Before landing in A.A., I definitely did not see myself as an alcoholic. Sure, I drank a fair amount. I more than kept up with my friends, but that label was not part of my descriptors. Denial is more than that river in Egypt. Consequently, my memory of drinking is hard to come by, but I do have flashbacks of what my life was like. Sure, I was drinking. That’s a given, but my thoughts don’t go to the actual drinking. There was about twenty minutes of joy. The rest is a blur, but I do have mental pictures or flashbacks of what my world was like.
I owe the biggest amends to my dog
The sink was always full to the brim with soaking dirty dishes. This softening of caked-on food was an integral part of housekeeping duties. The dishes had to soak a long time before I actually washed them. It happened frequently that I’d run out of plates and have to put on heavy rubber gloves to rescue a plate or two from the swamp. There were times when the whole process got too smelly, then I’d have to empty the sink and refill it, still unable to take the time to wash the dishes. The water would develop a thick scum with a bit of green color as the dishes continued to soak away, waiting to be washed. There were times when I put a dish towel over the sink to cover the ugliness, but still didn’t have the time to wash the dishes.
During the Summer of Love, I ironed. The ironing board and I were one and the same. It was always up in the living room, in front of the TV, so I could iron and watch TV at the same time. That was when I watched the goings on in San Francisco and dreamed of hanging out with the hippies. My husband wore white uniforms for work, and they needed starch along with the ironing. Ironing got down to a need to use basis. Semi-wet laundry ironed much easier when it was cold and wet. My refrigerator was full of laundry waiting to be ironed. When I didn’t get to the ironing, it had a tendency to mildew, and it smelled. This meant I had to take the laundry out and wash it all over again. It was a pain, until I discovered the freezer. Frozen laundry worked just as well as cold laundry and the clothes didn’t get mildewed.
We will not regret the past or wish to shut the door on it
My biggest amends probably need to go to my poor dog. I didn’t believe in walking him as during the summer, I’d lived on a farm and those dogs never got walked. We had a built-in porch and during the winter months, it was cold, so I’d just let the dog out onto the porch with a bunch of newspapers. That was his back yard. He spent most of his time on the porch. A beautiful collie (Lassie’s breed), he was matted and needed brushing. The porch was also starting to smell. So, I couldn’t let him into the house. One night I let him out and he didn’t return. The game warden found his body alongside a stream by our house. He told me animals were known to go off by themselves like that. That didn’t help. It was many years before I made it into the rooms of A.A. but these flashbacks still haunt me. I know the promise that says, “We will not regret the past or wish to shut the door on it.”
Maybe as I write of these memories, someone might identify. Today I’m so very thankful for A.A. My sink is never full, and any ironing goes directly to the cleaners.