Drinking, smoking, drugs

I QUIT DRINKING on March 30, 1996.

martiniI 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?

* * * *

smokingI 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.

* * * *

mushroomsI 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.

Good books to read about this are The Cosmic Serpent, The Secret Chief and Food of the Gods.

Smoking and drinking are vices. Non-addictive drugs are gifts from the Goddess.

* * * *

* Non-addictive drugs should not be illegal, except for minors.

(TOMORROW: Mohammedans and machine guns.)

9 thoughts on “Drinking, smoking, drugs”

  1. You are a taciturn fellow who often rattles the cage of those us less forthright. Recently, you have written things I would not have said so bluntly and just like my late brother you have the ability to enter a room, get everyone riled up and then exit leaving a vacuum and all and sundry gasping for breath. There are days when I say to myself that fecker (you) has done it again, and the reason I’m still hanging around is that you come out with some off the wall stuff that he too would have said, irritating as it is! Today is one whopper!

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    1. Colm: I have addressed my former vices in the past, but people leave, and new people come, so I decided to address them again. Of course, I do not consider non-addictive drugs of the type often known as entheogens as a vice. Quite the contrary.

      As for rattling cages, I think you are referring to the fact that I harbor quite a few opinions that would not pass muster on university campuses these days, and you are quite right. As for my getting people riled up, I saw evidence of it in the past, but now most of those riled have either gone off to read in greener pastures or — more likely — simply decided to keep quiet. I wish they would not. How do I know if I’m doing my work properly if they just keep quiet. You keep quiet far more often than not, so I’m glad to hear from you today.

      If I’ve ever left anyone gasping for breath, as you phrase it, I am not aware of it. I would like to think that in younger days I did leave some women gasping for breath, as they did me. It was fun.

      I interpret your comment as a compliment, which I do appreciate.

      But … I’m a fecker? Oh, dear.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m thinking more of a scamp. It’s an Irish term which has lost its lustre with web interference!
        My favourite blogs are all from or about Mexico, but how to mention them without offending another? Steve in Mexico, Kim in Boston, Red Shoes, Babs Blog, The Mexile, Writing from Merida, Set Free in Mexico and a few more, and yours, of course!

        So thanks again for your humour, and I’ll comment now and then, but I can’t compete with your established critics as they know you too well!

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        1. Colm: Scamp, eh? I like that. As for those other blogs, I am familiar with them all except for “Set Free in Mexico,” which I had never heard of. I took a look, and see they moved from Merida to Puerto Vallarta. I question their choice of living spots, but if they are happy, go for it.

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        2. P.S.: I do not consider my website a Mexico blog. What’s Mexican about it, by necessity, is that I am now Mexican and I live in Mexico, so I mention Mexico now and then, mostly as it relates directly to my life. But I don’t get into “Mexican life” to anywhere near the extent those other blogs you mention do.

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  2. I guess you had your fill of dangerous vices before you saw the light. I find addiction fascinating. I can smoke and drink, or not, but haven’t become addicted to either.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we’re becoming too hangover-prone to indulge in much binge-drinking these days. Pity.

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    1. Kim: I was not addicted to alcohol. I simply liked it a lot. And when it became obvious to me that it was causing problems, I stopped. Quite easily. I might have been mildly addicted to smoking, but I never smoked that much, and quitting was not that hard either. I don’t have what some call an addictive personality. I think the more realistic view is that I just did some really dumb stuff.

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  3. Funny that a couple of my news photographer mentors from the newspaper days were boozers and smokers but, since it was the early ’60s, not drug aficionados. The majority of the real boozers seemed to be the reporters and plant people. There was a dive bar in the alley in back that was supported by the devote imbibers. I think it came with the profession.

    I never got into drugs, being on the observer side. I found it foolish. What did I know?

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    1. Tancho: Drinking was rampant in my former profession for ages before I got into it. In my case, I have to wonder which came first? The chicken or the egg? However, like so much of changing American life, it’s not really a boozing profession anymore. Long before I got out of it, you could hardly have told the difference between a newsroom and any other corporate office inhabited by fresh-faced and ambitious young people. It had grown quite boring.

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