May 31: 19 days smober: Today I woke up and was thinking about lots of things; like what I was going to do, and how I should work in the yard before the sun came up, what I felt like eating for breakfast, and how exercise would figure in today. And I wondered who fares worse: the broken-hearted or the heart-breaker? Post-dreaming thoughts. Then I remembered that the thrift shops are back open today (treasure hunting my hobby). That got me out of bed and excited!
Here's my point: My first thought wasn't about smoking. It wasn't about "keeping busy" to avoid the urge with my coffee, or pouting about the deprivation of not smoking, or running to this site to stay smober, or how one puff couldn't hurt, if I could figure out how to get it, or how life could never be shiny if it weren't punctuated by cigarettes.
I didn't think about smoking at all; it never entered my thoughts. I thought about life. Marvelous, complex life.
So that took 19 days. That little glimpse of light. About 20 minutes of my life back. Now I get how this works... the illusion of the addiction gets replaced by real life, eventually. The thrilled child, the soul, comes back.
I'm not "all better". There are times of the day when the urges come and come and come stronger, and out of left field so that I can almost feel them physically, thwack. But I get how this works now.
P.S. (the PHYSICAL rewards are immediate and incrementally better each day. That's easy to see. It's the bug in the brain we are dealing with here).