Someone I loved deeply is an alcoholic, and it has hurt me more than I could have ever realized.
I’ve always been around alcohol, even having my own issues with alcohol that was never long-lived. I could always take or leave alcohol myself.
During my time with the person I loved, I recognized that alcoholism doesn’t necessarily have an obvious face. It hides behind social beers, or sneaking one here and there at inappropriate times.. but then it becomes obvious when you find yourself cleaning up numerous beer cans every night. Half a dozen, 10, a dozen on Saturday. Stopping to count how many times a night you hear the “psst” of the can opening, because you know you’re only up for a fight if you mention it.
Loving someone with alcoholism has left its marks, almost as though I have some sort of PTSD from living in the shadow of someone else’s bottle. I no longer feel comfortable around men who drink. I prefer to be around men who abstain from alcohol, and silently feel uncomfortable when I am with a man and he is imbibing. I judge people who like to drink, and I live as an anti-alcohol advocate.
Alcohol was my bedmate, my soulmate, my roommate, and my spouse. That was then, that person is living with his reality now, while I recover in my own alcohol-free reality.
I can only hope that this person I loved has learned to love alcohol less, in light of new obligations and new life paths.
For myself, I hope I can soon shed the scars of that time I spent being second fiddle to a 6-pack.