I am a smoker. I am well aware of what it does to my body. I know all the statistics. I have had doctors and complete strangers lecture me on the horrible things I am doing to myself on each inhale and exhale.
What none of them realize is that it is an addiction. Truly. I’m not saying that to justify what I do. I don’t have to justify my choices to anyone. I’m saying this so that you can all understand why I am currently trying, for the fifth time, to quit.
On average, it takes a smoker 3-5 times quitting to be quit for good.
I had a grand plan. I was going to go to smoking cessation classes this month through the military, they would prescribe me Chantix (which works), I would have a quit date of 17 July and then I would have a good month or so to really have it take before the kids got home from visitation with their father for it to take.
That was the grand plan.
But the Air Force, in all of their brilliance, has decided that quitting smoking should be horribly hard for those of us that are trying to do it. They told me that I would have to try the patch (which irritates my skin) or Wellbutrin (I’m bipolar, can’t take an antidepressant) for a month before they would prescribe the Chantix.
Wellbutrin and the patch are considerably cheaper than the Chantix. I don’t ask for the Chantix because I want to cost the military more money. I ask for it because I know it works for me and I know that I have horrible reactions on the other medications and aids offered.
The Wellbutrin will send me into a spiral of depression. Yes, it’s an anti-depressant, but for a bi-polar person, it’s like liquor to an alcoholic. It’ll make you feel good for a few minutes and then the long term ramifications will be horrible. The patch makes me break out in horrible rashes. I can’t use either one of these.
So, I jump through the hoops. I have to make an appointment to see my doctor before I can get the Chantix. And the military, in all it’s glory tells me that the first available appointment is 1 August.
Um, excuse me?
1 August? That’s three weeks away. Are you kidding me? The whole idea is that the medication plus a support group will make you more likely to quit. It ups your chances of being a successful quitter (there’s an oxymoron for you) by more than 50%.
So, the military’s plan is to send me through the support group, still smoking, and THEN give me the medication with no support group?
Yeah, as usual, bass-ackwards.
Thanks a lot, guys, for making this harder on me than it already was going to be. I had set myself up for success and they just shot me down and set me up for failure.
I’m debating attending the PCM appointment on 1 August and then attending the smoking cessation class in August.
But, that’s three weeks away.
Until then…..smoke ’em if you got ’em.