Hi my name is Tazbutane (Steve) and I am an addict….. What I am not, is a writer…
I still remember the first time I was offered a ‘dip’ of copenhagen, of course I accepted. I was 16 years old, and at Huntington Beach on the shores of Lake Erie in Bay Village Ohio. It did not take long until I was dipping on a regular basis.
I stopped for 84 days while I was in boot camp from November 19th 1984 to February 25th 1985. One of the first things I did when I got back home? Put in a dip of copenhagen of course! If only I knew back then the money I could have saved and the ride I was in for……
I was arrogant enough back then not to hide it from my parents. Ironically enough they were both smokers and quit when I was in high school because us kids kept harping on them about the smell. Hell I was a Marine and invincible! My parents kept sending me articles about how bad it was for me; sending pictures of people with mouth cancer and stuff, man I thought I was so much smarter than they were!
3 years into my service and I am getting a physical before being sent overseas to Okinawa. The dentist tells me I need to go get a consult because of receding gum lines and I might need to get a gum graft. That scared me into quitting for a couple of weeks, until I had the consult and the doc told me it wasn’t that serious and no graft was needed. So back to the can I go. Yet another wasted quit opportunity. I swore I was going to quit when the price went over one dollar a can. That promise came and went as did many others.
Back to civilian life, working full time and going to school part time, living pay check to pay check but I still managed to scrape together the money for beer and tobacco. Money was so tight I started double dipping at that point, putting a used dip back in the can for later. Sick, the levels I would go to.
Fast forward 25 years. I have been married for 17 years and have two daughters age 11 and 13. I am 46 years old and sneaking down into our basement every night to get my fix, how pathetic is that???? I was a ninja dipper around my family; They new I did it, but I was ashamed enough not to flaunt it around them. You see, at this point I all ready knew about addictions, I am a non-practicing alcoholic and have been sober for over 6 years. It took me several years of on-the -wagon/off-the-wagon before I got that quit right. I believe every one of my caves during that time was planned, I would start thinking about how it would be OK to have just one and start dwelling on it. If you ever find yourself thinking to much about having just one, or reminiscing about it you better find something else to start thinking about immediately!
I have been trying to stop using nicotine for the last 6 years. Every time we went on vacation, every new year, every holiday and every sobriety date (you know, how cool would it be to have the same quit date for alcohol and nicotine). Hell almost every single night I went to bed I swore I would quit tomorrow. Whenever my wife would get fed up with my dipping; normally after finding a spitter, or a used can somewhere she would confront me about it. I would tell her I all ready gave up drinking, she couldn’t expect me to give up everything I enjoyed! What a shit I was. Even my parents were willing to accept my use of nicotine as a trade off for having me sober.
Live chat was a life saver for me the first couple of weeks. One of my first nights in live chat and someone mentioned posting support in other groups was a good way to show support for each other. So I started posting in every month of 2012 and 2013. He was right, a number of people noticed and started posting support in March and sending me PM’s with there numbers. From that I learned to give my number out, a lot. Everyone in March 2013 has been sent my number at least once. If you want to build some accountability start sending PM’s with your phone number out. I was actively posting on the site and texting with many people, often on a daily basis. I probably have 2 dozen names in my phone of people that are no longer active members on the site. Another thing I have learned is you have to protect your own quit. When someone caves without calling you, that is on them. Even if they call you first and then cave, that is on them. You can only help someone that wants to be helped.
Reading the Words of Wisdom and HOF speeches were also inspirational. All of you have helped me get to this point in my quit, why would I stop doing what has worked so far? I am posting in about 2 dozen groups more often than not and trying to keep up with the introductions. There are also several groups in the ‘Wildcard’ community that I like to follow. Ya’ll are stuck with me for the foreseeable future, fair warning ;-).
100 + days and here I am nicotine free, thanks to my family, KTC and all of the great people on this site. I would like to thank everyone that has been instrumental in my quit, but there are to many people to name names. My family asking me what day I am on, all of the vets that posted support in March 2013 and all of my March 2013 brothers.
Enough rambling… I am truly thankful for this site and all of you that strengthen my quit on a daily basis. I truly believe the only way to remain quit is to do it one day at a time (ODAAT).
NOTE: This piece written by KillTheCan.org forum member tazbutane