My dip journey began in 9th grade after my parents caught me smoking in the house. As punishment, they had me volunteer to paint and clean up the youth room at our church. The first night I ended up painting with my best friend and he introduced me to what would become the main focus of my life for the next 20 years…dip.
The sad part of all this is the fact that dip was the main focus of my life for nearly 20 years. I placed this above God, spouse, kids, family, friends and anyone else that was in my life at the time. I am embarrassed to even admit to how much control that little can had on my life, but you already know that feeling all too well! I would do anything for that little can…I would leave work for “an appointment” and drive around town for a hour just to dip. I would take the “long way” to and from work so I could dip for an extra 15 minutes. I would wait for my wife to go to sleep then sneak downstairs to dip into the weee hours morning. There are hundreds of other examples, but you get the point.
In early May 2009, I began to become even more stressed with everything going on in my life and I felt the heavy cloud of depression settling in all around me. Having dealt with depression years ago, I promised myself then that I would never go back to that dark place where I had visited once before. This time, I sat down with my laptop and that little can at my side and began to journal all the things in my life that were worrying me and how I should best deal with each situation. I realized in mere minutes that being this “ninja dipper” was causing me more stress than I could imagine. I was hiding this from everyone in my life, it was almost like I was keeping a sexy, ravenous affair hidden from my wife, my coworkers and my family. This garbage in my mouth was keeping me from living life the way it was intended.
Now the question became… how to quit?
Here we go again (I thought). I have tried patches, pills, gum, lazer treatment, cold-turkey, vitamins, you name it, I’ve tried it. This time I began looking for the quick fix on the internet to help me solve my 20 year nicotine addiction. After all, we are all looking for that immediate quick fix cure for everything in our lives, Right? I wanted something quick and painless for sure. After another couple weeks and 15 more cans of dip, I found this site on May 28th, 2009 and thought this sounded like a good place to start. On May 29, 2009, I took the day off work to stay home and join this site. My wife left for work and I jumped into my car and raced to the BP station to get a can of skoal mint. I got home, put a big fatty in my mouth and thought “I will start tomorrow.” We have all been there before, but this time for me, I felt so guilty and powerless that I knew it was time to quit for good. I spit out my last dip, flushed the rest of my brand new can down the toilet. I pproceededto gather 8 empty cans and three spitters hidden throughout the house and double bagged the evidence in a shopping bag before placing it in the trash. I sat down and said a prayer for God to help me through this ordeal and I signed up for the site.
For some reason on that Friday, my sign up didn’t go through and I kept checking my email about every 5 minutes waiting for my confirmation. I was ready to post Day 1 and I couldn’t log on?!?! Over the rest of the weekend I waited and waited to be able to access the site. Finally on Monday, I emailed Chewie and I was on the site in a matter of minutes. I found my September 2009 home and began to post. That evening, I had a long talk with my wife about what was going on in my life and how I had been lying to her and hiding this addiction! She was rightfully pissed, but also understanding and supportive at the same time.
Over the next two weeks, I would leave work to log on and chat with my group at a local eatery that has free wi-fi. (Since I work at a financial services company, certain sites are blocked from our work PCs…especially those with blogs!) This site became my home, was an absolute life-line in times of need. I also went to the doctor’s and explained my depression and my intentions to quit dipping and he prescribed Cymbalta. I also focused my misplaced anger, aggression and jitteryness towards triathlons. The combination of this site, drugs and working out 6 times a week…on September 5th, 2009 I entered the Hall of Fame!
This is just the beginning of my journey. I choose to continue to post roll and be here for all the brothers and sisters who will follow in my foot steps. I’ve had my last dip…have you?
Thanks to all my September 2009 Brothers! Thanks to all of you who supported our group on a daily basis! Thanks to all my friends in the Endurance Group for your love and support. Thank you to my wife Shea for helping me through this and being there every step of the way. To God: thank you for giving me the strength!
Ironman07 ~ Dave