When I resolved to begin this quit, I also resolved to go to an ENT (ear-nose-throat) doctor to get checked out asap. As long as I was dipping, I would never do this, of course, because it would be like going to a whorehouse right before going to church: hypocritical. On around Day 6 of this quit, a node under my chin right where I used to place my dip swelled up and was painful to the touch. I've been here before: any experienced dipper has had changes in their oral cavity that concern them. But the pattern is predictable: you quit and swear off dipping forever, the wound or whatever it was heals, and you go right back out and buy a fresh can to "celebrate" your health.
In this case, I was already resolved to go an ENT, and when a lymph node flared up all it did was get me in there faster. Why do I already have an ENT? Because FOUR YEARS AGO when something similar happened I went to see one. We are talking insanity here: doing the same thing over and over (dipping) and expecting different results.
Cut to: the good news - I got a call from the ENT today informing me that the biopsy of my cheek-gum-flesh that he ripped out came back clear. In one sense I feel like I've been handed a new life. Any dipper who has had a big scare knows the hell of coming to the realization that you've risked EVERYTHING for a worthless "product" that ultimately delivers NOTHING. To have that weight lifted feels like being born again.
So yes, I'm psyched and grateful. But unlike prior quits, there's nowhere in my brain that I'm thinking "all clear, dip away". This time, finally, I've learned the toll that such worry takes on you isn't worth going back. It's just NOT. When my first child (Ingrid, my daughter) was born, I really thought I'd quit. When my second (Eli, my son) was born I really, really thought I'd quit. They are 5 and 2 as of this writing and I am just 12 days quit. What's different this time is, yes, my personal stakes are raised: I'm not a childless 20-something dipping my ass of for the fuck-thrill of it. But what's also different, is that just because the Doc says things look good today, that doesn't mean they will a year from now whether it's dipping related or some other damned thing. I chewed - relentlessly - for just shy of 2 decades! I've got no illusions that I may pay the Piper still...
BUT... TODAY, RIGHT NOW, I AM QUIT. And I have a choice how to move forward: either I say "fuck it, the damage is done, damn the torpedos, roll the dice, and dip my ass off all the way down" (philosophers call this nihilism) OR...STAY QUIT. That actually is a real choice for me - meaning I dipped enough, long enough to where I can see rolling the dice as an option...what makes me angry and is so hard to let go of now is that I went as LONG as I did: angry at the tobacco co's, angry at myself for not reigning it in, angry at LIFE for throwing shit situations at me that made dipping SO appealing...angry at ALL OF IT.
But with this doc telling me "you're good" coupled with how one comes to understand "grace" in this life, I choose 2 things:
1. To forgive myself for all the stupidity up to this point. Let the anger go, let the blame get spread all around until it falls through the cracks into nothingness, and say, "THAT-WAS-THAT." You dipped. You dipped. You DIPPED. Because it made you feel better...because it made you feel worse...because it was fun...because you were bored...because, because, because... The reasons weren't all stupid, but in the end it really, really is stupid SO........."THAT-WAS-THAT".
And with that cleared up, the only obvious way to move forward is...
2. NEVER DIPPING AGAIN. You are forgiven by whatever force be it yourself or what some might call "grace"....meaning if your mistake catches up with you in the future, fine...it won't be a remnant of THIS time, the moment that freed you of any guilt or shame forever. Regardless of the outcome or what may happen.... TODAY, RIGHT NOW - AND EACH DAY FORWARD, AS FAR AS DIPPING IS CONCERNED - you are "all good".
SO STAY QUIT, AND GO LIVE!
Fog is still hanging around, but is more manageable. I'll get a sharp crave when something familiar triggers, but I've been able to bat them down. The last couple days at work have been worthless - I've decided that's okay. But I've got to pick it up soon, and without my pinch. I'm still too enthralled with the IDEA of NOT dipping to feel too much temptation. It's sort of a novelty not to have that stuff swirling around my insides. 11 days? I mean, I've done it before, but it still seems impossible when I think about how I dreaded a single day starting out. But the "clean" feeling outweighs some nagging discomfort. As this clean state becomes more normal, I know the pendulum will swing back to wanting a dip as it will again seem novel and I'll crave that stimulation. That's what I'm looking out for at this point. I know it's coming.
