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I started doing the Looking about 2 1/2 years ago. I remember a day when I felt something happen to the whole structure upon which my psychological life had been built. It seemed to vanish. I was left just lying on my bed laughing. It was like a burden had been lifted, the whole burden of one's personal story, though it can only be described looking back as there was no idea that anything had happened at all. I seem to be contradicting myself here but it's all very difficult to express. Since then I feel my life "rebuilding" itself in some way without the old ground of anxiety which had always been a sort of background noise to life.

John describes this recovery best and I can but confirm what he says here. I know that my life is free of the constant vigilance I kept against what might touch me in a deep way. I feel grateful for my life including the past I had which in many ways was very rich though I am free of any nostalgia for the past. I would say that life is richer but then it always has been rich. There was never nor is there now any moment that was not full and satisfying. Once that fear was gone life began to expand and become more inclusive. I was heavily into self-help feeling that I was "wrong" somehow, needing to fix myself. It all became very tiresome and this self-involvement led me down some rather destructive roads. I can safely say the quest for a better me is over. I do not seek to idealize myself or others and this makes it easier to get along with people. And there are the ways life has changed which are really beyond words.

I have also left alcohol and sleeping pills behind for good. I remember doctors saying I would never kick the pill habit. All I can say is that the need just fell away. It's been 2 years since I last had a drink and no desire to start again has returned. I would also wholeheartedly agree with John that life is still to be lived, that it goes on but is now to be lived fully and without the reserve or doubt that plagued me for so long. I look forward to life instead of feeling I had to protect myself from it or avoid it. I still practice the Directed Attention Exercise which I found very helpful in the early stages of this process. I would strongly encourage people to give this very simple act a try. Even if you feel you didn't or can't succeed you will see results. I know this from experience.

Thank you John and Carla for all you have done to bring this simple act to our attention.

Dear Antony,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this amazing post! Your words bring joy to our hearts and reassure us once again of the power of Just One Look. I am certain that it will give encouragement to many who are struggling with the recovery.

Thank you!



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