LHI Blog

The Journey of a Lifetime

Major changes in our lives are often long voyages, not long weekends, a gradual and evolutionary process that takes time, support, and patience. In addictions, the change to a sober lifestyle may take months or years and often times becomes the work of a lifetime. It is rarely, if ever, a sudden epiphany or the result of one life-changing event. But the reality is that family members, therapists, friends and supporters who provide patience and support are often rewarded with the ultimate victory of sobriety. 

Portia Nelson captures the essence of this journey in a poem entitled “There’s A Hole In My Sidewalk: Autobiography In Five Short Chapters.” I put this one on the wall and now read it every time I get impatient with slow and often draining process of people changing their lives and behaviors, even when not changing threatens everything they know and love.

Chapter I

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost … I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter II

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
But, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter III

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in … it’s a habit … but,
my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter IV

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter V

I walk down another street.


 

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