This chapter explores the link between King's creativity and narcissistic illusions and examines how those very aspects of mental life made him prone to life-threatening substance abuse problems. King often sought to disguise and project his deepest and most personal conflicts through his characters, cloaking them in the garb of monsters and tragic heroes. One of King's old roommates told a story about how Stephen and his friends took a hallucinatory drug known for its potency and equilibrium-disturbing effects. In fantasy, the pen served as a sword against their fiercest inner demons – their rejecting caregiver. King and Sexton felt they might quell those tormenting inner voices in their writing. To compound King's naturally sensitive temperament, his narcissistic illusions of wielding control over the external world were dealt a hard blow at an early age. The Shining best articulates the force of narcissistic illusions driving both King's creative writing and substance abuse.