Is that road well-worn or less traveled?
What if Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” were about mental illness? I know it’s not, but hang in there with me…
- The well-worn path = the general public
- The less traveled path = those who struggle and those who
It seems as though unless you’ve personally struggled with mental health battles…and realize it affects everyone differently…then you are the only ones who “get it.” The less traveled road is where true understanding lies. Where the empaths are. The path of those who undoubtedly get it.
Everyone has mental health concerns from time to time, but when it’s ongoing, affecting how you function in life…it’s then categorized as an illness.
18.5% of adults experience mental illness within a given year…mild to severe. However, 4% is so severe that it makes functioning day-to-day exceptionally arduous.
Those on the well-worn path seem to go about their days in their own bubble, providing ignorant advice, quoting clichés that come across as meaningless to those in this dire position. Such as…
- You just need to think positive.
- Be grateful for what you have.
- You just need to rely on God.
- Others have it worse than you.
- Happiness is a choice.
- Snap out of it/Get over it.
- And on and on and on and on and on…
These comments aren’t helpful (More on that at another time).
Then, we have the overlooked title of the poem… “The Road Not Taken.”
My goal is twofold:
- Redirect those on the well-worn path to the road they didn’t take initially.
- Bring awareness to what mental illness truly means and how people can help eliminate the stigma that clouds it.
To those struggling…you are not alone in this. I’ve got your back.
See my About Page.
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
Copyright © 2017 Alicia T-Rust. All rights reserved.
Also published on Medium.