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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in recoverythought's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, September 27th, 2016
6:28 am
Anger Punishes you
“You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.” -Buddha

Feelings themselves are neither good nor bad. What gives them power is our compulsion to either dwell on them or act on them.

Perhaps you know the feeling. Someone hurts you, or you find yourself in a difficult situation, and in a way you feel justified. Almost as if it feels good to stay angry. That maybe you should be angry; and furthermore, you should do something about it. Confront someone, challenge someone, maybe even hurt someone.

Anger magnified or directed rarely feels as good as we imagine it will. What does feel good is accepting that all feelings pass; fighting the instinct to do something you may regret; and then realizing your anger has faded. It always does with time.

Today if something ruffles you, ask yourself this question: am I willing to torture myself because I feel justified, or do I choose peace instead?

From tinybuddha.com
Monday, September 26th, 2016
6:21 am
Getting Run Down
Getting worn out and run down robs you of receiving what you need from the universe.

Our natural state of being is vibrant, happy to be alive. Yet, there can be times when we feel run down and worn out. This does not mean that we are lazy or unfit for the tasks in our lives; it means that we need to recharge our batteries and find a way of keeping them charged. Vitamins and extra rest can be very helpful in restoring our physical bodies. And if we are willing to delve deeper, we may discover that there is an underlying cause for our exhaustion.

Whenever you are feeling run down, take an honest look at how you have been thinking, feeling and acting. You will likely find a belief, behavior pattern or even a relationship that is out of alignment with who you really are. Perhaps you believe you have to be perfect at everything or you have been bending over backwards to get people to like you. Maybe you are dealing with mild depression or simply have too much on your plate right now. There may also be people or situations in your life which are draining your energy. Once you get clear on the root cause, you can weed it out and better direct your flow of energy in the future.

In time, you might notice that the reasons you feel run down have less to do with how much you are doing and more to do with the fact that in your heart, you would rather be doing something else entirely. From now on, try and listen to what your heart really wants. It may take meditation, or just a moment of silent tuning in to gain the clarity you need, but it is well worth the effort. When you know what you truly want to do, and honor that in all situations, you will find that getting run down is a thing of the past.

By Madisyn Taylor of Daily OM
Sunday, September 25th, 2016
5:46 am
Lucky Sevens
From the Bible to casinos, seven is often considered to be a magical, perfect, and lucky number.

Jesus told us to forgive those who hurt us seventy times seven times. Clearly he meant that to mean infinity.

Genesis speaks of the seven days of creation. Scripture speaks of seven archangels, and the Book of Revelation speaks of the seven seals of Revelation. The Bible is saturated with the number seven.

Roman Catholics have seven Sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Healing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.
There are seven Corporal Works of Mercy: Feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, visit the imprisoned, and bury the dead.

And then seven spiritual Works of Mercy: Instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, admonish sinners, bear wrongs patiently, forgive offenses willingly, comfort the afflicted, and pray for the living and the dead.

We also have the famous seven Wonders of the World, though now there are arguments as to what precisely constitutes that list: Some argue for the original list, the seven Wonders of the Ancient World, others propose the seven Wonders of the Modern World, some speak of the seven Wonders of the Contemporary World, and still others affirm that the real wonders of this world are constructed by nature and they list instead the seven Natural Wonders of this World.

So what’s the true list? What, in fact, constitutes the seven Wonders of the World?

Recently this story appeared on the internet: A teacher asked her students to name the seven Wonders of the World. A number of students, with the help no doubt of electronic gadgets, quickly produced the various lists.
One young girl, however, without any electronic research, produced her own list. The seven Wonders of the World, she submitted, are: seeing, feeling, tasting, smelling, touching, breathing, and loving.

That list, I believe, trumps all other lists and includes all the Sacraments.

