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Of all the allergies to have

I haven’t been myself for a couple of weeks. You may have noticed. I went from irrationally harsh (I think the point stands, but I was a dick about it) to all linky, no thinky on the blog. And the reason why is quitting smoking. I tried. I tried again. I stopped blogging about it because I didn’t want to feel pressured to blog about it. Quitting became too much and I was often faced with a dilemma. I could either:

1) Kill someone



Mind you, I cut down considerably but just could not get to the point where I laid them down completely. Something had to be done. So, I went to a new doc. He put me on Wellbutrin. I started taking it on September 12. I was to take it for one month, then attempt to quit. No problem. Wellbutrin doesn’t actually combat the urge to smoke. It’s an anti-depressant and basically ensures that while you’re trying to quit that you’re not an asshole and you don’t kill anyone.

This brings us to Tuesday. On Tuesday, I have various rashes all over my body. I also have the worst heartburn I’ve ever had in my life. Once the heartburn subsided, I had constant pain in my esophagus. And one time, I hiccuped and it felt like my insides were going to come out. I went back to the doc. He tells me I’m allergic to Wellbutrin. I’ve never been allergic to anything in my life. It was odd. He explains to me that the allergy is causing the rash and that my throat and esophagus are swollen (hence, what I thought was heartburn). He tells me to quit taking it and, at our next appointment (after the Wellbutrin is out of my system), we’ll work on plan B. Whatever that is. I found it odd that it took near ten days for the allergy to show up.

A few things on being on an anti-depressant:

I was only in it for the short-term (6 months tops) to quit smoking.

My wife said it made me less of an asshole.

It made me feel like I was more of an observer of my own life than an actual participant. Sure, I’d interact with folks and stay focused, but it seemed like the interaction just happened without me really being involved. Not sure how to describe it, really, other than the real me seemed buried underneath the doped up me.

My morning, err, friend stop showing up.

In short, I didn’t like it. I’m not sure how people can take these things for years and years.

So, back to the drawing board.

15 Responses to “Of all the allergies to have”

  1. Justin Says:

    I’m on day 65. I tried to use the patch/wellbutrin/lozenges…kept me from smoking but I was still addicted to nicotine. I ended up quitting cold turkey. I was even more of an ass than I usually am for about a month but I’m getting back to normal. I still crave cigs after I eat or drink though…not sure if that feeling will ever quit.

  2. Jay G Says:


    Keep at it. It took me two tries to quit, and even now I know that were I to have even a single cigarette, I’d be back to smoking two packs a day within a month.

    Quitting smoking SUCKS. You spend the first month thinking of NOTHING ELSE other than smoking. The second month is a little better, and it gets progressively easier.

    Eventually you’ll go an entire hour without thinking about smoking. Then an entire day. I only recently reached that point, and I quit 1/1/01. Five, closer to six years.

    Oh, and BTW, get ready for “the dream” – you will be smoking again, and PISSED at yourself for falling off the wagon. It will be so vivid that you reach for the pack of smokes on the nightstand.

    I hate cigarettes with a violent, blinding passion. I think they should be outlawed; I think cigarette companies should be closed, then burned to the ground, then the ground they occupied salted so that nothing can ever grow there again. Tobacco company execs should be subject to daily public floggings, followed by hanging on a short gallows.

    Not that I harbor any strong feelings about nicotine or anything…

    Be strong. And for the love of God, ***QUIT***. I hate to say it, but do it for the kids – the single biggest motivator for me was that I didn’t want my son growing up with a smoking parent as a role model. Both my parents smoked when I was growing up, and I know for a fact that it played a role in my starting smoking.


    Yes, there is nothing worse than a reformed smoker.

    And don’t worry about the weight gain. Yes, you will gain weight as your oral fixation changes to food rather than smokes. But if I, a lazy SOB who’s battled weight issues since childhood, can lose the weight (42 pounds this year), can do it, anyone can.

    Be strong.


    You’ve got my e-mail address. Shoot me an e-mail if you need someone to talk to.

    I’m serious, I’ve been there, and I’m more than happy to be a sympathetic ear.

    And if you want to talk about being an asshole, the first month I quit smoking I was so irritable that I literally ripped the seatbelt out of my truck because it pissed me off (it tightened at the wrong time).

    Been there, done that, got the t-shirt, have no desire to go back.



