• Carrie

Find What Comforts You and Doesn't Hurt You

It can be confusing learning the difference between comfort that is genuine and comfort that is merely numbing. I know it has taken me many years to tell the difference. I used to think that alcohol was a comfort, I felt the same about cigarettes. At one point in life I thought illegal drugs were a comfort too. To my surprise, none of these freaking things truly comforted me. They numbed me, stole time from me, hurt my body and reputation, and disabled my ability to make good decisions. They took me out of reality instead of making my reality comforting.

The thing about being a recovered alcoholic is that you're really, to some extent, always an addict. Once you learn how to depend on a substance for "comfort", when you stop one you find another. Patterns of behavior are much harder to change than putting down a drug of choice so it's important to know yourself and your motivations. That's why it's important to step away from anything that distorts or even destroys your reality. Anything that makes you a different person when you ingest it can become an addiction if you're not happy with yourself and your life. It is important to find things that don't wear off when you wake up the next morning.

This is why I wanted to share some things that truly comfort me. I've stopped looking for comfort in unhealthy things for awhile now, even though I am not perfect and still have the ability to royally screw up, for the most part my comforts are all pretty boring and simple.

I absolutely love scented candles, for instance. Especially this time of year, lighting a warm pumpkin apple whatever is so comforting. I have one in every room of my house and remind myself to buy them and use them often. I love blankets, warm, soft, cozy, fuzzy blankets. I like to wrap up in them, I'm always cold by the way, and feel the softness and comfort of the fabric wrap around me like a baby being swaddled. To touch something soft and fuzzy comforts me, and the sense of security and warmth I feel makes blankets one of my favorite comforts. I pay attention to the lighting in my house. You wouldn't believe the way lighting impacts your mood. Soft and comfortable lighting is a must, bright lights being used only when I'm reading or writing. I feel comfort when I read. It takes me into a different reality without impacting my physical self. It takes my mind away, which is not numbing out, it's journeying without leaving the couch. Finally, one of my biggest comforts is music. I have a playlist that fits almost every mood imaginable. I listen to music every chance I get, even leaving one earbud in at work for most of the day. I couldn't imagine my life without it.

If you're numbing yourself you should try staying in reality and working on making it better instead of running from it. There are things that can improve the way you feel if you pay attention, learn what those things are, and then practice them. Focus on every sense you have and what makes those senses happy. Smell, touch, taste, sound, sight...all of these things impact us every day, whether we are aware or not. Maybe you would feel more comfortable painting your living room a different color. Whatever it is, find it. Practice it. Hold it close and feel better.

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