14 Nov Wade’s Recovery from Alcoholism Part 3
Can Wade Learn How to Help an Alcoholic?
Wade’s recovery from alcoholism is still in its infancy. Sure, he hasn’t had a drink in a few months, but he still walks through life resentful and frustrated. And although they haven’t yet led to a drinking binge, Wade’s reactions to life still tend towards the extreme.
We saw proof of this in the first part of our series, when envy drove him half insane. Last week, we learned how warped perceptions and isolation led Wade to seek alcohol treatment in the first place. This time out, we’ll see how Wade reacts when he’s confronted with someone else’s drinking.
It Ain’t Easy Living With a Recovered Alcoholic
Wade lives with four other men in a sober house. One of these men is named Jonas. So far, Wade has steered clear of him, because he is afraid that Jonas’s moodiness will lead to conflict. In fact, Wade finds the man annoying. And instead of reaching out, he’s simply avoided him. This is one of the marks of Wade’s alcoholism. He’s too trapped in his own head to notice when someone is suffering.
Coming from Cleveland, Jonas was overjoyed when his beloved Indians reached the World Series. He seemed euphoric for several days, especially when the Indians were poised to finish off the Cubs. Wade watched, exasperated, as Jonas cheered on his team. But at some point, he realized the source of his contempt for Jonas’s displays of joy. It came from the feelings of shame that always accompanied his own feelings of pleasure.
Drunk In the Sober House
It was not long after that Wade’s recovery from alcoholism truly began. As the Cubs seemed poised to shatter Jonas’s vicarious dreams, Wade found himself rooting for his housemate’s favorite team. The idea of Jonas having his heart broken was unbearable to him. The game was now as important to Wade as it was to Jonas.
But as they watched, Wade noticed Jonas acting strangely. He was brooding and sullen, and kept disappearing at crucial moments. He wasn’t even in the room when the Indians finally lost the series. Wade was however. He kept watching until the very end, desperate now to see Jonas happy again. For some reason, Wade was stricken with grief when the Indians lost.
His grief deepened a few moments later, when he heard the familiar sounds of drunken yelling from Jonas’s room. Wade rushed in without knocking, hoping to quiet Jonas before their other housemates heard. Obviously drunk, Jonas was on the phone, slurring his words as he tried to scream at whoever was on the other end.
What to Do When You Don’t Know What To Do
“Stop yelling, Jonas. They’ll hear you.” Wade had no idea where these words came from. Jonas dropped the phone on the floor and took an angry pair of steps toward him. Wade was afraid but stood his ground. He relaxed his posture and smiled at Jonas sadly. “I won’t tell.”
Jonas stepped back and dropped onto his bed. He sat there with his head cradled in his hands. Wade regarded him calmly, with dark concern playing across his face. At that moment, Jonas was all he could see. This broken man was suddenly more important than him.
Wade sat on the bed beside him, doing nothing. He had no idea how to help an alcoholic. But his own recovery from alcoholism began the moment he tried.