Observations from an Alcoholic’s Sister ~ The Signs
Me and my family quickly picked up on tell tale signs that Richard had been drinking. If he walked into the room chatting away we knew right then he had been drinking. Chattiness was not the norm for Richard, me yes, him no. Richard was generally a quiet person and really only spoke when he had something to say. Soon to follow his chattiness, came red bloodshot eyes and not long after that, stumbling. Once the stumbling started it went downhill really fast. He stumbled into furniture, knocked things off of tables, ended up breaking things and had us all begging him to please go upstairs and sleep it off.
Alcoholics need to understand there are obvious indicators they are drinking.
Richard would suck on peppermints thinking he was masking the smell of the alcohol. Alcoholics need to understand sucking on peppermints does not mask the smell of alcohol but it does add to the list of signs that let us know they have been drinking.
Alcoholics need to understand they cannot mask their addiction.
One thing I found intriguing as I watched my brother battle his addiction is how Richard thought he was hiding it from us. It was obvious Richard was sneaking alcohol into the house. If we weren’t bringing alcohol into the house and he was getting drunk in the house this left only one other person bringing it into the house, him. Alcoholics fool no one, they think they are while they sneak in bottles or hide filled or emptied bottles in file cabinets, dresser drawers, and closets etc. but everyone is aware they are drinking. We did not have to physically see Richard drink to know he had been drinking.
Alcoholics need to understand they fool no one.
I often think back on our childhood and the one thing that always comes to mind is Richard’s kindness. Richard had the kindest soul of anyone I will ever know. I never heard him say a bad word about anyone and if you needed help Richard was there.
One moment that always comes to mind is when we were staying in a cabin on Crystal Beach one summer. While I was walking around the cabin I got a burr stuck in my foot. I was little and very scared to pull it out because every time I touched the burr it hurt and stuck me in the fingers. As we sat on the floor contemplating what I should do, Richard looked at me and said, “If you let me pull it out I will give you my box of Cracker Jacks.” That was the kind of person Richard was, he would help anyone in need, even if it meant giving up his one and only box of Cracker Jacks.
Alcoholics need to know once they die from alcohol poisoning they leave loving families that miss them terribly every single day.