Where Am I?

It is nice to be missed, I must say. I have received several messages asking if I am okay after signing off from the November daily writing challenge and disappearing for the next ten days. Yes, I am okay. Here is what’s up:

I am in the mountains supervising the final stages of renovations to our ski cabin, which unfortunately froze up last spring. Since we had to replace all the heating and plumbing components, we decided to add some extra bedrooms and do some cosmetic repairs at the same time. It was a long summer as we did most of the work ourselves, but now the last stages are up to the pros. The days are busy and exciting, but at dusk the trades drive back to town and I am alone (with my dogs) in a very dark, quiet place with no tv or cellphone service and very few other inhabitants nearby (at least until the ski hill opens next weekend). There is some spotty internet available, by which I am sharing this post. Near isolation, with lots of reading, writing and reflecting.

And what am I writing you ask, if clearly not blog posts?

Well friends I have begun drafting a book about recovery. I hope to have it completed by spring so if you know any agents or publishers please send them my way. The book is the first in a series of four I have planned and I am so excited to bring them all to life.

The odd thing about being out here in the mountains is that I have forgotten all about Christmas! No tree, no lights, no carols, no advertisements to remind me that it is the most wonderful time of the year. Tomorrow I plan to return home and will have to jump into holiday readiness with both feet. I am looking forward to that, but I do recognize the this is a stressful time of year and doubly so for us in recovery.

Please have a listen to last week’s Bubble Hour (which I recorded from out here in the cabin via the neighbour’s landline) on the topic of Surviving the Holiday Season. One of the guests on that episode is fellow blogger Josie from The Miracle is Around the Corner and even though she says she was nervous, she speaks like a pro and shares some really great insights she has gained in recovery that help her get through hectic times.

I hope this post gives you a picture of what’s possible. I never imagined that I could spend so much time alone and not want to drink, that I could accomplish so much and so little at the same time, and that I could feel completely validated and worthwhile in the absence of others.

I may not be feeling very Christmas-y, but I sure do feel God’s peace.

I wish the same for you.


  1. Jean
    This will be my second sober Christmas. Your blog and the Bubble Hour have been such a great help in staying sober. I felt for a long time that I had a problem, but not a big enough problem to warrant going to AA. Having your blog helped me realize how many high functioning alcoholics there are but more than that, I learned a lot by reading and being able to label so many negative thought processes and begin to work on them.
    Anyway, I really enjoyed your November blogs and all your sharing over the past 3 years.


    • Thank you so much – it is my pleasure to share this road with you! As I move along to write in other venues and connect in new ways, my intention is to continue writing this blog as well. Enjoy a beautiful sober Christmas and congratulations on taking back your life!!


      • Hello Jean – I went to bed last night full of self loathing for drinking in excess on Saturday night and then sleeping away an entire day due to being hung over. I googled “how can i stop drinking” and found your blog. I’ve spent years on the fence – am I really an alcoholic or do I just abuse it sometimes? Have I hit rock bottom or is my current bottom low enough. I am in utter shock at how deceived I am by this disease. One of my daily rituals is to look at the newspaper and read the dispositions for drunk driving and think – OMG I can’t get a DUI – it will ruin my life. Then one day last week when I was reading the outcomes of these people’s court cases most of them just had to pay a fine and serve 2-3 days in jail and be on probation. I actually found myself saying – oh – well THAT’s not so bad……

        So Saturday night I went out and drank too much – when I woke up I had zero recall of leaving the bar and getting home. Fortunately, I ran into neighbors who gave me a ride home so I was saved (not to mention someone I may have killed while I was driving) again.

        My number one, bottom line concern is this: who am i supposed to be when I’m not drinking? I can’t imagine my life sober and I don’t even drink every day. I am so afraid it’s ridiculous.

        Thank you (all of you for sharing your stories) – it really gives me hope. I am planning to go to an AA meeting tonight. Gotta start somewhere, ready or not….

        Hugs from Iowa


  2. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now. Lurking around, never commenting. But now I want to wish you a great holiday season and say thank you for being such a huge help for many people. I am two days in… and who knows what’s down the road for me. It is not my first time of trying to stop drinking. I do hope it is my last time though.


    • Hi Anna, thank you for your kind words. What a wonderfully exciting time for you – hard of course but good things await so don’t give up. Someone who is on day one right now is looking up to you. It is a continuum and we all help each other!


  3. Oh Unpickled, how I hope this will be true for me too one day! My second day sober today and really feel lonely and scared and wondering if I can do this. How can I live without booze “my friend” more like enemy but you know, scary living without something you’re so used to. Nice to read from someone who has managed to kick the habit though and is feeling validated and not scared to be alone!


    • Hurray for you! Two days is amazing – it’s the hardest part. Keep going, keep reading, writing, talking, thinking, thanking, listening, and don’t give up. There are great things in store for you. I promise it gets easier.



  4. Welcome back. I’ve missed you more than wine! I’m proud to say that I’m now 84 days sober and your blog has been a supporting factor in my sobriety. Thank you. Enjoy a peaceful holiday.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I should possible consider a career path in acting then, because, believe me, I was nervous! Like most things that push me out of my comfort zone, The Bubble Hour was an amazing experience, and I received more from it than anyone!

    Thanks for the kind words, Jean, and I hope we get to see some pictures of the cabin when all is said and done.

    And bookS, plural! You are my hero! I’ve wanted to do something along those lines for a while now, I look forward to the inspiration you will provide! Can’t wait to read more about the process!


  6. I’m happy to hear about your book, all four parts of it. The recovery industry is in a shambles right now and it would be nice for normal folks to hear a voice they know is not trying to sell them anything.


  7. Jean
    I believe you should send Wayne dyer an email about yourself, your great group of sober ladies meeting you in Edmonton, and a request to meet him in May to talk about your book.

    I think he would be interested in us. We are, after all, a group of fabulous women, who also happen to be sober!

    Might as well try!

    I also think you need to contact Hazelden. They publish many recovery books….

    I’m glad to hear from you!



  8. How wonderfully interesting. I too am an ex-boozer living in the mountains (in a remote wilderness community in Georgia). I just moved here and most of my friends worried I’d be tempted to drink all alone on my hilltop…
    I have decorated for Christmas. It seems to make more sense here than in my native Florida. My children arrive Christmas Eve. I too feel grateful to be alone without the cravings and craze-ings of the past. My house is warm, the candles are lit, a fire burns in a stone fireplace and there is peace of mind. Finally – peace of mind…
    Merry Christmas


  9. Hi Jean, I stumbled across your blog whilst trying to find inspiration to support me in my sobriety. I am so glad I found you. I have been sober for 11 days now after a relapse. I have read over all of your previous posts and it has really kept me going. A big thank you all the way from England. Enjoy the peace and quiet in your cabin, it’s all starting to get a bit Christmas crazy here!!


  10. Oh! A book sounds wonderful! I’ll buy one!
    I see so many women and men who have stayed sober and are so much happier!
    I am now 97 days sober. I am happier too!
    I love to ski. How fun to have a cabin on the ski slopes!


  11. Sunday’s Bubble Hour may have been my favorite one yet. Josie did great, as did Margaret. You and the other hosts always do such a fine job. It makes me proud to feel part of such a strong, supportive community. Love that you’re working on a book and especially that it’s a 4-part series. Can’t wait to read them one day!


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