To follow is a list of some of the experiences and memories that grew to dominate my mind this last year, leading up to my final quit. Every time I dipped, one or more of these would fight their way to the front of my thoughts. The more times I failed my “quits,” the louder these thoughts became, eventually screaming at me from inside my head, trying to break free the brain cells that nic had on lockdown. Over time (a long time, I’m ashamed to say) these thoughts drove me to hate my habit so much, to become so over it, that I joined KTC as a Hail Mary. I’d “quit” four times before, for about a year each time, only to fall for nic’s bullsh!t “reasoning” over and over again. These are in no significant order, I just want to capture the absolute misery nic caused me for so long. Come craving time, nic only reminds me of the “fun.” So I wrote down the truth, so I don’t ever forget. It’s a miserable road to freedom, but d@mn is it worth it! To be free of all this for a 100 days now! Thank you so much to KTC and the genuine people found here. This is my last and permanent quit, and only because of you guys and gals.
– Years ago, my Mormon father-in-law was chiding a friend about the friend’s self-admitted inability to give up his nightly glass of wine. My FIL said “let no thing control you.” That’s always stuck in my head. Dip controlled me. And it pissed me off.
– “Mommy, what is that in your mouth?” asked the precious little voices. This killed me inside! I’d feel so much shame, but couldn’t stop. I might get mad enough to throw my can out and swear it off for a week, but then I’d cave again. I hid it from my kids, of course, but the older they got, the more often they’d catch me. The knot in my stomach, knowing my example could lead them to the same miserable battle down the road. Not to mention the battles with sullen teenagers, calling me a hypocrite and refusing to listen because “you did it, mom!” Oy vey! And it pissed me off.
– I’d stay up waaaay too late, wired on nic, while my precious family slept. Then I’d be tired the next day, often grouchy because of the fog, and therefore not enjoy my family as much as I should have. I kept choosing time with nic over time with my family. The feeling of guilt and sadness caused by this pathetic behavior was increased by my knowledge that I was an @ss in my younger days. I NEVER did anything in my past to deserve the wonderful husband and three perfect little boys God has blessed me with. I’ve always realized that. And yet, I continued to choose nic over the family. My actions were selfish, reckless, and ungrateful. And it pissed me off.
– I’ve followed a blogger on Instagram for a few years now because she has unbelievably adorable ginger babies too. Her and her husband are in their early 30s and had 5 little dolls in 5 years. (I had 3 in 3 years, so also relatable to her.) Anyway, fast forward to last year and her husband is diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma, and he recently passed. So young. And they’re Mormon, so I know he wasn’t sitting around with a wad in his mouth all day! Even though I’ve never met them, I’ve thought about that family every day since that poor man’s diagnosis. She’s now a single mother and those 5 precious littles have no father, and he was a teetotaler, who (apparently) never did anything to deserve dying so young. I, on the other hand, would read his updates, tears streaming down my face, with a dip in. STUPID. STUPID. STUPID. Seriously, my actions equate throwing rocks at the Grim Reaper, screaming “pick me, pick me!” I, of course, realized this and would get so angry with myself, throw my can out, and vow abstinence! Only to heed to nic’s manipulative deceptions later that week. So many times I did this… I’ll never meet that widow, but I pray for her (and others in her situation) and thank her every day. I will be forever grateful to her for sharing their painful story as I have grown so much witnessing the suffering that they seemingly don’t deserve, while coming to terms with the fact that a fate much worse *should* happen to me, as I’ve taken my health and family in vain. I’ve felt so much guilt, anger, and shame over my recklessness during this last year, but I continued to let nic control me. And it pissed me off.
– My first job was in a grocery store in high school. I saw thousands of people walk through those lines in the three years I worked there, several of which had varying combinations of prosthetic noses, cheeks, and jaw lines. It was hard to look at them in a normal manner, to smile and pretend not to notice. These faces crossed my mind all the time this last year! I wasn’t so much thinking about them in terms of myself; I’m female, but I’ve never been much for vanity. I worried about those faces for my husband and my three precious babies. As I said above, I’m still at a loss for why God sent me such a wonderful spouse and family. I am forever grateful and will always acknowledge that I don’t deserve what I have been blessed with. The thought of my husband having to look at my face after I’d been hacked up by an oncologist’s scalpel! Of him having to look past the damage I had caused myself, to look at me every day and pretend not to care. And I know he’s the type that wouldn’t leave, he’d stick around and have to deal with me! That made me feel that much worse. And my little boys… would they be afraid of mommy?! I was a 9th degree ninja dipper, but there’s no ninja-ing a plastic chin! Nic was going to (and still possibly could) severely taint the rest of my life in such a (literally) ugly way!!! These thoughts made me SO MAD and bothered me SO MUCH. I’d throw my can out and vow abstinence, but nic would sneak back in a few days later. Man, did that piss me off!
– My dad quit smoking when I was 2. I’m 35 now and he still says he gets hit with cravings sometimes, right after his morning shower. (When the “old guys” on here tell us we’ll never be cured, they aren’t kidding. I had some of the worst cravings this time around at day 84ish. And remember, I’ve “quit” four times before, for a year each, only to fall again, so far down the road. Cravings will always come around.) I knew that it was hard for everyone, not just for me. I knew I couldn’t use “hard” as an excuse to not follow thru anymore. This thought might have been the biggest peeve for me. I’ve always loved a battle; I thrive on challenge. But when it came to nic, I was lazy and spineless and continued to be a loser, in every sense of the word. That pissed me off.
– I wish that my dad had told me about his battle with nic. I even smoked a few in front of him on occasion. He verbally disapproved, but I wish he would’ve shared a bit more. I’m not blaming him for my stupidity, by any means. I might not have listened at the time, but I would have heard him. Perhaps it wouldn’t have gotten so bad for me…? Anyway, I’m going to have a sit down with my boys as they enter their teen years (or maybe 3rd grade, after reading all the intros on KTC!) and lay out the friggin misery that can come of poor decisions. Sure, they’ll probably blow mom off. But if I can get just one word to stick inside their little minds, I’ll pray to God they never have to wage this war… And of course, I realized that I couldn’t do all that with a dip in my mouth. Even so, I kept refusing to align myself with “good parent” behavior, and that pissed me off.
– I was a super stealth ninja dipper of the highest order. NO ONE but my hubs and ex (who introduced me to dip AND my hubs, ironically) knew about my dirty habit. Because of this need for covertness, I would go days dip-free. I’d work through the fog (Monday’s were always the worst), feel better, only to binge again the next weekend. Soooo stupid. And the 5 bazillion times I swore it off? I’d make it for days, fog free, only to cave again. I’d get through the hardest part so many times, and I was use to (out of necessity) going days without. So why the hell couldn’t I quit for good?! That pissed me off.
To any readers lurking with a full lip: spit it out and find your month. Ask anyone on the board for help. Tell them you’re new and lost (we all were… the forum needs an instructional power point that auto loads upon initial page visits!), and these kind souls will help you out in a heartbeat. Don’t listen to nic and the “not ready” thoughts. Swap digits with EVERYONE, IMMEDIATELY, so that your fellow quitters can help you out when your own will power isn’t enough (trust this multi-cave quitter: there will be many of those times). And screw those thoughts of “this is weird… this isn’t cool…” Walking around with a deadly wad of cr@p in your mouth that makes you spit gallons of gross is uncool. (Seriously, take a step back and think about it! WTF were we thinking?!?!) Bottom line: quit today and quit for good. I’ve been free of the above list of mental burdens for 100 days now! It’s wonderful, and I thank God for it.