The story begins on Monday, but I will start on Friday. My husband and I purchased tickets to The Great American Nightmare for opening night. A favorite of ours, Rob Zombie, designed 3 haunted houses based off his movies and was playing a concert for opening night. We had been looking forward to this since we bought the tickets a while back. I hadn't been feeling well most of the day, but I wanted to have a good time, so I tried to get past it. We headed to the venue. We got there with no issue, parked and got our wristbands and free t-shirts. We went back to the car to drop the shirts off and tailgate a little, then got in line. I only had one beer prior, because I wasn't feeling well. We weren't sure of the order of things, if we do the haunted house first or the concert, none of the information we got stated this. We got inside and were filtered into the concert area, so that answered the question of what came first, clearly it was the concert. Paul asked me to ask someone what was going on, but I thought it was pretty clear. I found a spot I liked but Paul wanted to walk around. I told him to go ahead since I wasn't feeling well. He didn't want to go without me. He insisted I leave my spot and venture around with him. I complied since we had been there for a while and nothing was happening, except for some crappy DJ guy. He asked me again to find out what was going on and my reply this time was if he wanted to know so bad that he should ask someone himself. For whatever reason, he wasn't going to ask. We found the outdoor bar and smoking section. I must say this was nice since it was starting to get hot inside as the people filed in.
While we were outside, he asked me again to find out what was going on. At this point I am annoyed because I was just going with the flow. He was being a bit paranoid about knowing what was going on. He made some small talk with a biker guy, yet didn't ask him what was going on. Then we heard Rob Zombie start, so it became even more clear, what was going on.
I enjoyed the concert once I found a spot I could see from. Paul was bent over the fact that people were taking pictures and videos from their phones and that they weren't as into it as he was. Rob Zombie put on a great show as always. After the show we retreated back to the outside area to cool off. Again, I was asked by Paul what was going on next. I told him we need to get in line for the haunted house. He asked what line. To me it appeared there was only one line. After a beer we went back inside where this line is. The place was a mess, most people didn't know where their line was because the initial line to get in was separated by GA, VIP 1 and VIP 2. At this point, it was just one line, so I got in it. Once again, Paul wants to know what's going on, this time he's pretty angry. I tell him to just get in line, he's refusing. He begins to yell at me. I don't even remember what he said at this point because he was literally humiliating me in front of a crowd of people. This is not something he does, this was not my husband. I saw an evil look in his eyes. He made a threat to leave. I walk away and ask the security guy what's going on and where's the line to the haunted house. He points to the line I just stepped out of and says he really doesn't know what's going on, that this is a total mess. Exactly what I thought. I turn around and Paul is gone. He sends me a mean text and says the keys are at the car.
My husband left me! I was in shock that this was happening. He's never left me anywhere. I got back in line, hoping this was just a threat and he'd come back. I wait and wait. I text a mutual friend, he hasn't heard from him. I text Paul again, nothing. I'm not leaving, I paid for these tickets and I am going to at least use mine and not let Paul ruin my night, even though I am now alone, in line to go through a haunted house, alone.
I made it through the haunted house with some people who took me in, they were actually cool people. I head to the car, hoping he's there. I see evidence that he was there, but alas, he's gone. I'm not shocked, but more disappointed. I have no idea where to even begin to look for him.
While I was in line waiting for the haunted house, I had nothing but time to think. The only reasonable explanation I can come up with is the new meds he's on. The previous Monday, Paul started taking Chantix to quit smoking. There are warnings that this drug can make a person have mood changes and irritability, specifically when there's a history of mental disorders. Paul has never been diagnosed with anything like that. He's had depression and anxiety in the past, but it was always situational (meaning that this is the result of a specific situation or occurrence). This had to be what's going on with him.
It's 1am. I pull out of the parking lot and start to look for him walking and start making my way towards the highway. I don't see him anywhere. I drove through a few gas stations, late night restaurants and even the bar we talked about going to after the event. No where to be found. I text him again offering a truce and a ride home, nothing. I call, nothing. I get on the highway in direction of home. As I get close to home, I am hoping he took a cab and is there. Even if he's mad, I don't care, I just want him home safe. It's almost 2am, I pull in, he's not there. I call our mutual friend again to talk about the situation. He did hear from him, Paul mentioned something about a hotel or a taxi. At least I know he's not wandering the streets aimlessly and delusional. I send Paul another text offering to pick him up, nothing. There's nothing more I can do, so I go to bed. At 4am, I get a text that he's home and going to sleep in the garage and not to bother him. At least he's home and I don't have to file a missing person's report the next night.
I go to pick up my son from my sister's house the following morning and I get another text from him that states, "I won't be taking that medication today. Clearly it is affecting me and I can't handle it." Thankfully he recognized this. I was afraid I would be the one telling him and feared that he wouldn't believe me. After I got home he told me he took a cab home after going to a bar and trying to find a hotel room (most hotels were booked in the area due to the event). He was manic the whole night and this turned into a full blown psychotic episode. He has chunks of time missing from his memory. He said he got home and was hallucinating. Lights were flashing and tarantulas were crawling up his legs. Something in him was telling him to kill himself, but his conscious was fighting him not to. I thank God that he had conscious to tell him not to.
We are lucky to have come out of this unscathed. It could have been disastrous. I could have lost my husband and the father of my child because he was trying to better his life by quitting smoking. If this reaction happens to people, should doctors be writing scripts for this so freely? Maybe there should be a mental evaluation first? Do people really commit suicide because they are taking this medication? Yes, it does happen and I was lucky that it didn't happen to my husband and our family.
I read an article today from November 2013 that states, "In the last five years, 544 suicides and 1,869 attempted suicides have been reported to the FDA as “adverse events” in connection with Chantix, according to documents obtained by America Tonight under the Freedom of Information Act."