Elvis may have put himself on self-destruct, but I would venture to say that the seed of self-destruction was planted in him after his mother died. He immediately looked for a replacement. Unfortunately, he found solace in a little girl. A little girl who was innocent enough in his eyes, that he could just talk to her without feeling the need to impress her. It's unfortunate that she was so young. It's unfortunate that Elvis chose
someone so young. Any girl, at that age, doesn't really know who she is yet, much less, is able to console a man who lost someone of extreme importance to him. She had no way of understanding.
While living with him, I don't feel she grew up at all. Those years are the most important in a young girl's life. I feel that she was just a paper doll that Elvis could just dress up and stand her wherever he wanted her to stand. Elvis was obviously so lost and he didn't turn to the right person for wisdom. If his mother lived, his mind would've been guided on the right path. Because he turned to Priscilla, I can't believe Elvis was done growing yet. Another factor could be him getting into the business so young. He was on information overload. It's just too bad that the decision about Priscilla cost him in the end. He put all his eggs in the wrong basket. He tried to homegrow himself a wife and that kind of thing would've never worked whether it were Priscilla or not. Bottom line, it was bad timing, and the relationship never should've gone anywhere to begin with. Also, I've read Priscilla's book. I'm pretty sure she didn't lay it all out there and who would? I really wish that she would've been more serious about what it would mean to be Elvis' wife instead of wanting to get into his pants. As bad as I think she was for him, if she didn't leave him when she did, it's more than possible that he would've lived longer.
The second biggest determining factor would have to be the Colonel. He wasn't a very wise man either. In fact, I can't say that anyone that surrounded him on a business level was very wise. But the Colonel was/is and always will be a determining factor because of the decisions he made throughout most of Elvis' career. I feel Elvis could handle touring as often as what the Colonel wanted after the movie years if his home life were better, if the Colonel would've butted out of Elvis becoming more spiritual, if the Colonel would've focused on building the value of Elvis with movies of actual substance, etc.
There were so many bad decisions made, right from the get-go. But that's all part of life and that's the way things played out for Elvis. Priscilla was a very bad decision for Elvis in my opinion, but Elvis was only human like the rest of us who make bad decisions in life. You never know which ones will have a life or death result. It's really too bad for his fans and Lisa Marie especially, because we all loved him so much. I know it wasn't the fans that killed him. We're keeping his memory alive for so many that aren't even born yet. I just wish he knew what he really means to all of us.