Road Work

One of the main streets leading into my neighborhood is undergoing repair.

For the last two or three years, potholes have multiplied in this roadway, opening up after every heavy rain. Every now and then, the road crews would come through and fill the potholes with new asphalt, but with the very next rain those same potholes would open back up and new ones would appear.

Finally, they are doing the job right. They have stripped the entire road down to its base, removing all the old asphalt right down to the roadbed. It’s inconvenient, it’s messy, it’s a big job. But when they have finished laying the new surface, it will be solid, cohesive and smooth. Those old potholes will no longer reappear with every rain.

While I must temporarily adjust my driving habits to avoid this construction area, I am looking forward to the smooth ride to come.

The roadway of my life used to be filled with potholes, even sinkholes, that I was constantly bumping through and falling into: drama addiction, victimhood, fear, worry, not-enoughness. I used to try to fill the potholes any way I could: by overeating, by drinking, by venting and moaning, by telling and retelling my poor-me stories to anyone who would listen. Trouble is, no matter how hard I tried to fill those potholes, they just kept popping back up.

A crisis came along. My son died of an overdose. It was a wake-up call. It was the mother of all potholes and there was no way I could just fill it up and move on. The experience of loss forced me to strip back down to the roadbed, to the very core of me and concentrate on rebuilding the road of my life in a way that would be solid, cohesive and smooth.

I had great tools to work with – tools that helped me to strip away the unstable, unhappy aspects of my life and prepare a solid base on which to build a new, fulfilled, authentic life.

It’s big job and it’s messy. It’s a work in progress. But it is so very worth it.

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