4 Years Sober and Still Not Perfect

Four years sober last week and guess what? It still takes effort.

This comes as a surprise. I thought it would be easy-breezey-nothing-to-it by now, and more often than not it is easy and enjoyable to live alcohol-free.  But sometimes….sometimes….I feel a sucker punch of emotion: anger, jealousy, fear, resentment. I’ve spent the past few weeks in a mental stagger – that rocking feeling that something is off yet nothing is really wrong.

I hear from hundreds of people each week in various stages of recovery, and I am honoured to give help and encouragement whenever possible. Often this correspondence comes from people who are struggling with chronic relapse or who give up on recovery because it is harder than they expected. I’ll be honest – I’ve been finding those kinds of messages harder to handle lately.  I want to instantly “fix” them…and not entirely out of kindness.

I want them to stop failing because it bugs me. I want them to keep their failure out of my face because if I can see it, it’s real and I don’t want failure to exist. I want us to all hold hands and skip together into recoveryland. I want everyone to love their lives and get better, dammit.  Just. GET. BETTER. It scares the shit out of me that failure is even an option.

(See what I did there? I made someone else’s pain about ME.)

This is where I am going wrong and I know it. I understand full well that other people’s actions are about them, not me. I’ve learned the value in the recovery adage “Keep to your own side of the street”. The moment I view someone else’s story through the lens of my own feelings, I am setting myself up for trouble.

I have found myself saying, “I am sorry you are hurting, this is hard stuff” and meanwhile thinking, “How come you get to fall apart and I have to keep being strong? It is hard for me, too but I don’t get to relapse.”  (I am literally cringing as I type this brutal truth.)

A better response to these situations is compassion – my heart aches for those who want recovery and can’t seem to grab on, and I feel for people who would rather tolerate an unhappy relationship with alcohol than work through the discomfort of breaking up with booze.  Over the past four years I have learned to feel for others while allowing them full ownership of their situation, knowing that the pathways to recovery are available for those who are ready.

So why the backwards shift in my thinking? Why is my knee-jerk reaction suddenly the opposite of what I know to be good and useful? Why revert to the old self-centered patterns that contributed to my drinking in the first place?

My friend Ellie reminded me to take my gloomy mood seriously, since this type of discontent can be one of the early signs of relapse. Me, relapse? Never! (Hah, denial is the next stage.)  I dug through the Bubble Hour archives for the most recent episode on Relapse, remembering that I’d been shocked during the show to learn that relapse is preceded long before the event by 11 various warning signs. This has been researched and documented in the work of Terence Gorski and can be read here.

Am I subconsciously looking for an excuse to relapse?  Possibly.  My husband and I are leaving soon for a dream trip to Italy and I am anticipating the abundance of wine that will be offered. There is plenty to see, do, eat and enjoy in Italy without wine, but I am bracing for at least a little discomfort. Some corner of my psyche must be considering whether it is truly possible (or necessary) to stay sober on this trip. Much as I hate admitting to imperfection, this bit of doubt is worth acknowledging, considering, and working through.

So keep writing and posting here about your ups and downs, because your journey is your journey. I will do my best to let you own it, and I do hope you will. For those who are struggling, I think you will find Gorski’s work a tremendous resource.

Try doing this assessment called the Aware Score, which stands for “Advanced Warning of Relapse” and consider if you need to boost your recovery efforts. I scored an 85, indicating to me that I need to do some serious work on self care and reach out to my support network.

I am in awe of the changes and insights the past four years have given me. Even more so, I am amazed that at this point in my recovery I still find things that need attention. It is a gentle reminder that recovery is never over, but is more like a garden; as long as we keep to the task of tending it, good things grow in abundance.

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 March 25, 2015, in Getting Sober and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 72 Comments.

