Unintended consequences

I had a realization the other day.

 First, to backtrack: as you might know, I’ve lost about fifty pounds since June 2021. People ask me, often, how I did it. My flip (but accurate) answer is, I reduced my calories by a third, began working out on an elliptical trainer for twenty or thirty minutes, six or seven days a week, and worked out with a trainer twice a week. Depending on my audience, I might add that I organized things so I stretched or did Pilates with a hot woman most days, and as often as twice or even three times some days. And/or, that I built a great spreadsheet that allowed me to track my progress in a variety of ways – and to offer myself reassurance on the days when my weight seemed to be going in the wrong direction. So: I reached my ultimate hard goal (lose fifty pounds) in June 2022. As that date approached, I established a new, non-weight-related goal: once I hit the weight goal, I promised myself, I’d turn my attention to smoking. I’ve smoked on and off for a little more than a decade, after a twenty-year hiatus in my smoking. Smoking killed my mom when she was 45, when I was 19. I don’t want to die young. And while I love smoking, I hate smoking. As I approached my weight target, I talked to my doctor, who prescribed me both buproprion (Wellbutrin, or Zyban) and Chantix. I had used both previously in successful attempts to quit. I like bupropion. I hate Chantix, which gives me bad breath, voluminous dreams/disturbed sleep, and an unpleasant “full” feeling in my body. I took Chantix for less than a week – just long enough to stop my smoking the second week of June. But I’ve been on bupropion for the better part of a year now. So that’s background. Now, on to the realization. As I walked down the street the other day, I passed a hot woman smoking a cigarette, her pack of American Spirit Yellow sitting on the table in front of her. I expected my body to respond with a pang of craving – the craving for the cigarette, compounded by the craving for an interaction with the woman. In past days, I might have bummed a cigarette, or started an encounter using the cigarettes as an entree. In this instance, though, even as I half-attempted to conjure that craving, it wasn’t forthcoming. Even though it’s been three months since my last cigarette, and conditions for a craving were, shall we say, propitious, the craving didn’t materialize (ise). And I reflected on that. Buproprion, I suspect, gets a large part of the credit. And as I thought that, I thought, “I’d happily take bupropion for the rest of my life, if it could make me simply not want to smoke.” And, for the first time, I wondered if maybe, just maybe, bupropion might have something to do with my a) diminished libido of late, and/or b) somewhat more attenuated relationship to fucking, and/or c) my even-less-persistent-than-usual erections, of late. Eureka! I’m not sure why it took me so long to notice this particular constellation of side effects, but damn. Now, I have to experiment with going off bupropion.

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