Curiouser, and curiouser ~ down the rabbit hole … and back

I recently found myself in a situation where I started to draw parellels between my life and Alice in Wonderland. It was only after a quite bizzare dream where I was required to play Alice and travel up and down the outside of a 52 storey elevator, that I started to make the connection.

Alice in Wonderland starts one summer day with Alice sitting on the riverbank with her older sister. Alice’s sister was reading a book and Alice noticed that the book didn’t have any pictures, which made Alice lose interest in it. Then as she looked out into the meadow, she saw something very peculiar. She saw a large white rabbit running past her looking at his watch saying “Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late.” Then he disappeared down a rabbit hole.

Being the curious girl she was, Alice followed the rabbit down that hole and found herself in a land of many wonders. It was a wonderland. She met some interesting creatures and found that many in this land didn’t have the best of tempers and didn’t want to try to help Alice figure out where to go and what to do. Alice also found herself changing sizes after eating or drinking things she found. One minute she was a few inches tall and the next she was nine feet tall.

In this strange land Alice expected the unexpected. She used her knowledge to help other people, and as much as she thought it interesting being with these strange creatures and trying to get along with them, she wondered when she would return home to her normal life or if she would at all.

Like Alice, my story starts when I meet the White Rabbit. But in my case the White Rabbit was an acquaintance that I had been strangely drawn to for some time. A smart, witty and kind of out there person, White Rabbit intrigued me and I followed willingly down that rabbit hole.

At first it was fun and unpredictable. White Rabbit was a little left of centre, perhaps even a little dangerous. White Rabbit drew me deeper and deeper into it’s world, and a sense of un-ease began to wash over me, but like Alice I didn’t want to listen to my internal warning system … I wanted to explore further.

Before long I realised that White Rabbit was trapped in a spiral of alcohol addiction. How can this be? White Rabbit is so witty and charming.  But I soon discovered witty and charming don’t quite cut it when White Rabbit started to slur it’s words, or start ranting and raving.

My first reaction was one of empathy and compassion, surely I can help White Rabbit through this tough time, after all White Rabbit is witty, and charming, and intelligent.

I made every rookie mistake in the book. Nothing I said or did could coax White Rabbit back on the straight and narrow. Of course there would be pockets of one or two days when it looked like White Rabbit was cleaning up its act, but then the Mad Hatter turned up with a slab of beer and a bag of hooch, and the White Rabbit and the Mad Hatter had their version of a wild tea party.

The White Rabbit called me that night, and it nearly broke my heart. The following day White Rabbit tried to commit suicide, but called me so I could talk it out of this. Unfortunately, over the coming three weeks, the White Rabbit repeated this behaviour six times that I was aware of.

I was a mess. The White Rabbit had invaded my life. I was taking calls all hours of the days and night, each call lasting hours. I was exhausted.

It wasn’t long before my friends noticed something was wrong, and I knew I was out of my depth. Like Alice, I began to wonder when I would return to my normal life or if I would at all. There was nothing I could do for the White Rabbit, all my best-laid intentions encouraged the White Rabbit in all the wrong ways, so I slowly started to extract myself.

Setting firm boundaries was my first task, and while sticking to them was hard, they enabled me to start climbing out of  ‘Wonderland’. With each passing day, standing in the fullness of my own truth and integrity, I found myself climbing higher, and higher. And the higher I got, the clearer my head became.

I’m hoping that my experience can teach others who find themselves in a similar situation to what I found myself in, that it is ok to walk away. We are not responsible for the choices or illnesses of another, especially someone we don’t know very well.

I was losing myself. It was affecting my job, my relationships with my friends, and my health. If I’d kept going, in the end I would have lost myself completely. It’s hard to see a friend or a loved one in pain, but I learnt that we can’t rescue everyone. It’s just not our role. Sometimes we just need to walk away and let them figure it out for themselves.

I take my hat off to our mental health professionals who are trained in working with people battling drug and alcohol addiction, and I now know when to stand back and let them do their job.

As for the White Rabbit? Well it’s all up to him now.

About Michelle

A Soul Coach and healer, Michelle is a sought-after speaker and consultant.

She is passionate about her Soul Coaching® practice where she helps burnt-out executives who have lost themselves to rediscover their passion for their lives.

Michelle serves as a mentor for Denise Linn's current on-line professional training courses, "Gateway Dreaming," and "Soul Coaching® Oracle Card Certification" program with Hay House.

Michelle was a contributing author in the award-winning spiritual anthology, Soul Whispers II (Soul Wings Press, Sydney), which was published in October 2010.

With a rich and varied background in the healing arts, marketing, public speaking and writing, Michelle is also a Chakradance™ practitioner (a dynamic, moving meditation to balance and harmonise the chakras.

Michelle runs a successful private practice using these tools to help people "rediscover the sacredness of their lives."


  1. Laurie Larson says:

    You are one smart cookie, Michelle!

  2. Thank you for sharing this story. It is so important to understand and practice compassion without enabling another, and at the ‘expense’ of our own power. Your awareness and recognition of your role in your own journey (while letting White Rabbit travel his) is beautiful…

  3. There are fine lines and it is great to recognize them before it is too late, I hope White Rabbit will recognize it’s and begin to heal. Sometimes we lead by example without even knowing it and you have demonstrated some valuable life skills such as defining boundaries! Welcome home Alice, your life is a wonderland!

  4. I was initially looking for an image of Alice going down the rabbit hole, when I paused to read your story. I continued reading as it was a story that touched those chords that resonated with some of the events you spoke about. In short, I was my White Rabbit, and sometimes I was my Alice as well.

    Thank you for sharing this! It is a wonderfully written inspiring story.

  5. Thanks Laurie. It’s been a long journey and a big lesson in boundaries.

  6. Thanks Debbie, its such a taboo subject that quite often is swept under the carpet. I wanted to share my experience in hope that it helps someone else in a similar situation.

  7. Kelly, White Rabbit is on the mend, but still has a long way to go. I’m still sticking firm to my boundaries. We’ll see what happens.

  8. Sevae, thank you for your comments on this post. I’m glad it touched a chord with you. Sending you love & light.

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