  1. Congrats on your four years Jean, that’s huge and very inspiring. I’m dealing with chronic relapse, falling off the wagon every week or so. It’s such a dark and lonely place and yet I find myself wondering: what’s the point of trying? I guess I just haven’t found what works for me – I went to rehab for a couple weeks and joined aa, but never really got into it. Or maybe I’m just not “ready”. Whatever that means. Why wait until I hit rock bottom? I can always dig deeper.
    I’m trying out SMART for the first time tonight, there is a meeting in my area. I think I recall reading something about the SMART program on your blog; if you or anyone reading this has tried it, any advice or reviews?


    • Hi Isabelle, how did you like the SMART meeting? I liked the “empowerment” aspect of SMART rather than the “powerless” approach of other programs. It is a person preference – go with the model that fits you better. Chronic relapse is a bitch – I am sorry you are dealing with that. Take it as a sign that you may require a lot of support and structure in order to get the changes in motion and start the healing process. What is your life like day to day? Do you have healthy, supportive relationships that know about your journey?


      • Thanks for your reply Jean. I liked the SMART meeting, I enjoyed the fact that it felt like a group therapy and is ‘holistic rather than religious’, I just fear it might lack a bit of structure, as it doesn’t really follow any steps, and I miss the fellowship aspect of AA. That being said, I think I will go with it and get my structure and support from visits to my rehab clinic, meetings with my psychologist, yoga, meditation, and so on. I have wonderful people in my life: parents, a sister and a boyfriend, and a couple close friends I am so grateful for. I’ve of course had my fair share of drama and sadness and depression, and I still struggle with these, but I can honestly say that my life today has the potential of being quite nice once I solve my drinking problem. I desperately want to get sober, though I tend to give up so easily in moments of weakness. Hopefully these new meetings combined with all my other efforts will allow me to make it through this time. Hopefully today, May 2nd 2015, will be my continuous sobriety date.


        • Here’s to a sober May for us all! Great work. Keep going and post for support any time you feel like you need to reach out. Give all those good, supportive people in your life a big hug and let them know how vital they are to your recovery. Even though it is our own responsibility to stay sober, the people around us have a huge impact on our chances of success.


  2. Hi, I have been looking at this site for about a week now and everyday I have said this is the day but it hasn’t happened yet. I want to stop drinking but for about the past year everyday I need the help of vodka before going home. It started when I began counselling and dealing with bad memories of an abusive marriage prior to my husband dying in 2008. I kept a lot of things bottled up and blocked memories from my mind and all of a sudden when I began getting serious with my now fiance those memories came flooding back. It began just as a small drinking issue that I was really good at hiding but it has progressively gotten worse. I even sit at work at the end of the day and contemplate whether or not I am going to stop for vodka. Now my daughter is always mad at me, she is 18 and my relationship with my fiance is falling apart. I am not ready to lose either one but I am scared that I can’t stop.


  3. I felt compelled to turn the AWARE questionnaire into affirmations……

    1. I feel secure in my ability to stay sober.
    2. I tackle the problems in my life one day at a time.
    3. I am learning to act not react.
    4. I am okay being with myself, and I reach out when I need to.
    5. Instead of getting too focused on one area of my life, I can see the big picture.
    6. When I feel blue, down, listless, or depressed, I take time to attend to my needs.
    7. I can face the realities of my life and relax.
    8. The plans that I make succeed.
    9. When I have trouble concentrating, I close my eyes and listen to my breath.
    10. Things work out just the way they should for me to learn my life lessons.
    11. When I feel confused, I realize I am dealing with an inner conflict.
    12. When I get irritated or annoyed with my friends, I slow down and remember that nobody’s perfect, including me.
    13. When I feel angry or frustrated, I take a walk.
    14. I have good eating habits.
    15. When I feel trapped and stuck, like there is no way out, I think and feel outside the box.
    16. When I have trouble sleeping, I practice relaxation exercises.
    17. I am getting better at shortening the length of periods of depression.
    18. When I feel like I don’t really care what happens, I remind myself I am a spirit in the material world.
    19. When I feel like things are so bad that I might as well drink/use, I check in with my heart.
    20. I am able to think clearly.
    21. When I feel sorry for myself, I realize I am just telling myself a story.
    22. When I think about drinking, I relax and tell myself it’s just a thought.
    23. I speak the truth to other people and especially to myself.
    24. I feel hopeful and confident.
    25. I feel angry sometimes, and I’m okay with that.
    26. I am doing things to stay sober.
    27. When I am afraid that I am losing my mind, I get back in my body.
    28. If I slip, I take the next opportunity to get back on my program.
    29. When I start dreaming about how things could be, I gently bring myself back to the present moment.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. My husband is in the early stages of sobriety. After losing his job to alcohol, our marriage falling apart and 2 DWI’s, one would think it would be easy to just stop drinking. He’s roughly 2 months into it and this blog has given me some hope that he, too, can get better and live sober. Thank you for posting your journey to sobriety.


