We're always looking for contributors and comment. Join the conversation! © MMXIII John O'Hara Society.

From a letter on  March 11, 1967 to his friend and former Time writer Alfred Wright.

  Welcome aboard the wagon. You are getting aboard at just about the same age I was when I stopped drinking. The only way to do it is completely, and the only way to do it completely is to do it one day at a time. After 13 years I can still taste Scotch and beer, and I still have a recurrent dream about Scotch, at which I am at the bar at 21, order a St. James, am just reaching for it, and Emil takes it away. I have another dream in which I belong to three non-existent clubs, two in NY and one in Philadelphia, to which I go for a sneak drink, but when I get to the clubs they are all closed ...
  There will be constant demands on your tolerance and patience. But there will be no more hangovers, and you will be alive, be able to sleep better, and your capacity for work will increase.

Selected Letters, pages 491-492.

For O'Hara there was no choice; his doctors told him if he did not quit drinking he would die. Other writers with this problem: Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Faulkner.

No comments: