I have hit rock bottom

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

My life is in such a state of disrepair, that I am completely overwhelmed and don’t know what to do. First of all, I have battled with alcohol for years – it was a miracle that I graduated from college. But, I managed to pull it off and I met a great guy my last semester (his last too) and we moved away and landed decent jobs. I was happy. Well, I found out that he was cheating, so I left him, and that is when the downward spiral began. I began drinking heavily, and got into some pretty destructive rebound relationships. I was not doing well, but still hanging in there. Then, at what I consider the “point of no return”, I began a relationship with an old childhood friend. I should have known there was a problem when he moved in with me the day after we reunited, and then asked me for money for pain pills b/c he was in excruciating pain. True to my addictive nature…I got hooked on the pain pills too & quit my job. (I was supporting both of us) For the last 5 1/2 years, I have left him numerous times because of the drug abuse, rage, depression, manipulation, verbal abuse, etc… , but I always go back. My family is sick of it, and they have given up on me. A year ago, I just cracked. I’m not sure if it was a mental breakdown, but I was on pain pills, and just walked out of my job. I was a manager with a decent salary, and I just couldn’t take the pressure of my job, drug habit, abusive relationship, dysfunctional family, money struggles, constant fighting, panic attacks, etc… Well, this time I didn’t bounce back. Things deteriorated to the point that we lost everything (including his job) and were living in my car. The most disturbing part is that we would go without food so that we could use the handouts from our families to buy cigarettes and pills – I will never forgive myself for this. I am now 35 years old, living with my dad, still with the same boyfriend, hooked on pills and cigarettes, depressed, angry, still having screaming matches, broke, unemployed, and my car is about to be reposessed. Every time I try to leave him or quit taking pills or quit smoking, I fail. I am so ashamed of myself, and I don’t know where to begin with respect to picking up the pieces.

A: You’ve already begun. You’ve asked for some help. Now please find the courage and what is left of your self-esteem to follow through. What you are describing is domestic violence. Sadly, you are as addicted to your destructive relationship as you are to alcohol and pills. You need a program that will address it all. I urge you to contact the domestic violence hotline at the women’s center in your city at 713-528-2121 and ask for their help and their support. You may qualify for emergency shelter while you figure out how to separate from your addictions and rebuild a life.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 Sep 2009

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2009). I have hit rock bottom. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 28, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/09/27/i-have-hit-rock-bottom/