What To Expect When You Quit Dipping

What To Expect When You Quit DippingSo you want to quit. And you would like to know what it’s like. We’re not going to pull any punches around here, it’s tough. That’s why we’re all here.

Days 1 through 3 – Pure hell. You will walk in the fog. Nothing will seem real. Your brain is wondering where the hell its fix is and it is going to punish you until you come up with it. 72 hours, that’s all you need to get the nicotine out of your system. This is where you start to deal with the physical withdrawal associated with quitting dip. Drink lots of water. Read, post, read and post. Don’t take your anger out on your loved ones. We always tell everyone………Make this quit about YOU. If you quit for your wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, kids, mommy or daddy, you will resent them during this period. Quit for yourself and come in here to rant. Yell at us. Bitch at us. We can take it. We’ve been there.

Days 4 through 20 – Here comes the mind games. The nicotine is out of your system now. You will still have some physical things to deal with.

  • Cravings
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Inability to Concentrate
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Constipation, gas, stomach pain
  • Dry mouth
  • Sore tongue and/or gums

Yep, you have this to look forward to. Your brain is rewiring itself. It isn’t used to being in an oxygen rich environment. Your body is responding in kind. Everything is a mind game now. All the cravings you have are actually due to triggers. Triggers are events where you are in a situtation you would normally dip in. Mowing the grass, playing poker online, playing golf, working on the car………you get the picture. Keep drinking water, use seeds, the fake stuff, whatever you need to keep the dip out of your mouth. Remember, oral fixation is part of our habit, something you will eventually need to break. For now though, use all the tools you have.

Days 20 – 50 – You’re winning. Life isn’t great, but you probably had a couple of nights where you actually got some sleep. You might notice you’re going to bed earlier than you normally do. Not staying up to get in that last dip. You may notice some sores in your mouth. You’re thinking, “great, I quit dipping and now I have cancer.” You almost certainly don’t. Your mouth is healing itself. Tiny ulcers you’ve had for a long time are healing. We recommend you visit your dentist around the 30 day mark. Don’t be a pansy, just do it. He or she will be very supportive and they can explain the sores much better than we can. Don’t let your guard down. Don’t go out drinking with the fellas or the girls. We also recommend that you don’t drink for at least the first 50 days. Drinking is a huge trigger event and it weakens your resolve.

Days 50 – 70 – Cruise control. Life is really good. You still think about it, but this is good stuff here. Some people may suffer anxiety attacks during or a little before this stage. Some doctors say we dipped to relieve anxiety anyway. Some people can push right through this, others need a little help. Talk to your doctor before you quit or immediately after you quit. They will know what to do. Some give Wellbutrin or Lexapro. Lots of people in the support community take or have taken these medicines and can help you with the affects. Don’t wait till you get to this stage of the game to talk to a doctor. You’ll cruise through this stage much easier if you know how to take care of the anxiety or at least know it’s coming.

Days 70 – 90 – Late term craves, the doldrums, the blahs, the blues. Some people end up feeling like they are right back at day 1. The fog, the haze, the craves. It can be a tough time. You need to let people in your group know this is happening. Time to circle the wagons to get through it. It usually only lasts a few days. Fight through this and make sure your order your HOF Knife or Coin. Here are a couple of articles about this time period which we refer to as “The Funk”

Days 90 – HOF – Houston, resume the countdown. Enjoy the hell out of these last 10 days. You will be celebrating with your group as you all enter the HOF. It is a great feeling and an accomplishment you should not take lightly. Do something special for yourself and your family. They put up with your sorry ass for the last 90 days and they deserve something too.

100+ Days – Stay vigilant. Use the tools you have, to continue beating back any cravings or urges. You will still experience dip dreams and longings, but you are fully qualified to beat them down. Continue to post roll with your group. Get into the newer groups and help somebody out. Pass it along. Live the dream.

Looking for info after 100 days? Check out What To Expect – 100 Days and Beyond

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3,389 Comments

  1. Day 305

    In 60 days it’ll be a full year of nicotine free life.
    Hey Cal, welcome to the club, writing here and sharing experiences of our quit help others that seek information or motivation to start their quit.
    Stay the course and remember, one day at a time.

