If you look at the title of this post... I would say all those things have a lot to do with each other. I was born of a Christian mother and an atheist father. This has been the downfall of my life. I eventually found that I believed in *something* although I could never define it with my Christian mother and atheist father. I drifted towards the more conservative route. If you are really messed up like I am... and decided to do drugs... which was a bad decision... you might eventually find out that... maybe you are a good person like me... but are just hopelessly dysfunctional....... If you can identify with that... You are not going to escape it in this lifetime. But, lucky for you and I, we can become greater..... A dysfunctional upbringing is very underrated in the world of people who are... Well.. dysfunctional! This can mean drugs, alcohol... Sometimes, theft... It basically always ends up in some type of acting out... and usually, eventually, in some type of behavior to make you think that it's all your fault. Trust me, I've spent years studying this in myself and others..... If you are dysfunctional, you probably know it... And your family probably was/is dysfunctional... This probably caused you problems that exist to the day. While this may seem like a task which is impossible to overcome, it CAN be overcome. First of all, and most importantly, you need to admit that you are from a dysfuntional background. You are actually in luck today. Why, you might ask... Well, because I am also from a very dysfucntional background.... and I can tell you for sure that your life is not hopeless. But it will be difficult... unless you try to connect with others who are open and admit that they also are from these similar backgrounds. I've been in almost all the drugs and all the jails and all the bad stuff. There actually IS an endpoint for us. I believe the end is in first, admitting that you are from a dysfunctional background.. and just be cool with it. You probably have useful insights that no one else could have. Second of all, realize that there are people like me, who are just as crazy as you.... I bet you sometimes think you're the only one...... The only with doubts and questions and the pain and all that crap... Well... The world may tell you you are alone.... but there are a lot of us. And I am one of them. I'm not afraid nor ashamed of it. You will feel better when you admit that you have problems no one else (seemingly) can understand. I can understand. Believe me. Let's try to start again here..... I hope you try to live the positive life... Let's try to make friendships between us who have inherited the dysfunctional life.... And let's not hate because of it..... Let's get the best out of it all.