    • It’s hard at first but it can be so much better with time. Are you going to Al-Anon or something similar? It’s important for you to connect with others who understand what it’s like for you, too!


  5. It doesn’t surprise me – nearly 11 years here and still those emotions they hit me … they hurt.

    Alcoholism for me is mostly an emotional illness – that is why I drank for 25 years. I don’t DO emotions. That didn’t change when I stopped drinking I just learnt what they were, that I can feel them in odd ways, unbidden by me and that they won’t kill me… just make me hurt. Same old battle

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve been enjoying your words and insight for several months now. This post motivated me to comment. Your 4 years of sobriety is humbling, I have nearly 6 months sober and 4 years seems like a nice place to be. BRAVA! It is frustrating to hear stories of folks that have relapsed after years of sobriety or in your case, still admitting struggles. I knew it would be hard to quit but a lifetime of hard…is daunting. Two months into my sobriety I was in Italy for the holidays. Half of my family is there so normally I am there for Christmas and New Years and drinking has always been a part of the entire trip from the drive to the airport, airport bar, flight, every meal and normally I would find an open bottle of something to fill in during the rest of the time. I was dreading the trip because in my more than 20 years of drinking I have never traveled anywhere sober. Vacation=excuse to drink earlier and heavier than my normal heavy consumption. A few times drinks were handed to me and I didn’t know what to do with it or even what to say. It all worked out and this time I returned to the states with actual memories of family and friends and the best pasta and fish and desserts of chocolate and gelato and merenge. Oh, and don’t forget the prosciutto, mortadella, speck, lonza and bufala mozzarella…olive oils, and balsamic vinegars…some of the best in the world. VIVA ITALIA! And a 2 hour nap in the afternoon….perfectly acceptable. I always return to the US with an Italian souvenir that being 10 extra lbs. on the waist. The big plus of not drinking was the guilt free indulgence in all the other treats! Who needs alcohol!! Have a blast in Italy, you will see and feel things so beautiful it will bring tears to your eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautiful post. Happy anniversary. I too celebrated a sober anniversary this month and like you I am still far from perfect, but I am filled w self love and that’s a gift. Much love. Lisa

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I saw a post recently that said ‘Happiness is a Journey’ and I kind of feel like you can apply that to recovery as well. A lot of things I am reading lately are speaking to how I am feeling myself right now so thank you for this post, it was really timely and I am going to do the checklist right now! Then I am going to work on my acceptance of recovery as a journey rather than a destination ☺ I hope your trip to Italy is everything you want it to be xx


  9. Another great post, thank you. It’s difficult to hear that after 4 years it is still hard…not that I ever thought it would be easy but after 75 days alcohol free, I thought it would be better than it is. It’s a long road. Last week, I had a blood test as part of my yearly physical. It came back with elevated enzymes in my liver……this is after 10 weeks of abstaining. Has this happened to anyone else? It’s so scary to think I have done so much damage to my body by my choices. Does anyone know how long it may take to get my liver back to normal?


    • You should ask your doctor, but lots of things can cause this and the liver is pretty resilient.
      I had,this,happen from taking a multi vitamin with iron. My liver just didn’t like that.
      Ask to be retested in a few weeks and see if things resolve.