    DDD
    October-22-2018

    • Hey DDD, thanks for the welcome and glad to be here!

      At day 305, what kind of symptoms if any do you feel? Any tiredness, depression or other physical/mental symptoms? Was there a range of days where you started to feel normal again? Apologies if you already posted this stuff I was digging through comments but figured I would ask. Trying to have something to look forward to when I get there!

      – Cal
      Quit date: 3-13-19

      • Hey Cal, yes, I’ve been writing in here almost everyday, in the beginning mostly about my symptoms and how crappy i felt.
        In my case, it seems that the first 100 days were the most brutal, but I wasn’t out of the woods just by passing that magical number. The mental triggers and physical symptoms still showed up every once in a while. I think I told someone that the body seems to do a reboot of all your systems after 100-150 days and it notices that the nicotine plus the other goodies are missing, so it starts kicking your brain to get them back into the body.
        So basically I went through another round of the symptoms like dizziness, foggy brain, blood pressure, the works. The body kicks and screams to try to get you to get back to it. If you survive this second round (days 180-280 for me) then the body starts to calm down. The triggers show up but very mildly and super short. The fog is gone and dizzy days are a thing of the past.
        The hardest symptom for me to overcome is Anxiety, doing research on it and nobody really knows exactly what it is, other than just unnecessary worry. I suppose I had it before, but didn’t notice it because it was suppressed by taking a pinch of tobacco. It is getting a lot better knowing that my body is healing, in the beginning the anxiety attacks came whenever i got dizzy or felt a pain somewhere so the thoughts of dying would come into my head and cause the panic. Now after several visits to the doctor and exams showing my progress the anxiety is reduced because I know it is just normal aches and pains and not a heart attack or brain tumor.
        What helps the most and I hear it from a lot of ex-addicts in here too is that exercise is key to a faster recovery. I’ve been exercising and trying to eat healthier and I’ve noticed that it does make a difference.
        I hope that helps.

        DDD

        • DDD – Thanks man, that’s very helpful. The anxiety can be really bad as well no doubt, but for me I had some of that before dipping and while dipping too, so those feelings weren’t as strange to me. Though of course they went into overdrive in the early part of my quit! I actually use a low dose (10mg) of beta blockers (propranolol) to greatly reduce the physical effects of anxiety. Basically, no matter how much you’re panicking in your head, your heart won’t start racing out of control or anything. As you said, once you start getting that dizzy feeling and your heart begins to race, it’s easy to spin out of control quickly. Ultimately, I believe you need to figure out how to get past those symptoms yourself without medication to truly heal, but the beta blockers are a nice short term or situational crutch. I also like them because they’re very mild, not addictive and safe – and they don’t mess with your brain chemistry like antidepressants and some other drugs on the market. Again, I’m no doctor that’s just my experience and two cents 🙂

          I’m hopeful that I won’t go through a fierce “round 2” during that time frame, but if so it’s good to know that someone else had that experience as well.

          -Cal

  2. Day 176 – Hello KTC’ers and dear Jeff, JayP and DDD. The nic free / shit free days are chugging along. I am nearing a major 6 month milestone :). Feels very happy and extremely proud.
    Last 15-20 days were not easy. I had some extreme work pressure at work and I have worked without a break for the last 10 days (~ 14 hours a day) and I am very proud to have crossed this stage without nicotine :). Stress is last of my emotion which I have a bit difficulty in handling without nicotine but I am doing much better. Had some mild fog, medium anxiety and mild depression back 10 days before but it has again gone down and things are looking better. As I said, i don’t think so the recovery is never straight. I like to think of the recovery phases as concentric circles (like planetary orbits) and you spend some time in a recovery orbit and progress to the next level.
    I believe this understanding will help us to keep us away from nicotine knowing that we will always always get better.

    Shiva

  3. Hey all,

    I’ve never done much except lurk on this site, but I come back to this post because of all the active comments. I wanted to share some of my experience because I know for everyone that posts, there are probably 100 more that just come to read. We’re all looking for reassurance that symptoms are normal and things will get better, so here’s some of what I’ve gone through. Currently on Day 162.

