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Famous/Successful People who were raging alcoholics

Old 11-28-2016, 03:51 PM
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Famous/Successful People who were raging alcoholics

I'm kinda a wannabe author. And I tend to read a lot and love documentary DVD's. And movies based on true stories. I saw two movies in the last few weeks, both on Redbox. One was called Genius (about the author Tom Wolfe) and just saw one called Papa (Earnest Hemingway).

Both men were raging alcoholics. And I think booze did them both in, depending how you look at it. Another is Winston Churchill. IIRC, he drank brandy from dawn until bedtime.

I'm not trying to idolize anyone, but is interesting.
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Old 11-28-2016, 04:01 PM
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Oh, man. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dashiell Hammett, John Cheever, Dorothy Parker. The list goes on. I have always wondered if drinking made them more creative, less, or had no effect whatsoever.
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Old 11-28-2016, 04:11 PM
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My mind immediately went to the Beat generation of writers.. Jack Kerouac was an abuser of alcohol and they all did drugs, so probably alcohol as well. According to my college lit professor, Thoreau (Walden Pond) and his contemporaries were a bunch of free-basing trust fund kids when they wrote their most notable works. That's just what I heard.

Has anyone seen Kill Your Darlings? What were they using?

Yeah, it almost glamorizes substance abuse in a way. But their stories end the way they end. They die.
Far from these habits contributing to their being extraordinary, I think artists are very sensitive and draw on their pain and other lower emotions to create.. so they would think in order to do that they would need a mind altering substance.
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Old 11-28-2016, 04:18 PM
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Some time back I read an interview about a well published lady novelist. She was a closet alcoholic through the beginning of her success. When she sobered up, she chose to go back and rewrite her first novel! She couldn't believe someone even published it!
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Old 11-28-2016, 04:39 PM
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Seriously unsurprising, Steve!!!
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Old 11-28-2016, 04:39 PM
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I can't provide data, but I'd be willing to bet that there are a lot more famous/successful people who aren't alcoholics than those who are.
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Old 11-28-2016, 04:46 PM
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Yeah i think you're kinda looking through the wrong end of the telescope Steve

My heroes now are the ones who wrote or did great things...and found recovery

People like Clapton, Ringo Starr, Joe Walsh, Stephen King, Robert Downey Jr, Drew Barrymore...

I aspire to do great things and stay sober doing them

D
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Old 11-28-2016, 04:48 PM
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I always felt better about myself when I heard about someone who was a raging alcoholic/drug addict and survived and had a decent life.

It gave me hope.
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Old 11-28-2016, 04:50 PM
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Robert Downey Jr. has a great mind! He won't even talk about his past addictions in interviews, he just refuses because he knows there's nothing productive in that. If I remember correctly, his Howard Stern interview was fascinating, as those often are.
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Old 11-28-2016, 06:53 PM
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In regards to all the high profile writers and artist, I am curious if the isolation, as well as their writing and art performance, contribute to their alcoholism, substance abuse.
Also curious if some of it is due because they draw so much from themselves and give so much of themselves.
The artists, actors & writers are well represented for alcohol & substance abuse.
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Old 11-28-2016, 07:44 PM
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The movie "Ray" comes to mind on the life of ray charles whom had a bad heroin and heavy drinking problem for quite a while.
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Old 11-28-2016, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by BrendaChenowyth View Post
My mind immediately went to the Beat generation of writers.. Jack Kerouac was an abuser of alcohol and they all did drugs, so probably alcohol as well. According to my college lit professor, Thoreau (Walden Pond) and his contemporaries were a bunch of free-basing trust fund kids when they wrote their most notable works. That's just what I heard. Has anyone seen Kill Your Darlings? What were they using? Yeah, it almost glamorizes substance abuse in a way. But their stories end the way they end. They die. Far from these habits contributing to their being extraordinary, I think artists are very sensitive and draw on their pain and other lower emotions to create.. so they would think in order to do that they would need a mind altering substance.
And Kerouac died a horrible death on account of drinking.
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Old 11-28-2016, 09:25 PM
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Yeah, I tend to think those people succeeded in spite of the drink/drugs, not because of them. Kerouac ended up dying in his 40's while living and drinking 24/7 with his mom in a trailer. And this was a guy who probably could have lived easily off of his fame and groupies for the rest of his life. Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Or Hemingway, a guy who early in life was already recognized as a literary giant with huge star and earning power. He ended up chronically sick and depressed to the point of suicide. It's pretty clear that the booze was their ruination, not their inspiration.
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Old 11-28-2016, 10:16 PM
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Just a thought, given what happened last week, is there an addict voice back there trying to justify returning to drinking? These great authors were raging alcoholics, I want to be an author, therefore.....?
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Old 11-28-2016, 10:35 PM
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I love doing searches for 'sober musicians" 'sober authors' 'sober actors' 'sober world leaders'

Because I've felt my whole life that my community is drinkers. So I'm trying to find idols and a community in ex-drinkers and non-drinkers and non-users.

Any good ones? One of my favorites is Stephen King
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Old 11-29-2016, 01:57 AM
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It would mean crunching the numbers, but I don't think creative people are necessarily more prone to alcohol abuse than any of us other mere mortals. We just hear about them more often because they are famous. We all struggle with the creative life. Doesn't have to be a great novel or painting, or something.

Beware of false idols, I'm fully impressed with the bloke down the road who got sober. Think he was a very creative brick layer. He had a tough trot. And the cleaning lady up the road, could she ever swing a mop like a quill. Her life was pretty sad too.

Think it's a bit overrated the Dylan Thomas idea. We're all just people trying to get sober, but without the self indulgence of the artiste tragically creating alone in the garret without alcohol, barren.

Why do we put them in a different class to ourselves? All human beings are creative. Some just denied the chance.

I dunno, I'm raving on but will still post in the name of creativity, and the development of ideas.
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Old 11-29-2016, 02:11 AM
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That's crazy timing! I just finished reading this article. You might like it.

https://www.thefix.com/geniuses-who-quit
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Old 11-29-2016, 03:35 AM
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My heroes are the "everyday" folks here at SR and in the "real" world that are living recovery on a daily basis.
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Old 11-29-2016, 03:45 AM
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When I was younger, I spent a great deal of time writing and playing music. I loved listening to it as well, but enjoyed composing more. As my drinking increased, my creativity decreased. I rarely finished anything I started, yet I had deluded myself into thinking alcohol inspired some of my best work I also believed substance abuse was a necessary component behind the inspiration for a lot of my favorite music from other artists. I told myself that, without that, their music would have been dull and uninteresting. Likewise, I believed if I quit drinking, I'd lose my creativity, my "edge." I can't speak for all the other musicians whose work I've admired, but looking back over what I produced over the decades lost to addiction, it's clear to see I really was delusional, and only on the edge of fading into obscurity!
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Old 11-29-2016, 11:05 AM
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Thanks Yogini for the article. I used to think that if I couldn't write like Dostoyevsky, and naturally I can't, there was no point in me even trying. Steely moves to avoidance one more time. It's gotta change. Await some doggerel
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