A Thanksgiving quit HOF speech. First and foremost I want to thank KTC for creating a resource for all us quitters. I am so thankful I found you and am thankful for the support that I have had during my quit.
I grew up on a 3,000 acre ranch in Northern Nevada. In this environment it was more common to see people dipping than it was not. I watched my dad dip growing up and found out later on that he was a closet smoker as well. More on that later…
I tried my first dip at the age of 16 when I snuck one out of my dad’s can when he left it sitting on the coffee table. I remember how much it burned my lip and it didn’t last long in my mouth. When I was 17 my best friend (also a farm boy) and I literally spent every waking hour, after work was done on the ranch, hanging out. We would find someone to buy us beer and we would go out shooting rabbits, riding some motocross or hanging at the river. It was at that time I was introduced to Copenhagen. To be honest I hated it at first but I was determined to fit in and “sucked” it up and kept trying. It wasn’t long before I needed a can of my own. At that point it became a part of my life. If I was in a tractor I had a dip in.
When I went to college I attempted to quit but soon joined a fraternity and found that many of the guys dipped. I never really bought my own cans in college but would bum one off someone when the beer started flowing. It more of a social thing for me than needing one where I dipped when I was with those that dipped and didn’t when I was around those that did not. I never looked at myself as an addict.
Exit College and I am out in the work force. I would buy a can every two weeks. I had one dip a day, on the way home from work. Again I did not view myself as an addict. I mean I only had one dip a day and a can would last me two weeks. There were times I had to buy a new can because the one I had dried out. I knew guys that were going through a can a day. Now those guys were addicts! A few years into my career I took a position as a Regional Sales Manager and my territory was everything west of the Mississippi and Canada. I was off on the road spending 3-4 days a week on a plane and up to 7-10 days away from home. Here is where my addiction really took hold.
Now that I was alone so much dip became my companion. It was my friend…my precious. All of a sudden I was throwing a dip in when I woke up in the hotel, one after breakfast, one after my meetings, one after dinner, and one before bed. All of a sudden I went from one dip a day (where I was not an addict right?) to 4-5 a day. You know what the crazy part was…I really liked it. I used that as an excuse for years.
Fast forward several years and I have a 5 year old daughter and 2 year old son. Nothing has changed as far as my addiction but at this point I was getting lazy with spitters and where I would leave my cans. One day I get a call from my wife. My two year old son had found one of cans and opened it up and took a sample. My wife was in a panic and ended up calling poison control to see what she should do. That would make most people quit right there right? Nope not me…what an idiot right? I just made sure not to leave my shit around. About two years later I would attempt my first quit. It worked for TWO years!! TWO YEARS!! I had a traumatic experience in my life and literally before I knew it I had a dip in my mouth. My addiction was back and stronger than ever.
So you know how there are the cancer warnings on the cans now? Well apparently my daughter saw my can and went to my wife in tears fearing that I was going to die. My Father in Law passed away from esophageal cancer so she has experienced a death by cancer. That should wake me up again right? Nope. But what did seem to wake me up was my son asking me about dipping. Why did I do it? What does it taste like? Does it make me feel good? At that moment I finally saw what I was going to do. I was going to create another dipper like my dad did to me. I decided at that point I needed to stop the cycle. I was responsible for that and no one else and I was not going to pass that responsibility on to my son. But this time I knew I needed help. I quit for two years and still lost the battle. That is when I got online and did a search for “smokeless tobacco support groups.” I found this place did some reading, signed up and have not looked back. But most importantly I am not looking forward. I am looking at each day.
On this special day I am thankful to be quit with you all. Little did I know that I would be reconnected with someone who I went to school with (another quitter here) and create some really solid friendships. There are a lot of people to thank. Klark for being the first to give me his number but with a contract, one I hold dearly, Kdip for being the guy in chat that understood when I was hurting those first few weeks. To my November quit group for quitting with me…Steve, moto, and especially Aglawyer! Ag you have been a true friend and have helped me more than you know.
Thank you all. I am blessed to have each and every quitter here as part of my life. Even the new quitters make my quit feel stronger. You new guys/ gals inspire me!! You have helped me break a cycle and saved my life. In a non ghey way…I love you all!!