He had disclosed to me about a month ago that he was an alcoholic. I asked him to elaborate and it seemed, from his description, that he binged on the weekends. Mainly did it socially.
Okay, fine, whatever.
Then tonight, he told me he has a much more substantial problem. In fact, he puts alcohol before a relationship. He would rather drink than spend time with me.
I hadn’t pressed it at all!
We had made tentative plans to go out on Friday, but he had something come up family-wise. It was no big deal; I spent the time writing in my office, then went to a movie by myself.
I texted with him after I got out of the movie. I asked how it was he was still up, as he usually goes to bed at 10 pm and gets up at 5 am. He was at the bar.
He mentioned that the bartender bought him a shot of whiskey. I joked that now began the dancing on tables and feats of strength, but to wait for me before he started to take off his clothes because I’d slip a dollar in his waistband.
This led to him “confessing” that he went to a strip club on Sunday after the Browns game.
“It happens,” I replied.
Mandy, you’re great, but I’m basically saying that I place alcohol ahead of a relationship. And lapdances. I’m a dick!
I asked him for clarification. Did that mean that he would rather get drunk than spend time with me?
Yes. That’s why I’m an alcoholic. It’s not you. Today, my aunt did come over, and we had dinner. You and I could have met up. But I wanted to get drunk. And here I am. Again, it’s not you, but me.
It’s just I want to drink all weekend. It’s awful but true.
I said, “Wow. Okay.”
He said, “I know I reached out to you. I just didn’t realize this was a bigger problem.”
I am rendered speechless.
Well, there are many things I would like to say, but I alternate between “fuck you!” and “say what now?”
My immediate inclination is to doubt his assertion that it is him and not me. I also kick myself for thinking I was the fucked up one for so long.
Fuck my fragile self-esteem that is so fucking sensitive to think that no guy would be so fucking self-aware, especially while drunk, to warn me away from him.
Fuck my shitty history with guys that makes me think back to when my high school crush told me he couldn’t date me because he was too addicted to playing Diablo II. He had his eyes set on another girl – his dream girl. Who he eventually got with. And I was in his wedding party.
Is it sad that I contemplate wanting to remain friends just because I crave communication? Shouldn’t I be woman enough to realize my value and cut him off? I don’t need to witness his continued drunkenness, reminding myself of what can’t be, frustrated that he won’t seek help for himself, wondering if there would ever be a point where he would be okay. I don’t need that.
For when I am needing a boost:
- Ask Polly, “Should I Try To Help My Alcoholic Friend”
- Captain Awkward, “Alcohol-abusing, depressed, long-distance boyfriend”