My first time reading A Road Less Traveled was in the fall of 2011. Around that time I had started seeing a therapist as a result of a sudden inability to access any sense of joy and peace within my life. I emphasize the word sudden because my symptoms, which would later be diagnosed as depression and PTSD, came out of nowhere. These thoughts and feelings were very dark, lonely, heavy, and unfamiliar leaving me wondering what was wrong and what was the quickest way to fix it and get back to my normal life. You see, I thought I was happy. Aside from a few hiccups here and there, I was fine and the things that happened to me during childhood had been all but forgotten. I honestly could not recall one single time during my teens or early twenties that I thought about my childhood traumas. These problems had been buried deep inside my subconscious mind for years; but for some strange reason, they began to constantly demand my attention. It didn’t make sense!
At the time, I was thriving in my Bachelors degree program, living in my own apartment in the suburbs, and driving a luxury vehicle. On the outside I appeared to have it all together, but on the inside I was battling some serious mental and emotional health issues. How was it possible to have a fleet of designer handbags, weekly mani and pedi’s, vacations, intellect, a pretty face and still be miserable? At the time, I starting imagining getting into my car, driving away, and leaving myself behind. All of a sudden I felt unloved and worthless.
While reading The Road Less Traveled along with many other great books that will be recommended in my blog, I realized that traumatic events in our lives – especially from childhood – don’t just fade away. In one way or another, the effects of trauma will eventually have an inward or an outward manifestation in the life of the victim. The pain I had been consciously and subconsciously avoiding was now staring me in the face. It was now residing in my home, accompanying me to school, following me to the club, and disrupting my sleep. My pain had purchased an all-inclusive stay in my mind and I had a choice to make.
The idea of therapy was still new to me and I was not committed to the process. Seeking mental health was taboo in my culture, not to mention the fact that my counselor was a middle-aged white woman (who turned out to be one of the biggest blessings in my life to date). But that decision to continue therapy was partly because reading The Road Less Traveled gave me the answers to the “Whys” I had as well as the “How’s.” If you are struggling with traumatic issues from your past, I highly recommend reading The Road Less Traveled.