I finished with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering and immediately began working, gaining two years of experience. My alcoholism worsened over that time, till my husband left me, and I went entirely insane. I quit my work, relocated 3 hours away (back to my parents' house), and completely restructured my life. Two DUIs, imprisonment, SIX rehab stints, suicide attempts, psychiatric hospitals, homelessness, joblessness, friendlessness, and hopelessness are all on the table. I had been unemployed and on SSI disability for several years when I eventually got sober. Nobody expected me to reach the age of thirty. Someone took a chance on me, and I landed a job at a cell phone store. I spent four years there. Then I acquired better work at a hardware shop, where I stayed for five years. I put in a lot of work, got my driver's license back, went to hundreds of AA meetings, and now sponsor females and serve on the board of directors at our local recovery center. Engineering was always my "previous life," and I accepted the fact that I'd never been able to do it again. Then, last year, I noticed a nearby firm was hiring and decided to apply. I was frank about the hiatus in my career throughout the interview.
What's more, guess what? They hired me! I began on October 5th (two days after my 9 year sobriety birthday). The company is fantastic, and they never condemned me for my prior mistakes, and they were pretty helpful in training me (AutoCAD has evolved a lot in the last 12 years!). It was soon returned to me, and I am glad for the opportunity daily.
So, yeah, you may return to it. Don't give up; if you persevere and wait long enough, the ideal company will come calling. I apologize for the lengthy tale you did not request; if I can get back on track at 37 years old, I hope it gives you some hope!! Best of luck!! :)