behind the eight ball

Behind the eight ball is an idiom to describe being in a very difficult position in which it is nearly impossible to escape. The phrase refers to the game of pool in which if your ball is behind the eight ball, you will most certainly lose as if you hit the ball, and it in turn hits the eight ball, you lose the game. It is a way to describe how difficult of a position you are in; one of which does not have many positive outcomes.