Alot less foggy today. And surprised about that - remember being in heavy fog last quit for weeks on end. Anxiety also in check (somewhat). Lymph node under my chin inflamed and scaring the shit out of me - sprung up on Day 7 or so of this quit. That's the real anxiety. I hate all these scares, and for what? Anything that brings this many people together to a site just to get it out of their lives is something that you don't want to be screwing around with. A little time on the other side of chewing and it's hard to not beat myself up for doing it so long. Wish I could forgive myself, but as powerful as that stuff is - and it IS - it's still hard not to be pissed at me.
I've "quit" thousands of times over the last 18 years or so. I've had 2 quits since finding this site. The first lasted around 28 days, the second less than that. Not a great track record. So I'll blog my way through this time as another tool at my disposal to stay quit.
Strangely, Day 8 (today) is worse than Day 1. I remember this phenomenon last time: I don't want a dip so much as I just want to be able to concentrate and feel normal. If eatinq squash (I don't like squash much) would do the trick, I would do it. Problem is, I know dip is the only thing that will make me feel "normal", which is not actually NORMAL. Learning to live with a new normal is, I think, what has tripped me up in the past. I was surprise at day 21 or so how "not normal" I still felt. So I caved.
This time I am determined to accept whatever quitting throws at me in the way of feeling "off". As I write this on Day 8 I stil feel nauseous and off center. "Quitter's Flu" is in full effect. What a drag....
Had really bad cravings tonight. I've had cravings all day, but there was a particular one tonight that was brutal. It lasted 14 minutes. My mouth felt physically swollen, like it was hurting for a dip.
My mind went through all the usual tricks -
"Why would you ever want to put yourself through this?"
"You have time - you can quit later."
"You're really stressed from work. You need snuff to deal with the pressure."
But then I had an unusual thought - THIS IS ALL IN MY HEAD. My job is very stressful right now - tons of pressure. Unforeseen repairs to my house and car have impacted my bank account - tons of pressure. But not having snuff? The pressure isn't real. It's all made up, and exists only in my head. And somehow it's worse than the realities of work and finances? That doesn't make sense.
So I waited out the craving until it passed, all 14 brutal minutes of it. And three minutes later, I was hit with wave two. But it was better this time, because IT WASN'T REAL - IT WAS ALL IN MY HEAD.
Looking forward to posting "Day 2" to Roll Call tomorrow, and looking forward to the rest of my life.
At this point, I'm over 9 hours in to quitting "cold turkey."
I think I am doing pretty good. Yesterday, after the first 3 hours, I was dumpster-diving for those last two pouches I had thrown away. Then I re-committed, but 7 hours later I was at the c-store for a new can.
Today, despite some difficult circumstances, I am staying committed. It's been helping to think that, the longer I go, the easier it will be. The worst is already behind me, and I never have to live through that again as long as I stay committed.
From previous experience I know that day 2 will be the worst for cravings, but bad cravings are nothing compared to the shame & guilt that I will be free from.
Key Takeaway: It only gets better from here.
How am I going to do this thing?----Quitting is for quitters i used to say.
I 've tried so many times over the past 20 years. I' ve gone from chew to cigars and cigars to chew, from every other concocktion i could think of. My dentist fixed my gums over 10 years ago and told me to quit and i said i would or will. I 've had every excuse in the book, after hunting season, in the spring, during the winter, bla--bla---bla. I am ashamed of myself to be controlled by a can of crap.
i don't know how to live with out it. I need it to drive, think, wake up,work,read, study, get the mail, mow the lawn, snowblow the driveway, and right now typing this to you on this p.c. But instead i have a peppermint candy and will continue to vent my rage and misfortune to all who will listen to me on this site that i thankfully stummbled upon the other night when i decided it was time to kick this nasty, dirty, disgusting, expensive habit. please forgive me----i am not good with computers and spelling and have a highschool diploma. But i believe we have something in common, we are dippers and are desperetly trying and making an effort to quit the can. the hound-----new member as of 1-1-2015------------thank you everyone-----------for just being you!
So I almost got 5 months, dip free now. Bought my 100 day coin, very nice, heavy metal not cheap plastic. thanks dave!
