In the 1980s Stephen King was at the height of his career. He had written The Shining and Carrie. His work had been read by millions. He lived in a massive 24-room mansion. But he was also at the height of crippling addiction. He had begun buying antiseptic mouthwash for its alcohol percentage. He did so much cocaine that he would sit with a cotton inside his nostrils so he wouldn’t bleed on his desk. He was overcome by a mental echo to hurt his own children.
His tormented mind had pushed him to write some of the greatest horror novels in American history. He began to use writing as a way of exorcising his own demons. But it was becoming obvious that the foundation of his life could not hold for much longer. After finding him collapsed yet again in a pile of his own vomit, his wife gathered the various paraphernalia into a garbage bag. The King family staged an intervention, empty mouthwash bottles and cocaine sniffers fell out onto the floor at his feet. What Stephen King saw laying on the carpet was an ultimatum.
By the end of the 1980s Stephen King had gotten clean and had begun writing without the crutch of substance abuse. In 2010, King wrote a letter of advice to himself as part of the collection, Dear Me: A Letter to My 16-Year-Old Self.
Below is what he wishes he could have told himself: