This week I learned that a co-worker is a “closet alcoholic.” A few years ago, I was his boss, but he transferred to another location to get closer to home. We have kept in touch and talked about once or twice a month. He was an excellent employee and the higher-ups felt he was a tremendous asset to the organization. Last month he got promote to a higher supervisory position and had to re-locate his work location away from home. He is 36 years old, married with three children under 10 years of age. Thursday morning, he crashed his company vehicle around 4:30 AM after he’d been out drinking all night. He was actually off from work and was not authorized to be driving his company vehicle. He received multiple fractures to his face from smacking the steering wheel. The police arrived and placed him under arrest for DUI. The paramedics arrived, and he ended up going to the hospital because of his injuries. The big bosses arrived at the hospital and terminated him on the spot as he laid in the hospital bed. He was making good money, good benefits, and was the breadwinner for his family. Now he has nothing, his mom had to come get him out of jail. Now his wife is seriously considering divorce because she thinks he was out “partying” and possibly cheating on her. This was all such a shock to everyone that knows this person. He never showed any signs of alcoholism or mentioned any problems to anyone. We have a great employee assistance program that is very useful at helping employees get through some of life’s difficulties. It is so heartbreaking and disappointing to see someone with such great potential commit career suicide. He has a long road ahead of him and I honestly don’t know if he will make it. He is at absolute rock bottom, and I hope he doesn’t take his own life or do something drastic because of the stress. The only “silver lining” to the situation is that thankfully he didn’t crash into another motorist. He luckily ran off the side of the road and hit multiple trees. He could have just as easily crossed the center line and killed someone. The bottom line, if you are struggling, please get help. Have the courage to admit it, don’t deny it, and please talk to someone before it’s too late. This guy went from having it all to literally on the verge of homelessness in the blink of an eye because of alcohol abuse.