My Story

I wanted to be cool and fit in with the rest of the football players who were doing chew.

It all began innocently enough approximately 30 years ago. I wanted to be cool and fit in with the rest of the football players who were doing chew. I wanted that cool ring in the back pocket of my jeans. Back then we all saw Walt Garrison and Earl Campbell endorsing chew (“just a little pinch between my cheek and gum. . .”) on television. I am sure many of us thought if these big healthy professional athletes do it, how bad can it really be? Little did I know then that I was setting myself up for one of the biggest challenges of my life.

How can something so trivial as a teenager trying to be accepted still be a major issue in my life all these years later? I have to admit that it is somewhat embarrassing to be writing this and going public with my addiction. Some people will be shocked. Some people close to me will be hurt that I had this in my life and hid it from them. I wasn’t one of those people that were open about their chewing habit. I hid it from most people, and I hid it well. I knew it was a harmful and disgusting habit and I was embarrassed by it. However, I still found a way to do it everyday.

I am still embarrassed that it took me so long to figure out a way to quit.The bottom line is that, despite all of that, I had to write this. There was no way that I couldn’t write it. After spending a significant amount of time on the quit websites, I realized that there are a number of other people going through the same challenges to quit that I was. I had to tell people how I did it-what worked for me. I once asked myself “if chew was alcohol, would I be an alcoholic?” It took me very little time to realize that I would in fact, be an alcoholic. This is when I knew that this little known addiction, is real, is a serious problem, and is very possibly life threatening. I was also getting tired of being filled with anxiety about my health, the feelings of shame, weakness, self loathing and of just basically feeling out of control. This is also when I realized that there is a tremendous need for a structured strategy to quit. A strategy that is written by someone who has been there-someone who has actually walked down this path. Someone who, on Day 1 sat there and wondered how, or if, am I going to be able to stop chewing?

Good luck on your journey.