Quitting Smoking Almost Killed Me


Three months ago, today, I smoked my last cigarette.  It has to be.  No more quoting Twain, “I can quit smoking, anytime, I’ve done it a thousand times.”  I can not quit, again.

The last several times I’ve quit, I used a combination of Chantix, Wellbutrin and a nicotine patch.  It’s always worked well for me; my magic cocktail.  This time around I didn’t use the patch.  That was my doctor’s idea; not mine.  I was ready to quit, again.  My cough was beyond ridiculous.  The financial factor was significant.  And, I felt like crap, looked like crap and smelled like crap.

My first smoke free week was spent with my daughter and her family.  They enjoy a smoke free, organic, near vegan household.  Visiting, playing with my grandson, plotting with my daughter and messing around in their garden were good medicine for me.  We took a walk up to Chester Falls and I thought my lungs were going to explode.  It was a great, albeit uncomfortable, kick in the ass.  I was grateful to be free, again.

It’s not clear to me when the depression crept in.  The first month was cake.  I know this because everyone kept telling me, “You’re doing great!”  Honestly, I didn’t feel great.  I had to force myself to brush my teeth and dress, on a regular basis.  I stopped communicating with almost everyone.  I cried, continuously.  Sleep was evasive.  And, I hated just about everyone and everything, myself included.

Two weeks ago I told several people to go fuck themselves.  People I love and normally look to in times of crisis, I was pushing away.  I began to plot my own demise.  I forgot all the reasons I would never commit suicide.  And, I realized, oh shit, if I’m going to kill myself, I can have a friggin’ cigarette.  Not having showered in 4 or 5 days, I figured, what the hell, I’ll take a shower and then go across the street for my last pack of smokes and go out in a blaze of glory.

I don’t believe in suicide.  Normally, I think it’s the most selfish act on the planet.  The people who suffer are the ones you leave behind.  I love my family too much to ever do that to them, no matter what.  However, I wasn’t thinking normally.

Something happened when the hot water hit my face.  I snapped back to me.  And, in my head, heard the announcer in the Chantix commercial saying ,”If you have suicidal thoughts while taking Chantix, stop taking Chantix immediately and call your doctor.”

I sat down in the shower and cried.  I cried hard, until the water got too cold to stay in.

I stopped taking Chantix, immediately.  I called my doctor.  He said keep taking the Wellbutrin.  I asked my daughter to tell me something good; and she did.  I told the people I love that I love them.  Each day I feel stronger, more like me.  And, I never want to smoke another cigarette.


~ by francleablunt on November 4, 2009.

One Response to “Quitting Smoking Almost Killed Me”

  1. Two Thumbs up !

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