I feel like a jerk. Sometimes I don’t remember what I’ve posted about, what I’ve simply responded to in the comments, and what I’ve commented on others’ blogs.
I realized after nichtisobel’s comment earlier today that I never fully addressed some pretty important details about Hayden’s drinking problem here. I’ve definitely written about them, just not on this blog. And I’m sure some of you thought, “What the fuck is this chick doing asking her alcoholic boyfriend to bring over booze?! What a callous, insensitive bitch!”
In reality, this has been an ongoing conversation with Hayden. Please forgive my scatterbrain.
I was a little perturbed a couple weeks ago when we went out for Mexican food because Hayden had ordered a margarita with his meal after I had ordered an iced tea with mine. Yes, it’s something we should have discussed beforehand because we had always ordered margaritas with our Mexican food before The Incident*.
*I will now refer to the night that he abruptly canceled coming over to watch The Bachelorette and then ghosted for 4 days as “The Incident” just to simplify things, as I’m sure it will come up again in the future.
Since The Incident, though, and all the dialogue we’ve had about his drinking, I’d automatically assumed that we wouldn’t drink together. I shouldn’t have assumed.
A few days later, I had a bottle of wine here at the house mainly for my own enjoyment. I had made dinner and said to Hayden, “I have a bottle of wine here but I am not sure how I feel about offering you some. I won’t drink it while you’re here if it’s not appropriate. I want to support you.”
He said he was fine having a glass or two of wine with me. He said his issue is with drinking alone and when bored. He said it’s the big reason he likes staying busy.
Coincidentally, a few days ago I told him I wanted to hear more about his experience being homeless sometime, what is was like. His response shocked the hell out of me. He said, “It was boring.”
Um, WHAT?! I was stunned. I replied, “I would have thought you’d say it was uncomfortable or miserable or scary, not that it was boring.”
However, I think his response might be telling. Maybe being bored reminds him of being homeless so he drinks to avoid the pain or block the memories?
Anyway, he’s still trying to work out his new insurance and is still in process of finding a new doctor. He may have already found one and just hasn’t updated me. I did tell him I would go to his first appointment with him; he said he would like that.
I’m no expert in alcohol abuse… but I don’t believe that abstinence is necessary for everyone. I still suspect that Hayden is self-medicating for anxiety or depression and that once he gets a diagnosis and proper treatment, the drinking will automatically take care of itself. He would still need to do modify his behavior with drinking at home alone, though.
If his doctor says he needs to completely abstain, I will support Hayden with that 100%. Until he sees a doctor, we really don’t know what we’re doing.
I’ve told Hayden this story before: I used to be addicted to Diet Coke. I loved it. I drank anywhere from 2 to 4 per day. I had successfully broken my addiction several years in the past but started drinking it again on a whim and got addicted again easily.
Finally, I knew I had to quit cold turkey. I made the decision and stuck to it. That was a little over 2 years ago. I’m not going to lie. It was hard. It still is hard.
I miss it. Still. But I know that having just one would be a slippery slope and I’d be addicted again before long.
Hayden was incredulous. He said, “But Diet Coke is disgusting! Why did you like it?” I couldn’t tell him why other than maybe it was the distinctive taste or maybe it was the carbonation. I still haven’t found anything similar to replace it.
And then I asked him if drinking alcohol was a slippery slope for him, if it made him want to drink more. He said no.
I had told my Diet Coke story in vain. But at least I knew that drinking with him occasionally wasn’t likely to worsen his drinking. He said he thought the opposite, that occasionally enjoying some wine with me was actually helping.
Last night was the first time since The Incident that I asked him to bring booze over to my house. And the only reason I made that request is because it was a festive occasion: The Bachelorette finale. (I asked him to bring wine or champagne and was secretly hoping he’d bring champagne. He’s never said it, but I now suspect he doesn’t like it.)
Most of the time I see him we don’t drink at all.
I feel like we’re in a good place. We are at a higher level of communication and trust, and I no longer hold back asking questions. More importantly, his answers seem open, honest, and genuine.
In other news, I logged onto OK Cupid tonight and saw that they had posted an explanation about why they removed the Visible Visitors feature. I thought it was interesting. I love OK Cupid’s devotion to data.
And… I had no idea they had a blog with all sorts of great articles, including the very timely article about age gaps in relationships. I found this one in particularly fascinating because it explains why I’ve had much better luck dating younger dudes.