Loving, gentle hugs to you Shar,
I read your post and have done some thinking on it. If I remember correctly, you are still quite young, early 20's? While that seems like a long time, I feel it is short because you have only been in the "adult" part of your life for a few years.
Regarding your present job... Do you enjoy it? At the end of the day do you feel you accomplished something by being there? Do your days move along at a steady pace, or do you find yourself having too many long days, watching the clock, waiting to go home? Answering those questions may help you understand what you are doing in that area.
Smoking. I'm not going to lecture you or tell you to quit. I still smoke myself, even after a year of treatments for breast cancer. I will tell you that cancer is debilitating, painful, and often fatal. I may have MS myself, still in limboland, but I can tell you I will take MS at its worst anyday rather than have cancer again. 'Nuff said :)
Acceptance is a wonderful place to be, as long as it isn't partnered with complacency. One of the biggest issues I see on these boards is people fighting battles they can't win, or spending all their time looking back on the lives they had, rather than living the lives they have now.
People fight pain, fatigue, psychological issues, time.....and sometimes they win. But there isn't a pill to take away all the pain or fatigue, etc. Most of us need to accept that the lives we had, and perhaps some of the dreams, are finished now. That does NOT mean we just lay down and die, or don't dare to dream new dreams. I will never have a spotless home again, be energetic, feel attractive (bilateral mastectomies) in certain ways; BUT I am still me. I can still reach out to people. I can still write. I can still make the chemo hats that I donate to the chemo centers here. I can still be a partner to my boyfriend. I can still me a mother to my sons. And my dream now is to finish the book I started years ago. Another dream is to finally see if I have any artistic abilities in painting or pen and ink work. Am I less of a person because of my surgeries and health conditions??? HECK NO! I'm MORE of a person because I now understand even better what people go through.
If you are at peace with your decisions, then perhaps you are in "good" acceptance. If you are complacent, staying exactly where you're at because it's nice and safe and you can exist there until your time comes - Hon, you can still have a full life. Trust me :)
Dream your dreams. I can't tie my shoes the way "normal" people do, but I have created my own way. Create your own way and paths. The heck with the rest of the world. You are young with many gifts - use and enjoy them :)
Love and hugs,
Though we live in a world where anger and hatefulness seem to be the norm, we CAN make a difference, one person at a time.
Full time Chronic Pain and Co-Moderator of the Chronic Pain Forum :)
Never lose faith in the kindness and love of others, you never know when you will receive lemons too :)