Step 1: Drink. What you drink does matter, not in category but in brand. Whether it be whiskey, beer, wine, tequila, vodka, or that god awful piss they call gin, it must be cheap. Do not spare your mouth throat lungs stomach the burn you find on the bottom shelf. That intoxicating singe is an essential reminder of every irrefutable fact you must never forget. So drink them in. Glue them to the pits of your stomach. You’ll find them again when your head’s in the toilet.
Step 2: Stop blaming others. In two words: shit happens. This isn’t because of your parents or their inability to say “I love you” sufficiently. It isn’t divorce or infidelity or violence or abuse. It isn’t anything other than you and the hand your holding at the universe’s poker table. The more you whine about the weight unfairness has thrust upon your shoulders, the more you believe this isn’t what you deserve. This couldn’t be what you’re been made for. And it is.
Step 3: Get comfortable. Perhaps it’s the time well spent. Perhaps it’s your demeanor. Either way, snuggle in sadness and stretch in darkness. Happiness is where you feel the most uncomfortable. When everything is falling into that mysterious “right” line, start looking for the other falling shoe. It’s when life is upside down, and the shouldn’t happen happens, that you feel at ease. You’ve felt the welcoming stings of pain before. You’ll trace disappointment’s curves again. You’re home.
Step 4: Smile. There’s no need to paint a “woe is me” frown on your face, equipped with pounds of black eye shadow and a fuck off on your forehead. Those are flashing signs of self preservation and neon pleas for assistance. To truly chip away at your foundation, you must abandon this pitiful mentality. Everyone has problems. Yours, unavoidably, pale in comparison to those of your fellow man. The difference is you simply do not, can not, care. These plights you’ve so pridefully faced – the father who beat you, the man who raped you, the boyfriend who cheated on you, the man who robbed you, the drunk who drove into you, the baby evacuated from you – they are inescapable. Stop pretending that they are.
Step 5: Don’t Stop. Erase “too much” from your vocabulary. It’s as fictitious as a Notre Dame girlfriend. You’ll never have too many shots. Too many hits. Too many snorts. The only way to continue looking for palpable relief is with one more. It’s always just one more. So that’s where you live, in a blurry existence of excess and destitution where the perpetual merry-go-round has thrown you. There is no up or down. No easily identifiable anything. Only more.
Step 6: Be strong. While others may disagree, it takes an unending amount of strength to claw at yourself from the inside out. Hangovers must be overcome. Natural reactions must be avoided. Independence must be held to the bearings of your chest. To properly dissolve, you will have to stand alone. You will turn away helping hands and shrug off concerned eyes and disregard worried questions. You’ll throw yourself into work and continue to go about the normalcy of life because it isn’t about becoming nothing. This isn’t suicide. This is destruction, and it takes strength to successfully leave a tear.
Step 7: Look down. The only steps you take that matter are the steps you’re taking right now. Don’t think about consequences or futures or morning afters or necessities. Think about the space between your feet and fill them with decisions of the here and now. You cannot grasp at the horizon’s seconds when you’re failing to hold on to yourself and the seventh shot you just ordered.
Remember, practice is required. However naturally you stumbled through all five steps, your accuracy will increase as repetition becomes routine. Yes, it helps to lack any sense of self-preservation but that too can be whittled way with the right amount of pathological hate and whiskey.
So all that’s left to do, is cheers.