When he was sick, he learned of dying. For awhile he didn’t think he would live and he hated how he had mistreated his body. He hated how he would be gone before completing the work he wanted to finish. Even if the projects were taken up by others he would not be around for them. He had caused the sickness with his drinking.

Then one morning he awoke and the swelling in his throat had lessened. His strength began to return. The chill began to fade and his body warmed. He could feel that he was going to make it. He punched the air and was giddy. He would live. The work would not be wasted. He would work now. He would get it done.

He was not strong again until a few more months. The drink had done great damage to him. As he recovered his head cleared and he realized he was thinking again. These were not the easily excitable notions of the habitual drunkard, but clean, solid thoughts that held up well the next day. He recognized he must have wasted years, how many he didn’t know. The drink had dazzled him and softened his mind. He had exercised his body, thinking with exercise he could abuse himself in any way, but he was wrong. He had broken finally. It could have been death but it wasn’t. And a period of his life died when his health returned.

Maybe he will take to the drink again, in moderation if he does. But there is work to be completed before he again goes back to those dazzled times. He cannot drift now, as this time requires discipline and only the headiest, sternest discipline at that.

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