Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Quitting the Demon

Originally posted in May 2006... I'm reposting this now after over three years as a quitter!

So, I was sitting in my office a couple years ago and I had my lip full of copenhagen, as per S.O.P. and I was hurtin'. My mouth was a mass of sores, I couldn't brush my teeth without gums bleeding and I was just sick of feeling like a slave to nicotine. So I hopped onto Google and typed in quit dipping... and *POW* I found a website called Quit Smokeless. I immediately recognized that this was my chance to quit... for good.The article here is one that really spoke to me. It begins:
Although we have never met, I know you. You started chewing tobacco around high school. It quickly became part of your personality, part of your behavior, and part of your life. At some point, you developed a bad sore throat and thought, "Oh my God, please do not let it be cancer." You decided to quit for the first time. But your throat got better, and one thing lead to another, and you bought another tin.

Since then, you have tried to quit many, many times. You have blown through countless "quit deadlines," like "I will quit when I graduate," "I will quit when I get a job," "I will quit when I am (20)(25)(30)(35)," "I will quit when the baby is born," "I will quit when my workload lightens up," and "I will quit on New Years." But, when the deadline came, it was never a good time to quit. Or you quit for a while, but then some problem or stress came into your life and you just "had" to go back to the tin (what was that problem?). Or you quit for someone else (wife, girlfriend, etc.), but then they made you angry, so you started to chew again. No one is going to tell you what to do.

At some point, you stopped telling the people around you that you were trying to quit tobacco, because it was just too embarassing when you failed. You covered yourself for years with "I do not want to quit," so that no one knows you're completely addicted. It's not like you are an alcoholic or drug addict, right? For the same reasons, you never asked anyone for their help or support, because you are not some spineless, weak-mind junkie who "needs help." And besides, they would never understand it anyway, because "they" just think it's some stupid or gross "spit" habit.

Ultimately, you just resigned to your addiction. You justified it with "It is my only bad habit," "The risk of getting oral cancer is (small/exaggerated/not real/for heavy users/for hillbillies/for people who don't brush their teeth)," "I need tobacco to (work/write/concentrate/be productive/play ball/live)," "I am happier with tobacco," "If I get cancer, I get cancer. Everyone dies of something," And Now, you have been chewing tobacco for years and years, and you couldn't quit, even if you wanted to.

And then you found this website
WOW! You'll have to read on. One of the great things about it was that you could join an online support group of guys (and gals in some cases) that you could chat with to help you get through. Mr. Matt van Wyk was the man who started and ran the site. As of 14 May 2006 he gave up maintaining this part of the site. A fellow quitter whose handle is Flavius Victor started a mirror site that replaced the online chat forum. God bless him. It's interim site is found here.

If you are a dipper... or know a dipper who is looking to quit. Please direct them to this site. I dipped constantly for twenty years and finally freed myself of addiction. It was hard, really damn hard. It was also the best thing that I have done for myself in my life. Check it out and please let me know what ya'll think and experience.