I really did not expect to make it this long, to be honest with you. I have had some tough times and some real outside pressures to cave, but I didn't. Because I knew nothing would change from just having a dip, the problem is still there and very real. Like everyone on this site say's, remember why you quit this stupid, gross, habit in the first place! I have gotten gastritis because of the chew and in my last post I told all of you I would get back to you. well, chew or dip ruins the lining of your stomach even if you don't swallow the crap. some still leaks down your pipe at some point. so now I take a pres. acid pill everyday and keep getting checked for possible cancer. awesome right? keep dipping and you will eventually ruin your health like i have! A co-worker of mine was dipping near me one day and I could smell the crap a mile away, I almost puked! wow. can't believe that was me. nasty. calculated i spent almost 15,000 grand in the past 10 years with the stuff. should of rolled down the truck window and threw the 15 k. out on the freeway like the dummy i am! a little worried about how i will handle hunting season this year with out it! I will need all of you for support! I will be here for all of you! hound.
Hello, my name is hound. I have recently quit chew or dip 9 day's ago.
The other day i saw a man spitting into an over flowing cup of nasty that smelled horrid.
for the first in my life, i realized that this is one nasty ass habit. Times like that may help me stay quit.
I hope everyone is staying strong and fighting with all they got, remember, were in this together. hound.
So I had my first nic fit tonight. I was tired and working and I realized I was jonesing for a dip. I shook my head and didn't do it. This is going to suck, but I am determined to succeed. The nic fit didn't last very long. I'll try and remember to time them going forward. I don't think they last very long.
I am 57 years old and have been dipping snuff for about 35 years. The dipping part is bad enough but the worst part about it was the lies that I told my wife. I would contantly tell her that I was quit but she always found the evidence. I always promised her I would quit but I never did. I hope this last time hasn't pushed her to the point of completely giving up on me, but I couldnt blame her if she did. Im turning to this group for help. I cant do this on my on. I have tried before but the conviction just wasnt there. Right now I have been tobacco free for 5 days. I will do whatever it takes, going to local meetings, seeking out counceling
whatever. I would be very happy to accept any advice you guys can give me
Hello all, hello self. Tomorrow is my quit date. I've chewed consistent since I was in High School. I'm now 34 and still at it. I easily chew a can a day, sometimes more. I have stopped chewing a few times before for few months, now is the time to quit. No more stopping, I want to say days, months, years down the road I quit tobacco September 6 2014.
Since that first dip I've gotten married, fathered 4 beautiful children. I'm choosing to quit tobacco so I can enjoy every second alive with my beautiful wife, children and family. I'm peeing cash down the drain that could be used to better our lives. I'm basically paying to kill myself.
I know this is going to be a rough ride. I am an extremely nervous and anxious person and always throwing that dip in during times of nerves and anxiety.
This blog is as much to keep me focused and to talk myself through daily frustrations with quitting than sharing a story. Until tomorrow. Goodnight.
March 7, 2014
I had just gotten off the phone with a co-worker of mine. He and I had been trying to have lunch together for about a month but it seemed the stars just weren't lining up right; today was different. After agreeing on the spot, we hug up and I finished up on a few things before heading outside to get on the bike. The restaurant was about a 20 minute ride and Justin was working remote from his house about 30 minutes away so, I took my time as I got ready. Armored jacket, gloves, helmet. Admittedly, I don't always wear all my gear but in hindsight, I'm glad I did this time.
It happened within a mile of the office. As I rode through the first intersection, I remember thinking how lite traffic was; this was going to be a nice leisurely ride. As i was leaving the first turn, I could see the car making its way through the parking lot. It slowed as it approached the street, as if it were stopping, but it didn't. I remember hitting my breaks and thinking that I needed to lay my motorcycle down and get away from it, then everything went black.
When I came to, I was on my back, on the street next to the car. I wasn't feeling a lot of pain but I could tell something was wrong. I remember asking someone to call an ambulance and I remember telling someone to get my phone out of my back pocket and call my wife, I must have been going in and out of consciousness because I only remember bits and pieces. Paramedic asking me where I hurt. "Obvious left humerus fracture" one of them said as another was cutting my jacket off. Now we are in the ambulance; I can hear muffled voices but its dark and I cant see what's going on but, I feel hand down my left side and then the pain as he presses on my rib cage and asks me if it hurts. I remember telling him yes and then telling him i was having a hard time breathing. Suddenly, we're in the ER at the hospital. After a CT scan, they wheel me back to the ER where my wife is waiting. We were able to talk briefly before they said I needed to go into surgery and then it all went black again. Seven days later, they woke me up from my long, drug induced sleep.
