Like most on this site I started dipping at a very early age. My first memory of using tobacco was sneaking a wad of my buddies’ dad’s Beechnut. That was when we were only around 7. Around 12 or 13 I started dipping on a regular basis. By the time I was in high school I was a can a day dipper and stayed that way until my quit date of 1-13-11. I am 43 now so I have had a dip in my mouth for the past 30 +/- years.
So, why did I decide to quit? Damn good question. I guess I just finally grew up. See, my dad was a smoker and died of throat cancer when I was a kid. My mom was a smoker and now has emphysema so bad she can barely breathe. Cancer runs rampant in my family yet I continued to walk around in oblivion with a dip in my mouth. I consider myself a pretty intelligent person, but when it came to my tobacco I was blind. Thinking back as I write this, my decision to quit was based on shame. See, I am the father of two beautiful little girls and a beautiful woman who all deserve better than living with an idiot with a target on his forehead. I finally realized that if I did not change this part of my life my children would grow up fatherless, as I did, and my wife would spend the rest of her life alone. Is it too late? I have no idea, but I’ll be damned if I am not going to try and change the future.
So how did I make it to KTC and finally the HOF? First I decided I was going to quit for the last time. I have quit in the past, but those were half hearted quits. Both of those quits were for others. This time I quit for me. Yes my kids and wife were my motivation, but my quit is for me. So I can live with myself for the rest of my life. So I can get up in the morning and look in the mirror without shame. My shame started getting the better of me when my daughters started getting older and would ask what I was putting in my mouth. I would tell them: “That is daddy’s yucky”. As they got older, now 4 and 7, they would ask why I always had to have “yucky” in my mouth. I had no good answer. The kicker came when I saw my youngest daughter spit one day while we were playing outside. At first I thought maybe something had gotten in her mouth, but when she did it again I realized she was imitating me. WHAT THE FUCK?????????
So I decided to quit and started looking online for information. I ran across this site and started reading. I decided on a quit date, but never made it there. One night after supper I decided that “Today is the day”. I took a dip and called my oldest daughter into the kitchen. I looked down at her and told her daddy had just taken his last dip. She looked a little confused and apprehensive, but I told her again that I had just taken my last dip and I wanted her to dump my can in the trash and then throw it away. At this point she is really looking confused, but as I reassure her that I am serious she starts to smile. She dumps the can, throws it in the trash and runs to the back of the house to announce to my wife what had just transpired. I was in the kitchen crying at this point. The next morning I got up, logged on to KTC and posted my day 1 pledge that I would not dip that day. I have been doing so every day since then. I will not let those two little girls down!
If you have made it all the way through this, thank you for taking the time to read my story. If you are new to KTC let me say this, GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS! That shit in your mouth will kill you! Man up and quit! Is it hard to quit? Yep, sure as hell is, but I doubt it is near as hard as realizing you are dying of cancer and your family will soon be fatherless. Give your word one day at a time and keep it. 24 hours is not that long. Do it over and over and soon you will realize that you can live without the can.
A special word to my brothers and sisters in the April 2011 HOF class and all the members of KTC: I know how hard this has been for me so I can honestly say that y’all are the baddest mother fuckers I have ever had the pleasure of interacting with. This is not an easy road, but as a group we can keep each other quit.
Stay strong and stay quit!
Jim aka. Parputt