I was never an immaculate housekeeper, but I thought my house was always clean. Not so anymore. I don’t have the time nor the energy to keep up with it all and that bothers me. The adult children in my house don’t have the time or don’t always make the time to make things clean and tidy. I am annoyed by constantly seeing clean laundry in the living room, random items in the dining room, and dog fur everywhere.
My husband used to be meticulous about his appearance. He was that person who had a place for everything and everything in its place. Alcoholism has certainly changed that. He leaves food and dirty dishes on the table. He will take off a pair of disposable underwear, overflowing with urine, and put it on the floor. He doesn’t appear to remember what a trash can is for. He has bathed and shaved twice this year. Previously, thanks to alcohol, he neglected self and surroundings because he didn’t care. He probably still doesn’t care, but now he is physically unable to safely get items off the floor or sometimes walk up a flight of stairs. He is becoming physically emaciated and can often have a difficult time walking upright.
Yesterday afternoon I came home from a long shift, opened the front door, and was bombarded by foul smells. My husband had accidentally peed on the couch. This has happened before, so there are waterproof pads put down to protect the cushions. However, those soaked pads were still on the couch along with the wet sheet/couch cover. An alcoholic’s urine does not smell normal for biological reasons that would be of no interest to most people. Sometimes the offensive odor is so strong that it can be smelled 30 feet away.
So, I had to change the pee pads, change the sheet, wash all the urine-soaked laundry, plus wipe up the urine that was on the floor by the toilet. Upstairs in my husband’s bedroom, lying on the rug, was another very used disposable underwear and soiled clothing from the day before.
After cleaning up after him, taking care of dogs, and several hours of schoolwork, I slept well. When I woke up there were more messes to clean up. Husband had slept on the couch during the night and had another accident. He was very apologetic about it. So, I took care of changing everything on the couch again, and also wiping up more puddles of pee on the floor by the couch and by the toilet.
As I was doing all of this cleaning, seeing a cat litter box that needed to be attended to, piles of laundry where they should be and piles where they should not be, and husband’s messes everywhere, I did not have any overwhelming emotions of anger, sadness, frustration, etc. It was almost as if I was numb inside.
Then, suddenly I heard a specific song in my head, “…it is well with my soul…” Everything was put into perspective. Husband is debilitated and needs to be taken care of, house is not clean but it is not going to kill anyone, children have good jobs that they work hard at, dining room is not needed for meals right now so it is alright for it to be messy at the moment. I wish it were different, but I will not put myself into an emotional stew because of it. “Through it all my eyes are on You, and it is well with me.”