The following story, The Hole in the Sidewalk by Portia Nelson, is a wonderful metaphor for relapse prevention.  Think of the hole as some stressor or habit pattern (e.g., not getting enough rest) that increases the likelihood that you will slip back into anxiety or depression.  Recovery is a function of learning to make new and healthier choices that will decrease the likelihood that you will fall into the pit.

The Hole In the Sidewalk
Chapter 1: I walk down the street.  There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.  I don’t see it.  I fall in.  I feel lost and hopeless.  It isn’t my fault.  It takes forever to find my way out.
Chapter 2: 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’m in the same place again, but it isn’t my fault.  It takes a long time to get out.
Chapter 3: I walk down the same street.  There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.  I see it.  I know it is still there.  I still fall in it.  It’s a habit.  My eyes are open .  I know where I am.  It’s my fault.  I get out immediately.
Chapter 4: I walk down the same street, see a deep hole in the sidewalk, and walk around it.
Chapter 5: I walk down another street.

~ Excerpt taken from Healing from Depression by Douglas Bloch

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