Saturday, August 11, 2007

There's A Hole In My Sidewalk

Here is a poem that I found when I first started my recovery through Al-Anon and Adult Children of Alcoholics classes. It is called "There's a hole in my sidewalk". The poem was written by Portia Nelson. Someone sent it to me again recently in an email. I thought it was appropriate to share here because it so accurately describes the beginning of my recovery process. It is a simple poem that says so much about a victim's choices and the beginning of recovery.

There's a hole in my sidewalk by Portia Nelson

Chapter One
I walk down the street
There's a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in
I'm lost. . . I'm helpless
It isn't my fault
It takes me forever to find a way out

Chapter 2
I walk down the same street
There's a deep hole in the sidewalk
I pretend I don't see it
I fall in again
I can't believe I'm in the same place
But it isn't my fault
It still takes a long time to get out

Chapter 3
I walk down the same street
There's a deep hole in the sidewalk
I see it there
I still fall in. . . it's a habit
My eyes are open
I know where I am
It is my fault
I get out immediately

Chapter 4
I walk down the same street
There's a deep hole in the sidewalk
I walk around it

Chapter 5
I walk down another street

Being a victim, I had no idea that I had choices. As a survivor, I started making choices. Discovering that I had choices gave me control of my life. I could walk down another street. This awareness of choices is the beginning of recovery. Without awareness there can be no change.


Anonymous said...

excellent poem! thank you for sharing! pastor johnson love,faith and praise ministry!

Patricia Singleton said...

Anonymous, you are welcome. It is a favorite of mine.

Shen said...

What an awesome poem! Thank you for sharing it, and for submitting it to the carnival.

Patricia Singleton said...

Shen, someone had framed it and put it on the wall of the meeting room of my first 12-Step meeting. I read it and recognized the wisdom in it. It puts responsibility for our healing right on our shoulders where it belongs.

Water Tiger said...

I have long enjoyed this poem. I first came across it after leaving my alcoholic boyfriend and father of my children (ages 2 & 6mos at the time) and heading down a NEW Street... It still brings tears to my eyes when I read it. Those days are long gone now (My children are 21 & 19 now).
It's wisdom has never failed me! I too framed and posted this poem where I could see it... My currently framed mantra is the Four Agreements! Blessings to you!
Love & Light

Patricia Singleton said...

Water Tiger, thanks for sharing a small part of your healing journey here. Yes, that poem means a lot to me as well. I love the Four Agreements as well. Thanks for reminding me of them. Hope you are having a glorious Friday.

Anonymous said...

I've herd this poem about two years ago when I was listening to Wayne Dyer, who is a close friend of Portia. God knows how many times I have fallen in to this hole. And every time it's getting harder and harder to get out of this hole. So now I walk the new street and life is beautiful again. We do have a choice. Dear loved one--don't give up-just choose a new street. Thank you for making me remember this wonderful poem. God bless you all--you are not alone. Love!

Patricia Singleton said...

Anonymous, Thank you for the blessings and your comment. I, too, have been walking down new streets for awhile now.