Growing, Changing, Healing

I was at my therapist again today and we were talking about how much work I am doing and how hard change can be, especially when everyone around you wants you to stay exactly the way you are – broken.

I came across this poem that really says it all about how much hard work goes in beginning to live your life differently. It talks about moving from the victim to a survivor, from hopelessness to confidence and from low or no self-esteem to being highly capable and knowing it.

Autobiography in Five Chapters

By Portia Nelson

Ch. 1 – 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.

Ch. 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.

Ch. 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.

My eyes are open.

I know where I am.

It is my fault.

I get out immediately.

Ch. IV – I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.

Ch. V – I walk down another street.

Yes, for the longest time I have been walking down that street and falling into holes, some seen, some unseen, only to not want to fight my way out. But now that has changed and I am embracing change and healing. By doing that I am either digging myself out of the holes I find myself in as quickly as possible or I am missing the hole all together. That isn’t to say that there will not be more streets and more holes but I am learning to see the holes before I get to them so that I can avoid them. Of course this isn’t easy when everyone around me wants to distract me from seeing the holes or they are trying to pull me back into them.

Lately I have been doing a lot of thinking on the question that my therapist keeps putting to me – Who am I really? I am coming to realize that I may need separation to figure this out. How can I find the me I am suppose to be when I can’t escape the me that everyone keeps trying to throw me back into being. I am seriously looking into going somewhere where no one knows me so that I can find out who the real me is. Confuse? Me too! I just know that this me is not who I want to be anymore and that there has to be something better than this.

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One thought on “Growing, Changing, Healing

  1. The first time I ever read this poem was on the wall at a 12-Step meeting. It does say so much about the difficulty of change in recovering from abuse. Thank you for sharing this poem.

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