I reckon I was about 14 yrs old or so when I started "dipping" as it is called. Little pinch between the cheek and gum. Get that head rush going, little spit action on the baseball field, maybe just that perception of just being a hair faster on the swing of the bat at the plate. Pffft. All Illusion, smoke and mirrors. I was altering my reality and not for the good. I won't name the brands that I used, but they were popular amongst the country boys in Western NC where I grew up. I gave my life over to a terrible addiction in my early teen years. Nicotine, not my friend but my "idol". My favorite American Idol taking over my minutes, my hours, my days needing that all important "dip". It was cheap back then, so I would scrounge pennies, my lunch money, cut grass, haul off garbage and what not to get that all important cash to hit the convenience store up for the "fix". Why did I ever think I was better than a cocaine or heroin addict? Just because my drug was legal? Yeah, I can't be as bad as all those "real" drug addicts, right? Pffft. Worse since I was in denial of my addiction, the "feedings", the sickening feeling when I was really low on cash as a teen and wondering if I would be able to make it through the week on my 2 or 3 cans of "fix". I loved to read books and dipping went along with the reading and the reading along with the "dipping." Fond memories of great books...Too bad a nicotine haze is attached.
Off to serve in the milittary. I went and nicotine was there with me in my mouth, keeping me alert, keeping me ready to defend! Until I couldn't find my can on the field of training or it got wet or until I ran out while out in the "field" training. Then it was desperate hunts for fellow troops who had "dip". Alway a few around, thank goodness right? Pfffft. What a scene. America's best pulling his hair out before finding his special friend with dip! Or was the dip my special friend? Sad state of affairs that was you know? I quit for family a couple times.Rearing up kids who looked up to me, so I quit for awhile. A year then 14 months...did that a couple of times. Then the those awful words coming to my Brain! "Hey, Sgt Noggin Head has a new can of cherry flavored dip! Or Spearmint Dip!Wow! You can give it a try and be ok. No worries about addiction, right? You can just have your taste and it will be ok, right?" Yeah Right........Hundreds, thousands of cans later, I quit again. I literally cryed hot tears of anguish and pain, smack my head against a plaster wall, cry out to God who seems to be not listening...My fault though, not His. Why should He listen after seeing me through my first quit, then the second and third? And then I go and make it my "god" again? Dip, Dip, Dip...break the habit...The Addiction..It is an addiction! I didn't Learn! So, one night on a midnight shift at rest area where I was pulling armed security duty and needed to stay awake...A truck driver comes by and we have a little talk, he pulls out a can of smokeless and offers me a dip....Why not? Won't hurt, right? No worries, right? I need to be awake and alert for bad guys, huh?" So, the agony of the previous withdrawl cycle escapes my pathetic brain. Why it escapes me is beyond me other than I liked torturing myself? I didnt realize I was addict? Was in Denial that I could not Must Not take another Dip? Hmmmm..So the story goes. There is more to the story of course...a couple more times of the same cycle throguh the years. 25, 26 brutal years of addiction and pain, money wasted on "dip". I am on Day 7 without a "dip". No "fix" around the homestead. No nicotine of any kind to be found anywhere near my home. Last night, day 6 was BRUTAL. Yet, I did not wallow in self pity in the brutality of it all, but embraced it and did not cry this time. I finally went to sleep about 2:30 a.m. Freedom and WhyQuit has shown me a new way to look at "dip". It is an addiction, not a habit and to stay clean and free I Must Not Take Another Dip into my mouth.