Who (Else) Is Reading UnPickled?

Do you wonder who else is reading recovery blogs besides yourself? Question if you are unique among the group or normal as anything? Curious what their worries and concerns are? Me, too! I have been analyzing the survey results with great interest.

As of this writing, 274 readers took the survey in just 2 days  – a much larger sampling than I expected. Thank you all for taking the time and sharing your experiences.

Without further adieu…the results!

Question 1: Which statement describes you best?

96 of 274 survey participants indicated that they are either wondering if they have a problem or wondering what to do about it. In case you don’t hear this enough from people in recovery, I repeat: YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Each of us feels like the only person in the world to sit at our keyboards and search, “How to quit drinking alcohol” but here is proof that there were nearly 100 others just like you in the last few days – and that’s just the ones brave enough to answer the survey!

6 of 274 respondents were just here to learn more about what addiction is like. To you I say THANK YOU for your caring interest. Whomever you are here to support is a lucky person.

172 of 274 that answered the survey are in varying stages of recovery. My guess is that many of you draw on blogs like UnPickled for ongoing support, and I hope that these stats illustrate to you how important your comments are to other readers (i.e. the 96 above who are still drinking and looking for help). Whether you have 3 days or 3 years, you give hope and guidance to those mustering the courage to begin.

I started this blog to document my journey, but I was so inwardly focused that I did not consider for one moment that anyone else would follow my trail of breadcrumbs. It is ridiculous to think I was the last alcoholic who would ever get sober, yet that’s what my self-absorbed attitude amounted to. Those who came up behind me have helped me just as much as those we went before – we are into a current of support that carried us when we need it most.

The readership here represents such a continuum – many came here initially as seekers and keep coming back for new perspectives and information while sharing lessons and encouragement in the comments section. Many start their own (amazing!) blogs and use the interaction as a recovery network. Many slip in and out – still trying, still deciding, still drinking in many cases; to these folks I send a long, strong, two-armed hug of compassion and understanding. (You know who you are. I am hugging you, feel that?)

Question 2: Evaluate your relationship with each of the following:

nov2014 survey q2 responses

This surprised me – alcohol seems to be the main struggle here without a lot of cross-addictions or complications. It is not overly surprising to see that food represents concern for a large number of us, with 117 noting concerns about food and 21 respondents acknowledging an abusive relationship with food.  Some of this may be attributed to using food to soothe the transition away from using alcohol, and in some cases may be true co-morbidities (using that word makes me feel like a bit of a poser, but it’s a good word!).

By the way, a wink to those of you who commented, “Stupid question – it’s pretty hard to abstain from food.” I knew you’d zing me, cheeky buggers! For the sake of time and space, I let you figure out the intent of the question. The survey was also a bit confusing for those who are on antidepressants or anti-anxiety meds, however no one noted abusing prescription drugs and that was the real gist of the question.

In the comments, a number of people share the same concern for the time spent on the internet and/or watching Netflix. Other worrisome activities listed include sex/people pleasing/relationship-based, anxiety, nail biting and/or skin picking, caffeine and/or sugar, anger and resentments, anxiety, working, exercise, and using pills for sleep.

Question 3: What surprised you as you learn more about recovery?

Top 10 Answers

How good it is/ happiness (54)

I’m not alone/ there are others like me (43)

How difficult it is (25)

Seeing true reality of situation (21)

Changes in thinking (20)

Feelings of freedom, self-esteem, authenticity (15)

That I was in denial (11)

Variety and scope of various pathways (10)

The online community (7)

How long it takes; that it really is a lifetime choice (7)

Question 4:  What is your biggest concern currently?

 Top 10 Answers

Relapse/fear of failure (51)

Getting started (32)

Social stigma/acceptance (25)

Health/weight (19)

Feeling low/anxious/unhappy (15)

Marriage/family relationships (14)

The idea of “forever” (10)

Other addictions/eating behaviours (9)

Finances (6)

Other drinkers in life (6)

New relationships/finding a partner (5)

Question 5: If you could be granted one wish for yourself, what would it be?

Top 10 Answers

Happiness and/or success in sobriety (46)

Inner Peace/Balance/Calmness (35)

Self acceptance/self confidence (29)

To have no desire for alcohol (27)

To be able to drink “normally” (22)

Health (20)

To have quit sooner/change the past (8)

Money (7)

No anxiety/stress (7)

Sober friends (7)

Do these results surprise you? Do you find yourself in line with survey participants or does your thinking differ greatly? Please share!

