I credit both my mother and Mick Jagger for my lifelong aversion to pharmaceuticals.

I'll explain.

I grew up in the Swinging '60s, a big-eyed, pop-crazy moppet who absorbed every last little drop of the Mod Mod Mod World like a sponge. Information was coming at me from every direction, and I greedily absorbed it, from newspaper columns to teen mags to fast-talking DJs to Walter Cronkite to "Peanuts" comics to pop music lyrics, to, of course my family, friends, teachers, and others in my small-town world. One of my earlier and stronger impressions, even prior to the hippie days, was that "drugs are bad, mmmkay?" I didn't really have anyone preaching at me; no one ever would have thought to instruct a preschooler about such a subject other than not to mess with anything in the medicine cabinet, and that chewable children's vitamins were not candy. But, fueled by an exploding Big Pharma industry, huge advancements in drug research, increased leisure time and cash, feminist discontent, and new fascination with the psychological, the formation and rise of the white, middle-class Mom drug addict was beginning to become a thing. If you poked around in any average woman's medicine cabinet in the '60s, you were likely to find some pretty powerful stuff.

Curing what ails a stressed-out mother with some kind of agent had plenty of precedent. Look at some of these old ads!

My mom,  as sweet as she truly is, is also a die-hard skeptic and a global thinker. When early reports began to come in about the dangers of smoking, strange birth defects in groups of newborns whose mothers had taken an anti-nauseant during pregnancy, early deaths of women who were the first users of The Pill, she paid complete attention and decided that it was always better to not take anything. This idea she shared with neighbors and her sisters and whomever else...and I would be there, listening, and thinking, dang, drugs are baaaad.

But she seemed to be in the minority. Doctors were handing out Mommy-Fixers like candy. Tired, depressed, lethargic, packing a few too many pounds, Lady? Here! Some methamphetamine will get you back up to speed!

What if Lady was overly-anxious, couldn't sleep, was irritable and hyper? Ask Unstable Mabel here -- go for the narcotics!

At the same time my mother was wagging a finger at, well, everything, Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones was noticing the very same pharma-phenom. Many of the Stones' early hits were on the topic of middle- and upper-class waste and decadence, no doubt because of the instant celebrity status they gained upon musical success and the social circles they were now welcomed into. "Mother's Little Helper," released in 1966, now seems especially curious in hindsight -- a tiny tale of a suburban housewife hooked on pills coming from a band that become infamous for out-of-control drug use.

The Rolling Stones, "Mother's Little Helper"

Oh, did I ever listen to every word on this! Besides the attention-grabbing sitar-ish guitar line, and the pub-style singalong rollick of the melody, the story hooked me in, every time I heard it. I pictured every line in my mind, frozen steak and all, and decided forever that I was never going to be this woman. NEVER, EVER, EVER.

It was a one-two knockout punch from Mom and Mick to my little developing psyche, and it stuck. My vices now 40+ years later are an occasional Advil, a cold beer or two a week, and a music habit. My meth is coffee and my barbs, petting my dog or lying in the sunshine.

And these days, Unstable Mabel would just get a divorce, a facelift, or both.