I understand that your life has not been good. It is not fair. Now you’re faced with the difficult challenge to deal with the fallout and it is not easy. It may feel like an impossible challenge. I know it is difficult but I would strongly encourage you not to give up. Help is available. Your life can improve.
I’d like to point out several positive aspects of your life. One is that you are in an “amazing” relationship. This can be the new start that you need to help you on the road to recovery. You have support. You have someone who cares about you. Don’t underestimate this very positive development in your life.
Another hopeful aspect of your life is that, as you noted, you possess skills and talents. At this time, it may be difficult to fully actualize those skills because of the issues affecting your life. Once those issues have been dealt with, your skills can be developed. This leads to another reason why there is a great deal of hope for you. Based on your letter, you have not yet had the opportunity to deal with your issues. Now you do. You were in therapy for a short time but it was ineffective. Maybe in the past you were not ready but you are now.
How can one be happier? It’s a process. It takes time but it is possible. To begin the process, it is important to realize that you are worthwhile and you deserve happiness. It also requires patience and a commitment to treatment. One cannot solve problems overnight. It takes time to heal, especially after years of suffering and trauma.
I would advise you to search for a therapist. Try looking through this directory to find one in your community. Call at least 10 therapists. Speak to them about the issues you want help with. Ask them about how they would approach your problems. Get a sense of what they’re like over the phone and make an appointment with the therapist who you feel the most comfortable speaking to.
It would also be helpful if you had more supportive individuals in your life. You have a partner and that is good. I would recommend a support group. It could be a support group for individuals who have drug and alcohol problems. You may also want to search for a support group for individuals who have experienced traumatic childhoods or domestic violence. Studies show that individuals who have more support tend to fare better than individuals who have limited or no support. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) may be a source of support. Many believe AA has made a significant and positive impact in their lives and I would agree with them. You could attend support group sessions in addition to individual therapy. The more positive support you have in your life, the better.
I hope this answer alters your view of your situation in a positive way. You haven’t had the opportunity to begin working on your issues. Give yourself a chance. Many individuals deal with very similar issues and have made full recoveries. You can too. It will not be easy but it is doable and it is worthwhile.
Please consider writing back and updating me about your situation. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your question and I wish you luck.
This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on May 28, 2010.