Ruptured Spleen - lost six pints of blood
Five Broken Ribs
Broken Left Humerus
Broken Left Thumb
Oh, and the motorcycle. My 2012 Harley-Davidson FLSTFBL (Fat Boy-Lo) is still at the repair shop. Not a total loss but repairable; like me I guess.
302-days 3rd floor, Im a slacker for not posting something in the last 100 days, not that anyones success , except maybe mine, hinges on the words I put here. No excuse but I make them up in my head so I can lay mine down at night. 300 days. The last 3-weeks have been murder, capped by many triggers
1. Road Trips
2. Long Work Days
3. Social Obligations (A wedding this morning after working two 14+ hour days)
4. Professional challenges reduction in staff coupled with increasing workload
5. Personal life Im a different person now, and its impacting my wife
All that being said, the list above would have made the old me fold like a cheap lawn chair and reach for the can. No more. Ive struggled too long now, Ive earned the badge of an honorable quitter. Ive suffered at the hands of crave after crave, Ive endured the loneliness that comes with ending my toxic love affair with dip, and Ive chosen the path of personal freedom from that life-stealing nic-bitch. I am a new person, and each single day, no more than that for me still, I gain a little back of what I lost. Money, time, health, esteem, insight, courage, and determination are just a few of pieces of lifes game that I bring back to where they belong. I will treat the next day the same as I treat today. I will wake up and commit to quit. If I am challenged along the way, I will stand firm, I will maintain my accountability, I resolve to not let nicotine, in any form, control my life nor will I let it win the Game of My Life.
Man do I love playing golf!
So this is my Quit Blog. I'm on day 8 so I guess I should fill in the blanks here a bit. Like the title sais ive been tobacco free since (TFS) 2-13-14. My story isn't that important and after the way it was thrown in my face yesterday I don't care to type it out again. Abbreviated version: My wife found my can in my backpack while looking for my keys and that started day 1. I was pretty sucessful in keeping my craving at bay last time i tried to quit so I felt well prepared this time.
Day 1-6 all I had was 4mg Nicotine losenges which worked very well, they taste like crap but they kept me from freaking out on people. FYI walmart has them, I like the losenges more than gum, never tried a patch because im an instant gratification kind of guy so popping a losenge in my cheek was alright.
Day 7(yesterday) I got my Jakes Mint Chew order in and I like it a lot. If anyone if interested I could do a review just let me know. Ive only tried Smokey Mountain Chew and Bacc off (pouches) in the past. Quick overview, Bacc off Pouches were terrible just nasty. SMC is super convienient since it is sold at walmart, but i never knew if they would have my flavor in stock and the texture wasnt the best but it did help me out alot. JMC is the winner now though.
Joined this site yesterday, in an effort to "do it right" this time. Had a bad experience getting trolled by a member and it really made me want to use but thankfully this site has enough redeeming qualities (I hope the ignore function works properly) to keep me around and my wife is very supportive and is trying to be more invloved in my quit this time around.
Day 8 (Today) Waking up this morning I still felt drawn to come back here regardless of the inexcusable conduct demonstrated by one member in particular. I understand that if he is really trying to help and thats his "method" ok i respect him for helping in his way but that doesnt work for everyone and its very disrespectful. I said some things I regret in response to him but I don't feel I own him an appology. Ok im done ranting about "that guy" for real now.
Today I decided to start this blog/journal to just get my thoughts out there and help keep me focused on my quit. So I will do my best to make a daily post and just talk about what I'm struggling with and how im coping (pun not intended) day to day. My goal is to open myself up and own this addiction not hide it. I registered on this site with FB so I plan to be an open book when it comes to quitting and use this daily blog as a way to track progress, vent, and reflect.
I am really regretting getting baited by that troll yesterday, I had just came from class and really needed to be studying for my clinicals today and the upcoming exam we have next week. That said, I've got my blog set up now and I plan to make today a good day.
If anyone does end up reading this let me know what you think. I will make a new post daily and be active in other places on the site as well.
