Christmas Eve’s Eve

Yesterday I was in a flat panic trying to get *all the things* done before Christmas. I rushed from place to place picking up files, mail and groceries and dropping off bank deposits and Christmas gifts. I had a list and I checked it every five minutes. If I got through *all the things* by 2 pm I would have the remaining hours of the day to finish the pile on my desk before taking off for a glorious week in the mountains. And then…at the bank…it happened….

Me (to the impossibly young bank teller): Oops I forgot to fill out the deposit book….(pen hovering over the date box) It’s the 23rd right?

Bank teller: It’s the 22nd.

Me: WHAT??? Are you kidding??? I have a whole other DAY before Christmas? Christmas is on Sunday, not Saturday??? (wildly looking around bank for the old-timey giant date cards that used to be on the walls) This is great news!!! (giving up finding the giant calendar and pulling out my phone) OH MY GOD!!! It really IS the 22nd!!!!

Bank teller: (clearly pitying a grown, sober woman who doesn’t know what day it is) Will that be all for you today….?

I GAINED A DAY!!! I wouldn’t be skidding into Christmas vacation after all, I could saunter!

And then within the hour…something else happened….I got a migraine. GAH.

My husband and I decided he would head to the ski hill to get the cabin ready (lots of shovelling and maintenance tasks for the week ahead), while I stayed behind to nurse my head, work my bonus day and drive myself out tomorrow. Thank God for that extra day!

So last night and this morning were slow and unproductive, I couldn’t even look at my paperwork. It’s now 8 pm and I am mucking through in a way that is reminiscent of cramming for finals in university. The afternoon turned to evening, and now pretty snowflakes are falling outside the window and the neighbouring homes are twinkling with festive lights. The view from my desk makes me smile.

To recap: I am alone, I feel *meh*, I have to finish several hours of work, it’s pretty outside, and tomorrow I leave for a week away.

It is moments like this when I realize just how much I have really changed since I quit drinking, because I just had the most lovely idea. I decided to put the paperwork on hold, write a post (hello!) to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and New Year, walk my dog in the snowy lights, go to bed early and finish all this work with a pot of coffee at 6 am before I leave.

Okay, now that I read that back it just sounds like I am procrastinating, so to be specific: I am excited to get up early and work. I love love love mornings. Old me would have quit work now to drink, and then  would have HAD to get up early to finish and done a crappy job because I would be hungover. Sober Jean is all “ooooh, mornings, yay!”.


Time to leave this desk and go walk around those pretty lights outside. Merry Christmas my friends!

I am sending lots of love and encouragement to all of you. The holidays can be hard on sobriety, hard on the emotions, and hard on the body. Be good to yourselves. Don’t drink, no matter what.  Break with traditions, if traditions are not feeding your soul or your recovery. Be as generous with yourself as you are with everyone else right now. You’ve got this, we’ve got this.

Thanks for being part of my tribe for another beautiful year. I couldn’t do this without you, and even if I could I wouldn’t want to because recovery is better together!






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 December 23, 2016, in Getting Sober, Holidays and Special Events, Life After Alcohol, My UnPickled Life and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. Congrats to you. I very much look forward to this blog though I am still struggling early in my recovery. Today would have been day 28, but in reality it is 25. The holidays are challenging indeed. I have been really good about quieting down, ignoring, and telling that voice inside that tells me that “just one drink won’t hurt; no surprise here it NEVER is just one drink. I did really well over Christmas, but this weekend was not great. I decided that I would enjoy the new year celebrations and drank,I know my slip up does not undue the previous 25 days so I will continue my count, and me extra mindful of what my triggers are so that this “oh it’s just one day” does not become a pattern because I am so tired of ththus back and forth within. your blog post was a much needed reminder that I can do this, and that I feel so much better when I don’t drink. Thanks and enjoy your vacation.


  2. I am 3 days sober today and so glad that I found this post. I am going to a family get together this afternoon and pray that I have the strength to resist a glass of wine. I am undecided about whether I should attend AA or not….I have a friend who has been a member for years so I am also praying that I have the courage to contact her. Anyway, thanks for hearing me. It’s nice to get this off my chest.


  3. Today marks 76 days sober! Your blog has helped me every one of those days. Thank you! And I hope you have a lovely vacation!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for these wonderful words of encouragement. Please know that I count you and your blog among things I am most grateful for this holiday season. My sobriety is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. awesome! and thank you. Merry Christmas

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m so glad you posted, I was feeling the need for a little pre-Christmas boost. Have a wonderful holiday and enjoy the mountains.


  7. Thanks for this post, Jean! You were one of the first people I reached out to around this time three years ago. Your blog and the Bubble Hour have been huge supports in my recovery, not only in staying sober but in learning how to live as my authentic, messy, imperfect, wonderful self. You’re right, it’s better when we do it together! Best wishes for a peaceful and joyous holiday season. Thanks again for being there.


  8. Wow, you gained a day right before Christmas! That’s the best. Merry Christmas!


  9. This is beautiful. Thanks so much for checking in and sharing!


  10. What a lovely, lovely post. Merry Christmas, and thanks for making mine a little brighter.


  11. Oh how wonderful to gain a day like that! And how typical for it to be not spent how you would have liked. So me. Giving me more time is dangerous. I’ll only do less. Thanks for the simplest of advice: don’t drink. I think that will be the most I can manage over the next couple of days. Much love, Alison


  12. Oh my word, I just had to laugh at you not knowing what day it was. I could soooo relate. That has happened to me but I ‘lost’ a day so panic was massive. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement! xxx


  13. Sorry about the migraine, but otherwise it sounds like you will be having a lovely break! I’m jealous, as I know where you will be!
    Take care of yourself! Have a wonderful Christmas!
    Love you


  14. Thanks Jean. Such a wonderful post. Reminds us that we don’t HAVE to do everything a certain way. I am sober 3 years and I have been feeling a littlr daw lately. Crazy thoughts o f drinking popping up. Strange how the holidays can do that. Your post and pic of your smiling face and little dog helped me this evening.


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