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penguin

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penguin last won the day on September 29 2014

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About penguin

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  • Birthday 05/20/1976

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    Swimming in the Chesapeake Bay

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  • Quit Date
    02/18/2004

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  1. Hello all, I've been around for a little while. I've been through the craves, and I've been through most of what life can throw at you during your quit. Going back to the tin or pouch won't fix the big problems in your life. It merely gives you a temporary escape that clobbers you in the end when you realize it didn't help. Reach out for support when things get rough. Just realize you made the commitment to quit. It won't be easy, but caving on a quit is not something that makes anything easier. Dipping will solve nothing in my life but ending it earlier than it should. That's why I'm quit.
  2. It's been a while since I've checked into the cafe. Early on, I was sure to pop in on every quit milestone, and there were many to celebrate at the start of my quit. I knew the journey would Be a challenging and difficult one, so I set as many short term milestones as I could. Day1, day 3, every 5 days, every week, every holiday to celebrate it as my first dip free 4th of July, birthday, Halloween, etc. It gave me a short term goal to focus on instead of 100 days. 100 was just too large of a number to wrap my head around. Much like my marathons. I look ahead to mile 3,then 5, then 7, and so on. 1 mile in, I'm certainly not going to say only 25 more to go. Slowly, but surely, I chipped away at 100 days. The second hundred I did the same thing, just to keep it manageable. Eventually, you hit a point where you don't need the short term goals. You have rediscovered yourself as a functional person who knows they are a quitter, but it has become manageable and at times you forget it was even a part of your life. At points, I fell back to short milestones as the stresses of life woke up the desire that is deeply embedded in me. I'll take posting here regularly, talking to my quit brothers and sisters, and and quitting over giving up all the days quit and all the struggles I went through. I'm still moving forward each day. Some days miles and miles. Other days maybe only inches. But the further I can move away from the addiction, the happier I am, and everyone loves a happy penguin! -penguin 3800
  3. Just spent the last 30 hours watching the Olympics!!!! I can't get enough of it! And I got to thinking today while watching some of the events. Back in 96 I tried out for the Olympic wrestling team at a local qualifying tournament. As a little penguin, I like many others, had the dream of representing my country in the Olympics and winning the gold medal. For over 20 years, I had dedicated my life to the sport I loved, putting in hours upon hours on the mat. Going for runs early in the morning. Session after session in the weight room. And practice, practice, practice. When I got to college, the training went into overdrive, often working out for nearly 8 to 10 hours a day. The commitment was there, the drive was there, the will was there. And no, I did not qualify for the Olympics, but it was an amazing experience. Then I started to think, quitting seemed to be very similar. Many sacrifices were made. Going for a run to make weight had the same mentality or feel of really fighting through a crave. I had a choice on that run to just stop or give up, just as I had the same opportunity to give in to a cave. But my drive and determination, knowing that the what I was doing was going to pay off. I run, I lose the weight, I am better conditioned, and I win my match. I keep fighting the crave, I maintain my quit, and I win that round and I keep moving forward. I then thought about the athletes and their training. Although my training was intense, I am sure it was soft in comparison to what these Olympic athletes go through on a daily basis. They dedicate so much time and effort into representing their team and their hardwork and determination is paying off when they win the medals. Our dedication to our quits pays off each and every day too. We win something more than a medal. We win our life! We know the tough times are worth going through for the results in the end, freedom from dip. We represent our quit brothers and sisters and we have our friends and family who cheer us on with each crave and competition we have. We are all Gold Medalists! We are all making so many people proud. But most of all, we are making ourselves proud. We are willing to put the time and effort into our quits. If its a dream we have, to be quit, then it's worth working towards. Congratulations to all of you Gold Medalists out there! Keep on quitting and keep on winning! -Penguin
  4. Good post Mongrel!!!!!!!! Lots of guests online this evening. Take a leap of faith. Join up. Take the plunge. What do you have to lose? Great community here. We can all relate to what you are going through... I have either heard it or have gone through it. No much you will say that will shock me. And most of the things that have shocked me, those members still made it through dip free. You are here. You are aching for a reason to quit. Do it! I'm telling you, do it! Tell us your story. Tell us why you are here. Tell us anything. We are here to listen. An early congrats to your decision to quit. Welcome aboard. -Penguin
