8 years ago this morning my world was a very different place.
- I had a 53 day old son… the first of my three boys that I cherish above all else.
- Pope Benedict hadn’t resigned yet.
- Revenge Of The Sith was just over a year old and was finally washing away the thoughts of Jar Jar Binks.
- Michael Bay hadn’t touched the Transformers franchise yet.
- Twitter was less than a month old.
- Charlie Frye was the Cleveland Browns quarterback (there have been 13 since if you count Manziel)
- I was a nicotine addict
July 24th marks the 8th anniversary of my last time. The last time I ingested nicotine in any form. Since that fateful morning I’ve not had so much as a puff of a cigar. I found the people at KillTheCan.org and they became my lifeline. That’s not to say that my wonderful Wife didn’t help me because she absolutely did (not to mention putting up with my withdrawal ridden self). But because she’d never dipped she could never really “get it”. The folks at KTC did. They’re all addicts, going through exactly what I was going through. I’d urge anyone looking to quit dipping or smoking to check it out. You’ll be glad you did.
So what have I learned in the past 8 years being dip free? Quite a bit actually.
I’ve learned that not only was I slowly killing myself, but I was taking time away from my family to do so. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve regained because I don’t have to sneak off to have a dip, take the long way home to have a dip, make an unecessary trip to get gas to have a dip and a hundred other things… to have a dip.
My acid reflux is essentially gone. It got much worse for the first couple of months but now I don’t even need to take medication to treat it (aside from the occasional holiday evening when I’ve eaten and drank way too much as I tend to do).
I’ve learned that I’m still just $5 and a bad decision away from a can per day habbit. THAT’s why I don’t dip any more. Because deep down I know that even though I’m 8 years removed, I’m still an addict. One dip will send me back down that slippery slope and that’s not something I’m willing to entertain.
I was a Kodiak Wintergreen guy (primarily). Ironically, I was walking through the parking lot the other day and I got the unmistakable whiff of my old friend. I’m happy to say that I didn’t crave it. And while I wasn’t repulsed by it, I felt sad for the guy. Cause I used to be that guy. I won’t be that guy today. I won’t be that guy again… ever. It amazes me that after all these years I can still pick out the smell of Kodiak as I walk through a store or at the ballgame. It just goes to show you the power of nicotine.
I’ve been open with the boys about dipping. They know what KillTheCan.org is and that Daddy used to chew. Rather than hide it from them I’ve decided to be open and honest with them. I’m truly hoping that when (not if… it will happen) they get exposed to chew and cigarettes they recognize the wolf in sheep’s clothing that it is.
I could go on forever, but I’ll stop rambling. I want to thank a few folks for the support they’ve given me over the years.
Wife – you’re the best Mama. Thanks for dealing with my shit. I know it wasn’t easy. Love you.
Friends & Family – thanks. You’ve asked questions, been supportive and given me an “atta boy” many times through the years. That means a lot.
KillTheCan.org – there are too many people to name so I’m not going to try. You guys know who you are and you know what you mean to me. Here’s to another +1.
I chewed for about 16 years. As of today I’m quit about half as long as I dipped. Will I be “cured” when I hit that magical 16 year quit mark? I doubt it. Honestly I don’t really worry about it. I worry about today. And today I’m nicotine free.