Nora Archives: Dating an Alcoholic

10 Dec

I mentioned that at Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Two that I discovered the guy I had just started seeing was an alcoholic, as in had gone to rehab for several years and up until several months before meeting me was a chip-carrying AA member.

While I do recognize the seriousness of alcoholism the night’s events were rather startling and I really couldn’t believe it all happened.

I must point out that since we had only been on a few dates, most of the activities involved happy hours, bars, etc, so alcohol was always present. I never would have guessed he had a drinking problem. Until this party.

Ugly Sweater Party Date managed to throw down about 15 vodka shots with a hint of jello in about two minutes.

He also successfully finished off a 12-pack of beer.

He decided that it would be a good idea to venture out into the six inches of snow, which covered two inches of ice, in only his sweater (which was like a belly shirt to him) and make Snow Angels. I missed this part of the evening but according to eye witnesses he said “Ah! Jesus! I love snow! It’s not cold at all! Come on guys, make Snow Angels with me.”

TLo (my best friend who came with me) and I decided we had enough of ugly sweaters and drinking, mostly due to the snow piling up outside, and told Date it was time to leave.

He disappeared for 20 minutes in the coat room. I went to check on him and he didn’t even have one shoe on. I watched him struggle with his hand/eye coordination for a few seconds, which was the same amount of time it took for him to register that I was standing there.

He gave up and shoved his feet into his boots, though neither foot was all the way in said boot. He fell twice on the way to the car. The whole way home he asked if I was mad. He fell up the stairs to my building and laughed, sitting in the snow.

We get to my apartment, I tell him he can have the couch. TLo and I get my bed. He starts crying. Literally. Sobbing.

On my lap.
He tells me he’s a recovering alcoholic.
He tells me he’s embarassed.
He tells me he feels like a child.
He tells me he stopped going to AA meetings.
He tells me he fell off the wagon and his family doesn’t know and they would be really disappointed.
He passes out.

The next morning he doesn’t remember a thing.

That night he texts me with extreme annoyance because there are pictures of him on facebook that his family might see and informs me I’m insensitive and trying to get him in trouble. He demands I take them down. (He wasn’t tagged in them and was drinking from a plastic cup.)

Two days later we have another date; he drinks water. He meets my friends. Turns out they know him and warn me against him.

A week later, he stopped calling. For the best obviously.
I still frequent the bar he where he worked; he got fired for punching a wall next to his manager’s head one night. His bartender buddies still recognize me and give me a free drink now and then. They always ask me if know what happened to him… I have no clue to this day.

Hopefully he was strong enough to admit he needed help.

* Editor’s Note: After he told me about his disease, he told me that he barely remembered any of our dates (thankfully I was never in the car with him), didn’t remember our first kiss either. I truly felt a range of emotions when he told me: surprise, sadness, frustration and most of all trapped! I didn’t want to tell him to take a hike solely because of his disease, but at the same time knew I wasn’t in a place where I wanted to date someone who honestly need some professional help. The next day I told him that if I could do anything for him, I would. I offered to go to a meeting with him, to help him tell his sisters. He wasn’t interested. I know that was the real moment I became disinterested in him.


6 Responses to “Nora Archives: Dating an Alcoholic”

  1. Kyla Bea December 10, 2008 at 9:16 am #

    Wow. I’m glad you didn’t get involved with him any more than you did – addictions are frightening, no matter what someone is addicted to. This guy was clearly in the throes of something incredibly serious.

    This runs in my family so this is all eerily familiar. I hope he got help too.

  2. Liz December 10, 2008 at 12:46 pm #

    Makes you feel extra lucky for finding TDH now doesn’t it?

    Glad that ended the way it did. It coud’ve been MUCH worse. Hopefully he understood that he was in no position to be getting involved with someone when he couldn’t even help himself. Alcoholism is an ugly disease.

  3. Scarlett December 10, 2008 at 1:46 pm #

    Wow! That is a crazy experience. I am so glad you never got in a car with him, and that you were able to distance yourself. Scary!

  4. Imogen December 15, 2008 at 12:30 am #

    You probably don’t even realise how lucky you were to have gotten out when you did.
    I had an actual 3 year+ relationship with an alcoholic (who -to make things worse- didn’t even acknowledge his problem) and wouldn’t not wish that (or the way it finally ended) on anyone…
    Count your blessings!

  5. Kelly July 1, 2009 at 3:44 pm #

    Just one for the addicts out there…we can recover and we aren’t always terrible awful people.We are individuals, not our disease. Recovery is out there if people want it….but yes they have to want it. I hope your gentleman friend did find that help. I wish you the best of luck in your dating future.

  6. Mitsy August 25, 2009 at 1:14 pm #

    I dated an alcoholic off/on for about 2 years. It got better, then worse, only to repeat that cycle during that entire time. There were months we did not see or talk to each other because he was supposedly trying to get himself together. Sure, he missed me, but he didn’t miss me enough to get into rehab or go to AA. He loved booze more than he loved me or even his daughter. His behavior has been erratic and out-of-control more times than I can count. But yet he refuses to get help or admit that he’s responsible for his bad behavior. Last time I had contact w/him, he continued to blame others for his own problems. I miss the man he could be when he was sober, but I do not miss the drunk, embarrassing, self-centered jerk he became. No, drunks are not bad people but they are incredibly selfish by continuing to drink knowing they are hurting their family and friends.

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