Lipton’s Journal/February 14, 1955/614

From Project Mailer

One healthy thing I am doing these days. I am worrying less. Worrying less about my habits instead of fighting them. So I accept Lipton’s and Seconal[1] and cigarettes with less guilt and-or shame (I don’t know quite which) than I used to. I give myself to them and find in the case of Lipton’s and Seconal that I can relinquish them partially too. It is the business of extremes. To attack a habit properly one must let it alone for a time. Constant guilt nagging at the habit merely strengthens it, makes it more wary and resourceful—which is why compulsives have such incredible habits. Incredibly strong that is. So, to break a habit one must first “enjoy” it.


  1. Brand name for Secobarbital sodium, a barbiturate used as a sedative and anticonvulsant. Mailer used this drug regularly in the early and middle 1950s.