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, OMI
Friday, September 23rd, 2016
3:51 am
The 12 Stops
The 12 Stops
1. Stop lying to yourself about the state of your life and your spirit.
2. Stop talking; start listening.
3. Stop being so committed to old ideas: open-mindedness is the key.
4. Stop thinking how you feel about things is more important than the actions you take.
5. Stop confusing negative self-criticism with the truth. If it’s not kind, rewind.
6. Stop fearing doubt; living in the question mark is a powerful spiritual position.
7. Stop trying to control the future with your anxiety. It never works.
8. Stop neglecting your creative side. We all need to make beauty.
9. Stop driving with your hands on the rear-view mirror. Those old stories don't serve you anymore
10. Stop giving your power away. What you think others think of you is still your perception.
11. Stop judging – yourself, others, reality. Your job is to be the best person you can be.
12. Stop stopping! Always move forward.
Wednesday, September 21st, 2016
6:13 am
Gravy
No other word will do. For that's what it was.
Gravy!
Gravy, these past ten years!
Alive, sober, working, loving and
being loved by a good woman.
Eleven years ago he was told he had six months to live
at the rate he was going. And he was going
nowhere but down. So he changed his ways
somehow.
He quit drinking!
And the rest?
After that it was *all* gravy, every minute
of it, up to and including when he was told about,
well, some things that were breaking down and
building up inside his head.
"Don't weep for me," he said to his friends.
"I'm a lucky man.
I've had ten years longer than I or anyone expected.
Pure gravy. And don't forget it."


Raymond Carver
Tuesday, September 20th, 2016
4:35 am
Where You Need To Be
Every person fulfills their purpose when the time is right.

Since human timetables quite often do not correspond with universal timetables, it’s common for people to feel that life is progressing too slowly or too quickly. We draft carefully composed plans only to find that they fall into place when we least expect. Or, conversely, we are thrust into roles we believe we are not prepared for and wonder how we will survive the demands imposed upon us by unfamiliar circumstances. When delays in our progress kindle pangs of disappointment within us or the pace of life seems overwhelming, peace can be found in the simple fact that we are exactly where we need to be at this moment.

Every person fulfills their purpose when the time is right. If you have fast-tracked to success, you may become deeply frustrated if you discover you can no longer satisfy your desires as quickly as you might like. Yet the delays that disappoint you may be laying the foundation for future accomplishments that you have not yet conceived. Or the universe may have plans for you that differ from the worldly aspirations you have pursued up until this point. What you deem a postponement of progress may actually represent an auspicious opportunity to prepare for what is yet to come. If, however, you feel as though the universe is pushing you forward at too fast a clip, you may be unwittingly resisting your destiny. Your unease regarding the speed of your progress could be a sign that you need to cultivate awareness within yourself and learn to move with the flow of fate rather than against it. The universe puts nothing in your path that you are incapable of handling, so you can res! t assured that you are ready to grow into your new situation.

You may feel compelled to judge your personal success using your age, your professional position, your level of education, or the accomplishments of your peers as a yardstick. Yet we all enjoy the major milestones in our lives at the appropriate time - some realize their dreams as youngsters while others flourish only in old age. If you take pride in your many accomplishments and make the most of every circumstance in which you find yourself, your time will come.

By Madisyn Taylor of The Daily OM
Monday, September 19th, 2016
7:46 am
Laying Our Burdens Down
Lay your burdens down at the feet of the divine and feel the relief from your heart.

We all know the feeling of walking through life as if we are carrying the huge burden of our worries and stresses on our backs and shoulders, struggling to keep moving forward. There is no real way to move freely and fluidly in such a situation, and we are all longing to lay our burdens down. Just imagining that it would be possible to do such a thing can be enough to elicit a sigh of relief and a feeling of lightness.

The human imagination is a powerful tool, and we can use it to take journeys to faraway places without ever leaving our home. Because of this, we too can lay our burdens down at the feet of a divine being such as the great Mother, Buddha or a mountain. Releasing ourselves from that which we can’t handle on our own. No matter how smart we are, how capable we are, or how hard we work, no one can single-handedly cope with all the worries that we tend to take on in the course of our lives. And, we aren’t designed to do so. Our wellbeing depends upon our ability to hand over that which we can no longer carry by ourselves.

Visualizing yourself carrying your burdens to the feet of someone or something much bigger than you can be a powerful daily practice. To begin, sit with your eyes closed and envision an all powerful, supremely comforting being in what ever form that takes for you, standing at the end of a road. See yourself carrying a large sack, box, or other container, imagining that all your worries are inside it. Watch as you make your way to the being of your choice, and lay your baggage down at their feet. Allow yourself to feel the lightness and relief of this action, express your gratitude, and surrender. You will be amazed by how this simple meditation can liberate you from a burden you were never meant to carry.