I am going to hit my 200 day mark this week. Wow 200 days tobacco free. It has taken my best everything I am from deep in my soul I truly have found out who I am and what I am able to do with help from friends and my wife by my side. I know without the help from every one and the goals of my coin and the tool from this site I would still be using tobacco.
Last 4th of July I was with my wife's family on a lake and I was unable to truly have fun not being able to have a dip they did not know that I chewed. We did not tell them that I was addicated to tobacco. The whole day was fun but truly hard for me to truly enjoy the day when I was going through tobacco withdrawls and finding a reason to sneak away to have a dip. How sad is it that I was unable to have fun and it was a great day. I quit 3 weeks later. This year I am looking forward to going. I am happy to spend time at the lake. I Have nothing to hide and everything to look forward to- the fun and my one year mark. I know I will make the one year mark because at the end of the day my best is good enough and I want to enjoy things without going through tobacco withdrawls. It is who I am now.
Last week my best friend came to me and told me he was ready to quit using chewing tabacco. This is the guy that was my bestman at my wedding. I was there when his last kid was born. We go back 20 years- all the way back to high school. We are more like brothers than friends. When I quit back in July he was not yet ready to quit. I was and I took the leap alone. The bad thing is I am the one who gave him his first dip. I am the one who let him take dips off my can until he started buying his own can. His addiction to chewing is on my soul and one I will have to answer to God for.
He has yet to quit. I, of course, told him about all the tools of this site. I was glad that he was ready to quit and was more than happy to help and at the end of the day he was not ready to quit. How far to push? I know if it was him that quit first and trying to get me to quit i would have been mad and not be open to quitting,. At the end of the day, I have to wait until he is ready to take on the fight. After all, it is his fight. I cannot fight for him but I can let him know I am here if he wants my help.. However, until the day he quits my best is not good enough.
I have never been so happy. My life now belongs to me and not some little can. No more tobacco addiction. Just me and being me is more fun. Thanks for reading and good luck to all you quitters
One of the quitters Caved today. Why could have been any reason. Buddy at a football game, Major stress in life, and the lure of having just one dip. It is sad and hard for all of us that quit when one of the great quitters here cave. But the hardest part of any Cave is have to tell others that you caved. I am going to post this 16 step cave prevention check list in hopes that it will help someone else prevent a cave. I have it posted several places and a copy of it in my wallet with my contract. It hurts all of us and I think makes each of us look at our quit. Just remember that if you caved when you are ready to be dip free again, I will be the first inline to help you. PM me for my number.
Here is my Cave prevention checklist. I post it hoping that it will help someone prevent a cave.
Tm thanks for always posting this in all of the new groups. I have added to it and have made a cave prevention check list for myself I have never been able to make it past step 3. It has been a Quit saver for me. Thanks Steve, Sailor, Liz!! If you need a number for this PM me. I will be there 24/7.
The 16 Step Cave prevention check list
1. Deciding to get dip
2. Get phone numbers from three quitter on this site.
3. Get approval to cave from one of the quitter you have the phone numbers of.
4. Get approval to cave from another quitter you have the phone number of.
5. Get approval to cave from another quitter you have the phone number of (Must have approval from all three quitters).
6. Print and sign the http://www.quitsmoke...es/contract.php
7. Getting into the car
8. Driving to the store
9. Parking at the store
10. Getting out of car
11. Walking into the store
12. Purchasing dip
13. Exit store
14. Open can
15. Grab a pinch
16. Putting pinch into mouth.
So, "caving" is no simple act. It actually is a complicated series of actions strung together like beads on a string. Before or during any one of these acts, we have the power to say NOT THIS TIME...."
