In the dusky light of a long-forgotten chapel, where the air hung heavy with the scent of incense and old wood, a man named Thomas knelt before a neglected altar. His hands were clasped tightly together, fingers entwined with the desperation of a soul on the brink. The stained glass windows cast colorful shadows over him, painting his worn face in hues of sorrow and longing.

“Higher Power,” Thomas began, his voice a hoarse whisper that echoed slightly in the vast emptiness of the chapel. “I come to you a broken man, tethered to a bottle that is both my savior and my curse.”

For years, Thomas had wrestled with the demon of alcohol, finding in its numbing embrace a temporary reprieve from the relentless ache of existence. Sobriety brought him face to face with the cold, harsh realities he longed to forget, and each attempt to live without his crutch left him more desolate than the last.

“I’ve tried, Lord, oh how I’ve tried to walk the path of sobriety,” he continued, his voice breaking as the weight of his failures bore down upon him. “But cold grace is not for me. It’s a relentless winter, an endless expanse of ice that chills me to my very core.”

A tear traced a path down his cheek, catching the dim light as it fell. “If you cannot lift this burden from me, if I am to be forever haunted by this thirst that knows no quenching, then I beg you, let me remain high. Let the world blur into insignificance, let the pain and the fear and the regret wash away in the tide of intoxication.”

It was a prayer of despair, a plea for relief in any form it might take. The silence that followed his words was suffocating, the sacred space around him holding its breath.

“And yet,” Thomas’s voice softened, a flicker of something fragile stirring in the shadows of his heart, “if there is a way, a path that I have not seen, a method to mend what is broken within me without the agony of absolute abstinence, I pray you reveal it to me.”

He lowered his head, the fight draining out of him, leaving a quiet resignation. As the minutes stretched into hours, the chapel remained silent, the divine response he half-hoped, half-feared not forthcoming. When he finally rose, the first light of dawn was seeping through the windows, casting the world in a new light.

Thomas left the chapel with no miraculous cure, no divine promise of eternal sobriety or everlasting inebriation. Instead, he carried with him a quiet resolve to seek a middle ground, to find balance in a life lived not in the extremes of high or dry, but somewhere in the gentle undulations of being merely human.

Lord Byron