The 53-year-old Hollywood star has given a candid interview to the men's publication, largely blaming himself for the breakdown of his marriage to Jolie, with whom he co-parents six children.
Pitt – who has been laying low in Hollywood since the split, "listening to a lot of Frank Ocean"– told the men's mag: "(It was) self-inflicted... If you love someone, set them free. Now I know what it means, by feeling it.
"It means to love without ownership. It means expecting nothing in return. It doesn't mean f*** all to me until, you know. Until you live it."
On being asked if the past few months has felt like grieving a death, he simply answered: "Yeah".
He also spoke about past alcohol trouble and how it played a part in the ending of his relationship with Jolie – who has had a past with drink and drugs herself – claiming he has rarely gone a day without being intoxicated.
Pitt said: "I do remember a few spots along the road where I've become absolutely tired of myself. And this is a big one. These moments have always been a huge generator for change.
"I'm personally very retarded when it comes to taking inventory of my emotions. I'm much better at covering up. I grew up with a Father-knows-best/war mentality – the father is all-powerful, super strong – instead of really knowing the man and his own self-doubt and struggles. And it's hit me smack in the face with our divorce," he added.
"But me, personally, I can't remember a day since I got out of college when I wasn't boozing or had a spliff, or something. I mean I stopped everything except boozing when I started my family. But even this last year, you know – things I wasn't dealing with. I was boozing too much. It's just become a problem."
Pitt revealed his new slimmed down image for three covers of the internationally renowned GQ magazine – all of them close-ups of that famous face and striking blue eyes.
When asked if it was difficult to stop smoking pot, Pitt said: "No. Back in my stoner days, I wanted to smoke a joint with Jack and Snoop and Willie. You know, when you're a stoner, you get these really stupid ideas. Well, I don't want to indict the others, but I haven't made it to Willie yet."
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