xkcd has it nailed.
You can't beat this without hitting bottom. And once you've hit bottom, you're not looking down on other people: you're looking up.
I think of the scene from "Fight Club" where Tyler Durden forces the Asian guy, at gunpoint, to return to his studies. It's at that moment, facing death as a failure, that you realize that anything would be better than this.
And so, you're looking up. As long as they're fighting, they're fighting for something better. God save them, and us.
Happy Lent. Mine has been a failure so far: and that means it has been a success. Lent, taken seriously, is also about hitting bottom. It lets you know that you ought to love the man who is your enemy, because a man like you deserves an enemy. The man you ought to hate is the man who will accommodate you as you are.