    • Truly it IS easy most of the time. I honestly like being in recovery. My life is so much better now. Which is why it was such a shock to find those resentments of others’ relapses appear. I was able to dig in and work on it before it derailed all the good things I’ve worked for. So it’s still takes effort, but the benefits are worth it. Regarding your liver, does your doctor know how much you were previously drinking and that ovule recently stopped?



      • She knows that I stopped, but must have forgotten because when the assistant called me, she said it is recommended that I cut back…..I am going back in a month for another test and hopefully with over 3 months of being sober by that point, it will improve. When asked how much I previously drank, I responded that it was enough to know I had a problem. What helps me in my recovery is not dwelling on my horrible habits in the past so that I only focus on getting better and moving forward.

        I can’t thank you enough for your blog- it helps me so much! I hope you have a fabulous trip!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I love, love, love your honesty. Thank you for being so real. It is helpful to remember that none of us is perfect. Real feelings are real feelings. I think not honestly acknowledging those feelings sets us up for trouble. As I rack up more sober time, I think feeling overconfident can be dangerous. Thank you for that reminder.


  11. Hope my previous comment wasn’t the wrong thing to say.😕


    • Hey not at all – thanks for your feedback! I am glad you’re here and appreciate hearing from you. We are all here to learn from each other and that means sharing our perspectives. Thanks for your encouragement!


  12. What an interesting post! I find myself getting angry and annoyed in a very judgey way, too–at myself. It’s weird. It’s like I have this long-term sober person inside me waiting to get out, and the drunk version of myself isn’t letting that happen. And my sober-fantasy-self gets so judgey and annoyed at the drunk-reality-self.


  13. OMG I sometimes have the same feelings and I’m only getting close to two years. I want to shake some sense into those that relapse or whine about the work. So selfish of me, thanks for that post, it worked as a mirror. And like Prim, I saw Italy through a wine haze, so much I can’t remember. See it with clear, bright eyes.


  14. Wow, thank you for posting that. It was something I needed to hear – truly. {hugs}


  15. Jean – I felt this way last summer after one year of sobriety. I am a dedicated Bubble Hour listener (which I never stopped listening to), but as a member of the BFB I had to check out for a while. I could not handle all of the comments about “another day one,” I just didn’t get it. After deciding to not read those comments I found ways to keep me occupied through the summer and fall, but then late this winter I fell apart. I have not had a relapse but I read up on the warning signs of a relapse and I was headed for disaster. I cannot believe how subtle the change was – thinking I’m okay, I can handle this, “those” people aren’t doing this right, etc., etc., to literally feeling almost as badly as I did the day I decided to stop drinking. Right now I’m working through it, have not had a drink, but what became crystal clear was the fact that I NEED to work on this every.single.day. Recovery is a game-changer, a lifestyle change, and if I don’t keep on it and keep connected with people (in ANY/EVERY stage of recovery) I will be heading down that slippery slope. Thank you for another “me too!” post.


  16. A big huge CONGRATULATIONS to you on 4 years. Wow.
    Wrote to you a couple days ago about how to count my sobriety and would like you to know I found a good app. Today I am officially 2 months sober and have saved ( approx) $844. How is that possible !? Feeling very happy and also scared. I really appreciate your honesty. You’ve shown me that it is possible to live alcohol free but also reminded me that it is always a practice. Sort of like fitness I guess. Gotta keep working on it even though you don’t always have an amazing workout in the end you are healthier for it. And sometimes the bad workouts remind you you need to rest:) good analogy!? I don’t know… But I know I’m glad you’re here and I respect you reminding us that you are human too. That actually makes me feel better:) Hugs from Ottawa. Amy


  17. pickledfish2015

    Thank you for this post. I am on day 4 and I am ready to curl and cry and scream. You know the feeling. I think no matter how long we go without drinking, and how easy or hard our journey is, we will struggle on and off. I relapsed a lot of times through many years. My longest sober journey was 22 days. I am trying really hard this time. Glad to have found your blog. I am not taking the test. I am afraid of what my score will be.


