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Author unknown, "Any Day Was Washday"
(p. 369 in 3rd edition.)
Stopped in Time
drinker favored the local Laundromat as a watering
hole. Now, she no longer risks losing her home,
her self-respect, or her laundry."
One source says
this woman's date of sobriety was April 1973.
Her father was
a big Irish oilman who came up through the "school
of hard knocks" and so had to be a two-fisted
drinker. Her sweet mother said he had a "weakness."
The author realized that something was wrong and
developed a great sense of insecurity.
She married at
nineteen and had six children. In the beginning
she and her husband drank on social occasions,
but without problems.
Then a series
of tragedies occurred. Her father died from falling
down a flight of stairs while drunk, after his
death her sweet mother took up drinking and died
of cirrhosis of the liver; then her five-year-old
girl was killed by a neighbor's car. She couldn't
take all the stress and was soon admitted to a
state hospital for the mentally ill. After a few
months she was "released and left the world of
insanity, only to return to the world of alcoholic
Her husband disapproved
of her drinking so she would gather up the soiled
clothes and go the Laundromat, buying alcohol
on the way. She would get drunk at the Laundromat,
lose shirts, and once lost the entire wash. (During
this time she was considering doing laundry for
the neighbors as a part-time job, so that she
could spend all her time at the Laundromat.)
Finally her husband
decided he wanted a divorce and told her to leave
because she was "unfit as a mother, a wife, and
sister-in-law knew of a place that helped alcoholic
women, a halfway house. There she found A.A. and
learned that she didn't have a "weakness" but
the disease of alcoholism.
One night, a few
weeks after joining the Fellowship, she was surprised
and delighted to see a familiar face -- her husband.
It is unclear whether he was there because he,
too, was an alcoholic, or whether it was an open
meeting that he attended to learn about the disease
in order to help her. She says only "he was learning,
They resumed their
marriage, moved away from the street of sad memories,
and found a new home. But for her, what is more
important is "I found a new life in Alcoholics
Anonymous. I'm very active in A.A. work and active
at home, too, with my family. I still wash clothes,
lots of them, but I no longer lose them at the
Laundromat. That's right! During three years in
A.A., I haven't lost so much as one shirt."