Cormac McCarthy said that “if there’s an occupational hazard to writing, it’s drinking.”
Charles Jackson would probably second that. It’s amazing how alcoholism affects SO SO many in the field.
I quit drinking several months ago. So much was done to prevent me from doing so again that the thought “once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic” seldom crosses my mind. But it’s true. As discussed in the video above, Jackson was 11 years sober when he slipped up, believing himself to be fully in control of his alcoholism. Despite writing The Lost Weekend, then considered the seminal work on alcoholics, it doesn’t appear that Jackson ever overcame his disease. It is claimed that he died from suicide by barbiturate overdose. Despite my seemingly successful sobriety, I have to be reminded of these stories from time to time.
I got a lot out of the speech Jackson made to Alcoholics Anonymous in the video posted. If you’re going through these sorts of struggles, I strongly recommend a listen.