This week’s HTYH is a continuation of Dennis’ story: It took me ten years of heavy drinking before I saw the same Dennis my classmates did. That’s why I need Alcoholics Anonymous, a home group, a sponsor, and to stay focused on the program of action as it is outlined in the book Alcoholics Anonymous. Given any other choices, I will make the wrong one because I cannot see myself as I really am; I cannot see the truth about me.
After high school I joined the Army. I joined up and left home to get back at my parents for loving me. My parents were responsible people, but I resented them for that. They gave me everything that was important, good food, clothes, shelter, and education. Considering the number of children they raised that was a lot, but it was never enough for me and I hated them.
I just couldn’t understand why they complained about me getting drunk and crawling through their bathroom window at four o’clock in the morning? Bringing their car home with no gas in the tank; and things of that sort. But I was trying to get back at them so I joined the Army. My parents said the military wouldn’t take me because of my lazy eye, but the local Army recruiter said I had the best eyes he’d seen in two or three months and I was signed up for the Army that afternoon.
I came home that night, my Dad was sitting on our front porch; he’s always had spirituality about him like the old-timers in Alcoholics Anonymous. My dad never got excited about my stupidity. He figured stupid people did stupid stuff and so he never got too excited because he knew once they grew up they wouldn’t be stupid anymore so why worry? I said, “Dad, I just joined the Army.” He said, “Son, I think that’s a brilliant idea, but you’d better tell your mother.” On my way inside to tell momma it occurred to me that his feelings didn’t seem one bit hurt and I began to think maybe I’d made a mistake? I told mom I’d joined the Army and she started crying, got hysterical and rolled all around her bed. I thought to myself, “Well, I got her back. That’ll teach them to mess with me.” I thought, “They’ll miss me now.”
Four weeks later I was stationed at Fort Jackson for basic training and I was the one who was crying and rolling all around my bed. The Army was good for me because it kept me alive and taught me things I needed to know. I had an exceptional military career. After six months of basic training and six more months of special training I went to Vietnam.
After I came home, I married my girl friend Libra. We had a son in May, that same year. We moved to Oklahoma and I started doing some heavy drinking. We did what most alcoholic families do; we drank, fought and chased each other around with a butcher knife. We argued about money and everything else; our lives were total chaos. To be continued.
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