Ricky Hatton has revealed just how close he came to committing suicide during his three-year retirement from boxing.
The 34-year-old said his girlfriend often had to prise a knife from his hand as depression took its toll on his life.
Hatton, who has had well-publicised battles with drink, drugs and depression after his loss to Manny Pacquiao in his last fight in May 2009, will return to the ring against Ukraine's Vyacheslav Senchenko next month.
He told Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme: "I was near to a nervous breakdown, depression, suicidal. Most mornings my girlfriend would have to come downstairs and take a knife out of my hand. I had a knife at my wrists, I was in a really bad way, just hysterically crying for no reason.
"I've always liked a little bit of a drink, but my drinking had gone way off the Richter scale, I was having blackouts.
"And even if I was stone cold sober I was trying to kill myself. The real lowest point was when my little girl came along, who is one-year-old now. [Hatton's son] Campbell had the misfortune to see his dad in such a bad way, I am not going to do it any more to my kids and I'm not going to put my family though it any more."
Hatton claims his life now is "really rosy", but admitted in his eyes he was returning to the ring "ashamed" and as a "failure".
"I feel sad because I feel ashamed of myself," he said. "It doesn't matter how many people say, 'Ricky, everyone has problems and you got beaten my (Floyd) Mayweather and (Manny) Pacquiao who are the two best fighters of our generation, you did the country proud'.
"That's very kind of people to say, but they don't have to deal with this little fella who sits on my shoulder every day telling me that I'm a failure and I've let my family and my fans down and British sport, British boxing down.
"I feel a failure and it doesn't matter how many people say, 'Don't be too hard on yourself', that's how I feel and that's how I'm coming back. I feel I've got to redeem myself.
"It's more than a boxing match for me. For me everything I've done in my career, all the world titles and great wins have all been for nothing. That's how I feel.
"I feel I have to come back and redeem myself as a man to my fans, my family, my friends, loved ones, just the whole of British sport to be honest. Because it doesn't mater how many people say it to me, I feel like I've let everyone own. I've got to put the demon and those ghosts to rest."
Hatton said he had thought about how he would handle a defeat against Senchenko on November 24, saying: "I would rather get flattened again so I could look at myself in the mirror and say, 'You know what Ricky, you gave it your best shot'. Whether I win, lose or draw, I've already won from where I came in."
"I want people to look at me as a four-time world champion, man of the people and not look at me as this joke I feel I've become."
Hatton said his current weight of 11 stone two pounds was "music to his ears" one month out from a fight at which he must be 10st 7lbs.
He revealed during retirement he ballooned to 14st 10lbs.
"For 5ft 6in in height that's nothing short of heart attack material," he said.
Hatton also claimed he would surprise the doubters in the ring.
"The way I'm performing in the gym I think everyone is going to be shocked at the Ricky Hatton that comes back," he said.