the current economic situation has been a horrible awakening for me. i have lost a very lucrative career and CANNOT indulge my compulsive shopping for EVERYTHING. i've learned a lot about myself in this penniless state. i have spent the last 10 years of my life buying ANYTHING to try to fill the void. how odd it is that this stems from parental rejection - who knew? in addition, my relationship fell apart and i stopped speaking to my family (many grievous injuries that i had to run from) - so what am i left with? omg! me.... and i am not having fun with me. someone once told me - 'don't go into your head alone, it's a dangerous place'- understatement. i have not only battled addiction to prescription pills - which is an impulsive behavior to a degree - but i've lost everything. how to go on? i ask myself that question every morning when i wake up. i feel like an outcast - a disposable person - subhuman because i have nothing to define me but myself. how terrifying is that? the pain is unbearable - the loss and regret is a devastation that hurts my heart. but i have no choice, do i? self-soothing is a long way down my road. thank you for your post, Dr. S - you are always right on and your writing is so compassionate.