  5. 2014! Hot Dog!!!!!! We just finished 2013. A year of successes, struggles, and towards the end...resolutions. Many of us have traveled here in 2014 because we resolved to break a habit that we have had for a long time. One day is too long for this habit. So we resolve to end our addiction. We have the drive to end it. We are sick of it. We want to save money. We want to stop hurting friends and family. We want to LIVE! Step one is searching out ways to help us quit. That search brought us here. You took the time to search out QS. YOU WANT TO QUIT. I won't lie, it's scary. The addiction makes us fear it. Are we sure we can get through the day without dipping? Will stress drive me back? Now that my toe is in the water, do I really want to quit? Again, you searched for help. YOU DO WANT TO QUIT. The road to freedom is a road that YOU and only YOU must want to travel. Heck, I want you to make it. And a thousand others want you to make it too! But, the only person walking on this journey is YOU. YOU have to take each and every step. I will be there right beside you, and a thousand other members here will be right beside you along that journey. But, the only way you move forward is if YOU move your feet. I can tell you to take a step, but YOU are the one who has to physically take that step. Some days you will walk a nice flat and smooth path. Other days, you will be climbing boulders. The journey is worth it. The time spent on this self discovery journey is well worth it. You realize who you are...who you want to be...gain pride in the success of your journey....reach out to others who have fallen down the same path you and I have fallen (and thousands of others). We take this journey one step, one moment, one day at a time. It is a journey that is self rewarding. Days that you look at life and thank yourself for having the guts to make the decision to end this addiction. You look around and see the awesomeness that you have neglected for so long. Just the simple joy of living life without being leashed to an addiction. Jump on in. You have made it this far. You have that desire to quit...you are here. Register up (its free) and join in. Read the articles in the library. Read the HOF speeches. Jump into the groups to see what the groups are talking about...and possibly get an insight on what the journey will be like. Be a BoyScout...be prepared. Knowing what may be around the corner and being prepared will help you on your journey. Welcome to the QS community. We know what you have gone through. There is most likely someone here who has lived your life already....works in your career, dipped as much as you did, has the same hobbies, has the same fears, etc. Every story and every journey is unique and different...and yet each story and journey is so similar. QS is here to help if you use the help. QS knows your fears as many of us have had the same fears. QS knows the hatred you have towards smokeless tobacco...we all hate it. We are all one in the same. And we are here to help each other through on this journey. Today is a great day to be dip free and alive!!!!! -Penguin
  6. 2014 MAD. 5.5 miles Total MAD 2573 miles
  7. 2014 MAD. 4 miles Total MAD 2571.5 miles
  8. Penguin 2014 MAD 2 miles MAD total 2569.5 miles
  9. Mongrel, I will need to sample some off that beef jerky before I can give it a thumbs up. Ha ha. Beefy jerky is a good substitute for candy, especially for quitters like me who do not have a sweet tooth. Very good post buddy!
  10. I have recently had several members ask me to write down sort of a "what to expect" post. Something that would kind of let everyone know what to expect. I have to admit, I used to do this in individual groups, however, it is really difficult to look back to those early days and remember exactly what I went though and what days I was on when I encountered those things. I will do my best to give you a bit of a "when to look out for this" play by play. And remember, everyone's quit is different. If you don't hit a crave or a FUNK during a time period that is listed, my belief is that it is better to be prepared for nothing than to not be prepared for something. I was at the very end of my group, reaching the HOF a day or 2 before the last day of my month. I had the opportunity to read and see that most members of my group struggled with this, struggled with that around certain days in their quit. I also got to see when things seemed to clear up for them, and see when the journey seemed to level out a bit. I would definitely urge everyone to share their difficult days and their successful days with their individual groups, as that gives others the chance to see that goo things might be around the corner, or that they need to buckle down and prepare for another fight. And also remember, life throws us curve balls from time to time. Stress, for most of us, is a huge trigger, and when something traumatic in our lives happens, often times a major crave accompanies that stress or trigger. The final thing to remember...we have triggers that we associate with dipping. Driving, working out, hunting, yard work, watching sports, etc. We have a year's worth of triggers to fight through. Fall triggers for new quitters will be something you will have to face for the first time, well after you reach 100 days and the Hall Of Fame. The Hall of Fame is not a cure, just a nice milestone to achieve. 1 year is not a cure, again, it is just a nice milestone to achieve. I always focused on any day I could possibly celebrate. Days of 5 or 10, each week, any holiday that may fall, the more days I could celebrate as a milestone, the better. Obviously, each day is a day to celebrate, but day 5, 7, 10, 14, 15, 20, 21, etc...It gave me a short term goal to look forward to, something other than just the next day. And day 100 is just too far away to focus on early on in the quit. Day 1-3 to 5...This is the physical withdrawl period. All sorts of different symptoms. It's the chemical dependency leaving your body. We put years and decades of poison into our bodies. Our body is going to need a few day to get used to this healthy body again, and it needs time to adjust. I looked at it from a standpoint that I poisoned myself for 7 years. I can go 5 or 6 days through "payback". I hurt my body for all that time, I deserved to let my body punish me for my bad decisions for a few days. Physical could be headaches, very bad craves (mental), shakes, sleeplessness, emotional moments, etc. Day10-15...is when you will possibly start to see the "FOG" lift. One of the things I heard many quitters say when the caved was that they needed the dip to concentrate. The chemical didn't help us concentrate any more than a "sober" person would concentrate...going through the chemical withdrawl, our brain is rewiring itself and it needs time to reconnect some things. So some very easy tasks might seem to be Calculus IV level problems to solve. 