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Broke NC for good reason/Champix/Chantix


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My ex and I split up at the start of the year. It's a long story, but my behaviour was bizarre and frankly, I don't blame him.

 

By nature, I'm a very 'strong' person. I've faced much adversity - abuse of all sorts - and lived to tell the tale. Yes, I had my issues, but no more or less than anyone else who had a childhood like mine. In fact, I was actually probably in a better position emotionally than most who'd faced what I had because I always had a deep seated belief in myself and my ability to survive.

 

All that changed toward the end of 2007. To cut a long story short, I fell into a pit of paranoia, anxiety, depression. I had never felt like that before. My ex ended things with me after a pretty traumatic christmas, where I swung between codependent, dependent, withdrawn to downright bizarre.

 

I hit my lowest point ever. I didn't know what was happening to me, I had lost my famous sense of humour, everything. I couldn't see any light and wanted to die.

 

We've had very limited contact since the break up. I know that it was hard for him to make the break, but if I knew then what I knew now............

 

Ladies and gentlemen, at the time of my massive meltdown, I was taking Champix (Chantix) to stop smoking. I stumbled accross a news article (UK) the other day, watched an associated TV programme about it and something clicked. I had never been like that in my life, no matter what I'd been through. I had never sunk to that depths. I had never battled with anxiety or been suicidal. Sure I'd been down at times, but that was something new.

 

So I've read and read, I've googled till I can google no more. I firmly believe that the timing of my breakdown was no coincidence. I had taken Wellbutrin (Zyban) in the past and had a bad reaction to it (panic attacks, suicidal thoughts). I told my GP this and she said "Oh, there's no reports of that with Champix". I wasn't monitored and not one bloody person made the connection.

 

I've emailed links to my ex. And I've apologised for what he must have gone through with me like that. What he does with that information is entirely up to him. I've spent months in therapy - which is fantastic as it helped me work through all my childhood issues and have left me a better person - and my therapist is furious with my doctors.

 

I had to let him know though. My son was terrified I was going to kill myself, all my friends were appalled by the change in me. I was a strong, outwardly confident person reduced to a sobbing, hysterical, irrational heap. It was hell on earth and I can never describe the darkness of it, the terror of waking in the night, shaking from head to toe, terrified of something but not knowing what.

 

Anyone considering taking this drug, think again. I was okay for about 2 months on it and then went to pieces. NOt everyone will react badly to it, and yes, it helps you stop smoking but anything that pisses about with the neurotransmitters in your brain should be approached with serious caution.

 

Maybe my story with my ex would have had the same ending, maybe not. I don't know and won't play the 'what if' game. I do believe, without a shadow of a doubt, taking that drug cost me the closest relationship I've ever had with anyone. How could I not regret that.

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I took it with pretty much the same result mentally, physically it didn't really affect me. In order to recover I had to spend time away from my family. It's been 7 months since I stopped taking it and I am still dealing with the impact it had on my personal relationships, especially friendships. I put myself in their shoes and it just doesn't seem possible that one little pill could have such a huge effect on someone's personality. If I were they, I'd be wary too.

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I'm annoyed with myself for not making the connection before now, to be honest. Honestly, I'm a tough cookie and deal with stress really well. I had had a lot of stress in my life in the 12 months prior to taking Champix and yes, I had wobbly moments but it was nothing like what I went through after starting those tablets.

 

I could see no positives. Not one. I had to take a rubbish temp job and went to pieces thinking it made me a huge failure. I pushed my ex to breaking point, I really did. I know all this, I even knew at the time how I was behaving/acting/reacting was irrational but I just couldn't stop. I was totally paranoid, consumed by anxiety. I cried for hours over nothing. I snapped at him and my son, my mood swung from high to desperately low. I started drinking to numb the panic - given that my mother was an alcoholic, that was something I swore I would never do. I pushed and pulled like a mad woman.

 

The timing really was no coincidence, I'm convinced of it. Believe me, I'm not one to make excuses when I behave poorly - far from it. I'm the first one to step up and say "I was out of order, I'm sorry". My therapist said that it's stunning that I've never denied liability or blamed my past for anything. I've acknowledged straight up what i needed to change to become healthier emotionally.

 

I'm so angry that no one (including me) made the connection. I'm going to see my doctor sometime this week and ask some serious questions.....

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Yes, that couple featured on the programme I watched. The one that made the penny drop loudly.

 

I had never been able to figure out the 'why now' question of my breakdown. It niggled away at the back of my mind. I knew that how I had been just wasn't 'me'. I'd never reacted to stress that way. I'd never battled anxiety. Hell, I didn't even know you could feel anxiety the way I did!! It was crippling.

 

When I last saw my ex face to face, I was an absolute wreck. Shaking uncontrollably. It must have terrified him. He wasn't perfect, we had issues with communicating if there was any area of potential conflict, and he handled breaking up with me badly. But I know he suffered for it, which is why I had to apologise to him. With no expectations, before anyone questions my motivation!

 

I won't lie - I still love the guy. It's a quieter love, a calmer love - it's a love that's enduring but undemanding. I turned into a fruitloop and lost him - that's something I have to live with. I can look back at things objectively now and see things from his side of the fence. His girlfriend turned into a nutter, a raving, ranting unpredictable nutter. I can't undo that, but I can apologise for it.

 

So I did.

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Sent link to news article that alerted me on Thursday. Given his profession, he may be looking into it more himself, or he may be ignoring it. Either way, it's okay because I'll be okay (see, that's always been my motto in life!).

 

I just needed him to know, and to know how sorry I am for what we all went through.

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