It’s amazing how all the stories are so similar. “Started in high school, really picked up in college/post high school, and then I realized one day that I was completely addicted… How did this happen?” It happens. What starts as something recreational becomes something you have to have to function. It becomes so much a part of your daily routine that it dictates your route to work, when you go to bed, and most everything you do. It even influences what you eat – the after dinner dip tastes better after certain foods…
While you’re not proud of it, you’re a dipper. What was somewhat “cool” in high school and college is now “not cool” and not acceptable in most public places. This is inconvenient, but it’s not all bad. You have a group of friends that still dip and they completely understand and, after 20 years of dipping, you’ve become adept at hiding it from those that don’t or wouldn’t understand – primarily, family and co-workers. So, while it’s a little more work than in college, you are still dipping and everyone is content…
Beginning of the End
Somehow life becomes more serious when you have kids. Certainly you have an obligation to your wife and other family members, but they can take care of themselves if you weren’t here – this is not true with kids. Not to mention, your gums are receding and bleeding when you brush your teeth. You are now fully in your 30’s and that stuff is not good on the heart. So, you decide it’s time to quit… easier said than done. This is something you have been doing for the better part of 20 years and is fully ingrained in your daily, monthly, quarterly, and annual routine. How do you operate without it? How do you clean the car, mow the lawn, or drive to work? Hell, how do you work without dip?
Despite all the known hurdles, you decide to quit… then fail… then quit… then fail… then quit… then fail. This goes on for several years and you fail so often that you quit telling anyone you’re trying to quit, so when you fail you are the only one that was let down. But, you weren’t really let down. In fact, it really wasn’t even your fault. The stress at work was a killer and anyone would have caved…
The kids are now starting school and the dip-related health concerns are starting to mount. You hit a point of desperation and you have no confidence that you will actually ever be able to quit. It is depressing and now you truly want out and can’t get out.
So, with little inspiration or hope of success, you set up for another run at quitting and go to order some fake dip for your quit arsenal. While you are ordering, you notice a link to a quit group and decide to check it out. The material on the site is great; they understand the desperation of wanting to quit so badly and not being able to. They get it! You understand the site and how the program works, but there is a problem. You aren’t a chat room person or one for sharing thoughts, emotions, or much of anything for that matter – this is definitely outside of your comfort zone. You discuss it your wife, who is also not one for sharing with strangers, and her response is “whatever will work” – with this response you now fully realize she is desperate as well.
The mix of people in the quit group is interesting with varying backgrounds, however, all have one thing in common: they are addicts and they want to quit. Camaraderie and accountability are the cornerstones of this program and it works. While you still think about dipping from time-to-time, you’ve made it through to the other side with the help of a whole host of people. Dip no longer rules your routine. You reached 100 days and realize this is not the end; it’s the beginning of what’s next…
Most associated with this site know this story or some version of this story; this just happens to be mine. I am an addict who has not dipped for 100 consecutive days. From a point of desperation, I was able to accomplish this with the help of the people on this site and my family. And I can’t thank them enough. When I thank the people on this site, there are different groups I need to thank. First and foremost, I need to thank my group – it’s been a hell of a ride and thank you for posting every day with me. Second, I need to thank the veterans. While some (really just one) are absolutely obnoxious, most bring a calming perspective to the process that only comes with experience and time. They tend to smooth out the peaks and valleys associated with the process – thank you. Last and absolutely not least, I need to thank the Day 1 quitter. Again, I was desperate with no real hope of ever quitting and I am no longer in that place. You are a constant reminder of where I was and where I never want to be again – thank you.
I used to believe the key to quitting was quitting long enough to forget how good tobacco tasted and felt. While this helps, the real key is not forgetting, but remembering. You have to remember why you quit, how desperate you were to quit, and how tobacco controlled you. I truly believe if you remember these things and use this site as designed, you too can quit and stay quit.