2 to 3 weeks and that FOG is finally lifted. Day 20-30...You will actually finally hit a stretch where you now understand why the fight was worth it. You will feel great! The craves have subsided, you feel like a million bucks, your confidence is there...it's a very rewarding day to say the least. Shortly after, the craves will come back. This has now become a mental battle with the addiction. 7 years of training my body to ingest the chemical, it's going to take my brain more than just a month to "forget" about it. Dipping, for most of us, was a part of us. We have eliminated that part of us, and it will take a very long time to get over losing that part of us. I look at it like a person who loses a limb. The phantom pain is something they deal with for a VERY long time from what I understand. Our mind doesn't forget too quickly, and the addiction uses that as a weapon in this battle. Days 30-70. A continuation of the great days and the craves. The good news is that the days that you feel great begin to grow in consecutive numbers...at first it might must be a day..then a day and a half, then 2 days, then 4 days...etc. And the crave period in between the good days begins to shrink. A good day, then maybe 5-7 days of craves then a good day and 4-5 days of crave, and so on. Days 75-90...The FUNK arrives, as I referred to it. The FUNK is almost like going back to week 1. The craves seem to get a lot more intense. Sort of like the last ditch effort the addiction tries to use to get us to go back. The FUNK, over time, will dilute in intensity, but it seems to stick around a lot longer than the recent crave sessions (at least it did for me). Some in my group had the FUNK for just a few days. I believe mine hit around day 85 and lasted through 120 or 130. After a few days of the FUNK, it really turned into a minor crave that just would not go away. It was like that gnat or fly that keeps pestering you. You swat at it, you wave your arms, you spin around, you do everything you can to get it to go away, and it just laughs at you and buzzes by your face yet again. IT DOES GO AWAY, but I have seen members just give in to the annoyance and head back to the tin. The next 100 days after the HOF are hit and miss with more sporadic craves or funks, but you have confidence behind you, and experience. You will start to recognize the pattern. The next 100 days, same deal...so on and so on. I really can't tell you when you will hit that day that you don't think about it any more, or when you go weeks or months without a crave...but it eventually comes. I do warn you about a difficult time that I went through between days 500-600. This was stress related to me, as I was purchasing my first house. It was a big and stressful event. Obviously, the addition wanted me to solve the stress with nicotine. I also noticed that several others went through similar stresses during that time frame. We always shared when things were difficult for us, so that we could help each other out. PRIDE tends to get in the way. Some people are embarrassed that if they mention they are struggling or having a difficult time, that they may be perceived as weak. I would rather be called weak and still have my quit than to not ask for help and fail. Over time, I started to notice that others were struggling between500-600 and they were not going through any stressful moments in their life...so that time period may just be another FUNK that most people go through. Since the house, I have dealt with a car accident that nearly took my life, a separation and divorce (that was approximately a 500 day FUNK in itself...and I was quick to have friends here keep tabs on me and checkin on me). And a misdiagnosis for a pretty nasty disease. So, even though I have hit a number of "floors" or 100 day groupings, I have still had my challenges. And I know that there will be more to come. This is an addiction that has no cure, just our ability to maintain it. The moment we get too "cocky" and think we can never fail...that is usually the moment that we take unnecessary and dangerous risks. A final piece of advice. Avoid triggers early on in the quit and throughout the first year. I always dipped when I golfed. I quit during February. I hit HOF in May. I had all summer to golf. I did not golf once that summer...I didn't feel that it was something I wanted to challenge myself with. I wanted to make sure my quit was extremely strong...I could pass up one year of golf. It was better than getting out there, having someone offer me a dip, and losing all those days I had quit. Alcohol was something that I avoided for well over 100 days. I was not about to let alcohol cloud my judgment, even if it was drinking at home...alcohol causes us to make poor choices. No need for me to take that risk. Do what YOU need to do to keep your quit going forward. Some days it feels like we move an inch, other days a mile...but we keep moving forward. That is the key. Progress in a positive direction. Progress to a better life. Progress towards a better YOU!!!! Remember, this is the best recollection that I have of the early days of my quit. And I do know that everyone's quit is different, yet you will see a lot of similarities in quits with others and similar days that you encompass the same symptoms. In the process, focus on the positives...focus on the things you missed out on because you had to have your dip. Amazing sunrises and sunsets. Amazing days I spent with my (now ex) wife...so much of life that I was missing because I was so focused on a tin. Live life now that you have regained it back from the addiction! -Penguin
