I remember the first time I was exposed to chewing tobacco. My buddy’s older brother offered all of my friends a dip and I was the only one who resisted. I wanted no part of that shit. Looking back on it, it is actually pretty amazing that I had that much will power. But as all of you know, peer pressure is very powerful. Time after time, I would resist, until one night I wanted him to quit asking. I finally gave in. I didn’t throw up, but I do remember getting very dizzy/buzzed. This feeling felt better and better. I know now that this is how nicotine gets you hooked. It made me feel good while getting me addicted.
I dipped all through high school. I still remember asking the various seniors that I sort of knew if they would buy me a tin. Most of them would buy you a tin if you threw them an extra dollar. Many of these seniors were on the same baseball or football teams that I was. All of the long bus rides to any away games involved a hidden spitter and tin. Lots of guys did it. It was the cool thing to do. More importantly, some of my best friends did it.
High school came and went, but dipping never stopped. It became like a second nature to always know where my tin was and to never leave home without. If I was going somewhere and I forgot my tin, I would turn around and drive home to get it. I even came up with a little saying that I would go through in my head every time I left the house. I said to myself, “Tin, phone, wallet, keys, iPod.” Those are the things I always had to have with me or I had to go back and find them. Notice that on that list of items “Tin” came first. It always did in my life. I was a slave to it. I had come to believe that I would never be without it.
Quitting never seemed like an option. I would get sore gums; get freaked out, dump my tin, then go on some sort of half-assed two day quit. During one of these so called “quits”, I said to hell with this crap. I chucked my newly opened tin out the window of my car into a ditch along a gravel road outside my hometown. The next morning I drove to back to that spot along the gravel road and I searched and searched until I found that tin that I felt was going to go to waste. I paid good money for that thing. It would be stupid to just waste it. Right? This sounds a little bit like an addict, don’t you think?
I finally quit because I thought I had cancer. I noticed one morning a small hard spot in my cheek. It freaked me out. It turned out to be nothing, but it was the kick in the ass that got me to this site. I made it 5 days before finding this site by looking up ways to deal with nicotine cravings. The main thing that struck me about this site was the accountability and the no-bullshit attitude. Giving a group of people my word everyday made me think about all the people I would let down if I caved. I didn’t want to lose my brothers’ respect and trust. I still don’t.
In the early days of my quit, my group was adding members left and right. My group also lost members left and right as well. The drama really didn’t help my quit. It kind of freaked me out and showed me exactly how easy it would be to lose the respect and days quit that I was accumulating. I posted my roll, ignored the drama, and protected my quit.
It is one thing to hear about the support this site offers, but it is another to actually experience it. I typically post roll right after midnight because I am up early anyway. This might be frowned upon by some, but it has worked for me. Anyway, one night I went to bed early and slept late without posting roll. When I woke up I saw that my quit brothers had sent me texts wondering where I was because my name is usually pretty high on our list. They had not seen it. It is hard to explain the pride I felt in my November Quit brothers after this. It made my quit that much stronger because it showed that people really did care if I succeeded or failed. This was made possible because I put myself out there. I asked for numbers. I sent personal messages asking for them. It was awkward. I gave these guys my number in exchange. Each one of these guys agreed to blow up my phone if I wasn’t on the roll call. I promised to do the same for them. If I see that one of my brothers is not on roll, I send them a PM or shoot them a text if I have their number.
My group has a spreadsheet to show the percentage of the times we all post roll. Behind my name is 100%. I made it my goal to maintain that 100 %. I have not missed a day yet and I do not plan on it. This is one of the most important things that helped me make it 100 days. I posted my roll EVERYDAY. It is so simple. You post roll and you take using nicotine off the table for the whole day. Do it again the next day. Repeat. I am quit today because I made sure my name was on that list every day. You might say you can’t find time or you keep getting bumped from the roll call. Whatever. Those are bullshit excuses. If you are serious about your quit, you get your name on that damn roll and you make sure it is there. Period.
If you are a new quitter reading this, please know that you will not regret your decision to quit. You might get pissed off by how hard it is at first but if you stick with it you will come to regard it as one of the best decisions you have ever made. I would like to tell you that quitting it easy, but that would be a lie. Nothing worth having in life ever comes easy. Quitting nicotine is no exception. You have to want it. You have to regard chewing as something you used to do. You have to quit for you. This is your quit, own it. All the support in the world is right here, all you have to do is ask for it. Reach out, make sure people know your name, post roll everyday and you will be successful.
Finally, I would like to offer a special thanks to my November quit brothers. We cannot stop after we make the hall. The HOF is just one of many goals. I plan on quitting with you guys for a long time to come. Thank you for your support and thank you for keeping your word to stay quit. You have my full respect.