I can offer a big tip that worked for me, worked as in I no longer now feel suicidal or pursue active self-destruction.
For me, no salvation was possible without realising I am an alcoholic, and finding a way to overcome the obsession and compulsion for drink and drugs.
That was what fuelled me for 16 years.
A daily, often hourly hit of booze, weed, ecstasy or something else bought me minutes or hours of sweet relief from the stress and depression that otherwise somehow seemed to envelop me.
If you want to quit substance abuse, but can’t, then the AA book, fellowship and meetings are guaranteed to work – if you follow the plan and hang with the right people (who are ALWAYS to be found).
Even if you don’t have an addiction problem, the programme of accountability and restitution is a path to happiness.
To summarise, you learn you are a selfish prick, and all the problems in your life aren’t due to everyone else as you previously raged, but entirely of your own making, either by thoughts, deeds or attitude.
Being full of anger and resentment isn’t some sort of entitled righteous indignation, but a damaging poison – who’d have thought it…?!
With this realisation, and not being pissed or stoned, control can be regained and a lot of stress disappears completely, or recedes to manageable levels. The lifting of depression this way is as successful, but longer lasting than with Prozac.
Just complete the 12 steps, that although hard, are all achievable.
Oh, and I never twigged I was an alcoholic till my very last drink.
This was despite (in an ideal world) drinking a bottle of wine and half & a bottle of whiskey each day, and smoking a joint every hour or two. This was despite my love of, or my actions on drink and drugs losing me relationships, friends, jobs, cars, places to live as fast as I could get them – and being massively depressed. It’s a madness as well as an illness.
I’m fairly smart, yet not once before the last savage bender (where I almost attacked the mother of my son) did I make the connection between picking up the first drink and drinking to oblivion.
Jeez, that was some heavy po-faced prose – and I’m meant to be a happy upbeat salesman! Well I am now, thanks to almost 8 years of permanent sobriety, and no fear I’ll ever drink again.
When Stuart asked me to write a piece I knew I needed to start with this as for me, and countless other men, drink was seen as the solution to stress yet it was in fact the greatest cause of it.
PS Don’t worry, if you aren’t an alcoholic, I hear drinking can still be fun!