Im so glad I quit, but sometimes I hate my quit. I hate it because I resent it, because I want nicotine. My quit is in direct conflict with my addiction to nicotine, and it sucks. Embrace the Suck Harden The Fuck Up!, Rub some dirt on it and walk it off! I know its inherently obvious to the casual observer, but for my dumb ass, it is hard, and one of the main reasons to remain ever vigilant! Ive only been this far once before. I made it to a year and a half once; Back in 91-92. I really hate that I ever put the first dip in. No, thats not true, I was curious, wondering why my dad smoked, and why my grandpas dipped, and why all the baseball players of that era chewed or dipped. That was enough to tempt a 14-year old to try it at some point. Perhaps a foreshadowing of the mental midgetry to come. Ive learned over my 46-years is that my biggest regrets often come from not doing something, rather than doing something. Im college educated, and some people call me smart. In some areas, I suppose I can hold my own, but in the area of nicotine control, Im prone to make poor decisions. My brain has learned that nicotine does harm to the body. Countless studies have shown its negative health impacts, such as hardening of the arteries, reduction to immunity, and cancer. Not to mention receding gums, bad breath, stained teeth, and stolen time from loved ones. I know all these things, but still, I sometimes think I can have just one. Maybe one on the golf course, maybe one around the campfire, maybe out fishing, doing yard work, in the office on the weekend, on a long road trip..the list goes on. I can think of any reason. But I know Im only one dip away from a can a day. I also dont want to deal with the shame of failing myself, my family, and all my QSSN supporters. Im learning accountability every day that I stay quit. I embraced it as a novelty early on in my quit, but Ive clung to it with dear life in the darkest parts of my weak moments. Accountability, One Day At A Time, and Never Want to go back to day 1, are the ideas that help me through. That being said, I see no reason to diverge from the plan to remain quit for today and tackle each crave as it comes. It got me through the first few days, it got me through the fog, through the icky 3s, and it got me to day 200. NDT!
I saw a comment the other day about how you should never let a challenge slip away, because it is an opportunity to see yourself in a way you never have before. I started thinking of the "Suck" as a challenge it presents, and how I should embrace it, and not let it slip away. Each "Suck" for me now is new territory. We've all quit before and for different lengths. I've only ever been past the 6-month mark a twice. It's common belief, in the study of nicotine addiction, that the more times you quit, the more likely the next quit will be successful. The reason I see this as new personal territory, and not just as the same me quitting for more than 180 days, is that I'm older, "wiser", and simply better prepared for dealing with the "Suck". I'm also accountable to the many supporters here on the QSSN, and I make no claim to having any more power than being able to quit for today. I must admit that on occasion, I still must quit for the moment, as the nic-bitch is a sneaky old hag, and that is the best I can muster. I do feel like I'm in a bit of a fog, which for me, is a blanket of wispy "Suck" hovering over me for an extended period. I'm starting to believe my own press, thinking I've got my ducks in a row with this quit and that I can have a periodic dip on the golf course or doing yard work, but I know I can't. The dueling mindsets create the fog, not letting me focus on one path. It sucks, and I am embracing it, because I want to see myself in the new light of a strong and committed quitter. I think it will look good on me.
read an interesting quote about the future and the past, and in my head, I took liberty with it to link them with today. the quote dealt with mis-trusting ourselves in the future because of our past. As we move through every phase of conquering our addiction, day one, HOF, each floor, years, commas, etc, we are all going into uncharted territory, except for today. "One Day At A Time", we scream it in the shoutbox, we profess it on our role calls, and we hold tight to it during the wild mood swings of our quit. And we trust ourselves that we can hang on, reinforce the walls against the cave, and pray for strength. Just get me through that 90-seconds of turmoil. Let me remain true to my friends, my family, MYSELF. As I head full on into what has been my proverbial cliff of quitting, that dreaded 6-months and beyond, where I've trod too few times, I know that I'm facing the mistrust of my past failings. But I have hope and faith that I've prepared myself for this test and that I will emerge triumphant, certainly with scars and pain, but victorious against my addiction. I know I can do it, and I know I can do it one day at a time. I'm just gonna have to trust myself.
I wish I could send my mind some where on vacation today. It has been a very stressful day and my mind is telling me that I need a dip. So I am on here just venting. I have ran 6 miles, rode my stationary bike 20 miles, and still can not get away from the NB today. ( I guess I can't really get to far on my stationary bike) LOL. Why? Why can't you (NB) just give me a break for a few minutes today. I have two 10 page research papers due in two week and I have been working on them but, today every time I sit to write, here the NB comes calling with this very enticing voice. "You need a dip for that" "It would go much easier if you have a dip." The way she calls makes her sound so beautiful. But in reality she is the white witch of Narnia with her Turkish delight. Cold empty and thinking of only herself. Well I have to get going so I hope this helps me not cave. Before that happens I have to contact some very great support, one on facebook, the other three by text. By that time We can start an all out war on the NB. Stay strong!! Stay quit!!! Don't Cave!!! 33 days and you can do it!!! Word "One day at a time" but today it is one minute at a time. What every it takes NDT!!!!!!!!!!!!
