Ask an expert

31 Jan 2004

existing not living
After a long battle with drug addiction masked by depression I have taken stock of my life and find little to speak of. My friends have moved on married, gotten children ,changed homes,cars etc.
I however feel trapped in my life and my job ( yes i AM lucky to have one) but I find myself going to work and instead of helping people , I work only looking forward to the end of the month when I am paid. I drive the same beat up old car ,live in the same flat and have no friends because I just don't make an effort. The irony is I have a beautiful flat, a well paid job , A car and yet I feel and act as though I have already lost it. I relapse every now and then but make a strick conscious effort to avoid drugs and hope not to go to rehab again.
My biggest problem is my willful isolation even though I do not use anymore. I avoid people and then wonder why I spend birthdays, christmas watching TV behind closed curtains.
I am so concerned with the past that my future no longer matters and instead of creating a pleasant past by living well in the present I compound the problem by commiting the same mistake ad nauseum......I have read some of the stories on your site and realize my problems pale into insignificance but for me these problems are real and scary.
I am not actively suicidal but to be frank I think about methods and am very curious about the topic. I suppose I know your answer to my story already but believe it or not this is the only way I communicate with the outside world when it comes to these issues. Maybe some outside perspective from the readers would help.
Answer 394 views

01 Jan 0001

Dear Bob,
What most annoys me about what seems to be the majority of rehab programs, is that they seem to ignore by far the most important part of their job, continuing to see the person and helping them to work through their remaining problems ( now revealed by the absence of drugs ) and to stay clean.
It's not surprising that you feel you've slipped behind your age-group / peers somewhat in a number of ways --- drug addiction is a very expensive occupation, in cash and in time, and it insulated you from normal relations with other people. Congratulations on managing to get clean and stay clean. But instead of concentrating on what you don't have (YET!) ; rather concentrate on working with a fresh counsellor, to ensure that you clarify what you want and need, and how to get it. Your future CAN matter, if you bother to make it matter --- it won't just accidentally manage to matter. You know that suicide is a bad idea, and the one way of guaranteeing that a partially wasted past is prevented from being capped by a fulfilled and creative future.
Let's see what other readers have to say ( usually after the weekend !)
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.