  18. Thank you for your honesty and sharing the link to AWARE. I’m 48 days new to sobriety and I scored 137😳. Not sure if I’m supposed to be at this level since im im the early stages of the game. I feel like you ladies at The Bubble Hour are who we all admire and look up to and I also think that has to be so hard for you all to be too. It’s true what you wrote our problems are our problems not your weight to bare as well. Your not a super hero sobriety sister immune to all the shit that goes with staying sober. I will say that your story I can relate with and your journey has inspired me to start my own journey in sobriety and with that I thsnk you with all my heart.💜 Stay Strong Sister💜


  19. Oh my goodness Jean. I HEAR YOU. I have been thinking along those lines so much recently. Maybe a cosmic/astrological reason for our discontent? I’ve been reading some blogs and hearing myself thinking “for goodness sake, just toughen up & get on with sobriety already- yes it’s hard- but what really good transformative things AREN’T HARD!??” I emailed Belle & she was characteristically amazing & I’ve been better since but not 100%. 4 years. In Australia we’d say “You bloody legend!!!” But maybe you can’t say bloody on a blog but lord knows this sobriety stuff needs a cheer squad and that 4 years is a HUGE deal. Now something that may help for your upcoming Italy trip. Last year, about a month after I hit my “high bottom” we flew to Italy for a friends wedding- we took our young kids with us. I drank on the plane, in a couple of nice Italian hotels & then after emptying the minibar of my favorites one afternoon I suddenly knew I had to stop. Amongst all that wine, that pasta, that atmosphere AND before the wedding. I. Just. Knew.
    So, for me, very early painful revolting withdrawal state sobriety was for me- in Italy. Before a wedding we’d flown there for. I made it. It sucked on many levels but it was REAL. I experienced Italy with a naked eye and an open heart. And the memories I have of the trip are the most vivid ones I have collected in a long time. You are going to cruise through this trip & have the most amazing time. Italy unfiltered rocks! Love & hugs to you


  20. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings on this. Perhaps there’s some new movement inside you, some shift or interest or awareness or question, that, despite all of your work and clarity over the past few years, your system has no idea what to do with. It could be reaching for the “best” dispeller of stress that it knew. I wonder if there’s a never-before-noticed level of acceptance or letting go to be found. You’ll find your way! Thank you for staying connected here!


  21. Four years – WOW! Congratulations!! Plus damn it Jean – do we share the same brain?! I too struggle with reading about others relapsing and sometimes come over all judgemental and harsh (that’s me not you btw). I know it’s not kind or compassionate but it presses some button in me also. I need to work on that too 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  22. As someone who is in the cycle of chronic relapse, I can report that it is a sad and lonely place. Your 4 years’ sobriety is inspirational and your help and support means a lot to me. But I have definitely been leaning on it, taking it for granted even and I have felt myself getting lazier and lazier on my rocky path. You help me but I really need to help myself. I can also imagine how exhausting it must be for you, responding to all these requests for help and motivation. I hope you enjoy Italy, and I’m looking forward to hearing how it goes. I echo what Primrose says above: I’ve had a few hazy trips there and would love to see it again, in a clear way.


    • Annie, sweet girl, I wish it was easier. Check out the website I linked in the post and see if you can identify where you’re going off. The rest of that website is great. Poke around. Maybe it has what you need. Don’t you dare give up! We are all here to help but it’s only a supplement to your larger strength within.



  23. I have actually been thinking about you, that you must be feeling tired, we all lean on you. My weekly meeting therapist looks tired too I gave her a big hug last week, she is in veteran recovery. It must be like being the mom that still has to keep her shit together, dispense encouragement, keep her voice lilt up and smile going when you actually need a break too and that’s ok! Go and enjoy Itally Lord knows you deserve it. You can’t fix it for anyone they must do that, unfortunately the reward is in the continuation of the process which is tough. We all love you lots, all the more so for being honest, you are not faking or sugar coating and we respect that!

