Bump In The Night

This is the hallway from my bedroom to my office.

Hallway from bedroom to office

It’s a four-step commute by day but takes an extra step or two if shuffling sleepily for a 2 a.m. pee. I could use the much-closer ensuite toilet, but journey to the office bathroom out of consideration for my sleeping husband.

I had a strange encounter with this hallway recently. Two steps into the mid-sleep-pee-shuffle I bumped hard into a closed door. Startled but still drowsy, I paused and then walked into it a second time. This jolted me into alertness.

I reached out for the door handle but couldn’t seem to find it in the dark. Wait. Why was it so dark? There is usually a glow from the programmable thermostat in the hallway. I spun around but was afraid I might wobble and fall down the stairs, so I retraced my footsteps backward to look for the glowing gadget on the wall. Nothing. The power must be out.

I stood still in the darkness, my mind now racing to make sense of the closed office door (which I was sure I’d left open earlier), the shortened hallway, the eerie darkness and possible power outage.

I must be somewhere else. Were we visiting some one? No, this was definitely my home’s hallway. I could see the dim outline of my bedroom window behind me, right where it should be. I could hear the dogs snorting on their floor beds. And I needed to pee. That was whole reason for getting out of my nice warm bed in the first place. Hurry Jean! Your bladder will explode! Think, think.

Taking my bearings from the window behind me, I cautiously moved forward down the blackness of the hallway and again encountered the office door entirely too soon.

“I don’t know why this door is closed or why it seems to be in the wrong spot, but I am going to open it and see what is going on here!” My thoughts were now coming in a clear, commanding tone.  I was Sigourney Weaver, Jodie Foster and Mayim Bialik rolled into one.

(Meanwhile, some other part of my brain was narrating the scene in a golf whisper: Jean is confused by this situation but she is handling it calmly, I must say. She’s a clever girl, folks. Let’s watch her figure this out.)  I giggled, perhaps for the sake of the imagined audience. “What the heck is going on here?” I said quietly, still careful to not wake my husband.

I began to feel the door for its handle (why couldn’t I find the handle?!) and touched something soft. Fabric?  Did the door slam in the breeze from an open window? Were the curtains somehow caught in the closed door? Impossible. The curtains wouldn’t reach. I had closed the windows before bed.

Oh God. I knew exactly what had happened: A burglar had cut the power, came in through the office window, and hastily shut the door as I approached – wedging his jacket as he did so and pinning him motionless on the OTHER SIDE OF THIS DOOR.

Sweet mother of mercy, I was inches away from an intruder!

My heart pounded and my head spun. (Golf whisperer: “Ladies and gentleman, this woman’s composure is astounding. She should be screaming right now but she is cool as a cucumber.”)

I leaned my ear towards the door to hear my killer’s breathing but couldn’t seem to land on it. I raised a hand in front of my face and in the blackness touched something so startling I gasped: a shoe.

A shoe I knew immediately: my own Fleuvogs.

Suddenly it all made sense.

Closet beside hallway

I’d missed entering the hallway from my bedroom by a sleepy stumbling step and was instead in my closet. The “door” I’d encountered was really a bank of drawers. The murdering burglar’s jacket was a protruding t-shirt. Above the drawers are shelves for my shoes – had I reached higher to begin with I would have figured this out immediately. Instead I had just spent several moments in the pitch black closet, pondering mysterious circumstances and then fearing for my life.

No time to reflect, though. Back to reality – I needed to pee.

Out in the (actual) hallway the thermostat glowed normally just as it should. The power was not out. Four strides ahead the office door was wide open, and within seconds I was gratefully completing my original mission.

I laid awake in bed afterward, smiling to myself. I have been sober for three years now, and one of the most unexpected gifts of recovery has been my ability to laugh at situations that would have otherwise felt disgraceful.

Had I drunk 5 glasses of wine before walking into a closet to pee, I would not feel so free to laugh at myself. I would have chalked up the misstep to shameful drunkenness, feared greatly for my sanity, and ultimately may have even peed in there. (Golf whisperer: “She is shuddering at the very thought of that. Urinating off-target was one of her greatest fears, folks. One of her greatest fears. And rightfully so.”)

The next morning, my husband asked, “What were you doing in the closet last night?”

“You knew I was in there?” I hooted. The thought of his awareness juxtaposed with my confusion made the situation even more amusing.

“Yes, you were in there for a long time. Just standing there mumbling to yourself.”

“Well, it’s a funny story,” I started and soon I had him laughing with me.

“You’re crazy,” he said, shaking his head.

“Nope,” I smiled. “I am just fine. Clear as a bell.”

“This girl can handle anything now, ladies and gentlemen. Anything that comes her way she can handle.”

(golf clap)


About UnPickled

I am learning to walk without the crutch of alcohol. As I begin I am 1 day sober. Gulp. I drank in private and hope to quit just as privately. The purpose of this blog is to help make me accountable - just by following you will give me enormous support and encouragement.

Posted on November 5, 2014, in Getting Sober and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 38 Comments.

  1. 😀 Great post, and beautiful closet.


  2. Oh my goodness! Too funny! Yet I wonder, why didn’t your husband go to help you to save you from the intruder? hehe!

    Visiting from NaBloPoMo!


  3. Thank you for putting into words one of the best things I’ve liked about not drinking the last five months – I cut myself way more slack. I’ve noticed my husband does too. I think I was using it as a reason to be so hard on myself – talk about digging your own hole.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Priceless!!!! Peeing somewhere I wasn’t supposed to was one of my greatest fears too!


