Day 79 of Quitting Smoking
Chantix works. For me, at least. I am about 10 days into it and most of the side effects have become completely bearable. Some advice, make sure you eat a little something with your dose. It seriously makes the nausea a lot better. The only side effects I still have is a little post-pill nausea and the tiredness. The tiredness is the worst for me after the morning dose (bummer), so getting through the day can be a bit difficult.
However, the side effects are not severe enough to stop taking the medication. In fact, Chantix seems to be working very well. In the beginning I was t 10-12 pieces of gum a day. Sometimes more. Now, I have successfully gone more than 24 hours without any nicotine.
I do notice the withdrawal. Every hour or two you get that sensation of needing something. BUT, since I started taking Chantix, those moments are soooooooooooo much easier to ride out and deal with. While you would hope that it would just completely wipe away the symptoms, it doesn’t, but it does change the way your mind and body manages the symptoms.
I am tempted to break the streak and have a piece of gum, but am actually in that mental space where I can just keep riding it out and see what happens. I know that without the Chantix, I couldn’t have made this progress.
I think my quitting formula is actually quite effective. First, take the time and deal with the behavioral aspects of the addiction. Use NRT as much as you need to just stay away from cigarettes and start re-learning how to live without them. It took me a month or so, to recognize and truly appreciate some of the advantages of living as a non-smoker and those are being reinforced every day. For example, I am currently sitting in hospital room with my father who has just had major surgery. I have to attend to him about every 10 minutes, so going outside to smoke, every hour or so (especially in the middle of the night) would be just an enormous pain in the ass. In fact, I don’t think I would have even elected myself as the one to stay with him if I had still been smoking. Because, I would have know what an inconvenience it would have been and would have shied away from the responsibility.
So, now that I am actively working on the behavioral aspects and have made serious strides in that area, I believe it is time to work on the physical addiction. Sometimes I feel that people try to do too much at once and they set themselves up to fail. It’s one thing to fight your brain (physical addiction) but a whole different ball game to fight yourself. Tackling one at a time just seems to make the most sense.
I know people give the pharma companies a lot of shit about NRT and now nicotine blocking meds like Chantix, but I am proof that they can help people. Sure, I haven’t been off the smokes for any more than a couple of months. But, it is supposed to get easier from here on out and I have noticed significant changes that I do attribute to both my commitment and the pharm help I have been given.
If you are considering Chantix or NRT or both, I say go for it. Obviously, make sure your doc says it’s ok, but otherwise, it’s worth a shot.