    – Many people talk about getting better after Day 100 or even before. That was not the case for me. It’s not meant to discourage or scare anyone, but I think it’s normal to not be yourself well after Day 100.

    – Here I am on Day 162 and I still get crazy bouts of intense tiredness, like fall down tired. I’m completely healthy, there’s nothing else wrong with me. Lots of literature on the web talks about 2-6 weeks of being tired and then it fades away; that definitely hasn’t been the case for me.

    – After 150 days, I did feel like I was over a big jump. I accepted the fact that although I wasn’t done healing, the next 150 days should be a hell of a lot better than the first 150 days.

    – I more recently (around day 150 range) started “feeling” things again in terms of emotion, laughter etc. I felt emotionally numb and disconnected for a long ass time.

    – Depression was really bad for me along with feeling emotionally numb. I would say it peaked between the 90-110 day range where I felt extreme sadness. I had to keep reminding myself it’s just chemicals out of whack and my brain rebalancing itself and that it would get better with time – and it did. I’m not myself yet, I don’t have lots of energy and I still don’t really take pleasure in the things I used to enjoy, but the sadness is gone and I feel like I can see the light.

    – I’m not a doctor, but my the brain rebalancing itself just seems to take longer for some people. Depends on how long you dipped, how often, your genetics, etc. I think part of it also depends on why you started dipping in the first place or why you continued to dip. Was it to help cope with anxiety, depression? Did it give you more energy? Yeah, all that shit comes back full force once you quit so I think if you’re someone who dealt with it more heavily prior to dipping, you’ll have a tougher time with recovery. No real science there, just my opinion.

    – Although I still get bouts of severe tiredness, I no longer feel the fog. Looking back at my notes (I kept a journal of sorts along the way), my fog was pretty much gone by Day 100. It’s come back mildly at times since, but it’s short lived. I’ve read on here some people say their fog went away in a few weeks and others are on day 200+ and still get it occasionally.

    – In terms of cravings, they still come up occasionally. But they’re much, much easier to dismiss. I always tell myself that having a dip won’t solve any problems and that if I do one, I’ll have 2 problems instead of 1 (I think I read that somewhere on this site and it really has helped me both in the early days and later on).

    That’s all I can think of for now. If anyone has questions I’m happy to help and will try to post here more regularly.

    3-13-19

    • Cal
      Great attitude!

      The journey is a bit different for all of us, it’s all a matter of time

      Keep the fight. Your in your way

      Jeffj
      8-14-14

    • Cal –

      What a great post!! Happy to see someone in my ball park :). The recovery phases you described are exactly the same I went through except I got them earlier in my case (worst of anxiety – 30-50 days, depression – till 70, worst of sadness phase – ~ 85 days). I am not yet in the same league as some of 4+ year veterans here but we will get there.
      Like I said, recovery is not linear and it gets better in octaves. Knowing that we will always get BETTER will help us to stay away from this filth.

      • Hey Shiva,

        Thanks for responding and for sharing those details! They’re very helpful and encouraging to me. And yeah it’s good to see someone in my ballpark as well!

  4. Day 304
    All is fine, just making a roll call. Has anyone heard from Shiva?!!! Dude, hope everything is all right.

    • Been a busy summer, new house , wife in school. My work, and dip free for over 5 years. What a great feeling.

      I hope everyone is good! I am dropping by to check on all you Warriors make sure all is good

      Shiva. Mail call buddy..

      Football season starts soon. I just hope my Go blue team can get it done. I need them in the rose bowl this year.

      Next month off to China for A few weeks for business..

      Jeffj
      8-14-14

      ddd. Good job man.

