What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
That is the dilemma that I have been faced with since eclipsing the 100 day mark. How to impart what I have learned on someone when there is a wealth of knowledge already at their disposal? The path to quit is laid out simply on this site. Make a promise and stick to it for one day. Sometimes that one day would seem like an eternity and these Hall of Fame speeches are where I come to get over a crave or after a stressful day. I poured through the details of all the battles fought and the lessons learned. I take comfort knowing that someone had been where I am and came through it. There is nothing new about this addiction. We all fight the same battles.
I took my first dip when I was 15. I was fishing with a buddy and he offered it to me. It was fine cut Skoal Classic (just thinking about it makes me sick now) and I caved to the peer pressure. It was horrible; on a boat in the middle of summer, hotter than hell and I couldn’t let him see me turning green. I don’t remember when it started, but I became a user shortly after that. I began dipping in the locker room before football practice and on the way home in the evenings. I was a ninja dipper but my parents found my cans. They tried punishing me, threatening me and pleading with me but they could not understand that I was addicted. College followed and I took my addiction with me. I also dabbled with cigarettes, but smokeless was always my favorite.
When I met my future wife, she knew that I dipped. I told her all the lies. I’m trying to quit. I only do it when I’m hunting or playing golf. I can drop it whenever I want to. Uh-oh, I shouldn’t have told her that lie because she called me on it. So instead of being a man and quitting, I went back to ninja dipping. She busted me a few times and I would tell more lies. I set deadlines only to see them come and go. My wedding day, my daughter’s birth, my son’s birth. In 2012 I decided I had had enough and I stopped. I finished hunting season and dumped all my cans. I bought a ration of herbal snuff and made it 9 months. One day out of the blue a craving came on me, I was alone in my work truck with no support system and a gas station was just up ahead. You all know how this ended. I let the craving win and threw away 9 months of freedom.
It took me two more years to get the nerve to start thinking about quitting. I honestly didn’t know if I could ever kick it. I had a checkup scheduled with the doctor in January. He told me my blood pressure was borderline and I may need to start taking medicine to control it. We discussed how the tobacco use was affecting my health. He asked if I wanted to see my kids graduate. Boom! That knocked the wind out of me. I found KTC that day, but was reluctant to sign up. I knew I needed help but I wasn’t comfortable joining an online community. I posted an introduction and was immediately made aware of my addict speak and how this place worked. Honestly, I didn’t know how to respond. I hung back and kept pretty quiet for the first 50 days. Then I began to reach out. I sent my phone number to guys that were posting their day 1’s. I offered to help manage the SSOA for my group-May 15. I became more invested in my quit by helping others. My advice to anyone that might be reading this; find a way to be involved and stay engaged. Remember, there is nothing new under the sun; share what you are going through and chances are you will find that someone else has fought or is fighting the same battle.
Lastly, many of us personify nicotine as a woman. In that vein I found this bible verse resonated with me since the early days of my quit.
For the lips of that woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it. Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house, lest you lose your honor to others and your dignity to one who is cruel, lest strangers feast on your wealth and your toil enrich the house of another.