  3. Nomen Nescio Says:

    actually, apart from the allergy deal, the side-effects you got were middling to mild as far as antidepressants go… and ADs aren’t even the “heavy artillery” in the psych drug pharmacopy. SSRIs (prozac, and friends) are infamous for driving some people (a minority, but still) violently aggressive, for instance. just be glad nobody’s found any stop-smoking benefits in the antipsychotics; even the “new” ones are considerably worse than your average AD.

    no, i don’t know all this from experience, but my wife does, and i’ve been watching her gain much of it closely. incidentally, wellbutrin gave her the opposite effect as far as the, er, libido-related activities went. that one didn’t last, though… nor did the wellbutrin, once it became clear that most of its other side-effects would last.

  4. Toys in the Attic » Blog Archive » Help a brother out… Says:

    […] SayUncle has quit smoking. […]

  5. KCSteve Says:

    My dad tried to quit smoking several times. He could fight through the addiction but kept getting caught by the habit – the cigarette during a phone call, etc..

    He finally found a way to fix that too – he got some of those clove/spice ‘cigarettes’. Anytime he forgot and automatically lit a smoke the first puff reminded him *and* since there was no tobacco he didn’t get a nicotine hit either. Must of worked – he hasn’t smoke in decades.

  6. countertop Says:

    Uh, you probably shouldn’t have started to begin with, not that that piece of advice does you any good now. Wish I could offer you constructive ideas. You could probably start smoking pot, that might get you off the nicotine. Or cigars. Or maybe just go cold turkey? Head out into the woods for a week, or be locked up in a room, and forced to do the withdrawl thing all at once.

    Not sure.

    but I do know that my, eer, friend was standing firmly at attention this morning (of course my wife was pregnant and not one bit receptive to his friendly advances)

  7. Justin Says:

    Agree with Jay 100%. I just started dreaming about the cigs and feel awful when I wake up thinking I have fallen off of the wagon. Trust me…quit cold turkey without taking any of that other shit. It sucks but it works. I also agree that cigs should be outlawed. The only difference between “hard” drugs and cigs are that it takes longer to kill you. I fucking despise them and the habit I had. I wish every bar/restaurant in Knoxville would ban smoking outright (and thats coming from someone who hates a nanny state).

  8. ben Says:

    Just have your wife Roshambo you whenever you’re too much of a jerk.

  9. Jeff Soyer Says:

    I would never encourage anyone NOT to keep trying but for myself… I tried hypnosis (they couldn’t put me under) and Wellbutrin and patches. Smoking is simply too ingrained in me. Anyway, if I didn’t have any bad habits I’d be perfect and who wants to deal with that?

    Good luck, though. The best way to do it is also the harshest — It’s when your doctor tells you to quit or you’re going to die. I recommend all doctors use that tactic whether justified or not.

  10. Jay G Says:

    Justin’s right about cold turkey, too. When I quit, I bought a big pack of the nicotine gum. Found out that, after the first week, it was simply replacing my cigarette habit, so I went off the gum. Made my life a living hell for about a month or so. Then my son was born, and I didn’t have time to think about how miserable I was because I was so sleep-deprived… πŸ˜‰

  11. trainer Says:

    Try these….you can smoke, but only get the nicotine from about one ciggy per pack. You leach the crap out of your body while still going thru the motions of smoking. I’ve gone from 4 packs a day, to 2 packs, to one pack, to a 1/2 pack in stages over the past year.

    I think they look cool too.


    They’ve got a little hole in them, the smoke gets up to 200mph and when it hits the venturi, all the heavy tars and nicotine drops out.

  12. Alcibiades Says:

    I think my mother replaced her cigarette habit with a video game habit. She used to constantly play SNES games, but now plays those Shockwave Flash games on her computer.

    I guess she was just replacing the nicotine with the rush of Tetris.

  13. chris Says:

    Good luck, bro.

    That is one deadly addiction/habit.

    We instinctively spend our whole lives trying to delay dying.

    Death sounds too permanent and not the least bit fun, so I try to stay healthy.

    I will say some prayers for you, which for this Catholic, is better than lighting candles.

  14. Tam Says:

    Best o’ luck, Unc; you can beat it.

    (Of course, you know that my personal ethos is “Quitters never win, and winners never quit,” but that’s just for me. πŸ˜‰ )

  15. OldeForce Says:

    Went cold turkey from two packs of Lucky Strikes (unfiltered, of course) a day. Reason? Found I was inhaling on cigars and pipes. (As the story goes, if you can smoke unfiltered Luckies you can smoke the furniture. Or stand downwind of a forest fire and inhale.) That was thirty years ago, and I still have a craving for a Lucky. Stay away from the meds!

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

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