by The SilentR’s, Hall of Fame Class of February 2004
Introduction by Lodge:
Hello fellow quitters and welcome. Congratulations on your decision to quit dipping. It is the hardest and most rewarding thing you will do in your life. Trust me. Be proud of every second you do not dip. Believe in yourself and use this site and you will be sucessful. Here is a little document that the Feb. '04 group, "The SilentR's", put together that I hope will help you out some. At least it will keep you from doing something stupid for a couple of minutes while you read it.
Primer by The SilentR’s, Hall of Fame Class of February 2004 ©
As our class of quitters nears the Hall of Fame (100 days), we thought that it would be a good idea to compile a list of advice to share with those who are just starting their quit. We hope that this will act as a roadmap for you to follow as you begin the arduous process of ridding tobacco from your life.
Quitting tobacco is the hardest thing that many of our members have had to do in their lives. It is also one the most rewarding. If you are reading this, you probably have already had enough of the shame and guilt that goes along with using smokeless tobacco. You might have already tried to quit many times and failed. You have felt something snap this time. This time is the last time. That was Step One. Finding this site was Step Two. There are many more steps to take and the following is a list of things to expect and hopefully some lessons to learn from some of those who came before you.
1. Become a fixture in your quit group.
a. Hold onto them like they have the cure for cancer. They do.
b. In your quit group you will find people who have just started to quit at about the same time. You will meet people from around the country and these people will become your friends and your inspiration. They will also add a large measure of accountability.
c. Go there daily and read and post. Start conversations and get to know one another. Try to do a Question of the Day (QOTD) and get everyone to participate. Post pictures so your group knows what you look like.
d. Go there when you craving and ask for help. You will find it. Go there when you are strong and help those that are not.
e. TALK. Post here, talk to your wife, friends, kids, girlfriend, parents, WHOEVER but talk through your craves and fears and emptiness. This will involve others in your quit, which increases support and accountability, but more importantly it gets you out of your head and lets you articulate, talk/think THROUGH the crave. More often than not, this will lead to a discussion or rant, which, when over, will have eclipsed the crave.
2. Identify the enemy.
a. The enemy is not the dip, nor UST, nor your friends that still dip, nor your Mom and Dad, ex-wife/girlfriend, whatever! It is YOU, and your “quitter self” must wage war with your “addictive self” and overcome!
b. There is no such thing as a “Nico-demon” or a “Devil”. It is ALL in your head. Now FIGHT it.
3. It is okay if you have to rely on QSO to help you.
a. Nicotine addiction is a hard addiction to deal with. We all need some help sometimes. Don’t be afraid to ask for it, or to give it when asked.
b. Most of us thought that support groups don’t work or are for “real” addicts. We are real addicts. The addiction is strong and most of us need some help and support to beat it and you will find it here. It is not some weird cult or anything. Just a bunch of people who are trying to conquer the same addiction.
4. Beware of “trigger activities” at first, then live your life.
a. Everyone has so-called “trigger activities”. These are activities that you would normally do with a dip or a chew in. Avoid these activities for a little while until you have the confidence to face them dip free.
b. After you gain some confidence, though, don't be scared to live your life the same way that you did when you were dipping. Remember that you like the activity not because you can dip, but because you like the activity itself.
c. Be especially careful around alcohol for a while though. Lower inhibitions equal a cave.
d. Prepare yourself mentally BEFORE you are in a trigger activity. If you are going to be around friends that dip actually visualize your friend or some person actually offering you the smoke or chew and visualize yourself saying "no thanks man, givin’ it up, but thanks anyway!" Actually see yourself in your head so when the real time comes you are confident with yourself that you can say no.
e. Go buy and keep at hand some sunflower seeds or fake chew or gum. There are links to some of the fake chew on this site. These can help get you through some of the toughest craves.
5. The Excuses and Lies
a. Once you cut nicotine from your life, your mind will try to fool you into getting another fix. Learn to recognize the lies and excuses for what they are and prepare yourself to fight them.
b. This is a powerful addiction and your mind will play tricks on you. Some common ones to lookout for include:
1. “Once I get blank days under my belt, I can have one to celebrate.” – This is a big one that catches many. You can never have another dip. End of story.
