Marrying a charming alcoholic

Dangerous light emerges from dark

Marrying a charming alcoholic

You’re thinking how would you know? I do know. I know because I’m an editor. And many of my writers are married to alcoholics. What the heck? Man of my writers are alcoholics.

Here’s what it’s like. Alcoholics are great. They are smart and witty. They are breathtakingly charming especially when you meet them at a bar and they start telling how much they adore you. That is because they’re lonely. Loneliness is a problem when you’re a drinker.

Here are some of the wonderful qualities you often find in your alcoholic/lover.

They feel lost and alone and they want you to make them feel better.

They have a tendency to pass out at odd moments. After dinner. During dinner. Before dinner.

They never feel good enough. They always feel like something is missing. Now the fact is a lot of us feel something is missing. I do. (My ability to write and edit full time? That’s missing. I’ll even throw in being an arts administrator, but why oh why, must I have to work so hard on the whole making a living front?, yes, something is missing from my life too.)

Alcoholics tend to be perfectionists. It really annoys them when things aren’t going right. They have a my-way or the high way concept going on there.

What else? They have a very low tolerance rate for anything that knocks them off balance. They get anxious and irritable.

Unreachable. There is an isolation factor here. And yet. They need to be the life of the party. The drama queen, the one who gets the attention. Alcoholics usually have a certain arrogance and can get very angry, very explosive. They have a very different public and private self. They are charming to others, just lovely, but in private, things can get ugly. In spite of everything, they can’t take in that they are loved, love bounces off your average alcoholic like water off ducks.

I understand heavy drinkers. Even though, no one in my family is a big drinker, I get it. I catch the drift.

Writers are lonely. Writers, like alcoholics have a grandiose idea of themselves and yet, feel grossly under-appreciated. Writers feel lonely and ignored. They want attention. Put alcoholism and writing together and you have a lethal combination.

That’s all just stuff. You enter a party with an alcoholic. It’s great. You are the life of the party. You’re decked. You are happening. Everyone is looking at you; look at you dancing around in there. You look marvelous. You are magic. And then the booze hits hard and heavy. It’s after midnight; you’re still dancing. It’s four in the morning, You’re now getting ugly. You’re getting crazy. And now it’s five in the morning. You’re snoring. You’re wiped out. You won’t wake up until four in the afternoon. And you won’t be able to talk to him/her then. Because he’s still in a haze. He’s still recovering. You’ll feel like one of those people in Al-anon. Those people who are co-depending. Who are making it all work for the alcoholic who sucks up all the energy in the room. Because that person needs all the time and energy there is to suck up.

I have so many friends who love these boozers and I recognize them when I see them. They are beautiful and shining. They glitter in the night, they beg to be taken care of. They beg for help. And for all of you out there who want something to do—care for an alcoholic, they need you. But they’ll keep sucking you until you have nothing left. You’ll have nothing but air. Enjoy it. Air is still free.

Published in: on August 12, 2012 at 8:46 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. So true. Thanks you. I just broke up with my alcoholic – the father of my unborn child. I have much more energy now, already. Seeking blogs to explain more what happened. Thanks for the sanity check!

  2. I know someone named Bob Murphy from Natick, MA and I noticed a LOT of dysfunctional behavior and personality traits in him! He is abusive, but also extremely selfish and does not have the ability to love others. Alcoholics are selfish because all they are concerned with are getting their next fix. Someone with an addiction problem cannot love other people. He also lacks the ability to feel compassion for others, Years ago he visited and my roommate’s dog started growling. The 2nd time he visited the dog got very riled up. My dog did not like him, and knew he was a bad guy. There was a lot of other terrible stuff, but I don’t have time to get into it all here, He is also a sociopath.

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