Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Quitting Smoking and Recovery

This is a follow up to Donald’s blog about smoking and the mentally ill.  Also here is an article about the mentally ill smoke one third of the cigarettes in the United States.  I used to smoke about fourteen years ago that is the age of my oldest granddaughter.  I was not the one that was supposed to quit.  It was supposed to be my ex-wife as my granddaughter was going to live with her.  Although I wanted my granddaughter on weekends and any time I could get her.  I decided to quit.
I had smoked for fifteen years at that time.  I was never out of cigarettes even when in jail.  I would smoke the kind that your roll your own or buy them two for one.  Even when the last time I was in prison I smoked generics.  When I was released from the state hospital my smoking had gone up to a pack and half a day of Marlboros.  That was my favorite cigarette.  When I was on SSI I would spend 120 dollars on five cartons of cigarettes and the rest on TV dinners for food for the month.
I knew how to cook although I did not really start until my granddaughter was old enough to eat and I had quit smoking.  One girl who knew me at college and at my job at that time said “he smokes like a train.”  Whenever college had a break in class you could find me smoking.  I smoked three cigarettes upon waking up in the morning.  When I decided to quit, I went to my doctor and he gave my zyban and wellbutrin to quit smoking.  You cannot combine the two so I used wellbutrin.
First thing I did was call a friend who learned and taught quitting smoking classes.  He sent me a list of the side effects from wellbutrin.  I started the wellbutrin and did not know what to do with all the cigarettes I had so I asked this guy at school he said give them away or throw them away.  I gave them to a friend in my building that was always out.  I received the list of side effects from my friend for the wellbutrin.  Darn if I did not have every side effect listed.  I suffered for a month including to have to brush my tongue a lot during that month because all the nicotine or the medication was coming out and it tasted awful.
When the month was up I went back to the doctor and he refilled the prescription although I did not refill it because of the side effects.  I have not smoke since that time.  I do not know what helped all the side effects or the medicine.  I just know I do not crave them and I could not afford to smoke Marlboros now.  I gained weight because I was hardly eating when I was smoking.  I do know it was self-medicating because I am schizophrenic.  Whenever I was mentally ill I would smoke more. I am happy my daughter wanted to raise my grandchildren in a smoke free environment the most she could.
There is no telling how much I would be smoking if I did not quit.  The thirty days were the hardest not because I craved cigarettes but because of the side effects of the medication.  I would do those thirty days over to quit smoking again though.  Many things were happening around the time I quit so I cannot blame all the weight on quitting smoking.  Although with a change in exercising and portion size I am losing the weight.  I do not want to get back to the low weight of 135lbs I weighed when I smoked though.  I want to weigh a little more.


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