  11. Dan, Veera has a good point. As I stated, some people need to mentally prepare for the day they quit. That's the way some people work. Some people do "pick a day" in the future to "buy" more time, and often times, excuses are created. Veera's comment hints towards the gradual reduction of the withdrawl as well, but its still there. Sort of like tearing a band aid off slowly rather than just ripping it off and getting it over with. The withdrawl will end up being the same when you quit and ingest no more nicotine, however, the gradual reduction will bring some mild withdrawls out that will make that WD period just that much longer. I am hoping you have a plan, you are preparing for this journey in these next few days. Telling friends and family also builds a level of accountability that helps when you are unable to be here at the site. Get some oral distractions ready as well, things like gum, fireballs, jolly ranchers, mints, etc. Believe it or not, many people seem to need to find to do something with their mouth when they don't have a dip in. It occupies the mind I guess. It's one of the mental withdrawls that you will deal with. And Mongrel has some great advice as well. Stay positive. It's a scary step for most of us when we decide to quit. It is impacted even greater when there is a fear that also accompanies the quit. Staying positive and surrounding yourself around people who will encourage you is a great tool to have. As you mentioned, those of us here are really the only people who really understand this particular fight. You may personally know others who have battled other addictions like smoking or alcohol or drugs. They may be able to understand the difficulties you may encounter as well. I told my family about my quit, and none of them (thankfully) never smoked or dipped, so they didn't really understand the challenges that I had to face. If you are not an alcoholic, then when someone is struggling with denying themselves a drink, we think, what's the big deal, just don't drink anything. It's not so tough. But for the alcoholic, its a tremendous battle, it just isn't that easy. The countdown continues for Monday for you. Would be awesome to see a day 1 by your name earlier than that, but we will take Monday if that's what it needs to be. -Penguin
  12. Dan, Welcome. There are plenty of tools here for you to use to help yourself become the Dan you want to become. I would spend the next few days reading the group and preparing yourself for this battle that you are about to fight. Addiction is something that is with us forever. We learn how to manage it, but we never really get rid of it. I have had battles and fights well after 6 months into my quit. I'd urge you to stay with the site for atleast a year. My philosophy has been that you have an entire year's worth of triggers. 6 months from now will not cover the college football games, raking the leaves, Halloween, hunting season or whatever your fall triggers might be. I have also been around long enough to see that many quitters end up "stumbling" in their quits when they leave the site. I think there is a sense of being cured and they take risks they shouldn't. Or they have a sense of embarrassment needing to come back to ask for a little help or encouragement. Get into the new groups to see how they are progressing and get some insight on what you may be facing in the upcoming days and weeks. Knowing and preparing for it is better than it coming out of left field. I'd also write down why you want to quit, how you feel the first few weeks of quitting and any fears you may have. Believe it or not, you WILL start to feel great early in the quit. Having those thoughts and feelings written down on paper that you put in your wallet will remind you of why you are quitting and how you felt...so that you never want to feel that way again. It was a strategy that I used. The addiction is very powerful and sadly has the energy to convince us that we can have 1 or try to make us justify why we need a dip when we really don't...and then we end up back at day 1 going through that mess all over again. Good luck on your decision to quit on Monday. Hope to see you here. Remember, we are all here to help each other. Many quitters will share thoughts with you because they WANT you to be SUCCESSFUL. Most will share about what has worked for them. Each quit is different and unique. So what works for one, may not necessarily work for another. But we also recognize when some quitters take unnecessary risks with their quit. Certain things can wait for a few weeks or months (like losing weight that you may gain from substituting snacks for dipping). The weight will come off when you are ready to focus on something else besides quitting. We are here for you. Hopefully you decide to take the jump a bit sooner than Monday. That fear of Oral Cancer should be one that makes you want to quit right now. But I know that some people need time to really hash out their plan for quitting as well. Just hope that tomorrow's dip isn't the one that triggers an abnormal growth...we never know which dip will be the one to start the mutation of cells. Looking forward to encouraging you down this journey! It will be one of the toughest journeys of your life, but definitely one of the most rewarding journeys as well. -Penguin
  13. Hey boys. Its been a long time since I have posted in here. The last post was about my Iron Man attempt. Had to go back a ton of pages to find that and my last MAD tally. Nothing major in the past 2.5 years, just running here and there, biking here and there, but no official races of any sorts. Hoping to push my marathon tally from 6 to 10 by the end of 2014. Penguin MAD - 2567.5 miles
