There is a story that really helped me throughout my life. It helped me see the Insanity I had created. I ran across it paraphrased a bit differently on a woman’s AA post recently. I loved having this reminder. Albert Einstein sums up the story perfectly:
“Insanity: is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.”
The story is told in 7 simple chapters. Do you recognize this story in your life Past or Present?
I walk down the street. The street is amazing! I love the street. I dance and laugh in the street. Where has this street been my whole life? There is a small hole in the sidewalk, I fall in the hole…but I don’t care. It isn’t my fault. Walking down the street was worth it. I get out of the hole (with help from my family). I can’t wait to walk down the street again.
I walk down the street. Obsessive. The street is still a lot of fun. The hole in the sidewalk has gotten deeper. I fall in again. This time it’s harder to get out… But I still don’t care, after all, it isn’t my fault. I still love the street. Harder getting out this time.
I walk down the same street. It doesn’t feel the same. I’m not getting the same effect, It’s not as fun. I fall in the even deeper hole in the sidewalk. It’s not my fault. Someone should fix the hole. It’s getting way harder to get out.
I obsess about the street when I’m not walking down it. I’m in denial about the hole, it wasn’t that hard, maybe it wasn’t even a hole. So I walk down the street again. The street is empty, cold and dark. The hole is an endless black pit. I’m filled with despair. I can’t seem to get out of the hole this time. It is my fault. I cry out for help. The loving hand of God gently pulls me from the hole.
I obsess about the street day and night. I attend Hole’s Anonymous. I want to walk down the street because this time I think it will be different, maybe the hole won’t be there. I’ll be careful not to fall in. It’s hopeless, it’s all my fault. I’m worthless. My hole-aholic friends guide me toward another street.
I work the 12 steps of Hole’s Anonymous. My Higher Power removes my obsession to walk down the wrong street. My new street is paved with gold.I am happy, joyous, and free. I no longer want to walk down the old street.
I help other hole-aholics. I guide them toward another street.
While I was in “the hole” I blamed others, justified, rationalized and defended my right to walk down the same street. While in the hole I was full of self-pity, terror, bewilderment, frustration and despair. I walked down that cold dark street of hell hoping every time it would be like the street of the old days, but it wasn’t. Those days were gone but I couldn’t seem to accept that. Over and over and over and over … I sought my old street. I mourned it’s loss. I walked down the same street and fell in the same hole for 20 years until my Higher Power and my friends intervened. ~Anon
I went down this street with many different addictions. Spending, debt, food, screens, anger, blaming others, possessions, work, success…. on and on. I am so grateful I found a different street.
Are you an addict of some kind? I think we all have addictions, it is part of being human. Contact me and I’ll send you a simple test by email. Recognizing the problem is the first step out of the hole.