How do you break out of it?
You suck up your pride and live where you don't want to for a few years. You can ALWAYS find that dingy hole-in-the-wall apartment somewhere. Yes, it's not ideal living and you probably won't be terribly happy there, but you suck it up and do it for a while. And from the rent savings, do that! SAVE it. If you're paying $1,500 for rent now, find a rat hole for $400-500 a month.
Yes, I'm serious. If you're worried about possessions, rent a storage garage somewhere.
For those few years where your abode sucks, you'll have built some character, have some interesting stories to tell your kids some day, and you'll still be better off than probably literally HALF of the world's population.
Have I had to do this personally? Thankfully no. But would I if I needed to? Sure.