By the way, the survey site was only free for the first 100 responses, which I mistakenly thought it would well suffice. In order to access all of the data, I had to pay $29 for a month of extended services. The good news is this gives us all of December to play with surveys, so if there is more information you’re interested in seeing, let me know.  For the next 30 days, I am the Queen of Quizzes and at your service!


  1. Groovy blog and a groovy survey! Only people (like me) who eat compulsively would not give you a hard time for that question (ha ha) – I’m here to tell you that you’ll never see me over indulge on broccoli or apples, but pies and cakes – any quality starch – and I struggle to eat within healthy boundaries. I spent a few years in overeaters anonymous – which helped me quit drinking. For some reason it was easier for me to tell myself that I was a compulsive over eater vs. an alcoholic. But i fell off both wagons and got fatter and drunker (sucks to be me)–I say that tongue in cheek….as I know I’m not the only one with this dual problem. Anyway – I wanted to write and say thank you for this blog and for all the people who take the time to share their stories. Knowing I’m not alone is the best support of all.

    My problem with booze is different than some of the stories here – but a problem none the less. I don’t drink every day – I never have wanted to – but when I do drink – sometimes I drink in moderation and most of the time I do not. I drank so much last Saturday night I blacked out – which i often do – and walked from one bar to another, tried to get money out of the atm with a card i don’t use for cash withdrawals – I was driven home by my neighbors – had a conversation with my adult son – and had some food and went to bed. I remember NONE of this. The blanks were filled in for me the next day. I found out from my credit card company just yesterday that I had tried to make a cash withdrawal at the second bar with the wrong pin. The first (dozen) times I was black out drunk I wrote it off and said to myself: you can do better……and have not wanted to give up the booze – but this time, it really hit me hard and I feel an obligation to myself to quit drinking and to stay quit? So, this is day 4 and I have a couple events looming overhead: super bowl sunday party and a birthday party at my house for my brother in February. I’ve told myself — you can do this — so I hope that I am strong enuf to overcome the temptations when the time arises. Thank you for listening to me babble on and on. Hugs from Iowa – USA!


  2. I think I have tried every possible thing there is to quit drinking for the last 22 years since I first realized I had a drinking problem. I didn’t drink the hard stuff – just light beer. I quit drinking over a month ago. No big event to make me stop. I was just sick of it and said goodbye to it. I don’t know why it feels different this time. I just don’t want to drink anymore. I’m female – in my 50’s. I just wanted others to know this because there are probably many trying to find what works. Don’t ever stop trying but maybe it just happens when it happens.


  3. Thanks for this, Jean. I’ve been lurking on your blog for 2 months now (meep) and haven’t taken the time to express my gratitude for your words. Taking the survey was a great distraction for me as it arrived on the day that my entire booze-drinking, super-fun-but-rambunctious family showed up for Thanksgiving here in the states. The results today were eye-opening and helped me feel more connected with the sober community. I want you to know that your daily blogging this month, though exhausting I’m sure (!!!), has been a life saver to me as I move through my first holiday season sober. It has been both rewarding and difficult to navigate through this week and I thank you and all of your followers for your positive words and advice!

    This message brought to you from my “bubble space”; complete with candles, laptop, manicure supplies, coloring books, tea, and anything and everything else needed to keep me grounded for the next 3 days 🙂


    • I am dragging my butt to the NaBloPoMo finish line and you have just energized me to complete the last few days with gusto. Thank you so much, and a huge shouty HURRAH for you and your bubble. I am going to send Erin a copy of your comment so see can see how her words helped you! xoxox I recommend some chocolate in there, if you don’t already have it.


  4. Happy thanksgiving. My favorite holiday. Three days sober.
    I think a survey on methods of recovery would be beneficial as well.
    Thanks Jean. Keep on keeping on.


  5. Thank you so much for your time and effort. The quiz was fun and the results interesting. It’s comforting to know that I fit right in with a group of people, even if it is among people with problems. Hey! We’ve all got them. PS: Please DO NOT remove me from your mailing list. I need you.


    • Hi Clare, I’m sorry you’re getting unwanted post notices. Readers add and remove themselves from these services. I am not able to do that, and curiously your email does not appear on my list of subscribers anyway. It’s very strange. If you aren’t able to find the “unsubscribe” button, checkout the help section on WordPress. All the best. Jean



  6. Might be interesting to have some quiz for those in long term recovery (whatever number you want to put that at)..aimed toward how they got and stayed sober….specifics that newly sober ca latch on to.

    Liked by 1 person

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