Sunday, December 23, 2007

Foggy Brain

Foggy head is totally normal when you first quit (Nancy and others).

Think of it this way: you're brain is programed to think with a cigarette between your synapses.

Like this thought + smoke = completion of thought. You spent a lot of your time thinking while smoking or holding off decisions until you could smoke or hurrying to do something so you could go smoke. You've trained your brain to use smoking in the process of thinking.

You're entire brain is going to have to be retrained to think and process thought without smoking. And Chantix can't do that for you.

It is very frustrating in the beginning, but a brain retrains itself pretty quickly. In about two months you'll feel like you can think better than before.

In the meantime, avoid major decisions, cut yourself lots of slack, forgive everyone including yourself and realize that this will pass.

You might speed the process of brain building by taking up a new skill that requires learning something new like knitting, sudoku, video games or yoga. This will help your brain build new bridges between thoughts.

Hold on to your ass and distract yourself, in other words.


Brandie said...

Reading your post I realize how TRUE your statements are. It seems like I'm always in a hurry --hurry the meeting, so I can smoke before the next one. Gobble one down, quickly, before the movie starts! It's going to be so hard to break these habits, but it will be a great benefit.

I'm basically talking to myself, lol. Quitting tommorow ... and panicking a bit today. But it will be okay. I keep telling myself that ;-)

Thanks again for your posts. They are awesome.

Tracee said...

Thanks Brandie - and it WILL be okay.

nancy said...

Well Tracee, my "foggy-head" is subsiding a little bit, but I am only about day 6. I was wondering, did anyone find that during this whole Chantix process they became very crabby? That's not the word I would normally use if we were talking, but sometimes I just can't even stand myself - I am so irritable! I am generally a easy-going, pleasant, happy person, but lately? My husband is being very understanding and tolerant, and I am also trying so hard to not freak at the smallest issues, but I don't know what's going on. If anyone has any feedback as to why or whether or not they had a similar experience, pleeeeease let me know. Nancy

P.S. I have not really been craving cigarettes either (day 3 was awful, but I'm better now). So please, some feedback?

Tracee said...

Nancy, Yes the anger.

So normal and so unpleasant. I recall feeling like I should be in Ragaholics Anonymous or be diagnosed with Angry Terrets Syndrome (because it felt uncontrollable and pretty randomly triggered).

While there are those who thing the Chantix causes anger, I disagree. Ever tried quitting without Chantix? Now THAT was fury.

My own theory is this: What did you do when you got irritated, angry, annoyed or bothered?

You smoked.

Well, now you're still irritated, angry, annoyed and bothered by the same things but you have no "go to" to cope. You can't "just go smoke" so you're stuck with these feelings and they don't have an outlet yet. They escalate because the have no where to go and it's so frustrating that in itself induces anger.

It's probably suprising to you because when say, your daughter pulls on your arm too hard it's a total over-reaction to scream "Get off of me!" Or when your husband asks where the mayonaise is or if you bought any, you respond "How the hell should I know, what am I your freaking mother?"

You've got no emotional "go to". Your coping strategy is missing. So, these tiny things used to be no big deal because you had a readily available response to deal with them. Smoke. But, now - you've got nothing.

At least until you replace it.

I hereby give you permission to lock yourself in the bathroom for 10 deep breaths 20-30 times a day. You don't need my permission - but sometimes you need someone to tell you - hey, it's okay if you spend 3hours sobbing in the closet. Whatever gets you through this very rough patch.

In a few months you'll have devised some new coping strategies. Until then you'll be like a fish without water emotionally.

Plan on asking for forgiveness multiple times a day and ask everyone to just kindly blow your tantrums and touchiness off.