First, go to community college. Here, you will pick up smoking cigarettes. Begin to resent your friends from high school because of the prestige and fun that comes with living hours away. Eventually, they’ll grow tired of your side-remarks and backhanded compliments. You will think you hit rock bottom when you go on a midnight drive with no one but the family dog to keep you company; you aren’t there yet.
Go away to university. Pick a liberal arts major, and live with someone who drinks. Pick up drinking from them, socially at first. Only on weekends. Only at parties. Turn twenty-one and realize the magic of Thirsty Thursdays. It’s ok, because you always drink with people.
Join a co-ed club and fall desperately in love with the president. Be there for her, for once in your life not because you think of women as vending machines, but because you actually mean it when you say, “I’d rather you be happy with someone else.” Convince yourself that she isn’t happy with someone else (this will be easy, because you’d accept any excuse to be with her).
Start an affair, and hide it from everyone close with you. Start drinking every day. Enter therapy at age 22, get drunk, and call that therapist. Tell her she won’t tell you anything you don’t know, and never see her again.
Here, you will realize that you spend more money at the bars than you do on your bills. Justify it, knowing that every college kid drinks and every college kid is poor. End your affair, and feel empty. It’s easy to convince yourself that you’re unfixable and that people would be better off; once you do this, you can enter your final stage of destruction. The countdown has begun.
Jump into a relationship. Sleep with this new person in your ex-lovers bed, and laugh it off. Ignore every attempt by your friends to sit you down and talk to you about your behavior. Take this new girlfriend, a fine person who never did anything wrong to you, and break up with her. Tell her it’s because you still have feelings for the former girlfriend. She will, of course, tell you to drink yourself to death.
Convince yourself she’s right, and the rest comes easy.