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I first heard this story in a group for Adult Children of Alcoholics, nearly 25 years ago, and was delighted to find it again tonight.  If you aren’t familiar with it, I hope you enjoy it!  If you are, I hope you enjoy reading it again.

 

An Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

A poem by Portia Nelson that appears in Claudia Black’s book. Repeat After Me

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.

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.

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.

IV

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.

V

I walk down another street.