I can remember the day like it was yesterday.   I was a sophomore in high school and the year was 1996.  I was handed my first can, and took a small snuff.   It tasted good, but it gave me the shakes, dizzy spells, and I even threw up.  They said it was part of the first time you ever take a snuff, or chew.  After that, it doesn’t happen anymore.  Throughout my sophomore year I hid it from my parents, and felt like a rebel.   There was a few times I got caught, and my father made me “eat” the snuff, which should have made me quit, but the allure was too much.   I was hooked, and was doing it with my friends from school.  When my parents got divorced, it was sort of like “open season.”   My mom said that if I was going to do something, I don’t need to hide it.  So I did it….freely.

However, I only did it in the comforts of my home, or when I was with certain people.  I never did it at church events (although there was that one trip), and I kept it hidden from those that I did not want to know about me chewing.   This lifestyle continued all the way up to when I moved to South Dakota.  I struggled there with it, and since I was finishing my school, my usage continued on a more heavier basis.   Morning, lunch time, and at least twice before bed.   Even driving long distance made my habit worse.

I know there are some of you who are reading this that may be surprised about it, but for most of you, I am sure you knew….I was always licking my bottom teeth and I was rinsing my mouth out a lot.

But enough is enough.  18 years is a long time to chew…..18 years too long.   I finally mustered up the courage to talk to my doctor about it here in State College, and he prescribed something that is doing a miracle right now.  I have been on this medication  since August 4, and in that time, my use of Skoal has decreased.  Since August 10th….I only had one, and that was the most disgusting thing in my mouth…..for all of 8 minutes.   I threw that chew out as soon as I started getting dizzy…..

So today, August 14th, I am now 4 days chew free.  Is it easy?  No, but the medication and the usage of sunflower seeds really helps me a lot.

There has never been anything or anyone that I wanted to say goodbye to in my life…..but this one….that maroon can of skoal……See ya.  Don’t need ya.   Flush ya down the toilet.