I have an aunt in her 80s who I saw at a hospital in a small town in Missouri where she worked when I did pharma sales some time ago.

Now she emails me, and she sends me the most beautiful letters, full of clarity and peace considering her age.

And thankfully, aunt Evelyn also gives me advice.

My most recent letter from aunt Evelyn after I told her about my recent use and abuse of alcohol and meth:

I know you like helping people who are facing difficult times. That is a wonderful feeling to know that you can be a positive influence on someone who is very much in need of help. I'm sure it makes you feel good to be able to accomplish this with some of your friends.

I think the downside is to be living with people who need this help when you are trying to find a life of peace for yourself. By living with these people you never get away from it yourself, and it is a bad influence on you as well.

Hopefully you can find some way to live outside the situation you had in St. Louis and find that peaceful time that is so important to all of us. You can still continue to offer help to those in need, just try to find a way to have some sense of peace and quiet in your own personal life.

We all are influenced to some degree by the behavior around us. We pick up the bad habits as well as the good ones. We have to remove ourselves from that kind of situation so we are not becoming what we find to be a disruption in our struggle for peace.

It will also help us have a healthier body as well as our soul which is the goal I believe we are trying to achieve.

I wish you good luck in your quest for Peace instead of Drugs. And remember I'll continue to pray for you.

This is my response to aunt Evelyn’s letter to me:

Thanks for your letter and advice to me aunt Evelyn.

I tried to help the angry drug addicts I lived with in St. Louis, but it was difficult. Trying to help those drug addicts left me without any peace in my life, combined with my own self destructive pattern at the time.

Here in Iowa I speak with those at the shelter with me now, and I am thankful for their companionship. The VA is getting me housing very soon.

And I finally am getting peace from watching a long train move by slowly as I watch snow fall quietly. That and trips to the library here where I get to absorb knowledge and kindness.

There is a girl with me now and her face is black and blue because her ex boyfriend beat her up. I treat her with extra kindness as a result.

Most of the girls with me at this shelter are not attractive. Their use of bad language makes them even less attractive. A bunch of beautiful girls came here last Sunday and cut our hair. That I enjoyed.

Like you, I've always been a caregiver aunt Evelyn. And I'll continue to help others when I can and avoid entering a self destructive pattern again, which makes me less of a caregiver overall.

Today I started a new job at a tire factory, so I'll be doing heavy lifting every day at work. Thankfully I can do that kind of work at the age of 50.

Please do write me again when you can and I continue to wish you continued peace and happiness. I also hope your children and their families are doing well. Take care,

Love,
Dan

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