Objective:qualify and quantify the quitting process
Background: started in March 1991, less than one year after arriving at the Naval Academy, fully addicted by the end of May 1990.
Quit #1: January 1994. This last until the end of May/June 1994. While driving west from Maryland, somewhere around Kansas or Iowa, a late night / early morning stop at a gas station coupled with the driving fatigue triggered the urge to pick up a can of Kodiak Wintergreen and Copenhagen Snuff. So concluded Quit #1, it died a quiet death in the midwest in the beginning of the summer of 1994. At this point I was going through one can per week.
Quit #2: December 1996. A new ship = new start. This change of jobs was a chance to reboot. Lose some much needed weight that had piled on over the last two years (about 60 lbs if you must know) and to quit dipping again. That plan worked pretty well in the nicotine addiction department, not so much in the weight department. I packed on more weight...maintained at best, but already what I would consider overweight, particularly for the Navy. Dip-Free lasted only as long as it took for the training cycle to start....about six or seven months, or June or July 1997. Port and Starboard watches (six hours on, six hours off) brought my 1.2 oz friend out of hiding. I was up to one to one and a half cans per week.
Quit #3: 04 November 2013. I'm nearing retirement and the plan is to leave the nicotine habit where I found it- in the Navy. I have other incentives too. The wife doesn't know about it. If she ever discovered the 'nasty and disgusting habit' I'd not only have the problem of being one of 'those people' but also be subjected to philosophical discussions about communication and honesty. And I don't want to think about where those might lead. For the last year I've been tossing around the idea of quitting, knowing that I want to give myself at least six months of tobacoo free before becoming unemployed and having to look for a new job- all great stressors that a person trying to quit needs, right? So, Monday morning, on my way to work, I finger-licked my last can of Cope, not even finding enough to be worth keeping it in. So, I grabbed one of my many spitters lying in the car (luckily grabbing the most recent and not one of the two that were sitting around for the last month- we know how foul that smells. I spit out what I had and decided on the spot that this was my moment of truth.
04 November marked the end of the following destructive habits and behaviors:
1. Hiding that week's log of Copenhagen behind the books in my book shelf so my wife wouldn't find it
2. Drinking coffee or tea at all hours of the day to mask the the spit i was returning to the cup
3. The extra time spent at the gym while vacationing so that I could get a 20 minute dip in....until I discovered the ease of swallowing on those long road trips with pouches
4. The $1895+ per year I spent on logs of Copenhagen....this doesn't include the miscellaneous crap I'd get with it- the $2 juice bottle with an opaque cover or big label to hide the spit or the numerous packs of gum and mints to mask the breath when I returned home
5. I've had the same car since joining the Navy. I'll let you picture the long black streak of dried Copenhagen that accumulated under the floor matfrom years of wiping off the thumb and forefinger after plugging the fatty.
6. Staying up long after my wife went to sleep just so I could put a normal size fatty in and keep it in the lower lip rather than a smaller size that I'd keep in the upper lip or tucked way back in my the molars.
I was going to keep listing things but the more I thought about them the more absurd I found my behavior had become...and now I find it pathetic. I've become the functional equivalent of Robert Mitchum's character in 'El Dorado,' willing to reach into the spitoon for the coin that would feed my next dip. What wouldn't I do to prolong the habit and keep it hidden from my wife?
I've decided I'm not willing to roll those dice. That's all well and good morally, but I know it takes more than a moral thought to kick the habit. Fortunately, I've done some research on the effects of tobacoo on the humnan body. Long story short- I used this research to mandate when Sailors could take smoke breaks by implementing a comphrehensive smoking policy. I digress...
What I didn't expect in my cold turkey approach is the surge in appetite. I'm already up three pounds in the last two days...and that's already burning 900-1000 calories in 60-70 minute workouts. Last night I ate one and a half packs of mushrooms, two portobello mushrooms, three small heads of broccoli, and half a head of cauliflower. I'm sure the excessive use of salad dressing didn't help mnimize those calories. Ok, full disclosure- my thoughtless co-worker has been brining in Halloween candy and I ate four mini-crunch bars, and three single peanut butter cups- rat bastard. That jacked with a strict diet I've had going on for the last year (I lost about 75 pounds, gained back 20, and have been struggling to get rid of that 20)...mother effin halloween candy doesn't help.
