I'm so sorry that you're having a tough time! My response is pretty long, so hang in there and read on, if you wish.
You posed some really poignant questions, and I will give you answers that pertain to me, only:
- A balanced life is what I aspire to. I face physical challenges on a daily basis, now, and the emotional turmoil that is caused by outside influences takes an even greater toll. Then, I can add in the self-deprication (I "deserve" misery) and I'm hardly balanced, at all. The best that I can do on a daily basis is to alter my attitude to feel grateful that I'm still alive, that I have a conscience, and that I have the choice to work to be a better, heatlhier, and more self-assured person, each day. Some days, the mere fact that I don't see my name in the obituaries is reason enough to celebrate!
- Staying hopeful - I don't always stay hopeful. In fact, I often throw tremendous Pity Parties - lots of invitations for others to attend, but I'm usually the only person at the party. When I begin to spiral out of control, I try to remind myself that I'm a human being, flawed, and mortal, and that I am allowed to have my 90 seconds of self-pity and then move the heck forward. Lately, I have been so absorbed and self-absorbed because of the machinations of someone that I work with that I was actually considering entering into some counseling, again, to sort this nonsense out. Trust issues, betrayal, abandonment, being used, etc. I had to make a choice: wallow in the drama/trauma that this person is deliberately generating, or behave like a farking adult and avoid reacting (RE-ACTING) to stupidity. I can only control ME - if this person (or, THAT person) wants to act like a juvenile ass, I don't have to be a part of it.
- As for social events, eating out, etc., I personally attend only those social events that are meaningful to me. Like.....sweat lodge, gallery receptions, fundraisers, etc. "Hanging out" with people just for the sake of filling up the void of being alone only opens doors that should remain closed, and compels me to lower my boundaries to include people in my life that I really would be better off keeping out. Eating out.....I have gotten to the point where I would rather cook foods that we have chosen and explore different recipes rather than ordering processed foods that are, for all intents and purposes, devoid of nutrients and esentially "dead."
- School, work, dates....LOL!!! School (especially college the second time around) was my time to absorb knowledge. I was a terrible student - probably mildly dyslexic, but never diagnosed. I loved absorbing knowledge and I still do, but I just don't like regurgitating facts during tests, etc. Work - a job becomes a drudgery when my boundaries fail and I allow people into my life and my head that really shouldn't be allowed in. Keeping people at work as CO-workers, rather than BFF's is a challenge for me, and I have to keep at it. Dating - I haven't dated in years, and I probably would never become romantically involved with someone if I were single, today. Friends w/ benefits - NO THANKS. I'm skeptical now even of people who want to be my "friend," and I'm just learning how to keep people at arm's length so that I don't allow myself to be hurt by people with an agenda.
As for finding a "cure" to what you believe is ailing you, I would strongly encourage you to either seek an extensive bloodwork panel to test thyroid functions, liver functions, kidney functions, adrenal functions, etc.......sugar, cholesterol, and every other thing under the sun if you believe your health is questionable. Then, I would encourage you to take ONE issue at a time, and get it sorted out in some manner. If you are not fond of medications and chemicals, then seek the care of a CERTIFIED Natural Practitioner, and begin working on one thing at a time. We simply cannot change EVERYthing all at one time. We just can't.
When I go into my kitchen, I see cabinets that need serious cleaning, a stove that is horrendous, a pile of dishes in the sink (do they breed when my back is turned?), and an outrageous clutter of stuff on my counters. If I look at that whole, ugly mess, I will (and, I mean that I really, really will) turn right around and do something else to occupy myself. If, however, I walk straight to the sink and start running the hot water and rinsing off dishes to put them into the washer, then I complete this stupid, mindless, and endless task in no time. Then, I can scrub out the sink. Then, I can wipe down my stove. Etc.....
If we look at the entire picture, we cannot see individual strokes in a painting, and this is what our lives are like: a great big painting that we're required to decipher. We cannot decipher the entire thing at a glance. It takes a long, long, and tedious time to study it one bit at a time and sort out what it all means and how to manage it.
There is no "cure" for life and the process of living. The best that I can do is to "manage" my issues. Sometimes, a cure does come, but there will always be some issue that requires my attention, whether it's emotional or physical. So take heart! Slow down, get a complete overview of what needs to be addressed, and do your best to take each issue, alone, and learn to manage it before you move on to the next. It takes time, and it takes immense patience to do this. It isn't easy. And, it isn't permanent - something else will always rear an ugly head. But, we learn how to manage these things as time goes on. Remember: you are a human being, not stone. You are "allowed" to be human! And, try to avoid being hard on yourself - we weren't born with an Owner's Manual, and there's no real schematic that we can consult to rewire ourselves a new, healthy whole being! Smile, take a breath, and take heart that you're okay and you'll sort this out in due time.
Brightest healing blessings to you!