When you come right down to it -- there isn't one of us -- who, when looking
back over our lives from middle age, doesn't have some serious
So you're 50, sick, sad and angry -- welcome to a club which includes
a significant percentage of humanity. While the particular
circumstances, reasons, regrets, etc. may differ -- the results are the
Middle age is a natural time to look back and 'take stock'. The
problem arises when we choose to stay
in the 'stockroom of the past'
and break out the whips and chains for a never-ending
When the storekeeper takes stock, finding out which products he is out
of or running low on is not the end of the process. Taking
inventory only makes sense if the data collected is used as a planning
tool and guideline for future orders and marketing activities.
The same is true for personal inventories. Coming to a point of
clarity which allows you to face and name your mistakes, shortcomings,
and demons -- takes a very hard-won effort. But that effort is
wasted unless it fosters a desire to change -- and a commitment to do
I cannot give you a tidy little checklist to handle your problems -- no
one can. Since we are talking about the rest of your life here --
no 'To Do' list is not going to cut it. Life is a journey --
journeys require a map. Here is the beginning of a map for
you. While it will not get you to journeys end -- I hope it will
get you to the next fork in the road.
Here it is:
Everyone has selfish moments (some of us have selfish decades).
Substance abusers are more selfish (and more self-focused) than most
- The more self focused someone is the more sad , angry, depressed,
sick, helpless -- and negative -- they tend to be... and remain.
The most effective way to deal with most of our problems is to stop
focusing on, and worrying about, them. This seems
counterintuitive -- but it's the truth. The easiest way to break
a bad habit not to keep concentrating on 'not doing it' -- but rather
replacing it with another (hopefully more positive) habit.
in those cases where a personal problem demands our direct attention
and effort -- focusing on something outside ourselves will allow us to
return to the problem with more peace, more energy and more focus.
Negativity cannot be eliminated it can only be replaced by a positive
outlook. A positive outlook does not come in a box or a
kit. It must be germinated, nurtured and developed.
The shortest path to a positive outlook is an attitude of gratitude.
The surest way to become thankful for who you are, and for what you
have is to spend time assisting those who have less than you do.
You have a choice to make:
Stay in the 'stockroom of the past' with your sadness, anger, depression, fear and self-condemnation...
-- or --
Come back into the 'front of the store' -- in other words start living
in the present in taking responsibility for your life. Live every
day with a commitment to be the very best version of you that you can
muster that day. Look for opportunities to help others. Be
grateful for little things.
Someone much wiser than I am once said:
Yesterday is History
Tomorrow is Mystery
Today is a Gift
That's why they call it --
As to specific strategies for dealing with your drug problem and
medical problems -- while these are by no means easy things to deal
with -- I am certain that, if you take the above advice to heart, you
will find that you have more than enough competent advice and resources
around you to get to where you want to be.
Let me know if you need more input. If not, thanks for the
opportunity to assist you... I would really appreciate your honoring my
efforts by 'pushing the button' and Accepting this answer.