Any other week would have been more ideal (ok, maybe not Thanksgiving or Christmas/Hannukah/etc) but those tiny little pieces of candy are crying out to be eaten and I don't have my 1.2 ounce super friend to help me fight that craving. I'm on my own now...sort of. I have this site and the scores of fellow quitters and my newly minted quitter's blog.
I'll track my progress and attempt to keep it as tight as it was at the beginning before falling into stream of consciousness, but with one more exception to that mantra:
observations of quitting. day 2: my temples hurt. Only so much gum once can chew before it starts having a negative effect; my coffee intake is naturally reduced (two 12 ouncers at work) and one or two cups late afternoon/early evening); I did wake up a couple of times last night and in the morning I was nearly drenched in sweat. WTF is that all about? Am I detoxing on a serious level here or what? Maybe it was just a warm night. I don't know- too odd to be a coincidence.
Let's see. For breakfast and lunch today, I devoured an apple after arranging for it to have a play date with a can of greek yogurt. I had a 6.4oz pouch of tuna drowned in mustard and 10 saltine crakcers...and only 16 oz of water (the bulk of my water intake happens in the afternoon during and after my workout). No Halloweeen candy out today (I think my childish tirade took care of people leaving that crap out).
Oh yeah, before I close: a couple of things that will help me break some triggers:
1. Any time I got in my car, I'd be jonesing for a dip. I'm getting a new one (first time in 20 years) and don't want my new car to have all the little flakes of Cope sticking to the dash or windows where I'd blow them, or having the spitters roll around in the rear passenger floor. New car, new environment.
2. More working out hasn't suppressed the appetite, bur drinking more water helps. Dink until I have to go every hour- at least I know I'm hydrated. Doesn't help so much with having to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. A trade-off I'm willing to handle for the moment.
3. More working out, less dip equals more sleepy. Eliminate the coffee/tea, elimate the trigger (now I don't want to use it as a spitter after I gulp the first cuo). More sleep equals higher metabolism and better fat burn in the long run.
4. Write blog about dipping while at work. Sitting in my office has always been the biggest trigger. It's where I spend the bulk of my day and also where I want to nod off the most and which Copenhagen has always prevented. This long writing session has helped put into perspective some of my issues, challenges, and has offered some behavoral modifications.
Like I said, I'll tighten it up in future postings, there has just been so much I needed to get out my head.
Comments and feedback welcome. Thank you all for wonderful and helpful forum posts and most importantly, for the creation of this site! At the very least, I'm going to have a blast in my 'third time's the charm' quitting.
The man I am today is not the the man I was three months ago. And writing is a lot harder when you are happy.
What I have learned about myself is I can win a hard fight when everything is saying quit. I know that my wife and friends have my back, even when I am not a nice guy going through tobacco and nicotine withdrawls.
I now know my fight to become a non tobacco user is one i will win.
This past weekend my wife and I went to a movie and for the first time since the 90s I did not sneak in a spite cup or watch the whole move with a dip in and the thought never even crossed my mind . I now have a new thought about the whole quitting thing, in the beginning I was unable to see the resasons for quitting I knew but did not care I never thougt long term I never had a real reason to quit . It was my wife that gave me a reason and it was me that fought and won.
I also would like to thank this site and everyone on it for giving me a voice and a place to fight, a way to win. I know if in the first month I did not have this tool of a blog, the backing of all the members and the goal of getting that 100 day coin I would have given up.
I now think about tomorrow and make plans for the future which I never did before. Why make plans if you might end up with cancer? I can now go to a gas station and just get gas I now want to spend more time at home insead of looking for a reason to go for a drive to have a chew. I now know that when given a fight and a reason to win I can win.
To the quiters that came before me, thanks for your words, the pain you went through and for sharing it . It gave me hope knowing other people were able to quit, to the quiters that come after me you can do it, it has been done.
To me, three months ago, thanks for not giving up. To my family, to my kids that are not yet born, it was all for that dream to I quit to be a good dad and a good husband, and for me.