The Saga of Quitting Smoking, Overeating, Drinking Alcohol, Promiscuous Sex: Doctoring Yourself

I read a comment on one of my blogs. I had to comment on that comment.

A person named Chrissy said this:


Having seen an close friend going trough a tough period due to a disease caused through tobacco I made it my personal mission to spare as much other folks as is possible from the very same experience, but soon I realized that regardless of how great your arguments are it’s very difficult to have a smoker stop smoking, not necessarily because your arguments are not good enough and not necessarily because the smoker isn’t happy to stop but simply because nicotine is really a more addictive drug than heroin and cocaine (scientifically confirmed).

Next , I found out there is in fact a method to quit smoking without stopping smoking, thus leave the smoker their pleasure and also habit but preserve him from the harmful effects of cigarette smoking.

The Things I am talking about are e cigarettes. You can read about many of the side effects of smoking cigarettes and how an [url=]electronic cigarette[/url] could help you quite smoking or simply permit you to follow your habit and get your kick without the harmful negative effects associated with cigarettes on my web site
P.S. I really hope this will not be deleted because of having a link to my webpage as I merely attempt to inform and help.

Chrissy M.


Your gadget, Chrissy, is a mechanical-assisted remedy, not volition-reasoning-assisted remedy. Ah, the age of technology! Some people need that, I guess, and it seems to be a rather prominent trend in the “robotification” of being called “human”, the hardware-ing of the technological fix, the dependence on gadgets substituting for the software of mind. A good that comes from hardware, the crutch, not from the human ability to reason and choose the good, just the ability to choose the right hardware. The technological “fix”, or solution, seems quite robotic, short-circuiting reason. Let the gadget do it. Something basically human is being demeaned, suppressed, lost. The “fix” is in.

My Response on Smoking

Chrissy: I was a smoker. I found it easy to quit. I quit three times; the final time has lasted, oh these past 30 or so years. (No, much longer than that; can’t remember.) I quit “cold turkey” the day the very first report came out. I had one Camel left in the pack, put the pack in the glove compartment of my car, and that was it! I think that was on the very day Queen Elizabeth got married. I remember I was going to work very early in the morning and the nuptials were being broadcast on my car radio. Then they announced the report, and my mind took over. Simply, I accepted the scientific report as true, and if true, then I found within me a great desire to lengthen my life. It was an act of volition, the capability of conscious choice and decision and intention, the act of making a choice that has some very strong motivation behind it, for that is what will is, a fixed and persistent intent or purpose, determination. I have plenty of that. Those who cannot make stopping smoking such a determined act — I cannot understand that state of being human — that is not what “humanity” is.

I said I quit three times. That was because I saw others smoking at the break between acts at a play, and I recalled what great fun smoking was. So I made a determined act to re-start; in spite of the report, recreational use of smoking took over. Then I started hacking, reminding me of the warnings. The fun crowds out the sense of danger. Then the second report came out, verifying again the findings. So I stopped. I went through that stopping-starting syndrome (a pattern of symptoms indicative of some disease) one more, and final time. Each time I quit was “cold turkey” (complete and abrupt withdrawal of all addictive drugs or anything else on which you have become dependent).

I knew I could do it. How did I know that and find the will to do it? I believe that the desire to live life longer gives one the strength of volition. Determination. One (meaning me) can rightfully claim a rare mental strength in making decisions for a conscious rationale, a fundamental reasoning process in balancing alternatives, and I developed the power of reasoning for my own, long-term good.

Reasoning has to be studied. Reasoning comes from the study that defines it. That study is a respect and understanding of science, which has been one important stage in the evolution of homo saphiens. Science is one of the ultimate goods of human life. Science is a way of seeing and defining. People locked hopelessly in an iron cage of addiction do not have that way of seeing life.

My hacking was a reminder. I said to myself (and that saying to yourself is the function of “mind”), I do not want this terrible hacking. My lungs must be taking a beating, and I am on my way out if I do not quit, so the third time became the final time. I love life more than I love smoking. What a choice! Smoking is stupid! Smoking puts you under the power of a weed! Lowly cattle are subservient to weeds! How low can a human being go? Smoking has to go. And all that took, maybe, a minute to think about. I was rather proud that I can make such quick decisions that seem absolutely right, and that became part of my history, my narrative that has served me thereafter. I believe that every human being needs to develop and have reliance upon a narrative, or history, of character-developing choosing.

The power comes from education. (And perhaps some adult models who have the charismatic authority to model such control — I had none of that.) One marker of the level and worth of the individual’s education may be found in this behavioral control of such challenges to the well-being of the individual.

Frankly, it is hard to see people who cannot reason themselves out of what proves to be a bad habit that has dire consequences. It is their deficit of volition, which, if they are to find that determination, that motivation or energized behavior to take on change, volition has to grow out of a reasoning process that arrives at the good, and lengthening life is usually seen as a good. Seeing the consequences is critical, envisioning the future of continuing the addiction, and balancing that against the alternatiuve outcome of having ceased the addiction. In that, I may be denying the power of the physical operations of addiction.


