The Paths of Change
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood, And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; - The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
"Where do I go from here?".. "What can I do now that I am seeing a little more clear?".. "Am I making the right choice?".. "How do I get back to what I use to be?".. The Paths of Change Sometimes, when we start to venture into recovery, we begin to wonder what we do at this point. We start to ask ourselves about what path we need to start to walk. We know enough about where we don't want to go, but, do we know enough to know where we are heading?
Like in Robert Frosts poem, he goes on to explain that the paths he has chosen has made all the difference. The choices and things that come in life have come with paths and roads we had chosen to take, as our lives have placed them in front of us. However, in mental health and recovery, we at times do not see the roadblocks and sudden left turns we come upon making. At times we travel down roads too far to turn around, the road now withered, and the other one now too far from sight. As Frost also goes on to say, "Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back." The thing is, even if the option is there to go back., maybe you shouldn't. You're different now. You have lived through experiences. You have stumbled across people, places, and things that have built you. Whether it be addiction, mental health, illnesses, grief, or loss of a relationship, you are still here. You are still standing, you are still walking, and you are on the verge of finding yourself in the middle of the woods again, looking down two different ways of life, many different weathered roads, and you have a decision at this point.
Do you continue to choose the same path? Do you stumble upon the one that looks more inviting? Do you turn around and walk backwards? In many cases as we grow and change through seasons we are faced with the challenges of determining who we want to be and where we see ourselves going. At that point, when the option is there, you want to choose wisely.
The thing is we have been conditioned to carry baggage with us as we grow and change. We have found that we need to keep closets full of skeletons and allow the demons to continue to play a role in our life. However, here's the thing, when you are standing there, looking down the highway of change and you're ready to start a new adventure, it's okay to unpack, its okay to leave the baggage sit along the highway and jump in worry free. You owe it to no one to be the same person you were yesterday. You have overcome challenges that many may not have seen, you have battled your way through the woods, and going back to someone who you use to be, sometimes isn't really possible.
So, who am I now? You're you. You are the person who is starting today, you may not be able to erase some mistakes, you may not have it as easy as you would have before you rustled up the leaves, however, with the right support and mindset you will be able to start on new adventures.
You don't have to be your addiction, your mental health, your breakdown, your bad moment, your mistakes. It will be hard for people at times to accept that, but you don't have to be any of those things. Even more so, you also don't have to hide those things either. It's okay to say "Hey, I've been there, I've been through that" because as we pass people and meet people, we will come across many who have been through or are going through, what we have experienced. We will be faced with the moment when we are looking into the struggles of someone and saying, "I got through this mess, you will to" and in that moment, you'll probably have a realization that you didn't even realize how far you have come. You have gained insight from the top of mountains and from the lowest of valleys. You have become a voice of some one standing there on the corner, directing traffic, and what might seem insignificant to you at times, might be the exact reason, someone else decides they need to make the right turn.
As I stand here, in this moment of change in my life, I realize that I am the forefront of the rest of it. Sure, I may not have accomplished some things that I have dreamed of, and I may not have walked the straight and narrow for a few years, but as time will tell, I will continue to build and find the person I am becoming. I am working toward creating a map of all the things I have covered. At no point do I plan to sit along the road. So, in ending this message I want to say, I hope you realize the impact you can make by continuing to just walk, and the ripple effect you make, when you run! You are the person that determines the path you take, never be afraid to create your own way!