      • I’m checking in too!
        Seems all my brothers are, I’m free of the bullshit too, and will be!
        Was at golf league tonight, had a sub who is dialed into the Grizzly. He said he ran out and asked me for a fake one. I don’t have that in my golf bag anymore (probably should have a can)
        Found a guy to give him one but said to him, today is a great day to get away from that stuff. He’s not ready yet, but I hope in time my words will resonate. Again, people quit this habit when “they” are ready. You don’t quit this for anyone but yourself. It’s the most selfish thing you can do for “you”. It’s only about “you” and nobody else! Doesn’t mean you can’t.plant a seed tho.
        Alright, I’ve rambled long enough to, DDD, you and Shiva make us proud, keep on keeping on 👍
        -JP
        7-15-14

  5. Day 300
    Hey Connor, based on experience and by reading many posts of cavers, one dip, means one can and one can means at least one year and so on.
    Five years ago I started my quit with JeffJ, Jayp and Shiva and on day 99 that is exactly what I said, “Just one dip” from a can that was there. It turned into 4 years of dipping. I had to go through the whole detox process once again and it was not fun.
    The decision is yours, but if you take even one dip, you WILL have to start all over in your quit. DO NOT listen to that reasoning in your head, it is what we call the NIC bitch lying to you and trying to bring you down.

    Good Luck!

    DDD

    Date of quit: October-22-2018

  6. Day 84

    Still fightin the good fight. Went golfing today, couple of beers later and boy did I want one. Really, the only time the cravings come now are when I drink and I was very close to picking up a can for “just one.” Which I know is a lie I tell myself to try and justify it. But man one sounds good right now.

    Side question: Anybody have success having one occasionally while quitting? Like a friend offering one, so you don’t have to go buy a whole can? I feel like I could trust myself to just have one but if I got a whole can I think the whole process would have to start over and go back to square one.

    Great forum!

  7. Day 299
    In a little more than 2 months I’ll be tobacco free for 1 year. I hope the good lord allows me to live those days and more.
    The triggers are there, but somehow the hammer seems to be filed away. It feels good to be in control again. You see, no one and nothing is stopping us from just walking into a store, buying the can and pollute our bodies once again. In the beginning, we do restrain ourselves, but after a couple of hundred days without it and you don’t have to anymore. Hard to explain, but it is true. Life just happens and tobacco is not the center of my life. If you are here reading these posts and you just started your quit, congratulations!, the secret is to take it one day at a time.
    DDD

    • Keep your eye on the ball DDD, you will have no problem making your first year.

    • True story DDD, no one but yourself can keep.you accountable with your quit. It DOES become a lot easier a couple hundred days after…MUCH easier!
      I think what keeps you honest, or what kept me honest at your point was, I was almost to a year quit. I once made it 6 months, but caved and learned, one chew, equals one can. Quit mean quit. But I also knew how friggin hard it was to get away from this shit and the struggles that came with it. I wanted to make a year and beyond so bad and actually started to feel “normal” (whatever that is) without the stuff.
      As Jeff says, keep your eye on the ball (tho, I am still having trouble with this in golf after all these years, lol), and you’ll be fine. The way I seen it, at this point, you’d have to be pretty dam stupid to go back after all this time clean, you are done with that chapter. Maybe it’s a little.depressing, but as the years go on, you WILL know, it was the best decision you ever made for yourself.
      You keep busy DDD 👍
      -JP
      7-15-14

      • Jayp

        If Michigan can get past Ohio state. Rose bowl. Bring your clubs. We can hit a round and go to the game

        Jeff j
        8-14-14

        • I certainly will Jeff, been the plan for a very long time
          I’m saving my trip there for the next Rose Bowl
          Definitely been a long time coming!!
          -JP
          7-15-14

  8. Bravo!!!!

    Well Said Sir!!! Keep up the good fight.

    Oorah!!

  9. Thanks boys. 5 years. Wow.

    I still can’t believe it, I feel as if I never chewed in my life, although the battle scares will be with me for the rest of my life.

    I am proud of the battle I won vs the nic bitch, but I didn’t do it alone. Jayp, DDD, shiva,Rick.. I was never alone on my worst days . Just reading posts would help so much. At the time , I was the rookie behind you guys… it helped so much

    My wife rocks. Helped quit and was my care taker going through cancer.

    The battle is won. My body has rebounded as much as it can

    New guys. Just FYI. I always thought the other guy would get sick. Not me

    I am also on a throat cancer blog to help others with the battle that i endured

    8-14-14

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