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It’s OK to feel “young at heart” as long as your emotional tool bag
doesn’t feel too empty or too disorganised at the same time
(I wrote this story after hearing a different version about a ‘street’, from a member of AA - I know now that it in turn was based on a short poem by Portia Nelson)
On my pathway there are many deep and slippery holes. As I walk down my path each day, I keep falling into them. Some days it seems as though I spend more of my time falling into holes and trying to get out of holes than I do moving along the path.
MY RELATIONSHIP WITH MY PARTNER
My partner and I both keep falling into holes along the path. My partner helps me get back out of the holes. Sometimes he/she hurts me while they are getting me out, but it’s better than being stuck in the hole forever. Some days we push each other into the holes, just so we can help each other out again. We use up so much time and energy this way there’s not much left for moving along the path.
My partner isn’t always here when I need him or her. I feel frightened when I think of having to walk the path alone. I might get stuck in one of the big holes and never get out.
We both need each other to help one another to get out again. I’ve been told that’s what people do when they love each other so I keep on doing it. Some days I do things for my partner that I don’t really want to. That helps keep her/him from leaving me. Sometimes I wonder if my partner pushes me into the holes so that I’ll need to keep him/her around me to rescue me. Also I have to reward my partner for helping me get out and I don’t think that’s fair.
If there is an easy way to get out of those holes by myself I wish I could learn about it. Then I wouldn’t feel so helpless when my partner isn’t here and so angry when my partner wants to be rewarded for helping me out.
RECOVERY - STARTING OFF - IT’S OK TO HAVE SOME SLIPS
Today I try walking down my path alone. I know now where the holes are and I’m being more careful. But the sides of one hole are very slippery. In I fall again. I struggle and struggle to get out but I’m stuck. I call my partner who helps me out.
RECOVERY STAGE TWO - MAKING CHANGES
As I walk down the path today I realise I am feeling stronger. I’m getting to know more about the holes and how slippery they are. I am learning to take care of myself. I feel so confident I lose concentration for a moment. Down into a hole I slip. Instead of my partner, I call my therapist. Instead of helping me out, my therapist shows me how to get out by myself.
RECOVERY STAGE THREE - LEARNING I CAN DO IT BY MYSELF
Walking down the path, I notice the more I learn about those holes, the smaller they seem to become. There’s one big one left and just when I am congratulating myself on getting past it, I fall in. But I know how to get out by myself and I notice that the more I do it the easier it is. I realise that the holes have less and less power over me and my life.
RECOVERY STAGE FOUR - FREEDOM
Today is the first time I walk right down the path without falling into any of the holes. I did it by myself and I know I can do it again.
RECOVERY FIFTH STAGE - GROWTH AND NEW BEGINNINGS
I decide to build a new path for myself. It won’t have any holes in it!
For more information on addictions & addictive Cycles - Go to http://www.voice-dialogue-inner-self-awareness.com/addictions16.html
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