Poor Choices and Addictions

Poor Choices and Addictions

Poem about poor choices and addictionsSomeone I love shared this poem with me once. She was recovering from a drug addiction at the time and she felt that these words described her journey. I wanted to share this with you today for a couple of different reasons. First, it is no secret that families across the globe are affected by an endless list of addictions: drug adductions, food addictions, alcoholism, and more. Also, even outside of addictions, we all have family members who consistently make poor choices that keep them down in life. These situations can make it so very hard to find the peace we all desire. If someone you love is struggling with this, or even if you are struggling in this area, I think this poem will speak to you. I have seen this story played out in the lives of countless people.

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

By Portia Nelson

Chapter I

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
Poem about poor choices and addictionsI fall in.
I am lost … I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes me forever to find a way out.

Chapter 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.

Chapter III

I walk down the same street.
Poem about poor choices and addictionsThere 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.

Chapter IV

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter V

I walk down another street.


Poem about poor choices and addictionsI do not usually use this blog to give advice about serious life choices, however I do think this topic is relevant to what I do here. I started this blog to celebrate family. Unfortunately, for many, celebrating is difficult in the face of the issues that are affecting their families. The person who shared this poem with me has reverted back to Chapter II.  My heart is broken for her. The family is hurting.

If you are stuck in this story, please get help. Some sites that may interest you are:

Celebrate Recovery

Partnership for A Drug-Free America

Alcoholics Anonymous

Gambler’s Anonymous

Have addictions and poor decision making affected your family? Feel free to leave a comment.  Share and let’s talk about it.

About Janice

I am so glad you stopped by. Kick your shoes off and hang with me a while. I am an Arizona native, wife to a hard-working hubby, mom of two, and daughter of the King. I love sharing recipes, crafts, and family activities that any mom can do. Life is complicated enough, right? When I am not up to my ears in laundry, dishes, and creating for Celebrating Family, you will also find me at East Valley Mom Guide. Come follow me on Google +, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.


  1. Very helpful post. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks for posting. I will be sharing this with a few loved ones. Addictions can be very complicated, but I like the simple light on this.

  3. Christine Suders says

    Wow, that was so informative and powerful! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Elisabeth says

    That poem is a good illustration. 🙂

  5. Excellent post. We actually talked about this poem in clinicals this semester.

    Thank you for sharing this.

  6. Mom4Real says

    Very powerful! Thank you for sharing! Visiting and following via Monday Hop! Check out my blog and follow back if you like! http://mom4realky.blogspot.com

    Jessica K

  7. Auntie Pam says

    I miss her to Janice. I have enjoyed living my life in chapter V for 7 1/2 years. I pray hard for those who convert back to lower chapters, and I know their pain and confusion on a personal level. I wish it were as simple as praying to God to fix them and their problems, but God only answers the prayers to people who really want them answered. I feel like there is a hole is in my heart and soul that craves for her sweet voice to laugh once again at my BBQ's on a hot summers night, or to call me and tell me she loves me for no reason. Those days have not happened for quite some time. But I believe in my prayers and hopefully God will answer them soon for her sake.

  8. UntrainedHairMom says

    Simple…yet powerful. I have known people to struggle with this and move on…and also known those who are still struggling. Thanks for sharing the poem.

  9. Ashley Rae says

    Wow, I got chills when I read the poem. I hope this person can get out and stay out this time.

  10. Nice post, you have a great way with words.
    Visiting from C4C

  11. This is a great post and perfect for a friend of mine who is dealing with a drug addiction. I'm sending this her way now.

  12. Thrifty Ninja says

    What a powerful poem. I wish that more people were able to get away from it all, but I've seen far too many stuck on Chapter II.

  13. Great poem! Thank you for sharing it! I wish there was a way we could help people with their addictions.

  14. Thank you for sharing this, I have a few friends that I will be sending this to.

  15. Lovely powerful poem,

    It's always easy to see the dramatic 'holes' our 'friends' are falling into – and it would be so tempting for me to send this poem to them.

    Yet I have a feeling this poem is far more powerful for each of us to apply simply to our own lives. My friends will benefit the most from me discovering our own 'holes', regardless of how small and insignificant they may seem.

    Sharing this poem with others in the spirit of owning our own addictions (one of my favourite addictions is trying to rescue others), may make it far easier for our friends to receive it whole-heartedly.

    I look forward to discovering a few more holes I've been falling down today (subtly disapproving my kids would be one, blaming my loved one for my hurts another etc), and hopefully learn how to acccept full responsibility for these and eventually arrive at chapter 5.

    Thanks again for the poem. I promise to put it to good use. Luma.

  16. Thanks so much for all the comments everyone. 🙂

    Luma…I agree. The reason this poem struck me as powerful was because it was given to me by a recovering addict. I tried to rescue her so many times…but with addictions, that doesn't work. She had to decide for herself. Let's hope she decides again.

  17. I was in a relationship where the guy was addicted to drugs and alcohol, i tried for years to get him to quit, but in vain. He is still on drugs today. I had to leave bc of all the emotional abuse and neglect.
    I can empathize with women who have suffered with this, and your poem is relate-able.
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  1. […] of control. She just seemed too majestic and graceful to go down that road. But drug addiction does not discriminate and it will take over your life if you choose to let it in.  As I write […]

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