  14. So here it is...New Years Eve. A day that brings the end to a year...and in less than 24 hours, the birth, beginning, new start to another year. Today is a day that many reflect back on the previous year and begin the process of making resolutions for the new year. For many, a new year is a starting point for many things. Time to get back to the gym, make nice with people that we may not have the best relationships with, etc. We start off with good intentions, some of us keep those resolutions...many of us have some of those resolutions slip through the cracks. We convince ourselves that we had too many resolutions on the plate, we got busy, it was too much to bite off at one time, our ambitions were too high or any other myriad of excuses. The new year always brings one particular resolution to light. I want to quit. I want to quit drinking. I want to quit swearing. I want to quit smoking. I want to quit dipping. Our intentions are good, yet the addiction is strong. This site offers a great community of people who are struggling through the same thing...trying to end their addiction to chewing. We have communities set up to group individuals who are within a month of going through the same thing. Day 1 and day 30 might seem like a huge amount of time (and the first month has many transitions to the quit), yet 1 month is not entirely that long. At 30 days, one can still remember what the first week of the quit was like. It is still semi fresh in your mind and you can still really relate to the struggles someone fresh in their quit are going through. Being fresh in a quit, seeing someone in your group at 30 days offers hope that it can be done. It IS possible to quit! We have a library full of articles created by quitters from 12 years ago and as recent as a few months. We have Hall Of Fame (HOF) speeches from members who have successfully quit 100 days. Their testimonies of their journey, their accomplishments, their support networks, and so much more insightful information about the process of quitting. No quit is exactly the same, yet many are very similar journeys. We have a chat feature that allows you to talk to current quitters in real time. You can vent about your day, celebrate your accomplishment, meet other quitters, receive encouragement and advice. It's a great tool and, at times, can be quite the party of celebrating our successes. We also have other forums of a variety of topics, where again, you can meet other quitters with similar likes. Even though we come from all walks of life, we share some very similar hobbies, likes and stories. The more we can relate to each other, the more we understand that we are not so different from each other, and we are here to support each other in a common goal. And sometimes, those other forums are just what we need to take our mind off of the addiction for a few minutes. To find some laughter, celebrate other accomplishments or discuss a variety of other topics. I also take new years eve as a day to reflect on the past year. Another year quit. Another year full of challenges. Some of those challenges were extremely difficult. But I got through those challenges. Many of the reasons I got through those challenges are the members here at QS. Even though they have not gone through some of the challenges I have had, they were there to listen and encourage me through each challenge. I have realized over the years that if you don't reach out for help, in most cases, it isn't just going to show up on your door step. If people don't know you are having a rough time, often they won't know you are struggling. I have come to realize that it is easier to accomplish something with help. And I have learned that pride can get in the way of those accomplishments. I look back at my challenges for the year, and I celebrate that I got through those moments. I focus on the accomplishments, not so much the pain or the negative. We have a choice to focus on the negatives in life, or to find the positives and celebrate those positives. Focusing on negatives lead to more negative thoughts. I spent too much of my life dwelling on the negative, that I missed the chance to celebrate the positives surrounding me. The negatives could have consumed me and I could have regressed into a canyon I did not want to fall into. With encouragement from friends, I was able to climb my way back up to the mountain top. There are people here who have fallen many times, and they keep getting back up and start that journey again. Something inside them tells them it is worth the effort. Others have been on the journey for days, weeks, months or even years. I will spend the day looking at the obstacles that I overcame this year, I will look at those obstacles to see how I can avoid them this upcoming year, I will learn the lessons to be learned from those experiences, and celebrate the great achievements of 2013. I will set my sights on living each day of 2014 to the fullest, make a daily promise to myself to live a healthy life, help others, and most importantly - enjoy each day, find the gifts each day holds and live in the moment that is provided for me. I hope that the challenge of 2013 were met with some glimmer of success. And I hope 2014 is a year that each and every one of you breaks free of your addiction, full of positive moments, and successful accomplishments. Happy New Years QuitSmokeless. -Penguin
  15. Some encouraging words I read recently after a challenging moment in my life. Thought it definitely applies to quitting, especially something to think about on those more difficult days. An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. When life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means its going to launch you into something great. So just focus, and keep aiming!
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