100 days quit, a lifetime to go. You know, the second part is the important one: the 100 days is just a number, or a beginning. The lifetime is the future, and that’s the important thing.
This has been the second (and last) long quit of my almost 40 years of dipping. The first was about 20 years ago, and I made it almost 200 days. I did that with the help of Matt’s QuitSmokeless.org website, and I was very active on those boards (under a different username). I see a few names that I recognize from back then when I go through the archives of this site, and I hope they were able to stick with it longer than I was. Sadly, as seems to happen, after a while I didn’t stay active with the site, had that “just one to see what it used to be like” dip, and in short order was right back to my 2 cans every 3 days.
This time around is different. And I don’t mean to discount how hard it can be, but this time it was easier for me. Way easier. Why? Because I took advantage of another life situation. In some ways it goes against my feelings on quitting: from what I’ve seen in other successful quits, it works best when it’s your only focus. Not quitting while getting in shape. Not quitting while dieting. Not quitting while… you get the drill. I’ve always felt it needs to be the ONLY focus.
Now that I said that, I broke that rule, and in this case it worked. What happened in my case was that I had to have knee replacement surgery. I got a little freaked out as the surgery date neared, because one of the things that popped up in the prep stuff from the surgeon was “no tobacco or nicotine use” and they implied that if a test showed that I had it in my system, the surgery would be rescheduled. Now, I work for a living, and it was enough of an inconvenience to schedule once: I was not going to jeopardize my surgery date just to keep on dipping. I convinced myself that I could stop 2 days before the surgery (sad that I had to even go that long, huh?) and had what turned out to be my last dip on October 12, 2022. So now I’m freaked out about (a) the surgery, and (b) not dipping. A recipe for disaster.
Anyway, the surgery went fine. I have to admit: I hadn’t officially quit at this point: I had just “suspended” my dipping so that I didn’t lose the surgery date. Now, as I made it foggily through the first day post surgery, I started thinking about it: I’m off of work for the next 12 weeks, I’m not really having to “do” anything else for quite a while, and I’ve got enough painkillers (Vicodin in this case) to keep me sane for two weeks as I prepared to start my physical therapy. I realized that I had a built in “do nothing but focus on the quit for the next two weeks” situation. So (probably a Vicodin aided decision) I resolved that I was officially quit of the dip. To aid, I got on an auto ship from Amazon for 10 cans of Smokey Mountain Herbal Chew (the only “fake dip” that I’ve ever thought was ok) to be repeated weekly. I resolved to keep stuffing the fake stuff in my face any time I even thought about having a dip, and pledged myself to make it that first two weeks.
And here we are, a few months later, and I consider myself officially quit. I haven’t even come close to a dip (or much of a crave for that matter) after the first few days. I tossed my leftover “pre-quit” partial can of Grizzly at about day 20, after not even seriously considering using it. Now, I realize that I took advantage of a unique situation to make it that first two weeks, a situation that most people don’t have the opportunity to use, but it worked for me. If you have a situation like this arise, where you don’t have to work or be responsible for much else for 14 days, that is the time to quit. Though, really, any day is the right day to quit when you think about it.
Anyway, all I’ve got left to do is to get myself off of the use of the Smokey Mountain chew (still doing about a can a day), and you know what? I’ll get there. I’ll consume 1000 cans of this stuff if it means I will never use the real stuff again. Plus it’s way, way cheaper, and it won’t kill me.
Stick with it, everyone. If you’ve entered the HOF ahead of me, thanks for your support. If you’re in my rear view mirror, coming up on 100 days (or 50, or 20, or 3) you can do this too, and I believe in you, and I’ll see you here when you get to 100. All you have to do is commit to not dipping today. And tomorrow, do that again. That’s all there is to it.