Chantix™, or My Slow Decent Into Madness Just Because I Want To Quit Smoking

I want to quit smoking. I’ve been a smoker for seven years, and have made four unsuccessful attempts to quit during this time (vaporizer, patch/gum, cold turkey twice), but I made the decision again and am using the nicotine agonist Chantix™ to help. May god have mercy on my poor soul.

I’m sure you’ve all heard the most common side effects of using this drug: extremely vivid dreams and the most troubling: suicidal thoughts and ideations. What fun!

I’ve been on it three days so far, which means I take one 0.5mg tablet in the morning. Tomorrow, I switch to taking one 0.5mg tablet in the morning and one at night for the next four days, then up the ante to 1mg in the morning and one at night for the next three weeks. The entire duration of treatment is three months. I don’t know if I’ll make it that far.

Here’s what’s happening already:

1. I don’t want to eat. My body says, “E! Hungry! Food!” My stomach rumbles, but I just don’t want to eat. I had to force myself to choke down a breakfast sandwich this morning. Normally, I’d be all, “fuckin’ sweet!” as I could stand to lose 30 pounds, but even I’m smart enough to realize weight loss should be from eating well and behavior modification, not a pill messing with your brain chemicals (yes, I appreciate the irony of my statement since I’m using a pill to mess with my brain chemicals to get me to quit smoking). This also makes me have a sad because I love food. Love it! Maybe I’ll have to devise a system of eating several small meals during the day in make up for my lack of interest in eating a designated one. Good plan, woman.

2. Looks like I’ll be abstaining from alcohol! I went to dinner with two friends last night, enjoyed a few margaritas, and immediately regretted my life choices. Now, I’m a drinker. Not a terrific boast by any means, but my tolerance is fairly high. Normally upon consuming that same amount of alcohol, I would have been buzzed for sure, but with this drug, I was straight up DRUNK. The precautions on the package of Chantix warn of drinking, but because I’m an intrepid scientist, I wanted to see what really happened. You know, for science.

Holy shit. I won’t be doing that again, at least not in public, but rather the safety of my home where my shenanigans are more tolerated. Or here’s a wild idea–just not drink in general. When I drink, I want to smoke more, and if I’m trying to quit the sticks, might as well remove a trigger, right? Right? See, I can be smart. I guess the only “positive” of last night’s experiment is that I feel fine today, as in not at all hungover which is definitely not what I expected given how intoxicated I felt last night. So…yay?

3. The mental effects begin! I was driving to work this morning and cried. Just cried without any real discernable reason to cry. Well, that’s not entirely true; I was thinking that the mental stuff is happening and then I was all, “oh great, I’m going to be one of those people who is going to think about killing myself and my doctor told me to head straight to the hospital if I had those thoughts, and then I’ll have a luxurious 3 day stay in the behavior services ward again and not be allowed to use real silverware but plastic utensils.” That’s when I started crying. I guess sporks make me emotional.

Plus, this is a tricky one to pinpoint, but I’ve also got a lot of stuff on my proverbial plate, so who’s to say I didn’t freak because of that? I can’t.

4. I haven’t had any whackadoo dreams yet…I am curious about that and if I’ll get to experience that fun little side effect. My dreams are weird already.

I told my boss today I’m on the Chantix, just purely to warn her of any unsavory behavior I may display, but she was super great about it and was very encouraging to me to quit, so that was very nice and I appreciated that.

I know it sounds asinine to subject myself to this just to quit smoking when there are other options available, like cold turkey or using Super Glue™ to seal my lips shut, but historically speaking, and as I mentioned before, other methods have not jived well with me. I want this to work and as crazy as it seems and for as much bitching I’m doing 3 days in my 3 month treatment plan, I have to do this. I have a bike I’d like to ride without hyperventilating. I’d like the money I’m wasting every day to go towards something more useful, like literally anything but cigarettes. I would like to not have what I affectionately refer to as “ash crotch,” which is when I smoke in my car and a wad of ash falls between my legs. Sexy, no?

Quitting smoking is fucking hard. Take a look through the last 9 years of this blog and count how many posts I have in regards to quitting. There is a lot. I have to finally get it over with.

I also have to get over the reason why I started smoking (failed marriage). I have attached a stigma to smoking: my ex-husband didn’t show concern or care I started, so my brilliant idea is that I’ll quit when someone shows me that they do give a fuck I smoke and cares enough for me to list off reasons why I need to stop. It’s selfish of me, for certain. It also stems from horribly lacking self-esteem: I hate myself so much, I speed up my own death daily by puffing away. Here’s a rare display of self-love: I am worth it to have a (hopefully) long-ish life. I’m pretty neat most of the time and I owe it to myself to take better care of me. No one is going to do that for me. This is my chance to prove to myself I matter for once. This is for me, goddamn it.

Of course, I absolutely appreciate all forms of encouragement from people. Several of you have done so and it warms my cold heart, so thank you for that.

I can do this. I may go madder in the process, but I can do this.

Okay then.

As always, thanks for reading.
E

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