Side effects

Had my third diagnostic interview today, some hopeful things, some sobering realisations, will write more about that soon. Need to write about something else for a minute.

Like I’m running a marathon.
(Although honestly, I have no idea what that feels like.)
Constantly out of breath.
Heart beating in my throat.
Palpitations. Randomly.
Can’t concentrate.
Tunnel vision.
Shaking hands.
Cold sweats.
Hot flashes.
Muscle pain in my thigh from unaccustomed stimming.
Meaning I’m jiggling my left leg non-stop now.

Dealing with people and sounds and lights is becoming more impossible by the day. I’m getting to the point where a trip to the supermarket leaves me gasping for breath for 10 minutes afterwards.

“Anxiety is a common side effect of giving up smoking.”

Is inability to function a common side effect as well?
It’s been two weeks since I quit. Hoping this gets better. Very soon.

16 thoughts on “Side effects

  1. :-/ I wish I had something helpful to say. I’ve dealt with my own addiction issues, but not substance addiction, and I know it’s a whole different thing that I’m not really in a place to comment on. I don’t like it when people tell me “I know X will happen” when they don’t actually, so I am going to not say “I know you’ll get through this,” and I’ll just say I’ve seen people give up substance addictions and it SUCKS…but only for a while. I really hope you get through it without it becoming too overwhelming. I’m rooting for you.

    • Thanks. That really means a lot. 🙂

      I reckon I’m already past the actual substance addiction part, since they say it takes about three days to get through nicotine withdrawal and I’m on 14 days. But everything else is getting worse. The physical symptoms of not having a coping mechanism anymore? No idea. It sucks though.

  2. Congratulations with the 2 weeks! Well done!

    It is said to take 8 years until the last bits of addiction is gone… but obviously the first few weeks & then months are the hardest.

    I stopped smoking many years ago (many times, actually;-) I recognise many of the symptoms on your list especially high anxiety and heightened sensory sensitivity. Back then I did not have a job and was walking for hours every day, and the first days after I quit I spent in a forest (only going home to sleep) so I did not have to deal with any people or the sensory chaos of everyday city life. I also did not have any friends or commitments or telephone for that matter, so it was easy for me to avoid everything. The effect wore off more and more but withdrawal symptoms still popped up many months after quitting. The reason I started again many times was when I didn’t recognise them as withdrawal symptoms and just felt I was unable to cope with life and needed something familiar to hold on to.

    • I wish I could spend my days in a forest too, that sounds wonderful. Although I’d probably get hungry after a while, lol. And it would probably get me fired.

      It’s good to know that you went through the same thing. Everyone I’ve heard talk about quitting tells a completely different story than this. How the urge to light up is overwhelming, something I don’t experience at all. I just want the madness to stop. There’s no association between that and smoking in my head, although I cognitively know that smoking would relieve some of the symptoms. I’m not even that bothered by other people smoking. It’s just the rest I feel I can’t cope with.

      • There’s no association between that and smoking in my head, although I cognitively know that smoking would relieve some of the symptoms.

        That does sound quite similar. On some points lack of mental coherence (not connecting the dots) can be a good thing:-)

        • And my first real experience with theory of mind to be honest! Because I was far more affected by someone I care for and feel close to lighting up a smoke. Almost as if with him, I could link it to the pleasure he was getting from it, and in that way I could feel an empathic link between his pleasure and my pleasure. Strangers smoking? Doesn’t affect me at all.

    • Basically, a certain kind of mental health drug I have been using for the past 17 years to help me cope with things is actually really bad for my health so I have to stop using it. But there’s nothing to take its place. That’s the black hole I’ve fallen into.

      • This is very insightful. I don’t smoke, but working in mental health for years, I’ve seen many MH consumers who self-medicate with tobacco. Breaking off the habit is crazy hard, my best wishes to you.

        I remember my diagnosis. The process nearly gave me a nervous breakdown. I send you even more warm wishes.


    • Thanks! I do hope so. Because right now, even with sedatives, my quality of life has gone down the drain so quickly that I’m not so sure this is the right choice for me. I will keep at it for a couple months longer though.

  3. Well, my GP has put me on a week’s supply of Oxazepam to see if that helps.

    I guess it does because I’m suddenly really REALLY craving a smoke, instead of dealing with all the other stuff. *dies laughing*

  4. My withdrawal symptoms are making me more openly autistic. I feel so uncomfortable looking people in the eye. I’m stimming all over the place. It feels like all my coping skills, all my ability at passing when necessary, is completely gone.

    • I’m actually doing a lot better today, thanks! Because I stopped listening to my GP and listened to my instincts. I’ve stopped taking the oxazepam and started taking varenicline again, giving me a steady dopamine drip. I can look people in the eye again, my anxiety is manageable, and I’m not constantly stimming. And I had a nap! 😀

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