2. “I can just cut back for a while and then quit and it will be easier.”- Nope, this is just your brain fooling you into getting another fix. It will never be easy, just worth it.
3. “I will keep this last can as a trophy of my accomplishment.”- No, this is your brain tricking you into having a ready supply on hand so that it can get you to cave easier. Pitch the can and do not look back.
c. There will be other lies and deceptions. You will have to learn to identify them and fight them when they show up. Realize when you are planning a cave. If you find yourself saying that there is no way I could get through blank without a dip, then you are planning a cave and it will happen. Don’t let it. You can make it through absolutely ANYTHING without a dip.
6. The Secrets and Shortcuts
a. None. Except for this site.
b. This is something that you just have to endure. It is a hard road to take, but it is worth it. Your life is on the line. It DOES get easier and it feels GREAT to be free from tobacco.
7. Timeline- Here is a rough timeline of what to expect in your first 100 days of quitting tobacco.
a. Days One through Three- The worst days of your life. You will have physical effects due to the absence of nicotine in your system. They include:
The physical effects are also coupled with the mental effects. The mental effects include:
1. Feeling of loss.
2. Lack of confidence.
4. Uneasiness of paranoia
5. The “Fog”- Inability to focus or concentrate. Feels like you are thinking through flannel.
These days will seem to take forever. Sleep might be difficult for some. You are hanging by a thread now. Come here and read until the words blur, just keep the stuff out of your mouth. It is hard, but it will end. You know the right decision, just stick it out. We never said it would be easy, only that it would be worth it.
b. Days Four through Twenty- Physical effects normally stop. Confidence should be growing day and day and a feeling of freedom will become intoxicating. You get mad at yourself for ever starting such a ridiculous habit. You should be learning more and more about the members of your quit group and starting to feel a kinship with them. Their power is your power. The feeling of loss, still lingers. The fog normally lifts in this period. The dip rage might still be around, but not as bad. The uneasiness and paranoia are now a distant memory.
c. Days Twenty through Sixty- You are really on a role now. Quitting gets easier and easier day by day. You start to feel not so much like an ex-dipper, but more like a non-dipper. Your confidence continues to grow and the craves get easier to fight. There are still some tough times, but the worst is behind you. You can begin to see the rest of your life without tobacco and it feels good.
d. Days Sixty through Eighty- The doldrums hit. For some reason, this is a dangerous time. You might get overconfident and a crave will take you my surprise. Some might think that they can have just one to celebrate making this far. Some try it just to see what it is like. All hate it, some make it back the next day, others are lost in the addiction. Recognize that this is still the addiction controlling you. Stay prepared, vigilant and positive. Mourn those that do not. On the positive side, there will be more days than not that you will forget to think about dipping. You will start to come to grips with the fact that you will never take another dip. This is the final mental obstacle to overcome.
e. Days Eighty through One Hundred- The doldrums lift. The pain and misery of the first days are almost forgotten. The craves are almost non-existent and fairly easy to overcome. You will concentrate more on writing your HOF speech than you will on quitting tobacco. However, you will have learned the lesson that you must never truly forget to quit because the craves are still there lurking.
f. Days One Hundred and Beyond… We don’t know. We are just starting this part. Why don’t you give yourself one hundred days and then fill in the blank for us?
One Final Thought
This was posted by one of our members. We will let the words speak for themselves.
Last night I was thinking about quitting and what prompted me to finally make it this time (a little premature but I'm feeling that confident these days). I realized that I saw my addiction as a wall, a big-assed wall, like the Great Wall. It was too high to climb, to thick to beat through, to deeply set to dig under, and too wide to go around. It had beaten me and I had to admit that I could not fight with it anymore. To get to the other side I had to turn my back on it, stop looking for the quick fix to get to the other side, and take the old first step on a 10,000 mile journey. I accepted that it would take many, many days before I could look back and not see that wall. That, it seems, was the difference.
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