Well, never thought I’d see it…100+ days of quit and I am at a loss of words. I started dipping off of a “here man, try this” at Camp Geiger/Camp Lejeune NC as a young Marine fresh out of boot camp. I got high, loved the way it felt, and started a habit and lifestyle that kept me captive for over 12 years. Skoal and Grizzly held my hand through OIF 2-2, Baghdad, Al Mahmudiyah, Yusafiyah, Lutayfiyah, and other areas surrounding the infamous “Triangle of Death” in the Al Anbar Province. The days upon days of limited to no sleep, food, or safety were somehow comforted by the little pinch of long cut. It kept me alert, awake, and sane through thick and thin. I don’t drink coffee so I heavily dwelled upon that first morning plug to get me going. Without it, I was tired, short fused, and my anxiety level would raise my BP to dangerous levels. I was a slave.
War continued and my deployment ended thankfully with my return home in one piece. I dropped to the reserves with the hopes to go back to college but ended up building houses for a few months…again not the setting for a non-dipper. I had no motivation to quit though I wanted to. Building houses wasn’t paying the bills so I used my military experiences to land a job with a state prison. The culture shock alone had me dipping like crazy not to mention the daily duties of being a C/O…the fights, the assaults, etc. I NEEDED dip to motivate me in the morning, keep me on my toes behind the grill, and to unwind at the end of the day. I knew I needed to quit therefore I made a goal for myself…when my wife gets pregnant, I’ll def quit.
Well…time went on and my wife found out she was pregnant, time to hang it up right? Negative, that goal changed to “when my first born gets here, I’ll have to reason to dip. Won’t want it and won’t need it” I had all intentions on keeping that rule and had no desire to dip while in the hospital…then reality hit. My “healthy baby boy” that I had hoped for was taken by an emergency C-section and was clinging to his little life with two collapsed lungs and breathing off a vent. My life was ending right there it felt like, an emotional roller coaster for the three days he was in NICU…I needed to relieve stress. So instead of staying there while my little man was fighting to live, I was outside catching a quit dip to calm my nerves. I was a terrible father before I even held my first born. After a few days and the Grace of God, little man’s lungs healed, he came home, I’m still dipping.
Fast forward a few years and I have had a change in careers. Still in law enforcement, I landed a pretty good job Federal job that keeps me on my toes at pretty much all times. My wife finds out she’s pregnant so time for another promise right? WRONG…she went through pregnancy and when she had the baby, I was right there in the Hospital with a dip in…no respect whatsoever…I was an addict, excusable right? Negative ghost rider.
My youngest is now two and I know I needed to change. Especially then he was spitting in bottles while chewing gum and bringing me my “daddy’s gum” when he saw it sitting around. I found this site a few years ago and couldn’t commit. Just looked at it as something for people with plenty of time on their hands to do. I was wrong and I’d be the first to admit it. I figured I’d try it 102 days again and here I am. I wanted the quit more than ever in my life. Someone told me if you want it…feel it. Feel the side effects, the headaches, the anxiety, the sweating, etc….feel them and remember them. As long as you stay quit, you’ll never need to do it again. use it as motivation not to ever become a slave to the can. And finally be it…once you are quit. STAY QUIT. I’ve never been as proud of myself as I have been with the quit journey. I bummed a ride with some of the greatest in my book (Nate2, Pab1964, few others you know who you are) who gave me the swiftest kicks to the nuts when I was running late on posting roll. Not only were they concerned about what day quit I was on, but they also just checked on my wellbeing. Such a damn good group of guys that made this quit go quickly.
If you are wondering…can I quit? HELL YEAH you can. I did and I was a 2 can a day dipper for 12 years. So if the most hard headed mofo (me) can do it, I am confident that anyone can. I just wish I had committed earlier when I thought it wasn’t possible. Want it….feel it…be it.
NOTE: This piece written by KillTheCan.org forum member marine_2002