I started smoking 45 years ago. I started with my friends from peer pressure and to look cool. Dumb, huh? 30 years ago I knew smoking was not good for me but I continued to smoke.
I quit once for 3 months back in the 70 's but started again. I kicked myself in the ass for picking it up again because I thought I had it licked and could put them down again when I wanted. Boy was I wrong.
The longer I smoked the harder it was to quit again. That's because I didn't know how the addiction to nicotine worked.
I have tried to quit for the last 10 years using everything I could think of. I tried hypnosis, the patch, gum, cold turkey, chewing on toothpicks and eating carrots. I even tried medications such as Chantix and Wellbutrin. With the Chantix I almost quit but almost doesn't count. I had the same results with Wellbutrin.
I was discouraged. When my doctor asked me when I was going to quit I answered with " When they throw dirt in my face ".That is what I was starting to believe, that I was going to smoke until I died.
To understand how smoking gets you addicted you have to understand chemistry and habits.
Your body does not become addicted to nicotine, your brain does. The nicotine enters your brain through receptors. The nicotine also remains in your blood stream and system for two weeks. Your brain will go through withdraw for 2 weeks before it is no longer craving the effects of nicotine. However, the nicotine is in your system for 2 weeks. So, before your brain is totally without nicotine is 2 weeks, then you start nicotine withdraw. This task all together takes 4 weeks.
What Chantix does is blocks the nicotine receptors in your brain. So even though you are still smoking and you have nicotine in your system, you brain is not getting any nicotine. Because your brain is going without nicotine you are going to go through withdraw. After 2 weeks your brain will be off nicotine.
But, you still have nicotine in your system. If you stop using the nicotine now even if you stop smoking, your brain will get a fix of nicotine and become addicted again. This is where the wellbutrin comes in. You should start the Wellbutrin before or at least when you start the Chantix. This way the Wellbutrin will be in your system and already working.
I took Chantix and Wellbutrin at the same time. The Chantix was for the nicotine addiction and the Wellbutrin was for the habit. Nicotine and the act of smoking reduce your ability to resist impulses. Actually the act of smoking is an impulse. Your brain tells you it could use a fix so you automatically light a cigarette. Wellbutrin helps to calm you so you have a higher tendency to resist impulses.
After your brain is free from the addiction you just have to fight the temptation to light up. I found myself automatically, without thinking, reaching for the pack of cigarettes I used to carry in my shirt pocket. I wouldn't think of what I was doing until I realized there wasn't anything to reach for. Normally I would start to panic because I didn' have any smokes and I have to stop now to get some. With the Wellbutrin, when I found I didn't have any smokes I would tell myself " Oh yeah, I'm quitting, I don' really need or want one. It's just an automatic habit kicking in. I can beat this'. That would be it. No anxiety, remorse or suffering.
It takes 2 weeks to break a habit. So, If you started the Chantix and Wellbutrin together after 2 weeks your brain is off the nicotine but the nicotine is still in your system. With the help of the Wellbutrin you can stop smoking because you are not fighting the need for a nicotine rush for your brain. After you have not smoked for 2 weeks the nicotine is out of your system so you can stop the Chantix. However, mu doctor suggested I continue the Wellbutrin for an additional 2 months just to make sure.
All together, It took 4 weeks to be nicotine free. The first 2 weeks you remove the nicotine from your brain. The second 2 weeks you remove the nicotine from your system You are not fighting both the addiction and habit at the same time. The best way to win a battle is to divide and conquer. Attack just one item at a time. This is how I quit smoking. If you are having a hard time quitting and have tried everything, speak to your doctor about trying Chantix and Wellbutrin together.
I tried both medicines at separate time with no ill effects. So my doctor agreed it would be ok to try both together. I'm glad I did.
It has been 5 months since my last smoke. I can smell the fresh air and my food. Since I can smell better food has taken on a new meaning. It taste so much better because taste is 60 % smell.
Since my food taste better and I have nothing to do with my hands I am eating more and have gained up to 15 pounds. On the other hand I can breathe better so I am starting to exercise more. I've lost 5 of the 15 so I'm on the right track.
I still have urges to light up about 2 times a day but I have convinced myself that smoking is like alcoholism where if you have just 1 it will lead to more. Before you know it you are right back where you started, puffing away. I tell myself it is just an old habit trying to make a reappearance and I don't need a smoke. Besides, I don't want to have to go through quitting again.
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