Jesse (and Mark),
I understand how you feel, and to be honest, when I was your age I was finding the same "solution" you are using. I drank and got high not to have fun, but to escape and numb out. You are searching through the tools you have and this is one that seems to work.
The problem is, as you already know, that eventually the binge is over and it's the next day. And how do we feel? Not better, but worse. So this starts the cycle all over again. That's what "acting out" is - a cycle of self-defeating actions that seem to help at the moment, or seem to be the only thing we can do, but in fact just set us up for the next round.
Mark, I think you actually have a good suggestion for Jesse right there in your post where you talk about music. One thing we can do is try to get more self-affirming and positive activities in our lives. I know it's difficult, because if you've spent years numbing out it's rough trying to break out of that pattern. It's like the mouse running on the wheel in it's cage, doing that because, well, that's what a mouse in a cage does. You open the door to the cage and what does the mouse do? He peeks out and then goes back to his wheel and does what he knows.
I think anything creative is a big help for any effort to break patterns like this. If we are concentrating on doing something creative that helps us feel better about "being me" and keeps us focused on positive things. We can see that today we are doing something we couldn't do a month ago - creativity gets to be its own reward.
For me it was music, which I had loved since childhood anyway. But anything else is also possible: writing, painting, drawing, writing poetry, whatever.
Or how about sports and physical things like swimming, diving, gymnastics, judo, karate, boxing - again, anything that interests you and allows you to see yourself progressing in your abilities.
These aren't the answer, though; they are just strategies for keeping away from that feeling of being so totally lost and helpless that we just want to freak out and do anything at all. The real answer lies in seeking the help we need and committing to recovery, so we're really talking about a long-term task.
But however we decide to face this mess the first step has to be talking about it. So what you guys are doing is already a positive step and I hope you will both continue. Just remember you have a LOT of guys here who understand what you are up against and are facing the same problems.
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me. (Woody Guthrie)