I am a terrible navigator.
Since getting sober, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been lost. Whenever I find myself rehashing my own mistakes, re-examining all the wrong turns, I pick up one of my 12-Step coins. I let it warm my hands. My time — encapsulated in a little, metal circle. A reminder that things are only as far away from us as we allow them to be. I find myself asking — again: Why did I choose this direction? How has all this time gotten away from me?
I’ve stayed on the wrong road before — even when I knew I’d end up lost. Is it fear I’ll never find the right road that keeps me trudging, ever onward? Fear that I’ll become even more lost than I already am? Why don’t I just turn back and ask for directions at the gas station 15 miles behind me? I don’t know — and it’s my guess that I’m not meant to.
So, I consider it — staying on this road that will eventually spit me out somewhere unplanned.
New warning signs come from behind me, swept up in an autumn breeze that pulls the leaves off the tree of my sobriety. I’m having trouble deciphering my marching orders from the things I’m supposed to ignore. Can something be right and wrong simultaneously? Probably. But, as usual, everything I wish were clear — isn’t. The longer I stay here, walking endlessly forward, the closer the answer becomes: The truth — That’s the road I want. Even if is does go on forever, without mercy.
Yes. Sweet, sweet honesty. The bring-er of all things unpleasant. A truth that will require my admitting that, yes, I turned down this — the wrong road — willingly. All these crooked turns live somewhere in my heart. My own decisions are at the eye of the storm. I want to hide it, my creased map of poor choices. But, a lesson I’ve learned for certain: Bottling up this kind of truth — is dangerous. Risky-fucking-business. Once sealed, the pressure mounts. The truth will attempt an escape before I’m ready. But, ready or not, here it comes.
So, I pay a visit to a person I trust. I unleash the beast. Because, sometimes, you have to let the truth out, first, to the wrong party. You have to say the words. You have to let the truth wet your lips before you seek out its intended recipient. When you’ve got a bottle of truth, you’ve got two options — drink it or spill it.
I decide to spill. I pour it out like a bottle of cheap, red wine. I let it stain the carpet.
The truth is, sometimes, I take the wrong road on purpose. Because, sometimes, that’s the only way you’ll find it —
The road that leads you home.