I sit here staring at my computer incredulous to the idea that it has been 112 days since I quit nicotine. It seems surreal, like I am in a dream that I thought would never come. Like many other quitters; I failed over and over and over. In my signature block, I have the definition of insanity, which is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. That’s what I was doing; I would try to quit the same way repeatedly and fail every time. I would always “HAVE” to start my quit on Monday, I couldn’t possibly quit on the weekend or mid-week. And I always had some excuse why it wasn’t time throughout the year. March/April baseball starts; May-Aug is yard work and grilling; Sep-Jan baseball playoffs and football, and lastly February and I’m not shoveling snow without a dip in. All of it was bull shit, weak willed excuses. What was different this time?
A little background; I was a ninja dipper and had convinced my wife that I quit many years ago. She didn’t know, my kids didn’t know, my friends and family didn’t know. Literally nobody knew and when I would throw a dip in golfing or hunting; I would tell them I let myself enjoy it when I’m with the boys but I’m quit. BS!
Dipping was something that I carried the burden of solely. I didn’t care at first because it was engrained in me. Over time, it became more and more difficult to find the time to do it without getting caught. This built my anxiety as I would go 12-18 hours at times between dips. This led to numerous mini-fogs over the course of my addiction, which led to me being short-fused and easily agitated. Then the anxiety of getting caught augmented my issues. It got to the point where I loathed it, but had to do it. I was convinced I would stop when something medically forced me to. Ultimately, I finally had enough and was fortunate to stumble upon this site.
My quit has been quite similar to many others. I had early fogs and cravings and sleep was problematic. Around day 20 I started sleeping through the night, which was a game changer for me. I haven’t had too many issues with fogs or cravings, but do have occasional anxiety. I’ve also come to realize how much dipping masked as far as my physical health. I’m no longer fearful of going to the doctor and getting some terrible diagnosis.
So I go back to my original question; what was different this time? Here are some of the best pieces of advice I received and other things I experienced. You will see them peppered throughout the site; but these are my favorites:
- Force yourself to hate it. I did this from the start; all of the fog and cravings and misery – it was dip’s fault. I blamed it and now I hate it.
- I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH – Build relationships with fellow quitters, both new and vets. When you do this, and you make your promise every day, it means something because you don’t want to let a fellow quitter you’ve bonded with down by caving
- The process is so simple, don’t over complicate it. Make your promise to not use nicotine for the day and keep your word. Wake up tomorrow and do it again. Time goes on and the days add up. Go hour by hour if need be; I did this for the first 15 days or so; every hour was a win!
- Keep a journal of the early days of your quit. Be descriptive and write out how miserable you are. Make a point to go back and read it occasionally so that those feelings stay fresh in your mind.
- Don’t ever get complacent; we are addicts. We don’t get cured, we just learn to live without it and keep our word for just today – don’t worry about tomorrow.
- One problem + nicotine = 2 problems. Plain and simple, dipping solves absolutely zero problems, but it will create another
- If you cave, it will not be a glorious buzz that you had when you first started dipping; it will be just like the last one you had before you quit – filled with anger, misery and regret
- And lastly, if you’re a ninja dipper; swallow your pride and tell your spouse, friends, etc. that you are quit. It dramatically helps and gives you someone to celebrate the wins with!
Lastly, I wanted to mention some folks that were paramount to my success for the past 112 days. I’m going to miss some, and I apologize if I do, but here goes. I want to thank dbh68stang, copequits, DocPetey, Peter Gibbons and Dawgs who all reached out to me on the first day of posting and I will be forever thankful for their support. I want to thank copequits (again), oldschool, srains918 and chris2alaska for holding me accountable Every Damn Day! I want to thank bigdiesel80, evilginger, and sballhouse, fellow Sep 2019 quitters, that I really connected with and talk with almost daily (it’s really nice talking with people going through the same exact thing as you). Finally, I want to thank 69franx. Frank is one bad ass quitter and has had my back since early in my quit. We talk daily and he has fortified my quit more than anyone has. Unprovoked, he bought and shipped a HoF coin to me when I passed 100. That’s the type of person and quitter he is and I hope to be like him and pay it forward one day. I will never break that bond or my word to him ever…but for now, I’ll just worry about the rest of today!
One day at a time can move mountains; just quit for today and i’ll see you tomorrow morning for roll!