I’m not in my right mind. So this is going to be kind of a weird issue.
If you know anything at all about me, you know I love The Redhead. And my babies and grandbabies. And the blues. And Fender and Taylor guitars. And Harley Davidsons. And Grey Goose.
And Marlboro Lights.
So when I decided to give up smoking a week ago, it was kind of a big deal for me.
Sure – I’ve quit four or five times before. Last time, it was all Dan Rosenthal’s fault.
We were half-way through a bottle of Glenmorangie in Dan’s San Francisco hotel suite when the unprincipled so-and-so said he’d pay me $10,000 if I quit the smokes and stayed nicotine-free for one full year. We shook on it – and when I got home, the first thing I did was to go see a doctor to get help quitting.
The doc prescribed Wellbutrin – a drug that gradually chokes off your body’s ability to absorb nicotine. You keep on smoking as usual; but every day, your body gets less nicotine until you are no longer addicted. Then and only then, you stop lighting up.
Sounds great when you say it fast – right? But there is just one, l-i-t-t-l-e catch: Wellbutrin is an anti-depressant – read “psycho-active” – drug. So while it’s making you invulnerable to nicotine, it’s also screwing with your mind.
Make no mistake: Wellbutrin will help you stop smoking. But there’s an excellent chance it will also earn you a quadruple-life sentence or maybe even the chair for its inconvenient little side-effect.
And by “side-effect,” I mean the killing spree.
Allow me to elucidate …
Two weeks after I accepted Dan’s challenge – two weeks into the Wellbutrin treatment – The Redhead and I were in Durango, Colorado at the General Palmer Hotel.
It was a perfect time for me to quit smoking. Two weeks on the Harleys … no stress … just a couple thousand miles of roads to burn up in Northern Arizona and Colorado. I really wish I had pictures. Each of us had two-weeks-worth of clothes on our bikes … plus a tent, sleeping bags and a camp stove.
Then, about our third night into the trip, the Wellbutrin kicked in.
Now, I’m normally a relaxed, affectionate, positive, really nice guy. So it should have been a red flag for me when I suddenly and inexplicably found myself reveling in daydreams about the exquisitely painful death of every human being I saw.
I am NOT exaggerating. I hated everybody. Not just Democrats or Liberals, or other morons bent on enslaving me or stealing my money, mind you; I would have gladly busted a cap in Mother Theresa’s heiney if given half the chance.
Further detail is unnecessary here – suffice it to say that I’m not a nice guy when under the influence of Wellbutrin. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that when I announced I was going to quit smoking a couple of weeks ago, The Redhead literally turned white.
Well … “whiter.” Which, considering the fact that she’s prolly the honkiest honky you ever met, is really saying something.
It wasn’t so much that Wendy was afraid of what I might do under the influence of Wellbutrin. She was terrified of what she would have to do to me once I began taking it. In reality, I suspect she had little to worry about. No jury of her peers would have convicted her.
But this time around, I had a novel idea: Why not just deal with the nicotine cravings – WITHOUT having to also deal with the side-effects of Wellbutrin (i.e.: The yearning to bitch-slap everyone within arms’ length)?
Instead of buying into the whole idea that I am just a weak, helpless idiot who couldn’t tie my own shoes without a doctor’s permission or without a magic bullet from the pharmaceutical industry …
Instead of paying a fortune for drugs to help me quit and risk winding up on the business end of a lethal injection …
Why not just be a man about it?
Why not just quit … not smoke … feel the cravings, gut them out without giving in to them … without getting permission from any doctor or drug company?
No Nicorette … no patches … no Wellbutrin … just good, old-fashioned willpower.
That way, there would be nobody to blame. I wouldn’t be able to say, “I tried the gum; it didn’t work for me.” Or, “The patch didn’t help me at all.” Or, “I tried the Wellbutrin thing again – until I caught The Redhead on Craigslist shopping for a hitman.”
So I lit my last cigarette at 8:00 PM last Monday. I might have had a craving yesterday; but if so, it wasn’t much of one. For all intents and purposes, I am now a non-smoker.
Just a week ago, I was inhaling three packs a day. If you had told me that I could be free of tobacco cravings in a single week, I would have called you a liar.
Just shows to go you: So many of the obstacles that we think are blocking our paths are nothing more than figments of our own imaginations.
For the last three or four years, I believed that I’d have to go back on Wellbutrin in order to quit smoking. And since The Redhead had made it crystal clear that she’d probably have to kill me if I did, quitting was impossible.
But you know what? Those beliefs were false. I just needed to stop looking for excuses. I just needed to exercise some willpower. I just needed to take a stand.
Remind you of anyone YOU know?
Yours for Bigger Winners, More Often,
Publisher & Editor
THE TOTAL PACKAGE
Looking for past issues of The Total Package? Click here for our archives.
Want to share or reprint this article? Feel free. Just give us full attribution and a link to our Home Page when you do.
Attribution Statement: This article was first published in The Total Package. To sign-up to receive your own FREE subscription to The Total Package and claim four FREE money making e-books go to www.makepeacetotalpackage.com.