I can’t give you advice, but I can tell you I managed to be a raging alcoholic while holding down an extremely demanding job as a family physician, and I believed that I needed alcohol in order to be able to function.
I never touched drugs although obviously I had access to them …………. because that would have broken my denial.
Somehow I could justify my drinking because I could buy the stuff in a shop ……….. but of course in my heart of hearts I knew there was something very wrong with the way I drank… I just kidded myself on that I was different, that I didn’t drink because I was an alky but because I had complex psychological problems, a difficult job etc etc…………these were true but the alcohol didn’t actually make any of it better.
Eventually it got bad enough that I got into treatment, and learned that alcoholism is a primary disorder and I wasn’t drinking “because” anything…..also that I had a strong family history that I hadn’t known about, because nobody talked about it, it was all “nerves” and “depression” that people had. The family denial is so strong that they couldn’t accept me being an alcoholic even when I told them, and decided that I was going to AA in my professional capacity to help the alcoholics! I wasn’t severely physically dependent so I didn’t need to drink on withdrawal, but I did have an extremely strong compulsion to drink which I couldn’t imagine ever being without.
I drank because I couldn’t cope with life without taking something.
I needed to learn what the alternatives were because I didn’t know.
My life has changed almost out of all recognition …………. I needed AA and then Al-anon to learn those life skills…works for me.
I can “mood alter” without chemicals these days, that’s the basis of it….which may include eliminating from my life things that cause me pain or aren’t good for me.
Hope you can find the same thing somehow if that’s what you want.