The writing profession is for the intelligent, sober and rational people, or so we thought. You’ll be surprised to know that many of the world’s greatest authors have struggled with alcohol and substance abuse. Be it pain, loneliness or any other reason, many writers throughout history have found themselves in the clutches of dangerous drugs and alcohol.
Below we’ve presented a list of 4 famous writers who spend their lives dealing with alcohol and substance abuse, and yet managed to come out with excellent literary works.
Ernest Hemingway’s alcohol addiction was well-known. A popular American author and journalist, Hemingway once famously quoted ‘a man does not exist until he’s drunk’. His alcohol addiction and substance abuse is clearly reflected in the characters of his books. Most of the protagonists in his books drank and partied hard. Sadly, the author started drinking at an early age and continued throughout his life.
A popular American contemporary author, Stephen King has written numerous books that have been adopted into a number of movies. By his own admission, he was a coke addict between the years 1979 and 1987. In his memoir ‘On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft’, he admitted that throughout 80s he was badly addicted to alcohol and drugs. However, he successfully overcame his addiction in late 1980s and has abstained from drug and alcohol consumption ever since.
William S. Burroughs
An American novelist and short-story writer, William S. Burroughs battled drug addiction throughout his life. His addiction started after he dropped out of a medical school in Vienna during World War II. His successful first novel, Junkie was published in 1953. It was a confessional novel and greatly established him as a popular author. However, he is best known for his third novel Naked Lunch that was published in 1959. In his early days, he even started selling heroin to support his habit of drug addiction.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Renowned as one of the greatest American authors of his times, F. Scott Fitzgerald was an alcoholic since his college days. He was the author of popular novels such as The Great Gatsby, This side of paradise and The Beautiful and Damned. His heavy drinking habit became a cause of his illness. He eventually died of a massive heart attack in the year 1940.
Addiction is a disease that affects a wide range of people, even notable ones like these authors. Other mental health conditions can cut across all backgrounds of people too. It’s quite common to find celebrities with PTSD or depression who have found a way to recover and live productive lives, adding hope to everyone else who might be struggling.
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