I QUIT DRINKING on March 30, 1996.
I was never an angry or violent boozer, but I drank every day from age 26 till that March day in 1996, which is a quarter century. The only exceptions were sick days. On those days that I drank, I drank until I was “happy.” Sometimes I went over the happy point a bit, but usually not.
The result of this was that it was difficult to interact with me in any meaningful way in the evenings or in the afternoons on weekends. I started early on weekends. My second wife felt this the most.
I was walking in my father’s footsteps. He did the same thing for almost exactly the same length of time, during the same ages, stopping in his early 50s. The only difference was that he often went far past happy, especially in my childhood. Sometimes he could hardly stand up but, like me, he was not violent at all.
Neither of us let it interfere with our jobs, which were the same jobs, newspapering. We drank — with some exceptions — on our own time, not during work hours.
When I quit drinking on that day in March 1996, it was an incredible revelation. My life and mental clarity did a 180-degree turn. It was like night and day. I was clear-headed 24-7, as they say. Who knew?
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I quit smoking in 1991, and it was pretty easy because I eased into it. And I was never a heavy smoker in the first place. Years earlier, in the Air Force, I smoked pipes and cigars. I had some really nice pipes. Young fellows look kind of silly smoking pipes and cigars, but I did not know that then.
Later I was strictly a cigarette smoker, but by the early ’90s, I had wearied of it. I read one day of this technique: If you smoke, say, one pack a day, which is 20 cigarettes, do the following: One week, smoke your 20 a day. The next week, 19 a day. The next week, 18 a day. You see where this is going. It’s a very gradual way to stop.
Takes a long spell, but it works.
It was easy till I got down to five or four a day, and then that final week of one a day, but I did it.
Back to my father again. He never smoked. He never drank coffee or tea. Strange guy.
Smoking is an incredibly nasty and stupid habit. Can’t believe I ever did it.
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I am a big fan of non-addictive drugs,* specifically LSD, psilocybin and Ecstasy. I have also tried synthetic ayahuasca and 5-MeO-DMT. That latter provides an incredibly powerful experience that only lasts about five minutes.
I have not ingested those materials since the late 1990s.
With the exception of Ecstasy, they are great ways to meet God in person — if you’re lucky.
Smoking and drinking are vices. Non-addictive drugs are gifts from the Goddess.
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* Non-addictive drugs should not be illegal, except for minors.
(TOMORROW: Mohammedans and machine guns.)