    Love! Peace!


  24. I went to Italy a few years ago with a group of female friends on a wine tour. I had a wonderful time – or so I thought then. with the blessing of hindsight it is one of my great missed opportunities. the joy in the trip lay primarily in the licence it gave us all to drink as we would wish to, untrammelled by responsibilities or the judgement of others. which you don’t need to go to Italy for. you can do that in Dagenham, or in Detroit.

    so, I didn’t see Italy. it was hidden for me behind the wine haze, behind the false bravado of cocktails on the beach at 11am in the morning.

    will you go and see Italy for me, Jean? because I am so sorry that I missed it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very powerful.


    • This made me cry. Your experience describes many drinking vacations of my past. Vacations were rather a disruption to my carefully guarded drinking schedule, and it was harder to manage “control”. Thank you for showing me the misery this dream trip could morph to with wine along. I will absorb every detail for the both of us, and with gratitude.



      • Jean, I’m so glad you will be taking it all in. and you have inspired me to start thinking very tentatively about planning my own (sober) return journey to Italy, so thank you for that, too!


    • OMG! I feel so much compassion for you. My heart was sad reading your post.❤


  25. bigtreelittleleaf

    Beautiful, honest and raw. Thanks for sharing.


  26. Congrats on 4 years!!! 🎂🎂🎂
    I had the same feelings at 3 years, they were so strong they actually scared me. Like I had panic attacks about relapsing. I though that at that point it would be breezy too and it was still work. But, it just reassured me, to the core, that I was still an alcoholic and I am ok with that. The fear of going back was so great that it just propelled me forward into recovery.

    Thank you for this very honest post and sharing your journey with us! Sending many hugs.


  27. Ah Jean….

    thanks for the honesty, what a great post. And happy Birthday…from your friend who shares the date with you.
    Four years is looking awfully good on my side, I know it will soon for you

    Liked by 1 person

  28. great post! Thanks for your honesty and links for more information. The longer we are away from our addictions it seems like the less we remember about how bad it can be for us.

    I hope you have a wonderful trip to Italy!!


  29. You’re 4 years alcohol-free??? That’s just amazing Jean. I am sorry you are struggling emotionally…please, even amidst your discomfort right now, please congratulate yourself and know that you deserve sobriety. Not just because you are awesome and you’ve helped a ton of people…but also just for you. Just because sobriety is better.


  30. It may sound weird but it’s nice to know that someone as far along in their recovery as you still has issues to work on. I’m a bit of a newbie myself and am leaning pretty hard on the “veterans” in my support group. I’m also soaking up everything possible from your blog (which I love btw), Mrs D, and other sober sites. Everyone that I’ve reached out to has been beyond amazing, but sometimes the amount of time my friends/mentors have racked up is intimidating! Thank you so much for sharing this and reminding me that we’re all really just people 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Kicking It Cold

    Just wanted to thank you for your continued honesty, Jean. It is refreshing to know there is someone else out there working through it and not sugar coating their experience. I’m reminded of one of your early posts, when your sobriety was only days old and very fragile. And you protected it. Four years later, it is still fragile and in need of protection. My husband and I just embarked on our journey of sobriety (together, yet individually). We’re on day 11. I want you to know that your blog is an anchor for us; a place where we come to when we need to commiserate, feel validated and be inspired to keep pushing forward. I know you can and will get through this – just don’t let your guard down.


