As I recently embarked on the final leg of my cross-country business journey — a trip that had already tested my patience with multiple flights and layovers — I settled into my seat, ready for a peaceful two-hour flight home. The universe, it seemed, had other plans. No sooner had we reached cruising altitude than the shrill battle cry of an infant pierced the cabin air. I was, thankfully, only a couple of rows away — close enough to experience the full acoustic effect, despite my trusty “programmer-grade” noise-canceling headphones.

It was amidst this cacophony that I found myself reflecting on a personal decision I had recently made: to quit marijuana and nicotine.

Dopamine, the brain’s joy trigger, often has us chasing what makes us feel good, like marijuana and nicotine. But deciding to cut off these sources is no quiet affair. It’s more like enduring a baby’s relentless screams mid-flight; you’re stuck, unable to escape the discomfort of your brain’s uproar as it adjusts to the absence of its favorite stimuli.

This brings me to something Andrew Tate once quipped about enduring hard times. Sometimes, he mused, you just have to sit there, grin, and bear it, recognizing that this turbulence is part of the human experience. There’s comfort in knowing that the discomfort won’t last forever, and soon enough, you’ll have a humorous war story to share with your friends — or perhaps a profound insight to share with strangers on the internet.

As I embark on this journey of transformation, distancing myself from old habits and embracing the unfamiliar territory of a dopamine diet, I’m reminded that growth isn’t silent. It’s noisy and uncomfortable. It’s a crying baby on a long flight, and sometimes, all you can do is adjust your headphones, offer a reassuring smile to the frazzled parents, and remind yourself that this too shall pass.

So, the next time your brain (or life) decides to have a public meltdown because it’s not getting what it wants, remember: you’re not alone in the struggle. We’re all passengers on this flight, and sometimes, we’re all that baby.

Who knows, maybe your next great story is just a silent scream away.