By Madisyn Taylor of The Daily OM
Sunday, September 18th, 2016
6:09 am
God's Quiet Presence In Our Lives
One of the reasons why we struggle with faith is that God’s presence inside us and in our world is rarely dramatic, overwhelming, sensational, something impossible to ignore. God doesn’t work like that.

God’s presence, much to our frustration and loss of patience sometimes, is something that lies quiet and seemingly helpless inside us. It rarely makes a huge splash.

Because we are not sufficiently aware of this, we tend to misunderstand the dynamics of faith and find ourselves habitually trying to ground our faith on precisely something that is loud and dramatic. We are forever looking for something beyond what God gives us.

But we should know from the very way God was born into our world, that faith needs to ground itself on something that is quiet and un-dramatic. Jesus, as we know, was born into our world with no fanfare and no power, a baby lying helpless in the straw, another child among millions. Nothing spectacular to human eyes surrounded his birth.

Then, during his ministry, Jesus never performed miracles to prove his divinity; but only as acts of compassion or to reveal something about God. Jesus never used divine power in an attempt to prove that God exists, beyond doubt. His ministry, like his birth, wasn’t an attempt to prove God’s existence. It was intended rather to teach us what God is like and that God loves us unconditionally.

This is important for understanding faith. God lies inside us as an invitation that fully respects our freedom, never overpowers us; but also never goes away. It lies there precisely like a baby lying helpless in the straw, gently beckoning us, but helpless in itself to make us pick it up.

Fr. Ron Rolheiser, OMI
Saturday, September 17th, 2016
5:17 am
Start Today
Each day offers us an opportunity to renew our resolve to the universe that we are ready for change.

One of the hardest things in life is feeling stuck in a situation that we don’t like and want to change. We may have exhausted ourselves trying to figure out how to make change, and we may even have given up. However, each day offers us an opportunity to renew our resolve and to declare to the universe that we are ready for change. We may even say out loud that we have tried and struggled and have not found a way, but that we are open to help, and that we intend to keep working to create change for ourselves. Making this declaration to the universe, and to ourselves, may be just the remedy for the stagnation we are experiencing. And, it can be done today, right now.

It is difficult to understand, even with hindsight, how the choices we have made have added up to our current situation, but it is a good idea to examine the story we tell ourselves. If we tend to regard ourselves as having failed, this will block our ability to allow ourselves to succeed. We have the power to change the story we tell ourselves by acknowledging that in the past, we did our best, and we exhibited many positive qualities, and had many fine moments on our path to the present moment. We can also recognize that we have learned from our experiences, and that this will help us with our current choices.

When we do this kind of work on how we view our past self, we make it possible for the future to be based on a positive self-assessment. This inner shift may allow us to get out of the cycle we’ve been in that’s been keeping us stuck. Now we can declare our intentions to the universe, knowing that we have done the inner work necessary to allow our lives to change. Allow today to be the day to end cycles and enter into a new way of being.

By Madisyn Taylor of The Daily OM
Friday, September 16th, 2016
4:51 am
Quotes about Worry, Fear, Anxiety
“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.”
– Leo F. Buscaglia

“Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.”
– Swedish Proverb

“If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today.”
– E. Joseph Cossman

”People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them.”
– George Bernard Shaw

“Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment.”
– Dale Carnegie

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.”
– Elbert Hubbard

“If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it.”
– George F. Burns

“When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.”
– Winston Churchill

“Worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.”
– Arthur Somers Roche

“If you treat every situation as a life and death matter, you’ll die a lot of times.”
– Dean Smith

“When one has too great a dread of what is impending, one feels some relief when the trouble has come.”
– Joseph Joubert

“That the birds of worry and care fly over your head, this you cannot change, but that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent.”
– Chinese Proverb

“Worry compounds the futility of being trapped on a dead-end street. Thinking opens new avenues.”
– Cullen Hightower

“Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere”
– Erma Bombeck

“There is a great difference between worry and concern. A worried person sees a problem, and a concerned person solves a problem.”
– Harold Stephen

“People get so in the habit of worry that if you save them from drowning and put them on a bank to dry in the sun with hot chocolate and muffins they wonder whether they are catching a cold.”
– John Jay Chapman

“Somehow our devils are never quite what we expect when we meet them face to face.”
– Nelson DeMille

“The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.”
– Robert Frost

“Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith.”
– Henry Ward Beecher

“We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday’s burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it.”
– John Newton

“If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep.”
– Dale Carnegie

“I never worry about action, but only about inaction.”
– Winston Churchill

“Rule number one is, don’t sweat the small stuff. Rule number two is, it’s all small stuff.”
– Robert Eliot

“A day of worry is more exhausting than a day of work.”
– John Lubbock

“Worry a little bit every day and in a lifetime you will lose a couple of years. If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry. Worry never fixes anything.”
– Mary Hemingway

From The Inspiration List
Thursday, September 15th, 2016
4:12 am
Allowing Our Light To Shine
When we remove obstructions in our path our light can more easily come forth.

There are times when we may not feel at our best and brightest. At those times we can take a look at what we might do to let our inner light shine to the fullest. Because we are physical, mental and spiritual beings, we need to determine where our spiritual light is being filtered or blocked. We can work from the outside inward, knowing that we are the only ones with the power to dim our lights, and as we clear away the layers we can get out of our own way to feel the warmth of our own light shining again.

As vehicles for our mind and spirit, our bodies require proper maintenance. Caring for ourselves is like polishing--helping to clear away the accumulation of physical debris that keeps us from operating at our fullest capacity. A simple shift in our thoughts can positively affect our mental state, moving from complaints to gratitude and applying the powerful light of love to any shadowy thoughts. A change of scenery can allow us to see the world in new ways too.

Once we are free of our restrictions, we can become still and connect to the power at the center of our being. It is always there for us, but when we forget to connect, or siphon our power in too many directions, we cannot make the most of our energy. Starting from the inside out may direct us to take the right steps for our journeys back to the light, but sometimes it can be difficult to find the stillness if our bodies and minds are in the way. As we practice steps to keep our energy flowing freely and without obstruction, we shine our light brightly, illuminating our own paths and making the world around us glow as well.

By Madisyn Taylor of The Daily OM
Tuesday, September 13th, 2016
4:16 am
Let It Roll Off Our Back
When we are criticized or attacked it is important to not take it into our heart space.

One of the most difficult challenges in life is learning not to take things to heart and hold on to it. Especially when we’re younger, or if we’re very sensitive, we take so much of what comes our way to heart. This can be overwhelming and unproductive if it throws us off balance on a regular basis. When we are feeling criticized or attacked from all directions, it becomes very difficult for us to recover ourselves so that we can continue to speak and act our truth. This is when we would do well to remember the old saying about letting certain things roll off us, like water off a duck’s back.

Most of the time, the attacks and criticisms of others have much more to do with them and how they are feeling than with us. If we get caught up in trying to adjust ourselves to other people’s negative energy, we lose touch with our core. In fact, in a positive light, these slings and arrows offer us the opportunity to strengthen our core sense of self, and to learn to dodge and deflect other people’s misdirected negativity. The more we do this, the more we are able to discern what belongs to us and what belongs to other people. With practice, we become masters of our energetic integrity, refusing to serve as targets for the disowned anger and frustration of the people around us.

Eventually, we will be able to hear the feedback that others have to offer, taking in anything that might actually be constructive, and releasing that which has nothing to do with us. First, though, we tend ourselves compassionately by recognizing when we can’t take something in from the outside without hurting ourselves. This is when we make like a duck, shaking it off and letting it roll off our back as we continue our way in the world.

By Madisyn Taylor of The Daily OM
Monday, September 12th, 2016
3:34 am
Being Judgmental
The Old Man said, “You are both ugly and handsome and you must accept your ugliness as well as your handsomeness in order to really accept yourself." - Larry P. Aitken, Chippewa

My Grandfather told me one time that any person who is judgmental to another, is also judgmental to themselves. If we want to be free of being judgmental, we need to first work on how judgmental we are to ourselves. If we quit judging ourselves and start accepting ourselves as we are, we will start accepting others as they are. Then we will experience a level of new freedom.

