Hard to think of what to add to what I’m sure is a voluminous record of how people quit, their thoughts on it, etc. But I’m a believer in following the proper steps of whatever process I get myself involved in because “it works if you work it” as the saying goes, which I find applicable across a broad spectrum of life. So, here is the HOF speech to mark 100 days quit, and I hope I can lend some wisdom in the unique way everyone does in this community. I apologize for the candidness and/or language, but I tend to be a very direct person. The profanity is the next project after dip.
Background: Army officer, active duty combat arms, went to West Point. The West Point qualifier is only important here because that is where dipping really took off for me. I started dipping in high school while working outside painting an autobody shop, I was 16 and an 18 y/o bought us (friend and I on the job, he still dips) a tin, skoal mint as I recall. The fact that I have a hard time remembering skoal (cope straight……..different story….very much remember still good lord) is a positive sign I think. It developed, took off in college, and then became a rock solid part of my life for the next 3.5 years until Jan ’17.
Why did I dip: There are so many reasons, and even listing them out just seems like bullshit because I know they’re not true and it’s just a way to try and justify what was a really shitty 9 years of behavior for me on this front. However, in order to hopefully help anyone else reading this that may come from a similar background, it was two main reasons. 1) I was addicted. 2) My job has it’s moments where it is hard as fuck, USMA was 4 years of unpleasantness, and the quota for army unpleasantness from the mundane to the dangerous really knows no limits. Dip is pleasant, passed the time, kept me awake, and the more austere environments I got into, the “succeed by whatever means necessary” took precedence over addiction. 3) the image of getting your shit on, throwing in a dip, passing a tin to your brother, and then going off to do whatever it is we’re doing that day/night like some hard fucks that we are has an immense appeal for so many reasons.
What role those factors have for me now: I’m mature enough now on the other side of the initial quit to say 3) is bullshit. For 2), that still holds true for me and it’s what will keep me actively quitting for at least as I’m in the military. KTC was obviously instrumental in making that “Active Quit” happen.
Why did I quit: Simply put, I wanted to. More exactly, there was a intersection of 4 big reasons that happened at exactly the right time I think, and I’d imagine anyone who is here knows their own “big 4 reasons,” and if you don’t, maybe put pen to paper to remind you why you’re still quit. First, my gums and teeth where taking a beating, and that caused me to notice it. They look fine (I don’t have “dippers teeth”), but it wasn’t right for a 25 y/o who was otherwise very healthy. That gave me a physical symptom I could grasp on to, and being the vain 25 year old peacock male that I am, it was enough to get quitting into my head. Second, I hated, absolutely hated, the lack of self control I had just. related. to. dip. I, by all accounts, very much have my shit together in many realms, but I was brutally addicted to this. I couldn’t square that with all the other facets of my life and it drove me nuts. I was disciplined in a profession that immensely values discipline, and drinking the koolaid to an extent as an officer I too valued discipline above a lot of other behaviors, but then- how was I ok with being addicted. 2+2 does not = 5. Enough failed quits showed me I didn’t have it in control anymore to “stop whenever I wanted.” Third, I reached a real “bottom of the barrel” moment. I went through 3, month-ish long training exercises in a light unit, meaning boots/ruck/outside/execute, that were relatively back to back and higher on the unpleasant scale than usual. I -plowed- through dip, i.e. you buy 4 logs for 14 days out and aside from how much was left in whatever tin you had stashed in your kit, it was no holds barred dip city. I can’t even begin to estimate how much I went through in a day. I got home from one of them, brushed me teeth, and spit out blood. Dentist cleared me but that was the first time something like that had happened to me, and I knew I had entered “the big leagues” if you can even call it that. Fourth, I got engaged, and suddenly the whole perspective flipped. I wasn’t just responsible for my own life and health anymore. Someone else had voluntarily agreed to share mine, and by extension had a stake in it. Being a values-based individual that I am, I couldn’t square that with dipping. So, in short, I quit.
How did I stay quit: I had a brutal first 10 days and somewhere in the middle of discovering KTC on day 4 while googling the entire internet for “can nicotine withdrawal really cause X,” I found KTC. I was in such a shitty place, I figured KTC couldn’t hurt, and stuck it out until the initial symptoms went away. Then, I didn’t want to dip again and go through that withdrawal (it was that bad). Then, I got to 20 or so, and had my first day where I realized I had spent an hour not thinking about how I was not dippping- freedom was pretty cool. Then it kept going, and just like everyone else who has been in my shoes, I’m at 100.
Why will I stay quit: The same reasons still hold true as to why I quit in the first place, plus the 100 days, plus the memory of the truly shitty, awful withdrawal I had (or I had a providence-inspired, well-timed allergic reaction that caused hives all over my chest right at the same time I quit, which went away 5 days in, I’m not sure?), plus very much enjoying having my life buttoned up and continuing to run on more and more cylinders- self improvement is a continual process but I’m massively thankful I have made measurable steps in the dip realm.
My views on KTC for anyone thinking of joining KTC: you want to quit, then fucking do it. Nothing else works other than cold turkey. I think everyone here has ALL done every sort of dip-taper, pouches, chew instead of dip, nicotine gum, etc., and we ALL failed at some point before coming here. Cold turkey is the only way to do it because you have to feel a little pain to value the process and eventual success in order to stick with it, and the cold turkey withdrawal does exactly that. KTC is the only resource out there (I know of) that facilitates it.
My main takeaway from this experience so far: I literally think like this and it’s gotten me through, so I’m sorry if it’s too hardo. But, face it head on, look deep into that craving and realize it’s really just your head pulsing a little bit in a weird way and it goes away in 10 minutes. Only you control your arms turning the wheel into the gas station, your legs going up to the counter, etc. The craving doesn’t, if you give in it’s just out and out weakness. Keep those arms locked straight ahead as you drive pas the gas station entrance. If you make it to the counter, stare that fucking rack of dip in the face, keep your mouth shut, and swipe your credit card to buy your purchases which do not include dip because you didn’t ask for it, and get out of there. Embrace that strength to get through the first crave, then seek out other trigger-situations, and do it again and again. It proves you can do it, and takes away the mystique of the craving. Worked for me up to this point.
To everyone here: Thank you for helping me get over the initial hump. Yes yes, lifetime addict, but getting past the first juncture is the hardest part in anything worth achieving, so I’m glad I’m here. I probably don’t utilize this community enough, but in reverse, please don’t hesitate to ask anything you may need from me.