Loving an alcoholic

Meet Adam.

Drinking is all Adam can think about. It is his reason to wake up in the morning. Alcohol is his heroin or cocaine. Like any respectable junkie, Adam will do whatever it takes to get his steady daily supply of booze.

Adam does not think twice about lying. He lies about how much he really drinks. He lies about where he really goes. He lies about his needs for it. He lies to his friends. He lies to his family. He lies to himself.

Adam meets Eve.

Adam really likes Eve. She is honest, has her head on her shoulders, is going places in life.

Adam wants Eve. He controls his drinking for months. He goes to the gym. He is his sweetest, best self. He takes her to restaurants. They share bottles of wine. They go to bars. They go to concerts. They are having so much fun together. He always buys the drinks, two straight shots for him to each of her fruity light one. Eve does not need to know that when Adam “takes a work call outside”, he is sneakily downing a double at the bar.

Eve falls in love with the sweet and considerate Adam.

Adam wants Eve for himself only.

He is rude to her friends. He starts arguments. He intimidates them. They become busy when Eve calls. They always have other plans when Eve invites them for dinner. None of them tell her why. After all, it is not their business if Eve stays with that looser.

Adam is rude to her family. Eve’s parents and siblings try to warn Eve. But Eve is in love. Her parents do not know how sweet Adam can really be.

She sees that he can have a temper sometimes, but he is always so apologetic afterwards. He buys her so many flowers. He showers her with gifts. Yes, he may drink a little bit too much here and there, but everybody drinks. Some tolerate it better than others. Adam is simply a lightweight. Nothing to worry about. Her parents always tried to control her… Adam says.

Eve is lonely. But Adam is here. He is always here. And he wants to marry her. He wants to start a family with her. He loves her. He cannot wait for them to make a baby.

Eve is pregnant. She is so happy to tell Adam!

Adam does not react the way Eve expects. He is getting himself a drink.

Adam spends more time with his friends. He works late. When Eve complains, Adam tells her that, with the baby coming, he needs to make more money.

Adam comes home smelling of alcohol. Eve complains. She can no longer drink. Her head is clearer than it has been for a long time. Her sense of smell is stronger.

Adam tells her to shut it. He is under a lot of pressure at work. A baby is on its way. Eve is no fun and constantly nagging. He deserves a drink here and there. If Eve does not like it, she can shove it.

Eve is tired. Stress, bad sleep, and morning sickness are taking a toll. The laundry starts to pile up. She is asking Adam for help. It turns ugly.

Adam tells Eve that he is disgusted by the filth that Eve allowed to accumulate in the apartment. He tells her that she is lazy. He tells her that she is stupid. He tells her that she is getting fat and that eating for two does not look good on her. He tells her that he does not know how he will pay for the hospital costs; that he was not, and still is not ready for that baby that Eve is trapping him into having. He deserves a break from her. He may or not be back. He is going out with his friends.

Adam comes back home that evening drunk. Eve is not happy and lets him know. Adam punches Eve.

Eve leaves the house. She runs to her parents. They take her in. They knew Adam had problems. They knew it was a question of time. They tell Eve that she should call the police. That she should end it with Adam. That he is bad news. They tell her that they love her. That her baby is welcome.

Eve agrees. She is leaving Adam.

While Eve is sleeping, Adam leaves voice mails on her phone. He is so, so sorry. He is an awful man. He cannot believe he hurt Eve. It was the alcohol. Eve knows Adam cannot drink much, doesn’t she? His friends are a bad influence. He will never see them again. Only Eve and the baby matter. He will make it up to her, she will see. He loves her. He loves her. He loves her.

Eve goes back to Adam. He is making all the promises she wants him to make. He stops drinking. He tells Eve that he is seeing a therapist. He is, again, the man Eve loves.

It is a couple weeks before their baby is born. He tells Eve that he quit his job. She should not worry. He already has something lined up and he will start next Monday. He does not tell Eve that he got fired following an argument with a coworker that happened after a couple shots and a beer lunch.

The baby is born. Adam is still without work and drinks every day. He screams at Eve. He shoves and pushes her around. He shouts at the baby to stop crying.

Eve leaves Adam to go back to her parents. They tell her that this time is the last time. Either she stays away from Adam, or their door will be closed to her.

All week, Adam leaves voice mails on her phone. He is so, so sorry. He is an awful man. He cannot believe he hurt Eve and yelled at the baby. It was the alcohol. Eve knows Adam cannot drink much. His friends are a bad influence. He will never see them again. Only Eve and the baby matter. He will go to rehab and therapy if this is what Eve wants him to do. He will make it up to her, she will see. He found a new job. He is sending flowers. He is sending gifts. He loves her. He loves her. He loves her.

Eve goes back to Adam.

Eve is with Adam. She has two kids. Years ago, they moved to another state, where Adam found a job. She does not have friends coming to her house. She sees her parents during the Holidays every other year. Adam never goes with her. Eve does not talk about Adam with her parents. Her parents do not ask.

Eve loves to work. Going to the office is her vacation time. She has friends there. She does not mind long hours. When at home, she cooks, feeds everyone, cleans up, kiss her kids’ good night, and goes to bed early.

Adam likes to spend the evenings in front of the TV. Oftentimes, he falls asleep on the couch, his finished glass on the coffee table.

And it goes on and on. And it lasts years and years. A family in name only.

Adam is always tired. He looks older than his age. He used to be strong and muscular. Now, he has a big belly and very little muscle. He complains about his skin itching. His memory is becoming spotty. He is confused as to how old the kids, now teenagers, are.

He takes a lot of medications. High blood pressure. High cholesterol. Severe heartburn and indigestion. A doctor told him years ago that he must stop drinking.

He suffers from panic attacks and anxiety. A doctor told him that he should not mix these pills with alcohol.

What do doctors know?

He still listens to the music he used to listen in his twenties. He tells stories from way back then. He does not have any new ones to tell. When he started drinking heavily, he simply lost the energy to both drink and live. One had to go.

He maintains a job as he has the suspicion that losing yet another one would push Eve to finally go for good, taking the kids with her. Adam knows that Eve does not need him anymore, nor want him. He told her, during their last fight, that he would kill himself if she left him. She stayed.

Adam sees how men still look at Eve. She would not stay alone for long… maybe she already has someone she is interested in? He needs a drink.

Eve is done loving Adam. Years ago, her love turned to hate. The hate left. Now, she looks at him with contempt. She finds him weak. She thinks him a coward. He is killing himself slowly. She has no sympathy.

She barely listens when Adam speaks. Why would she bother? Whatever he says is most likely a lie.

Sometimes, Eve looks back at her life. She wishes that she would have known better back then. She should have run away before she allowed herself to start loving Adam.

She knows now that Adam was, and still is, an alcoholic, as predictable as any other. She does not find him interesting. She lost any hope that he would ever stop drinking. She does not even care. Adam is no longer her problem.

Katrin L.






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