Great Spirit, let me accept myself as I am - honoring both my strengths and my weaknesses.

From - Elder's Meditation of the Day
Sunday, September 11th, 2016
6:58 am
Trinity Prayer
God for us, we call you “Father.”
God alongside us, we call you “Jesus.”
God within us, we call you “Holy Spirit.”
Together, you are the Eternal Mystery
That enables, enfolds, and enlivens all things,
Even us and even me.

Every name falls short of your goodness and greatness.
We can only see who you are in what is.
We ask for such perfect seeing—
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be.

Amen.
Saturday, September 10th, 2016
5:11 am
Dealing With Loss And Obsessions
What can anyone say to someone who is in the throes of a deep loss or in the grips of an unrequited emotional obsession?

We have our stock expressions which are not without merit: Life must go on. Every morning will bring a new day and eventually time will heal things. Remember too you are not alone; you have family and friends to lean on. Beyond that, you have faith. God will help you through this.

All of that is true, and important, but not particularly consoling or helpful during an overpowering period of grief. I remember writing a series of letters to a woman who had lost her husband to suicide and was totally shattered by that, believing that she would never experience happiness again. Time and time again I repeated the same lines to her: “This will get better – but not right now! Time will heal this, but its rhythm cannot be rushed. You will get better, but it will take time!”

Is there anything practical beyond this that we can offer someone who is in deep grief or in the grip of a bitter emotional obsession?
Psychologist Antoine Vergote suggests that sometimes time, only time, can bring about healing and that in the interim the only real option is to bear the unbearable, to try to get one foot in front of the next, stoically, with patience, holding our pain with as much dignity as we can muster, while waiting for time to eventually work its alchemy, knowing that nothing can short-circuit that process.

As well, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin suggests there is something that can help make the unbearable bearable, namely, a more conscious, deliberate effort to love and to adore.

How do we do that? Not easily. But we do it when, despite our crippling obsessions, restlessness, frustration, bitterness, and anxiety, we let our generous and noble side be the deepest voice inside of both our sympathies and our actions. When we are driven to our knees by loss and frustration, the best, and only useful, thing we can do is to genuflect in helplessness before a God who can help us and express our affection to anyone who can support us.

Fr Ron Rolheiser, OMI
Thursday, September 8th, 2016
5:36 am
Shortcomings
Search out shortcomings and correct them.
--Anonymous



One of the hardest things to do is to look at our own shortcomings when we are angry at someone. It seems impossible to believe at such times that something may be wrong with us.

This is the reason we are so often instructed to count to ten. When we find ourselves so out of sorts, so internally disrupted, there is usually something wrong with us.



It is our first obligation to take care of ourselves. It is out of love for ourselves that we withdraw and take a spot check inventory. The spot check inventory does not demean or humiliate us. On the contrary, the purpose is to speak with God briefly, check our vital signs, and clean out our connections.



I always need my connection with God. Nothing works without a clear, clean, strong, conscious contact with my Higher Power.

From – “Easy Does It” by Anonymous
Wednesday, September 7th, 2016
3:50 am
Look To This Day
Look to this day, for it is life,

The very life of life,

In its brief course lies all the realities

And verities of existence:


The bliss of growth, the splendor of action,

The glory of power.
For yesterday is but a dream

And tomorrow is only a vision.


But today, well lived, makes every yesterday

A dream of happiness!

And every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well, therefore, to this day!

~Sanskrit Proverb~
(Quoted in the 24 Hours A Day book)
Tuesday, September 6th, 2016
2:46 am
Leaving A Relationship
Leaving a long-term relationship is hard but a necessary step to receiving what you want in your life.

One of the hardest decisions we ever make in life is leaving a long-term relationship that just isn’t working. When attempts at repairing and working out issues aren’t working, it may be time to examine moving on. We are emotional creatures, and when our heartstrings are tied to those of another, separating from that person can feel like an act of courage. It is not something most of us will take lightly, and many of us will struggle with our desire to stay in a relationship that is unfulfilling simply in order to avoid that pain. We may question whether the happiness we seek even exists, and we may wonder if we might be wiser to simply settle where we are, making the best of what we have.