I also had the bad habit of “over-eating”. I ballooned. When I stopped smoking, I took up eating icecream and gained a lot of weight and generally eating a lot of calories without regard to quality of calories. So I stopped, again, cold turkey. I had the symptoms of adult-onset diabetes, confirmed by the doctor. I started, not on the exrtrinsic form of treatment, the pill — he prescribed one, I took one and I said, “Uh-uh!”, and quit that extrinsic source of motivation and looked inside to the intrinsic motives, using “bibliotherapy”, the reading-about-the-problem treatment. I did it all on my own, I “cured” my diabetes. The one best cure I discovered? My secret? The glycemic index, researched by scientists in Canada, a regimen good for all people on Earth, athletes, the morbidly obese, models, everybody!! (Foods are rated on a scale as high- or low-glycemic; the low-glycemic are better for your blood sugar. Read the science!) And so goes the life saving and lengthening process.

Alcohol Drinking

Ah, yes! I must not forget alcohol, besides smoking and over-eating! Yet another, the third, addictive habit! I had some drinks in the army. Every month overseas we were allowed a ration of a fifth. I usually sold mine for a twenty-five dollar money order. Then one day (I was 19 then) I decided to taste the stuff. My first buzz-on. But that did not start me drinking. That took place when I got married and had my first taste of cocktails. Okay. That worked for a while. Then I got the headaches. I was told they were due to keytone bodies, and Scotch whiskey had fewer keytone bodies. So I took up scotch, and it seemed to be true, if that was not merely the power of suggestion. But then, I felt the addictive power of alcohol taking hold, with unwanted, unpleasant side effects. A word to the wise, and I had the conceit I was one of the wise, and the subtle word signs should be heeded and obeyed with the only rational conclusion. I quit. Cold turkey, again, for the past 20 or so years.

What’s next? Is there a fourth addiction I will have to fight off with every power of reason to defeat it? As I said somewhere else, “blogging” may be a form of addiction with side effects that are difficult to identify. It has possibilities. But the love of blogging is one addiction I find to be life-lengthening, sane, and enjoyable, keeping my brain alive and kicking.

A Fourth Addiction: Sexual Promiscuity

There is one other addictive behavior to consider. For some, “sex” and its very strong and even overwhelming effect, which in many cases can turn out to bring deleterious consequences, a mental state characterized by a lack of clear and orderly thought and behavior, has the effect of addiction. Promiscuous sex brings the addicted down to a level somewhat lower than “human”, to animalistic physicality — cortical control? zilch, nada, nichts, zero, blank, goose egg, missing, AWOL, bye-bye, naught, rien. You gonna let that wild beast run free? A free ranging sexual terrorist? Sex addict?l You have there a medical excuse for your promiscuity, and a sort of release from your nuptial vows, your word of honor. How nice! That you can use like a get-out-of-jail-free card. Unless you want to assert to the world you are a human being operating on the level of human reasoning and the mastery of the only control that only human beings can apply in solving problems of addiction, regaining your pride in self-reliance. You can be proud of being a human being only if you prove it in ethical and honest behavior. Doctor yourself! You know down deep inside what type of person you are. Make a declaration about that out loud to all people you know. Then they will hold you to it. They will know what to expect from you. When they come looking for someone to trust, they will think of you.

I am writing about appetites, pleasures of the senses, which are ordinarily controlled by religious authority, which claims to be the sole author of morality. There is another authority on morality with other bases of morality. Philosophy.

One of my favorite philosophers is Gerald Heard. I find in his book, Pain, Sex and Time: A New Outlook on Evolution and the Future of Man, we face a Copernican revolution in the internal evolution of the human psyche. The human being has specialized in unspecialization for that is one peculiar function of the human brain. Where, heretofore, life altered physique and its needs to suit the environment, human beings advance mentally and technologically modifying the environment to suit their needs. That change is in consciousness. For that change, the human being “seems to have an immense store of still unused primal energy…” and it “can have appropriate advanced mental channels of expression; when so used, lust ceases to trouble man and, when higher and more specifically psychological channels of expression are found, man ceases, not only to be sexual, but to be capable of pain. The highly developed intellectual type tends to find when in complete intellectual absorption that he becomes indifferent to sex, and the practice of contemplation makes that freedom perpetual.”

In other words, there takes place a sublimation, a modifying of the natural expression of an impulse or instinct (especially a sexual one) to one that is socially acceptable. As with the breaking of all habits, the substitution of one behavior with another is one rule of learning, and that is not change by moral precept, but by habit formation in the useage of the higher powers of intellect. Consciousness, reason, is served, not moral dictates blindly followed. Not “Do it because I say so.” The vow of a nuptial ceremony is honored as a consequence of consciousness and an ethical declaration. As I act, I would legislate for all mankind. Have sex moderated, without the promiscuity, which is uncontrolled by any ethic, and which, in turn, harms the general social good of both parties to the liaison.

Perhaps your promiscuity will not attain the heights of notoriety of many celebrities, but its consequences will certainly harm those significant others in your social circle.

But they are all appetites, and many of them wayward. Choose your poison! And be damned!


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