The Road Less Travelled
I have talked about some of this in others threads, but I guess my thoughts have coalesced into this. The title The Road Less Travelled is actually an amazing book by a wonderful and generous US psychiatrist who has now passed. I have read it many times. It is both about psychiatry and individual cases, and also spirituality. The concept is basically that The Road Less Travlled is a road by which most humans will never travel, a road where people unashamedly look deep into their characters over a lifelong journey, explore what their values are and how they interface with the world (that's me paraphrasing) and act responsibly and proactively in their life.
I know that there are some people who choose a path like this just because it is their nature and they may not have any mental health pathologies or addictions. But I know that for me, and for many others, I have been "forced" to face my demons by the life destroying nature of my illness. I can claim to have stepped up to the plate, but maybe if I never had these illnesses, I never would have looked at myself and my values and behaviours at the depth that I have over a long period of time.
Some people say they are glad they have mental illness because of the insight it brings etc. I can claim to have peace about my alcoholism because now it is in fact an asset because of the wonderfull AA program. But in truth, in all honesty, would I have chosen to come from the horrific childhood I had, live in my own fully blown addiciton for 18 years, have life threatening mental illness and be seriously mis-prescribed for 6-7 years - with all the terrible and profound losses that hand of cards has brought me? No, I would have preferred to have a rich, physically and emotionally safe, loving childhood which produced a more robust person.
But as much as I would prefer it, I can't change the hand of cards I have been dealt. All I can do is embrace all the recovery tools I can, have a generous outlook on the world, and not continue to turn in on myself because of the hurt that life has brought me. To do that is to further harm myself - and to limit my vale in the world. I continue to learn about boundaries and in having healthy boundaries, I find there is more of me to go around.