College Boyfriend in Recovery After Years of Struggling With Alcoholism
What is Alcoholism
Full Definition of alcoholism according to Merriam Webster Dictionary:
continued excessive or compulsive use of alcoholic drinks
a chronic disorder marked by excessive and usually compulsive drinking of alcohol leading to psychological and physical dependence or addiction
John's Struggle with Alcoholism
My college boyfriend came for his annual visit last weekend. It's the third straight year he's made the trip from Arizona. What makes this reunion a miracle of sorts, are the obstacles he overcame to get to where he is today.
What a Wonderful Visit
Me and my College Sweetheart
The Story of how John and I met and Fell in Love
My college boyfriend struggled for years with the debilitating disease of Alcoholism. I had no idea when John and I began dating that he was struggling with an addiction. The night we met, he was drinking but I thought nothing of it as many college kids were partaking in social drinking. We met at a "Famous Couples" party that the dormitory committee organized. I was to dress up as "Joannie" and John was to dress like "Chachi" from the t.v. show, "Happy Days." The party was actually a group blind date in that you had no idea who your date was until you saw them in costume.
I was looking forward to this event but feeling apprehensive about the "blind date" concept. What made this situation easier was knowing my buddies were in the same boat.
I'll never forget when my girlfriend's and I walked into the party room of the dorm. We nervously scanned the crowd hoping to figure out which one was our date. I thought I pinpointed a guy that looked like "Chachi." I have to admit, I was relieved to see he was good looking and not a total dweeb. I could tell he eventually noticed me too but seemed nervous and continued chatting with his friends. I finally mustered up the courage and made my way across the room and introduced myself. "Hi, are you Chachi?" He smiled at me and said, "ya, are you Joannie?"
He was a little shy at first which I found extremely appealing. Much better than the guys that were overly confident and cocky. He stood about 5'6", an inch taller than myself. He had a handsome boyish face and the most beautiful green eyes and long eyelashes. Once we started talking and broke the ice, it was clear we were both very attracted to each other. He seemed to be just my type. I was really excited to see what this night would bring.
John and I stayed up well after the party ended. We talked and laughed into the wee hours. We would end up dating on and off for the next four years. I say on and off because I realized early in the relationship he had a drinking problem. Things would become pretty chaotic and rocky because of his addiction and the poor choices he was making. Unfortunately, I was young, naïve and "in love" and kept getting back together with him throughout my college career.
John eventually graduated, long after most of his peers because of the heavy drinking. After college, he moved to Arizona with his brothers who were also addicts. His life continued to spiral downward and soon my college boyfriend was a homeless man with nothing. He would dumpster dive for his food and make a little money collecting empty cans. Soon he would be too sick to rummage for food. He continued hanging around a tough crowd of addicts and dating a woman who was dual diagnosis. She was an addict and mentally ill. He told me that it was common practice for her to let out bloodcurdling screams throughout the day because of her Schizophrenia.
The years of chronic drug use and drinking caught up with him. He began passing out due to high blood pressure and eventually began having dangerous seizures. At the worst point of his disease, he nearly died. He was told he had cirrhosis of the liver and his esophagus burst twice because of the toxins that were no longer getting filtered by the liver. This was John's rock bottom and life altering experience. He was sick and tired and asked for help with his alcoholism.
John is grateful to be alive and knows that he's a walking miracle after almost dying twice. I am so proud of him and the steps he's taken to get clean and sober. He's even back running marathons which was something he loved before the addiction robbed him of his passions.
During John's painful dark days, I was always kept abreast of his life and struggles. All I could do is PRAY and hope someday...As I sit here writing his story, I am filled with joy and gratitude that my dream has come true. That my college sweetheart is sober and truly Living his life. I lost my mother and brother to this insidious disease and John and I both know full well, it could have been him. There is always hope, even in the most desperate of cases.
© 2011 Linda Rogers
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© 2011 Linda Rogers