The 'Ad Astra' actor has previously spoken of hitting the bottle after he split from Angelina Jolie in 2016 and admitted he viewed drinking as an "escape" from his life.
Speaking to Sir Anthony Hopkins for Interview magazine, his 'Meet Joe Black' co-star asked about Brad's "struggle with booze", and he replied: "Well, I just saw it as a disservice to myself, as an escape."
Anthony asked if it was "necessary", and he replied: "To some degree, yes."
The 'Two Popes' star then said: "It's a gift. I myself needed to hide it, years ago... But I look at it, and I think, 'What a great blessing that was, because it was painful.'
"I did some bad things. But it was all for a reason, in a way. And it's strange to look back and think, 'God, I did all those things?'
"But it's like there's an inner voice that says, 'It's over. Done. Move on.' "
And the 56-year-old star - who raises six children with Angelina - admitted he is starting to "value" the mistakes he's made in his life, because he has learned from them, though he still struggles with "blame".
He said: "The blame I'm still wrestling with.... I'm realising, as a real act of forgiveness for myself for all the choices that I've made that I'm not proud of, that I value those missteps, because they led to some wisdom, which led to something else.
"You can't have one without the other. I see it as something I'm just now getting my arms around at this time in my life. But I certainly don't feel like I can take credit for any of it."
But Brad believes society is too judgemental and doesn't pay enough attention to how people learn from the things they have done wrong.
He said: "I think we're living in a time where we're extremely judgmental and quick to treat people as disposable.
"We've always placed great importance on the mistake. But the next move, what you do after the mistake, is what really defines a person.
"We're all going to make mistakes. But what is that next step? We don't, as a culture, seem to stick around to see what that person's next step is. And that's the part I find so much more invigorating and interesting."