Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Kicking the Habit, Again

In 1993 I occasionally smoked a cigar or Swisher Sweet during military field maneuvers. Usually when every one was standing around BS'ing.

In 1994 I started smoking Marlboro "Red's" It was less than a month before I was up to a full pack a day. On the weekends it would jump to a pack and a half to two packs a day.

This continued till 2004, when cigarette prices continued to climb. I was at a local tobacco shop and decided to switch to a pipe. Now instead of 5 dollars a day for a pack of smokes it was about 5 bucks for a weeks worth of pipe tobacco. I had a brief return to cigarettes while I was deployed a second time to Iraq, but returned to the pipe when I returned.

I have tried to quit smoking a couple times in the past. Once with the patch, but I broke out in hives around the application points after the third day. I have tried going "cold turkey". Lasted a weekend a half the last time. Tried welbutrin as well but no dice.

The cold winters here in Oregon nor the summer heat of Iraq could curtail the urge. Over the years I have built up a lot of triggers. Get up start a pot of coffee brewing and smoke. Eat breakfast get dressed and smoke. Grab coffee, get in the car to head to work and smoke. That's all in the first hour of the day. Then there is the 1030 smoke break, the two at lunch smoke break. the 2 o clock smoke, the smoke on the way home, after dinner, before watching TV, during commercials, before bed, and when I would get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. There is always a reason to smoke.

Tomorrow starts the end of all that. (Hopefully) (oops looking at the clock tells me it is already tomorrow. So in the morning it all ends) I went to the doctor and snagged a prescription for Chantix. Almost everyone I have talked to who has taken this has been able to toss away their lighters and breath mints.

I put away my zippo and am relying on a bic to light my pipe for the next few days. I have half a weeks worth of pipe tobacco and a months supply of Chantrix. Supposedly it semi bonds to the same receptors in your gray matter that nicotine does. This partially blocks the chemical craving and keeps the nicotine you do have in your system from bonding to those same receptors. I'm also told it usually gives you vivid nightmares or dreams. I'm hoping for the later since I haven't been able to remember any of my dreams since I busted up my melon in 95. In a few cases I have even heard of weight loss, not that this was a deciding factor but if it's true it's an extra bonus to keep at it.

I'll keep notes on how well this works and whatever side effects there are and throw out an update every once in a while.



1 comment:

  1. I forgot to say 'Good Luck'. And I believe you will trounce the impulse, eventually.

    Hard habit to break, but you've got the stuff.