  5. Hey again you’ve made me giggle. You know I live near St Andrews, you sure you don’t want a job commentating with that excellent golf voice of yours?? They’d love you here.

    They really would. Not sure the wardrobes (our version of your posh closet) are up to your standards though…….;)


  6. Thank you Unpickled.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love this! AMAZING WRITING.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is an extremely well written and entertaining story! I will look forward to future posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lol! Hilarious! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You are a marvelous story teller! Loved this true tragic (but not really) tale.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hilarious! Thanks for the laugh, I needed it today!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hahahahahaha! Awesome! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. You had me cry-laughing. Great story, hilarious delivery.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. great sobriety message….
    but seriously, all i can do is salivate at the coset…*swoon*


  15. My husband go lost in the bedroom one night. I was lying their laughing to myself, just as your husband did. Sober sleep make me hear it. We had a good laugh in the morning. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Love this! Day 12 and counting. Pretty sure ive had a “closet ” moment as well. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Gee, thanks dear for making sure I wasn’t trying to sleep in the closet? LOL 🙂


    • I thought it was sweet that he thought I was actually “doing” something in there and not just lost and confused. He has grown accustomed to my constant puttering by day and assumed it was spilling into the night.


  18. Great post. I can relate! Ha, being sober makes even the craziness OK! I’m on day 47 and have found additional strength from your posts. And therapy certainly helps to kick the skeletons out of the closet. I’m self-managing, not into groups…. So thank you, once again, for your guidance.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Jean: I enjoyed this story–especially the “golf commentator” inclusions. I have been following you since mid-April and am happy to have you back posting more frequently. I got 7 days right now with lots of 7, 10, and even two 30+ day stints since mid-April. I have followed a few other high-profile sober bloggers, but I sometimes feel that they don’t dig as deep as you and Ellie (whom I’ve also been following and happy to have back posting occasionally again).

    Thank you for your honesty about every aspect of leaving alcohol behind in order to grow in countless ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My pleasure and privilege, truly. Stay persistent and don’t give up! It is really great to live alcohol free, I promise. Once you get into the groove it is a free, lovely way to live.


  20. I know this is completely not the point of your story, but I love the hardwood floors and color scheme in your hallway. Beautiful!


  21. Funny! Love “clear as a bell” P.S. day 5 sober 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  22. just a great post, and told beautifully. High five, sister!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Omg! Laughing so hard here I am almost peeing my pants. Thank you, Jean, for adding more laughter to my day. Love it!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Lol. I love that your husband knew you were awake.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Same here Jean – laughing at myself rather than berating is so much kinder 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Smiling all the way through this 🙂 Brilliant. X


  27. Thank you for all that you put out there – so “comforting” to know there are many out there and we are not alone (or as alone) as we sometimes feel.


  1. Pingback: My Favourite Reads - My Unwritten Life

  2. Pingback: Finding My Voice | We Admitted We Were Powerless

  3. Pingback: Trip down memory lane | feelingmywaybackintolife

Your Turn! Have Your Say:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

The Truth of Being Me

Memories, Moments & Mid-Life of a Woman, Survivor & Fighter

Finding a Sober Miracle

A woman's quest for one year of sobriety

Unbeaching the Whale

A recovery journey

A Beautiful Mess

Embracing the beautiful mess God created me to be

Anna Bananas

I might be crazy, but at least I'm sober

mistakes by the lake

sit down. let me tell you a story about ohmygod what am I doing?

ma petite lumière

a creative outlet + nonlinear collection of musings on unlearning how to destroy and remembering how to create. designed to enlighten, empower and humor.


I used to drink to do life, now I have to figure it out the old fashioned way - dazed and confused, lucky it's hilarious.


who knew life would be better????

Total Fatty

Escaping my escape mechanisms.

Hurrah for coffee!

My new sober adventure!


How I Secretly Quit My Secret Habit of Secretly Drinking

Honeybee Living

How I Secretly Quit My Secret Habit of Secretly Drinking

suburban betty

clean & serene

Heya, Monster.

A SoberBlog by a TallWoman.

A Spiritual Evolution

an alcoholic's blog and addiction memoir

life without vodka rocks

Quitting alcohol on my own terms


living without alcohol, living again

Seeing Clear Lee

musings on becoming alcohol-free

The Truth About Alcohol

We Are Not Alcoholics and we Refuse to be Anonymous

My Road To Abstinence

Sober, me? Really?


Trying to ace sober living


Today is the first day of the rest of my life. Starting today I am on my way.

The Six Year Hangover


And Everything Afterwards

How I quit alcohol and discovered the beauty of a sober life

Raising Healthy Children in an Alcoholic Home

A Book and Blog for Parents in Recovery from Alcoholism and Codependence


Finding myself by leaving the wine behind...


From daily wine drinker to alcohol free living...this is my journey.


from liquid courage to sober courage

Mrs D Is Going Without

How I Secretly Quit My Secret Habit of Secretly Drinking

A hangover free life

Waking up to the sobering reality that booze is the problem not the solution


Mixed-up, Mashed-up, Mished-up.


I got sober. Life got big.

Heather Kopp

Words fail, but sometimes I try

Sober Grace

Finding and practicing grace in recovery


There are no coincidences.

Running on Sober

This blog is on hiatus, thank you for your support.

Sober Identity

#Life Coach #50+ Years #Striving #Thriving #Emerge: Growing From Addiction-Starter's Guide" #AfterRehabCoaching

%d bloggers like this: