Eminem's flirtatious relationship with drugs, depression, and self-loathing intensified after the murder of his best friend and bandmate, Proof, in 2006.
Rapper-cum-producer Proof, real name DeShaun Holton, was shot dead at the age of 32 years in his native Detroit, Michigan, after a heated argument over a game of pool went awry.
Since then, the 'Without Me' hitmaker, real name Marshall Mathers III, has been struggling to deal with the sudden loss of his pal and D12 bandmate.
And it's only now that he has come to terms with the tragedy, before finally deciding to open up about it.
"Everyone felt his loss, from his kids, to his wife, to everyone. But, for some reason, in hindsight, the way I felt was almost like it happened to just me," Contactmusic quoted Eminem as telling XXL magazine.
"Maybe at the time I was a little bit selfish with it. I think it kind of hit me so hard. It just blindsided me. I just went into such a dark place that, with everything, the drugs, my thoughts, everything.
"The more drugs I consumed, and it was all depressants I was taking, the more depressed I became, the more self-loathing I became.
"By the way, I'm just now at the point where I'm better talking about it. It took me so long to get out of that place where I couldn't even speak about it without crying or wanting to cry. Proof was the anchor. He was everything to D12. And not just the group - for me, personally, he was everything," he added.