DEAR ABBY: I'm 23 years old and currently in the county jail. I'm gay and also an addict, having battled a heroin addiction for the past five years.
I managed to stay clean for almost two years. During that time I enrolled in college, got engaged, regained the respect of my family and started to have a normal life. Things were going very well for me, and then I relapsed. I threw everything away.
Abby, I need to know why, when things go well for me, I feel as if I don't deserve to be happy so I self-destruct. I have absolutely no self-confidence. I'm very unhappy. Even when I seem to get what I want, it turns out to be not exactly what I wanted in the end. How can I fix this? I really do want to be happy; I just don't know how. -- UNHAPPY MAN IN INDIANA, PA.
DEAR UNHAPPY: Your arrest may have been a blessing in disguise. It has given you time to think clearly about why you are in this situation. Because you now recognize what your issues are, you have already started on a path to healing.
You say you dislike yourself and your self-esteem is very low. This may be the reason you sabotage yourself when things start going well for you. After your release, a licensed psychotherapist can help you find the answers you're looking for. Your nearest LGBT community center would be a good place to start.
Because you slipped up once doesn't mean you will do it again, so stop beating yourself up and try to think positive. I wish you luck and a successful future.