All posts tagged: Cigarettes

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The Self-Medicated Woman

I’ve learned to love my Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). I’ve also learned to accept and even love the legal drugs I use to manage it: caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. As many of you reading these words today amid your 500 other to-dos know, ADHD is blessing and a curse. My morning preamble to sitting down to this article was marked by a frenzied dance through a series of tasks I felt compelled to undertake no matter how inane, including chopping beeswax to make “cutting board butter” (thanks a lot, internet), muscling the sludge off of the side of a bottle of liquid soap (it builds up!), a step in the long process of making homemade apple jack (America’s first legal drug), repairing a broken window (it’s cold out there) and, oh yeah, getting my son out the door and to the bus on time. All before the sun had barely crested the treetops. At times, I feel ridiculous, but after a half-century of flitting from task to task, I’ve come to trust the process …

What Makes Nuns So Happy?

Spending an inordinate amount of time with Catholic nuns makes you start to worry about your own vices. Nuns take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience to the church and to God, but beyond those, they also live relatively vice-free lives. It isn’t too often that you seen a nun puffing away on a cigarette, sitting at the slots in Atlantic City or doing the things that priests do that so often land them in headlines for the wrong reasons. All in all, Catholic nuns are a pretty chaste bunch. (Though I have known them to occasionally indulge in a glass of good red wine.) I was a different woman when I spent three years researching and writing my latest book, If Nuns Ruled the World. As a successful celebrity journalist, I’d written a critically acclaimed book about the dirty secrets of how famous people make money. (Talk about vices.) Still in my 20s, I was on the cusp of actual adulthood, but still indulging in the pleasures of youth that New York City offers: …