By Emmeline Bisiikwa, Uganda
I soon realized my new flame liked drinking just to get drunk. He drank before breakfast, in the middle of the day and before coming to see me. You may ask yourself who doesn’t drink to get drunk. The truth is that the average drinker doesn’t aim become intoxicated when they drink. They drink maybe just to fit in or get a buzz. Alcoholics on the other hand, love that loss of control when one drinks. They crave it and look forward to it. Even when they are drunk, they feel normal.
It’s a progressive thing though, some start out with one beer a week or two and then it escalates to daily drinking. So long as they go to work the next day all is good. When he was put on probation for tardiness and coming late as well as alcohol related behavior, it occurred to me that I was dealing with something beyond me.
I guess I was in denial. All signs were there. His car was a walking testament to having a good time. He had a whole wardrobe in the back seat well knowing he may not spend the night home and yet need to be smart to work the next day. The hangovers seemed not to deter him anymore; he was used to the aftermath of his binge drinking.
I hadn’t been out with him enough to know whether he got obnoxious after drinking. I raised my concerns to the friend that introduced us, telling her I had asked him to see me when sober. She responded, ‘You may never see him then. He is always drinking.’ I realized that if I decided to stay, it would be an uphill battle because drinking was now his lifestyle.
I began to consider whether it was worth it to get caught up in this mess. Was it my curse that alcoholics would be the only loving men I met or was I the one attracting such people with control issues?
He promised not to drink for a week but every time we would talk he would mention a drink or plans to take one. I asked him what he planned to stop and he would always say soon. At this point I realized he may not even be able to stop and yet he still felt it wasn’t a problem.
Alcohol causing problems at his workplace wasn’t a strong enough reason for him to stop. He still went on drinking and expecting that it harmed no one. One time I asked if he wasn’t worried about his liver and he said he hoped it would be ok.
I guess his health and wellbeing wasn’t on his list of priorities at his age, after all he had time to be responsible when he was older. Eventually, I realized I wasn’t strong enough to handle his drinking issues especially if he didn’t realize it was a problem in the first place. I decided not to repeat the same mistakes and walked away.
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