On the one hand, we almost relish the idea that true happiness is not out there so that we can avoid the pain of change. On the other hand, we feel within ourselves a yearning to fulfill our desire for relationships that are vital and healing. Ultimately, most of us will follow this call, because deep within ourselves we know that we deserve to be happy. We all deserve to be happy, no matter where we find ourselves in this moment, and we are all justified in moving, like plants toward the light, in the direction that leads to our greatest fulfillment. First, though, we may need to summon the courage to move on from the relationship that appears to be holding us back.

Taking the first steps will be hard, but the happiness we find when we have freed ourselves from a situation that is draining our energy will outshine any hardship we undergo to get there. Keeping our eyes trained on the horizon, we begin the work of disentangling ourselves from the relationship that no longer fits. Every step brings us closer to a relationship that will work, and the freedom we need to find the happiness we deserve.

By Madisyn Taylor of The Daily OM
Monday, September 5th, 2016
4:35 am
Giving Away Our Power
We can avoid giving away our power on a daily basis by listening to our own voice of knowing.

In many ways, we are taught from the time we are children to give away our power to others. When we were told to kiss and hug relatives or friends of the family when we didn’t want to, for example, we were learning to override our inner sense of knowing and our right to determine for ourselves what we want to do. This repression continued, most likely, in many experiences at school and in situations at work. At this point, we may not even know how to hold on to our power, because giving it away is so automatic and ingrained.

To some degree, giving our energy to other people is simply part of the social contract, and we feel that we have to do it in order to survive. It is possible to exchange energy in a way that preserves our inner integrity and stability. This begins in a small way: by listening to the voice that continues to let us know what we want, no matter how many times we override its messages.

Other examples of how we give away our power are buying into trends, letting other people always make decisions for us, not voting, and not voicing an opinion when an inappropriate joke is made. But with not giving our power away we must also be aware of the opposite side, which is standing in our power but being aggressive. Being aggressive is a form of fear, and the remedy is to let our inner balance come back into play.

As we build a relationship with our power, and follow it, we begin to see that we don’t always have to do what we’re being asked to do by others, and we don’t have to jump on every trend. All we have to do is have the confidence to listen to our own voice and let it guide us as we make our own decisions in life and remember the necessity for balance.

By Madisyn Taylor of The Daily OM
Friday, September 2nd, 2016
4:16 am
The Alcoholic Paradox
The alcoholic, of course, is may things as we all know. They are the world’s supreme paradox. They drink, not because they would, but because they must.

He does not drink for pleasure, he drinks to pain, yet he drinks. He will mortgage the wealth of the future to pay off the debts of the past so that he may drink up the non-existent present.

He is the only one in nature, I think, who seeks stimulation in a sedative, only to find that it acts upon his nerves as excited memory.

He works to inflate his puny little ego in the provocative wine of Bacchus and succeeds in shriveling his soul in the bitter gall of remorse.

He escapes desperately to free himself from the facts of reality and runs headlong into the prison of fantasy. Success is just as fatal as failure to the alcoholic.

He will drink with exhilaration to success and to sadness and misfortune. He drinks to get high in the evening, knowing how low he will be in the morning. When the alcoholic smilingly gets to the first drink he can get, he is transported to heaven and when he is unable to get to the last drink he can pour he is transported to hell.

The alcoholic, like most people, thrills to the beauty of life and then how frequently he sees the ugliness of existence.

When he is sober, he craves to be drunk. When he is drunk he prays to be sober.

Such is the weird paradox of the alcoholic, that the only way in which he can feel better is to drink that which makes him feel worse. He starts out on his drinking, no matter who he is, with all the dignity of a king and winds up drinking like a clown.

So he goes his incredible, incomprehensible, paradoxical way, leaving in his wake his human wreckage, that which he does cherish the most. Down the road of alcoholic oblivion he stumbles and staggers, until he either finds himself at the door of A.A. and the halfway house, or death intercedes.

Austin Ripley
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