Today was hard.

When I say that, it almost seems like a selfish sentiment because I know other people have it harder than me. Other people struggle more; other people are suffering. Hell, our whole world is still in a pandemic.

But when you are going through something, when you are in it, it feels like our huge planet, the vastness of our universe, boils down to a point. And that point is you and your pain.

Kahlil Gibran once wrote that pain is self-chosen. As much as I love him, at times I feel like an unenlightened imbecile because my pain doesn't always feel self-chosen. Sometimes it feels like I am a whipping post. Just when I think the punishment has ended, it begins again.

I think that comes with loving someone who is ill with addiction. You'll sacrifice yourself over and over again, trying to stand in the way of their pain. It's self-inflicted and you try desperately to insert yourself between them and their suffering.

At some point, you have to choose to walk away. That's when the pain is really becomes self-chosen.

I did everything I could today. I have traveled a path with my brother for a long time, by his side for what I thought would be the long haul. Today, I chose a different path. I had to.

I hope we meet again somewhere down the road.

NaPoWriMo 2021 Day Two Prompt: In the world of well-known poems, maybe there’s no gem quite so hoary as Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.” Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem about your own road not taken – about a choice of yours that has “made all the difference,” and what might have happened had you made a different choice.

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