Let me introduce you to my new best friend. Her name is Comfort.
I recently met her properly on my journey home. I'm heading homeward bound to Freedom and it really is great to have Comfort by my side. She really is an excellent companion. A while back a few oldbie people told me about her. With their wisdom they advised that Comfort would come and join me on the journey home. Back then I was not so sure but tried really hard to believe them as they said when you meet Comfort you will see how much easier she makes the journey. Comfort would be the best reward for making the best decision of your life to quit. The difficult bit at the start would be rewarded and rewarded again the further into the journey you get. The bestest part of this reward would be getting to know Comfort. I'm sure I glimpsed her for a few fleeting moments in the early days of my quit journey. She looked a good sort and smelt just oh so pretty. I really wanted to have her constantly by my side. So I trusted those that were on the path ahead of me with every part of my being that she would be on the path ahead for me as well and that the potholes and puddles were worth struggling through so that I could get to where Comfort could join me all the time.
For those just starting to think about joining the trip of a lifetime be advised that there are some really important milestones along the journey. The biggest by far is the very first one. The one you encounter the moment you quit. That moment is huge and will change your life for the better forever so long as you follow the simple rule - NTAP. After day 3 you can join us here and be part of the most wonderful support community I have ever encountered. Other milestones will follow - green, bronze and beyond. But I remind myself that each day is a really important milestone as it is another fabulous day on my journey home.
So around the bronze milestone Comfort became more than a glimpse - she made herself really known to me. And what a beautiful creature she is. I was not that at ease with the new found me early in the journey. The familiar had become the unfamiliar. I was learning how to be an ex-smoker. My world had been turned upside down by my fantastic decision to quit. Who was this new person? Did I like her? How long would it take to get to know the new me? I actually LOVE the new me and I enjoy the new me each and every day. I'm proud that I quit; that I don't have to constantly interrupt my life to address the call of nicotine; I live my life as a calmer person who is finally happy with the new skin. Comfort has helped that new skin fit - she made a few necessary adjustments and hey presto it fits like the best designer fashion ever could. So one of Comfort's many talents is as a dressmaker. She is also able to add the extra special flavour to food. Everything just tastes so much better. And she has shown me that I don't have to eat everything in sight!
Comfort is also a fantastic personal trainer. Without smoking hampering my ability to run I'm getting so much fitter and really enjoy my workouts in a way I never could before. That has finally started to shake off the (few) pounds I gained at the beginning of the journey.
Comfort is just brilliant company. With her everything seems so much bigger, brighter and easier. Of course the sun doesn't shine the whole time it's just that when I'm with her I don't worry when it's cloudy or raining. It would be great to report that nothing bad happens when she's around - but that would be foolish. It's just that when the not-so-good stuff does happen Comfort is a great strength and helps me find the best way through. Without the constant need to feed the nicotine craving that I once had I can take a deep breath, consider the options, and find my way through the madness. All the time Comfort is there helping, guiding and being my best friend. When I thought that nicotine was my best friend it only ever got in the way and made everything difficult look doubly difficult.
The best news is that there is enough of Comfort to be every ex-nicotine-addicts best friend. For those on the journey home who haven't found her yet believe that she is ahead. You will find her very soon and you too will relish in the delight of having her as a best friend.
Thank you for letting me introduce Comfort.
Hugs to all
Re-posted here as advised by an oldbie
108 days of living a new life
Congratulations Emma on reaching those magic days when it hits you full force, that drug addiction really is about living a lie. On day two of ending nicotine use and possibly struggling mightily and there it is. It's a post like yours talking about a calm and quiet mind that's so far from where you now stand that it's impossible to believe. You want to believe but what about me? Maybe I'm different! Maybe it'll be like it is now forever! Maybe I can't break free!
It's what makes nicotine dependency recovery very likely the greatest personal awakening we'll ever know. How could I have been sooooooooo wrong? How could I have not seen back when still living from fix to fix that nicotine didn't really define who I was, give me my edge or help me cope? Why couldn't I then see that I wouldn't be giving up anything of value by stopping, that everything I did while using could be done as well as or better without it?
The answer to this riddle is simple. The brains of the daily smokers we'll see today truly are chemical slaves. Their mind's priorities teacher was taken hostage by an external chemical that by chance fit survival event teaching locks. It isn't that they wanted to believe that that next nicotine fix was as important as eating. It's their brain's reward and punishment pathways forced them to.
Although impossible to see during the heat of challenge, with each passing day the challenges become fewer, shorter in duration and generally less intense. Soon comfort becomes our new norm. Eventually the daily grind of servicing our addiction becomes a distant or even forgotten memory. When asked by a smoker what it was like quitting we may proclaim, "It was nothing!" One day I just put them down and never looked back!"
Begin preparing for complacency now Emma. This is an excellent start!!!! Great read!!! For as Joel likes to remind us, the true measure of nicotine's power isn't in how hard it is to stop, but how easy it is to relapse. No matter how far we come or our deep our comfort grows, we'll always remain just one fix away from landing back behind bars. There was always only one rule ... no nicotine today, Never Take Another Puff, Dip or Chew! Congratulations again, Emma!
Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,