Henry Lawson

Dear Bulletin

I'm awfully surprised to find myself sober.  And, being sober, I take up my pen to write a few lines, hoping they will find you as I am at present. I want to know a few things. In the first place: Why does a man get drunk? There seems to be no excuse for it.  I get drunk because I am in trouble, and I get drunk because I've got out of it. I get drunk because I'm sick, or have corns, or the toothache: and I get drunk because I'm feeling well and grand. I get drunk because I was rejected; and I got awfully drunk the night I was accepted. And, mind you, I don't like to get drunk at all, because I don't enjoy it much, and suffer hell afterwards. I'm always far better and happier when I'm sober, and tea tastes better than beer. But I get drunk. I get drunk when I feel that I want a drink, and I get drunk when I don't. I get drunk because I had a row last night and made a fool of myself and it worries me, and when things are fixed up I get drunk to celebrate it.  And, mind you, I've got no craving for a drink.  I get drunk because I'm frightened about things, and because I don't care a damn.  Because I'm hard up and because I'm flush.  And, somehow, I seem to have better luck when I'm drunk.  I don't think the mystery of drunkenness will ever be explained - until all things are explained, and that will be never. A friend says that we don't drink to feel happier, but to feel less miserable. But I don't feel miserable when I'm straight. Perhaps I'm not perfectly sober right now, after all. I'll go and get a drink, and write again later.

Henry Lawson,

Letter to the Bulletin (1903)


Take a break from drinking like the author of this article did - Read why and how in his book Between Drinks: Escape the Routine, Take Control and Join the Clear Thinkers