MY ADDICTION: I started dipping at 29 years old—later than most. I’m 44 now. At first it was a golf thing. Eventually it was an ‘every waking moment’ thing. Sound familiar? I managed to quit on my own about 5 years ago, and stayed quit for over a year. Figured I had it licked. I thought I could control it. Typical thinking for an addict. Then I did a ‘calculated cave’: decided to pick it up to fuel an all-night road trip, thinking I’d quit at the end of the trip. Then I found myself helplessly hooked. That episode is my ‘insurance policy’. It convinced me once and for all that I’m an addict, Cope whore, dip junkie. That’s why I can’t have “just one”. Not today, next week, next year. Not ever. My next lipper will be the one that kills me.
MY MOTIVATION: I’m a single father of two wonderful little girls, (now 9 & 13). When my first daughter was born I sold my motorcycle and stopped flying small aircraft—too dangerous, I thought. They clearly need me around for awhile. Of course I kept putting a can of Copentumor in my mouth every day. Deep irony there. Of course, I also have a healthy selfish desire not to die before my time, and that’s what will keep me quit after my girlies are grown.
MY DECISION: One hundred days ago I told my dentist that I dipped. He’s an outdoorsman, and a good friend. He went apeshit on me in his own controlled way, and showed me some disturbing pictures of the inside of my mouth. I searched the web and found KTC, spent an hour or so with the cancer pics and Tom Kern’s story, and decided it was time. Just like that. I stumbled into chat, and Skoaldaddy sent me his cell number within 2 minutes of chatting with him—that was huge. I called him that afternoon just to say ‘thanks’. Suddenly I realized I wasn’t alone.
ACCOUNTABILITY: Some of you know I came into KTC with a 12-step background that involved detaching from the destructive behavior of others (Al-Anon). So it felt very strange to come in here and see that everyone was so tightly attached to everyone else. At first I just didn’t get it: “my quit is my quit, and yours is yours. Why does everybody get so pissed when somebody else caves?” After awhile it sunk in. In THIS program we’re all accountable to each other. That’s how it works. Nicotine addiction is just so powerful that most of us simply aren’t strong enough to succeed by ourselves. Looking at it from that perspective, my quit brothers ARE my higher power. They keep my quit going and lead me where I need to go.
MATURITY: Quitting dip is a very mature decision. We must summon all of our adult strength and rationality in order to succeed. Yet in KTC we say some remarkably immature things to each other. That was also hard for me to understand at first. Most of you know that my ‘day one’ post was arguably the most screwed-up post that any quitter has ever done on this site. Of course, the insults started flying instantly. I think Mule said that I could, “probably manage to fuck up a peanut butter and jelly sandwich”. Harsh? A little. Then just a couple days ago somebody in chat called me a “geeky fag”, or some such. What made that so funny to me was that he was young enough to be my son, and was in diapers when I put in my first lipper. If the neighbor boy across the street said that to me I’d grab him by an earlobe and walk him back to his mama for a full explanation. Nowhere else in the free world would I tolerate that behavior from anybody—much less from a young pup. But in KTC, it’s all part of the larger mosaic. In here it somehow makes SENSE.
So why do we act like pre-teen boys? I think it’s this: dip used to be a HUGE part of us. Then we deleted it entirely. And that left a massive void, which is very uncomfortable. We just don’t know how to handle it. So we regress. We thrash around like angry little boys, calling each other names, saying silly things, and so on. It feels good, and KTC is a safe place to do it while we re-define the new dip-free us.
COMPLETION: It ain’t over. While it’s nice to hit triple digits, I’ll always need to be vigilant. I’ll be leaning on my seeds, my Contract to Give Up The Quit, pictures of my daughters, my audibles, and my quit brothers. And I’ll be quit. That’s bankable.
GRADITUDE: There are dozens and dozens of quitters who’ve inspired and propelled my quit; and I couldn’t possibly mention all of them here, but I’ll try to hit a few:
BigBrotherJack – Keeper of the quit. Solid as a rock, and giving to others what was never given to him.
Bones – Quit your job & start writing poetry full-time.
Animal – Biggest damn heart I’ve ever seen.
My chat lizzards – ferret, poorboy, slug, buck, 11×4. There were many days when y’all had me laughing out loud in my office.
Timonesock – Master of Chat – paying it forward like a quit ATM
Jpine – Beating what was prolly the worst nic consumption on these boards
Monty – Extracurricular motivation
Smokey – professor quit
Bubbles – for keeping the train on the tracks
Tsquared – for showing us all how to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and man up
QT & Ready – consistency, consistency, consistency
Chewie & Loot – Saving Lives, one quitter at a time
…and especially…KD4jet – man, you have no friggin’ idea how much you’ve helped me, in so many ways.
Lastly, I’d like to thank Jenny & Tom Kern. By sacrificing himself, Jesus Christ may have saved my soul, but Tom Kern saved my life.
Starting today I’ll no longer post the ‘3wood’ part of my username. We’ve known each other long enough to be on a first-name basis. From here on out I’m just “theo”.
Your brother in quit,