  32. I had a fear of a relapse at four years because in my history four years meant graduation–high school, college, then grad school, and then several jobs and relationships tended to run in a pattern: freshman (everything’s exciting!), sophomore (pretending to know everything but still pleased that I might impress people), junior (I’ve GOT this!), senior (when will this be done with?). Four years came and went, last July, and the pattern was broken, as so many patterns and habits of mind have been broken, thanks to the fellowship, the work, and an increasingly deep sense of grace that has come into my life. Congratulations on your anniversary (your senior year), and your upcoming trip to Italy. It will be great.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Thanks for the reality check. Sometimes it seems so easy for the veterans which makes long-term sobriety seem out of my reach. I am always glad to find I am not alone. Thanks also for giving my particular pattern such a horrible name that I don’t want to be associated with it: chronic relapse. Gross. The cringing and negative feelings you’re describing, the anger that you don’t have the liberty to fail like others, is what is saving you – it’s your deepest strength coming to the surface, try to think of it as the amazing quality that it is and be confident in it and in what it’s telling you which is that relapse is off limits for you. That is a gift. You will be fine. In the depths of my alcoholism I went to greece and found it frustrating how difficult it was to get a drink or to find others who were drinking. It’s hot there, people drink water. I also know some french people who say they don’t drink nearly as much as american’s think they do, all the myths about French and their alcohol is from the old days. Go with a mission to find out what Italy and Italian vacations are really about sans the shallow commercialism of romanticizing alcohol (also, it’s the land of pellegrino! ‘nuf said).


  34. Thank you for the honesty of this post. There is something encouraging about being reminded that everyone all the time has to be diligent about their recovery, regardless of the day (or year) count.
    I was curious, so I took the assessment. Scored 62. But I’m only seven months in and continue to maintain a rigorous program. In my heart, I know I can’t risk letting myself get lazy, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to be reminded!
    I’ve been following Unpickled since coming to WordPress and continue to appreciate your posts. No pressure, but please continue to share your journey with us. I’m sure we’ll all be eager to read about your trip to Italy! .


  35. Im a good acoholic..i wait to pick my children up at the bus stop at 4:30 pm everday waiting to get that drink. Also, at the same time I enjoy them. We play, I drink and play. I forget what is happening around me its just us. My husband is at work as always. He is a good man, no he is a great man. Devoted to me to me to us.
    We like to drink..we put our kids in bed by 8:30 almost every night they have an hour and 15min school bus ride. The days are getting longer we like to be outside, (its a good excuse to drink more when the sun is out). Mostly i do..he is working, and being sincerly thankful for having the job he does.
    I like to drink I like the relaxation after the day before and it just starts all over again. I dont understand why its so bad..but I know it is at the same time..God has helped me through so many triumphs but i just wonder..y is it wrong the way i am?


    • Only you can say, J. Take one of the assessments and see how your consumption stands relative to recommended limits. That can be a eye opener. Are you happy with your relationship with alcohol?



  36. You are awesome.
    Perhaps this is a perfect opportunity to go through the doors of a 12 step fellowship and see what they might have to offer?
    It could be the refreshing perspective you need to remember why you have been doing this for 4 years.

    I’m here for you any time. You have much love directed your way.

    I think perhaps a break from helping and self focus is exactly what you need. It is no longer service of you give more that you should.

    Love you



  37. untipsyteacher

    The article on relapse is really good!
    I am only 203 days sober, so I am not close to 4 years! That is so awesome.
    In one of my meetings, the women talked about not doing someone’s program for them.
    It’s true. I could see myself try to fix someone.
    I thank you for this post, to remind me to keep on working on my sobriety, and that even when I get to a year or more, I will have to continue working!

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Wonderful post. One of the greatest pleasures of sobriety is knowing that we are all in this together, forever. No one graduates to because the supervising alcoholic. We are co-minions who work for grace, gratitude and peace of mind one 24-hour period at a time.

    Oh, we were in France, in wine country at 6 months sober for me I’m proud to say. It’s very doable…Europe has amazing food, chocolate and the countryside is intoxicating.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. I first started reading your blog when I was in my first month of sobriety. Your words were invaluable to me. I hung on to each word for dear life. Now I’m almost 7 months sober and your 4 years seems like an eternity away. But. I. Will. Get. There! That being said, after reading your blog, the one place I can never go is to Italy. Thank you for continuing to share your sobriety journey. As Lotta says, we’re all sober warriors 🙂


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