It’s Never Too Late to Renegotiate Your Life

by Bill Brenner on September 13, 2013

When you have legal problems, mountains of debt, bad relationships and a job that makes you unhappy, it’s easy to feel like there’s a point of no return, that this is how your life turned out and that’s that. I’m here to tell you that’s bullshit.

Mood music:

I can say that, because I’ve lived it.

I’m thinking about this after talking to a friend who allowed an addiction to get out of hand to the point where he’s now facing jail time. One of the points he keeps making is that if he goes to jail, his career is over. He won’t be able to provide for his family, and all will be lost.

I’ve felt like all was lost many times. I felt that way as a kid as the Crohn’s Disease shredded my insides and I simply assumed I wouldn’t live to see 30. I felt that way when my weight shot to 280 and I failed at one attempt after another to turn it around. I felt that way when relationships with friends and relatives snapped over the years. And I sure as hell felt that way when I was in a job I absolutely hated.

Yet here I am, with a job I love even after coming clean about old and frequently reappearing demons. I’m married with two kids and pushing 42 even though age 30 seemed unlikely in my teenage mind. My addictions can still be a knife in my side, but I’m having more success in controlling them than I ever have before.

That kind of blows the notion that there’s a point of no return to smithereens, in my humble opinion.

I’m betting my sister felt that point-of-no-return feeling back when she suffered from crushing depression. Yet this weekend I watched her getting married, looking happier than she’s looked in years, and thriving months into a new job.

I’m betting my father felt that point-of-no-return feeling in the months following his stroke last year. Yet there he was the other night, walking with the assistance of a simple cane — walker pushed to the corner — walking his daughter down the aisle and later dancing with her.

Yeah, life can seem brutally overwhelming sometimes. When you’re knee-deep in legal, financial or relationship problems, it can be hard to see coming out the other side with a better life.

But it happens. All the time. All it takes is the will to survive.

If you have that, then it’s never too late to renegotiate your life.

Phoenix Rising

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

io_saturnalia June 20, 2012 at 11:27 am

Beautifully rendered and an important sentiment that never gets old.

Audrey Clark October 10, 2012 at 10:47 am

i needed this -this morning-great song choice too

rm October 16, 2012 at 11:11 am

More people should share their real feelings like did here…excellent article and I read a lot of articles everyday…if more shared TRUTH like you have here the worked would be a better and more trusting place fir all of us. Kudos!

Mark December 31, 2013 at 11:13 pm

Awesome post Bill. As you pointed out the key is the will to survive. That is the intangible some people run out of that keeps others moving forward. Been there and fought out of a hole I didn’t think was possible to come back from. It is possible and is done every day and anyone can do it…As long as they keep their will to survive.

AJ July 20, 2014 at 9:00 am

What’s the truism (although could be perceived by some as trite)? Something along the lines of “Be kind to everyone because we’re all fighting battles.” The last 3 years of my life have been loss after loss – divorce after 21 years of marriage, 2 sudden deaths of immediate family members, the death of both of my teenage dogs, my job at the pinnacle of my career, etc. This all was excerbated by a major medical surgery for me and my raging PTSD from time in Iraq. I’m not on the other side but have seen great acts of care, support, and healing (AJ – I’d love to share the postive results of EMDR on PTSD, but that’s another story). It’s time for my next chapter. Thanks for your perspective and visualization of the Phoenix rising. Like others — and many in much worse circumstances than me — I feel a new person is rising from the ashes. I appreciate the candid sharing and the reminder.

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