104 days ago, I was sitting here at my office desk ninja-dipping my Copenhagen Snuff. The day before I had googled “quit dipping” and found this site. I was going through yet another round of “man, I really need to quit this sh*t…” thoughts. For some reason this time, the urgency really hit me. I really felt as though I were at a crossroads in my life. One road led to health and longevity. The other to sickness and early death. I asked God for help, and I honestly believe it was He that put KTC in my path. Thank you, God, for leading me here.
I’d wanted to quit for years. I knew the consequences to my health, but I simply couldn’t imagine giving up something that I enjoyed so much, something that was so ingrained into every part of my life. Dipping was as natural and routine to me as anything. My daily routines revolved around dipping: driving to the office, working at my desk (dipping ninja style), mowing the yard, reading the paper, doing just about anything around the house in the evenings, even staying up late at night because I loved Copenhagen (feeding my nic addiction) more than sleep. When I wasn’t dipping, I was looking forward to dipping. I loved the smell and taste of a fresh can. I loved the way it felt packed in my bottom lip. I loved the swirl of tobacco juice in my mouth, and the nicotine coursing through my veins. I loved spitting into an empty coffee cup or soda bottle. Copenhagen was my companion. I honestly could not imagine life without it. How could I possibly function? Would life even be enjoyable without it? How could I drive a whole 20 minutes to work without a dip? How could I enjoy my coffee in the morning without also having a pinch of Cope to go along with it? Would my lawn mower even start if I didn’t first load a big pinch in my bottom lip? What will I do to stave off boredom on long business trips? Surely I’d go nuts without Copenhagen. Do I even want a life without dip?
I didn’t have any idea what I was getting into 104 days ago. I didn’t know on that Thursday, July 14, 2011, at around noontime right here at my office desk that I’d just had my last dip. I simply took a leap of faith and made the decision. After 18 years of being a slave to nicotine, I quit. Just like that. Over and done. I logged in here, found my quit group, and posted day one. It didn’t take long for the words of support and encouragement to come rolling in from complete strangers. Thank you all for rallying around me when I needed you most. I wrote a long intro speech (which was therapeutic for me at the time, but kind of amusing to look back on now). I can feel my nicotine-slave self writing those words, wondering what life was going to be like now. I remember being afraid of what the coming hours and days held in store as the withdrawal would set in. Would I be strong enough to withstand it? What I didn’t know at the time was that I’d already cleared the highest hurdle – – I’d made the DECISION to quit. Sure, there’d be some bumps down the road, particularly during the first week or so: the fog, the irritability, the insomnia, etc. And there’d of course be craves from time to time. Nothing, though, in the following 100 days would be as difficult as what I’d already accomplished – – making the DECISION to quit, and meaning it. That was by far the hardest part.
To those reading this who are not yet quit, listen to me here. I know this is going to sound cliché, but you just have to man up and do this. No excuses. Don’t wait till you feel like it, because you’ll never feel like it. Don’t wait for a better time, because there is no better time. Just quit. Just spit it out and walk away. Do it for one day. Get a victory under your belt, and come back the next day for another. It’s really that simple. I promise you if I can do it, then anybody can do it. You have no excuse. Make your decision right now. Toss the nicotine out of your life. Say to yourself, “I quit. I’m done.” And be done. Go find your quit group, post day one, write an intro to tell us about yourself, and then just read all you can on this site. In time, you’ll develop bonds with others here. You’ll look forward to logging on every day and posting roll with your quit group. You’ll look forward to not only getting the support you need to maintain your quit, but you’ll also look forward to providing support to others to help them in theirs. You’ll find encouraging others strengthens your own quit. You’ll enjoy the camaraderie found here.
I want to thank all of you for the support, encouragement, guidance, wisdom, motivation, entertainment, hilarity, and distraction you’ve provided to me during my quit. This experience over the last 100+ days has been one of the most rewarding of my life. Among other things, it’s taught me that I have much more inner strength and discipline than I believed I had. It’s even prompted me to consider other areas of my life where I need to just man up and make other positive changes.
I’m incredibly thankful to have found this place. To you would-be quitters reading this, I’m glad you’ve found it too. I was told by someone very dear to me a long time ago that life is not the dreams you dream. Life is the choices you make. What is your choice today? What is your decision? As for me, I choose to quit.