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January 1963

My Name is..." Miles

Extreme fear can neither fight nor fly, But coward-like with trembling terror die." Shakespeare

THERE was a time when it seemed very hard to do anything at all without alcohol. You who have experienced the terrors of dependency on alcohol can understand this. The casual greeting of a friend can be an ordeal; how often have I crossed the street to avoid it! A short walk on a pleasant day can seem a long and hazardous journey. The feelings of guilt, fear and impending doom seem ready to overwhelm one at any moment, like a monstrous wave that threatens a small and fragile boat. "Nights are minutes and minutes are nights." A simple purchase in a drugstore seems to take hours; the clerk appears deliberately to stall, mocking you! While he's getting your change, perspiration cascades from your forehead and your hand trembles uncontrollably; you clumsily drop the coins and they roll out of reach. Will you ever get out of there?

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