The Road Not Taken
By Marc M.
Alcohol Rehab:

Life is filled with choices. Some choices we make ourselves, while others are selected by certain people for our benefit. The person one becomes all centers around the choices he or she makes while on the road to life. This road may appear to be straight and never waving, but there are many paths and side-roads along the way, which take us to different destinations. Sometimes, we are guided or forced onto a path that we think is not in our best interests, and we complain or worry about where our lives are going. As a young man easing my way into the “real world,” I have had many choices made for me by my parents. But what happens when one my parents cannot make the right choices for herself? Five years ago, my mother decided to take her drinking to the extreme, and become an alcoholic. When she made this switch, she chose a path in life which she could never go back and try again. My mother made a decision five years ago which not only chose the direction she was headed, but also the direction our family was headed. Strange as it may sound, however, if I could reverse the hands of time, I would go down that same path one more time.

Usually when a choice is presented to a person, there are pros and cons of each; something which makes it hard for one to decide which way to go.

Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim Because it was grassy and wanted wear, Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same.

In this section of Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken,” he describes choices in life, in which both options look appealing. But at such a young age, such as 18-years old, how do I (or anyone else) know what is in my best interests ten years from now? Who is to tell me I should not get married before I start college? I do not want to get married for a long time, but the point I am making is that nobody can predict the future, telling us what is good for us. The path which looked so green and luscious to Robert Frost may actually be the token which says, “Go to jail, go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars.” Things are not always as great as they appear at the entrance.

The sign at the entrance of the road to alcoholism is not that impressive, however. It is this yellow, crooked board with an arrow at the bottom of it. The sign, which says “addiction free,” has blinking lights and smiley faces all over it. For some strange reason, my mother chose the path with the sign reading “addiction this way.” We could have left her at the entrance and bid her farewell, but I wanted my mother back someday. Therefore, we all stuck out our hands and let her drag us onto the road. Had we just left my mother on her own without alcohol rehab, there is little doubt in my mind my mom would not have made it. So, we all tagged along with her down the dark and dusty path. For three years, my mother gave up drinking off and on. For three years, my family had to put up with living with an addict. She went through alcohol rehab three times, the third one taking around 9 months before she came home again. Three years on this path and I was beat. Every day, from my eighth grade year in middle school, until my sophomore year in high school, I thought, “Why did she pick this path?”

It is now my senior year in high school. I am almost as proud as my mom to say she has been alcohol free for two whole years. In a couple of weeks, I will get to have my mom with me to celebrate and cry at my graduation. Next year, she will get the opportunity to see my sister receive a journalism degree from college. My parents have been married for nearly 24-years, and if they can get through a three-year slump, I think they are pretty well set for life. When my mom made the choice she was done drinking and really stuck to her alcohol rehab plan, her road to recovery was pretty amazing. This time the road she chose was not so dark and dusty at all, but rather a path filled with new life. During the low points of her alcohol addiction, my sister and I became as close as we have ever been. My father and I lived alone with each other for a good portion of those three-years, and our relationship gained even more strength than it had before. Words cannot express how much better our family is in general. My mother is now a more confident person. I look up to her as one of, if not the strongest person I have ever met.

God works in mysterious ways. Just when one thinks the road they have chosen is the wrong one, there always seems to be that light shining at the end of the tunnel. That light, for me, happened to mean getting my mom back, and having a tighter family than I did in the beginning. The beautiful thing about life is a person cannot go back and take “The Road Not Taken.” But even if I could, I would probably stick my hand out one more time and say, “Lead the way, Mom.”

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