Okay, so I know that it is day 136 for me, that I have dragged my feet getting this done. I know that this is something that I should have done as soon as I hit day 100 but like so many before me I will use that age old saying, “better late than never.”
Where do I start I turn 34 this year and you know how long that nicotine addiction tried to ruin my life? A whopping 20 years. That’s right I did not go a day without something in my lip, pressed between my two lips, attached to my skin, held in my fingers for 20 years. Two thirds of my life I have been a slave to Big Tobacco, the same Big Tobacco that uses their master mind advertisers to get kids hooked early, the same Big Tobacco that lobby’s our leaders to make sure that they are protected from litigation while seeing their wallets grow bigger and bigger.
I never thought that I would be able to quit this substance. Even though I know that 100 days is not cured, and that I will always struggle I know that I will be able to continue to win for the first time in my life against tobacco by staying on this site. I’ll break things down for you.
13 years old: Middle School
I played football and all the cool kids dipped, I wanted to be a cool kid. I looked up to the high school seniors and wanted to be as big as they were and able to play football as good as they did. I was too stupid to realize that tobacco would not get me there but that it would instead make me worse at the sport. Oh well I was hooked. I took that first dip from one of my friends cans, turned green and puked. I was reassured that I would get stronger and that it would not happen again. I wish I could go back to that day and kick my younger self in the nuts and tell me that is strength that is weakness, oh well at least I’m strong now.
During High School
I was hooked at this point. I never went anywhere without a dip and by and by I had found every place in the city that would sell to minors. I was young, naive, and stupid and that was why I didn’t quit at that time. In fact I remember my senior year telling one of my friends I was going to try and quit dip, he looked at me and laughed saying “quitting dipping? that is the stupidest thing I have ever heard.” Well I wish yet again that I would have taken my own way then like I should have in middle school.
First year of College.
I found this site! I went to school in Utah which has a tobacco age of 19, I couldn’t buy any and lived in a city that didn’t sell to minors. I had to quit before the shakes got me. I read up on this site, learned all I could, but didn’t sign up for the forums at all. I should have. I would be one of those vets with almost 15 years of quit under my belt, instead I came here later in life. Yet again if I could change things I would have, but I am very happy to be here now and take my life back.
Fast forward to my quit.
I had gone to Seattle with my fiance for a family wedding, not mine. I started the trip like I always did by going to the super market and buying two cans before I left in case I couldn’t find any where I was staying. I made it three days and used my can and a half and then it hit. My mouth swelled up almost twice its size and it hurt to do anything with it. I was hungover and my darn mouth hurt to look at not to mention put anything in it. I was sure that I had finally used up my 9 lives, I had the big C and it was because I was too selfish to quit long before. Funny thing is I kept trying to put a dip in because I thought I needed one and spitting it out after two minutes because it hurt to put it in. I finally threw the can away, took some advil and borded my plane home. I was going to quit. I found this site again and joined the forums. I was going to make it.
All the vets talk about drinking the kool-aid don’t think you are too good to share numbers, don’t think you can do it by posting alone. The thing that got me here was being active, I made it a point to get on and post my roll every day. I started topics in my group and talked, typed, and raged my way through the first week. The first weekend I had my usual 8 beers and almost in tears called a quit brother on my way home to keep me from driving into a corner store for some dip. I owe my life and my quit to that man, Instaham, and I made it home. I was able to post the next day. I raged at the vortices that took place in our group.
The next big temptation came the weekend of my bachelor party. I went up into the mountains with some of my best friends, who all smoke cigars. I prepared for this trip too. This time I went to the super market and walked out with two cans of Smokey Mountain instead of two cans of tobacco. I drank, I fished, I dipped the fake, and took pictures of elk for some of my quit brothers. I used this site to its fullest and made sure that I was the quitter that I should be, that I could be. This site and the accountability kept me clean during that trip.
A wedding, another cancer scare (the first was actually a really bad bacterial infection), many visits to both my doctor and my dentist, and many more trips and I finally made it. I gave myself the Christmas gift I deserved, I made it to 100 days.
I am now here proud to say that I am 136 days free of tobacco, I wake up every morning and count my lucky stars for finding this site and meeting all these great people. I couldn’t do it without you all and I hope I can pay it forward in the future. I hope that all that are reading this will quit with me, just for today. Every day. For the rest of our lives. It’s time to pay this forward and go start a vortex in a new group now.
Thank you all.