Aug 19, 2008

My Experience with Smoking and Addiction

I started medication today.

I should have some reservations about being so forthright about my vices, but I know that there are people out there that suffer from addiction as well. Truth is a good thing in my opinion. If people were more truthful about themselves and to others, they would be better suited for change than one who hides it, although it may be embarrassing to admit one's lack of discipline.

I started smoking around the age of 18, although I experimented around the age of 14-16.

Both my parents and all other relatives never smoked so it was not a failing of examples on their part. I suppose I ran with the wrong crowd. Most all my close friends in my youth all ended up being smokers, some successfully non smokers, but the majority are still dealing with it.

I have quit twice for long durations. Once for over 2 years, and another instance for 3 years.

I was amazed how easily I could pick up the habit after such a long time, but once a smoker always a smoker. Once you have succumbed to entertaining a vice for a short time to enjoy it, you will always be that person for the rest of your life. It's just your habits you change.

I started medication today, Chantix.

Hopefully within a week or two, it will begin to block the nicotine receptors that give the smoker pleasure, so after it begins to work, the smoker will not enjoy smoking and experience it as it is, which is inhaling smoke.

It's typical side effects are nausea, nightmares, and in rare cases depression and thoughts of suicide.

I used Wellbutran and Zyban the previous times I quit, and once I experienced wicked nightmares, by which I was unaffected because I thought they were pretty awesome visions, and the second time, I did experience some major bouts of depression, so much so I stopped taking the drug after 10 days and was still successful quitting for the 3+ years.

In my opinion though, smoking is a sign of depression, or a way to deal with it. Why else would a person neglect the negative health effects, the financial waste, and inefficieny of time management. (5 minutes per cigarette X 20 a day = 100 minutes, almost two hours!) Smoking is like injecting poison slowly into your veins over a long period of time.

I'm not depressed currently, but I suppose I had a lot on my mind a year ago when I quit my job and tottled off across the United States on my solo road trip. I started smoking pretty much when I left my parents home on day 1 of my trip. I quit for a few months for the sake of my new found girlfriend while I was at the ranch, but after that failed, or say I let fail, I started again on my trip back 7 months later.

Addiction seems to be the pleasurable thing that keeps up from living the fullest life we are blessed to live. As I see it, there lays a bountiful prize everyone is privy to, and it is our choice to take from it if we choose.

Whether it be alcohol, nicotine, a sedentary and complacent lifestyle, all vices try to take from us our ability to harvest the prize of a full life.

I want to live. At least for today, I have hope for a better life.

Next Hopefully Epic Design: Live Valiantly, Be Worth It.

*** I'll update with side effects and success or failure. If I'm correct, it's a 3 month program. Cessation usually occurs with a few weeks, but the prolonged duration of use is to increase success rate.


eyeslikesugar said...

Aww good luck, Jimi! Keep us updated on how it goes. I am a smoker, too (not too though as you're done!) and I quit for only a few months. I took up knitting to try and do something with my hands. I know how rough it can be. <3

AttilaTheMom said...

I had to get pregnant to finally quit for good. Smoked an avg of 1 1/2 - 2 packs a day for about 9 years. Quit cold turkey 15 years ago and haven't had one since, but I still occasionally get cravings. Best of luck with the program, be strong! And if you slip up, don't beat yourself up over it, just get back on the wagon and keep truckin. I'm just thankful a baby and 2 jobs kept me from finding a new vice.

jimiyo said...

ELS: If it works, you should try it out. Smoking suxorz, yet delicious!

Attila: Interesting... So you are saying, I should get a job, and get some girl pregnant. I like part of the idea.

heheh. :)

sam said...

fingers crossed for awesome nightmares!


eyeslikesugar said...

Attila - That's when I plan on quitting; when I have littlies. Don't want them as Mc Chris says "running around in a cloud of my secondhand smoke"

So Jimi, yes please keep us updated. I might have to do what you're doing when I plan to have kids.

AttilaTheMom said...

Jimi, I'm afraid to ask which part you like. :P

Just keep in mind, kids are waaay more expensive than cigarettes.

Good luck to you too ELS. Quitting sucks, but cigarettes suck harder.

SailorButterfly said...

I wish you the best of luck, Jimi!