Stephen King’s advice to 16-year-old self: Stay away from drugs. What’s yours?

Stephen King talks with BDN's John Holyoke in October at his office in Bangor. (Ashley L. Conti | BDN)

Stephen King talks with BDN’s John Holyoke in October at his office in Bangor. (Ashley L. Conti | BDN)

Five years ago, Maine’s premier horror author penned a letter to his teenage self. It had one simple message: “Stay away from recreational drugs.”

Stephen King was 62 at the time, and it had been roughly 20 years since his family had staged an intervention over his drinking and drug use.

The letter was published in the 2011 collection “Dear Me: A Letter to My 16-Year-Old Self,” and was among 75 celebrity responses to the question, “If as an adult, you could send a letter to your younger self, what words of guidance, comfort, advice or other message would you put in it?”

For King, that answer included a dire warning:

“You’ve got a lot of talent, and you’re going to make lots of people happy with your stories, but — unfortunate but true — you are also a junkie waiting to happen. If you don’t heed this letter and change the future, at least ten good years of your life — from age 30 to 40 — are going to be a kind of dark eclipse where you disappoint a lot of people and fail to enjoy your own success. You will also come close to dying on several occasions. Do yourself a favor and enjoy a brighter, more productive world. Remember that, like love, resistance to temptation makes the heart grow stronger.”

If you could write a letter to your teenage self? What would you say? Share your message in the comments.

Dan MacLeod

About Dan MacLeod

Dan MacLeod is the editor of BDN Portland. He's an Orland native who first moved to Portland in 2002. He's been a journalist since 2008, and previously worked for the New York Post and the Brooklyn Paper.