can make certain ideas click in my head. I never thought about having other addictive issues, I just knew two cans a day was getting a little bit out of hand.
In 2013, I found KTC, and I found a home in the Junk Free July 2013. I read everything, I was close to the site every day, and I bought my first IPhone in order to make it more accessible. My biggest mistake looking back on it was I didn’t make myself accountable through other people. I did not reach out for fellow quitters’ numbers, nor stay in touch. It was 100% my own fault, the help is here if you want it, but the responsibility does fall on you to put in the effort in order for help to be received. I didn’t post for a day, which turned in to two, which turned into three, next thing you know a few months down the road, I was back shoving nicotine in my mouth almost every waking minute I was awake.
A bit more on 2013, I decided to move to Long Island! I was 24 excited to test out a new area, little did I know I decided to move to the most expensive area in the country! I figured I will do it for a year, save up some money and go back south. Everybody dipped, all my players, fellow coach’s roommates, etc. I stayed strong for a while, but in reality be leaving my little bit of support I had built up by just posting and leaving, I set myself up for failure. I’m not making up excuses, I was obviously not ready to quit the first time. From there on, before I knew it, I was back to two cans a day living life and not worrying at all.
2013-2017, I tried multiple times on my own to slow down and stop. I was successful for a few days multiple times, even 30 some days attempts. The common theme on why I was unable to quit was really simple. I was not doing it for me. I was sick of getting caught walking home after work with a dip can in my back pocket, or going to for drinks and dinner with friends and family, and becoming extremely angry right after I ate because I couldn’t chew. I tried my very best to avoid certain situations, or I would even buy snus and try to sneak one into the back of my mouth without everyone knowing. I even got caught trying to hide a can of chew outside my shower window because the wind blew it right in front of the window instead of to the side. I would just go back to blatantly dipping, at restaurants, bars, ice rinks, malls, it did not matter, I wasn’t going to hide. Who was I hurting besides myself? My whole bottom row of teeth are fake anyways, dipping isn’t going to hurt anything right? I would tell my fiancé constantly if you keep bugging me I will never stop dipping out of pure spite. Just the way I am.
August 2017 rolls around, I had just bought a tin, had one dip, and lost the can. So, I did what every addicted person does, went back to the store, and bought two just in case I lost another one again. I got back into my house, found the can, now I had three full cans, and nothing to do. I work 65-70 hours a week usually, so I enjoy my down time. When I woke up the next morning, I had half a can left. For some reason, that set something off in my brain. Not my fiance telling me she will not marry me if I dip, the fact that I coach kids all day long, or the fact that I walk around looking like I have a fat lip all day. It was all the control that the Kodiak/nicotine had over me. I threw out the rest of that can that moment and have not looked back since.
My eventual comeback to KTC was not pretty. I deserved every bit of it, I had gone my 146 days, and left for a long time, lurked a few times, came back once, left again, then finally came back. I basically trampled all over everything this site does to help people. I did not stay on the site long enough to realize people were reaching out to see if I was still quit, or that they could tell when I would come back in and creep and call me out on it. I had no idea. My naive self, came back in and posted a day 5, not expecting anybody to notice and got lit up like a Christmas tree. It was getting called everything under the sun, I was told how slow of a typist I am, how fat my fingers are, how my word is worthless, to not waste anybody’s time, how I shit on everybody every time I do this, a piece of shit, it was something, and deserved. You couldn’t tell me that at the time, my slow, fat fingers, were typing as fast as they can with everything I said digging myself a bigger and bigger hole. The truth is, no matter what I said it did not mean anything to anybody. I had to earn respect back, to some I know I never will, and that’s okay. I can only quit 1 day at a time, stay involved and help others with their quit. There will never be correct answers for “retreads”, but use it as motivation and not as a deterrent. I took the approach of F*** them, I’ll show them I can do this.
Three people reached out to me quick, Net Gain, Justin J and FordBlue. Honestly, if it wasn’t for the line “Murph, I’m willing to stick my hand out and shake yours…” that I felt that I was still allowed to try and be a part of this brotherhood. As Net Gain also said “I tried to call you out and it snowballed” and I am grateful it did snowball. It woke me up to fact, of how ignorant and arrogant I was, quitting nicotine is a humbling experience, and if it doesn’t humble you, you are not prepared to quit. The question, what will be different this time was the hardest one for me. I was unable to answer that truthfully for a very long time. My answer after 100 days without nicotine is, one word, freedom. I don’t have a substance controlling how I live my life and for that I will be forever grateful to everyone who has helped me out. I know this is just a step, in a very long staircase, and I never will be fully cured. I can just put one foot in front of the other, quit one day at a time, and continue to use what works for me. Thank you also, to my Scotts group text, and all you honorary Scotts in there! For anybody reading this who has tried multiple times to quit, don’t give up, open up your mind, drink the kool aid, WUPP, and branch out and make yourself accountable.