A year into our relationship, we were working a cocktail party together to help out my brother with his catering company. About halfway through the party, a guest pulled me aside and said, “I thought I should tell you that your bartender is inebriated.”My heart dropped. He was leaning on the wall behind the bar; he was so drunk that he couldn’t stand on his own.
Hidden amongst all the alcohol bottles, I saw a plastic cup he had been drinking vodka from.
As our relationship progressed, people around us felt more comfortable asking me why his eyes always seemed glazed over, and why he often told the same story twice. How did he break his ankle just by walking down the stairs?
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Even then, as I confronted him with what I had seen with my own eyes, he did nothing but deny, deny, deny. So he agreed to try Alcoholics Anonymous, but after trying a few meetings, he claimed AA wasn’t for him.
He said the religion aspect turned him off, and he insisted he could kick the habit on his own.
One day, I was driving past the liquor store and saw his car parked out front.
It wasn’t even in a real parking spot: He had just pulled up in front and left his car, the way one parks in an emergency.
Thinking back, the evidence that Jake* was an alcoholic was right in front of me. The telltale signs, like routinely passing out at 7 p.m.