Seven Years

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Photo by Adriaan Greyling on

Today as I was driving about, by coincidence I pulled up behind one of my sons at a traffic light. Even if I hadn’t recognized his black truck, I would have known it was him just from the back of his head – mother’s intuition. My son is 24, has travelled around the world alone and even has his private pilot’s licence – he is by all accounts a grown man. Yet for the 90-odd seconds it took for the lights to change, I felt trapped in an emotional time warp of wishing my little boy was safe in a car-seat behind me, not doing his grown-up errands alone and oblivious to my presence (despite my crazy mom waves at his rear-view mirror). Where did the time go? I blinked and they all grew up.

It is seven years today since I broke free from the burden of daily drinking and claimed my life back. Alcohol Free. I became UnPickled. I blinked and seven more years passed!

If seven years sounds impossibly long, it isn’t. The first two weeks were long, after that the time flew passed much more easily.

These years have had some amazing moments, like travelling to Italy and hiking in the UK; some awful things, like losing my dad and father-in-law last year; some challenging things, like downsizing our business. I did it all sober. Going to industry events were probably my biggest hurdles, I did have one really crappy vacation but that was what ultimately made me decide to go to a “She Recovers” retreat and in the years since I have been to several more (and another next month and then again in December!!).

I celebrated my special day today with a massage and I just recorded a Bubble Hour episode – talking to recovery people always feels so good!.

It is a good day to be sober!


  1. Hi Jean,
    Congratulations on 7 years! I’ve been listening to you as I do the school run, and I wanted to thank you for the kind, gentle, funny conversations that have been holding my hand for the past 6 months sober (yayyy!). Your wisdom has shined many a light for me in some bumpy times…


  2. Day 1 (again) for me. I just found your blog this morning and have been reading all day. I have all the red flags, plus genetics. My drinking increased while going through a divorce a couple years ago, and now I’m entrenched in nightly “wine therapy”. I have stopped for several days at a time and always get sucked back in to “just one drink” which is never ever possible. Quitting is scary, but necessary. I want to be a more present mama to my sons (age 9 and 11) and also show them that a fun life is possible without alcohol. Glad to find you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations on Seven years! I have been following your blog and just listened to my first bubble hour podcast where you interviewed your friend Shelly. She sounds amazing! I have probably been trying to quit DAILY for SEVEN YEARS! It’s really exhausting to wake up everyday with a firm decision and then it goes away by 3:30ish and I’m having a drink when I get home. How many times can a person fail lol?? Anyways I think it’s extra hard because I have combined drinking/smoking together as my “treat”. If I don’t have any wine, I wont have a cigarette and if I have wine but no cigarettes, I wont drink the wine. So, it’s like I’m not addicted to either one by themselves, just together. Does that make sense? Anyways, I got myself into this mess so now I need to get out of it! Thanks for listening! Carla.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Congrats! I’’m at 1.5 years. Still seems unbelievable to me, I never thought I’d break myself free, and yet here I am…thanks for the inspiration!



  4. Happy 7 years, Jean! I found you on my final day of drinking, 4 years and 5 months ago. It has been a privilege to watch you grow and expand into your new sober life. Thanks for all you share and for your continued example and service here and with the Bubble Hour podcast. Lots of love, Prim xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Seven years! Wow. I am at Day 145 here. I love the idea of “short term” and “long term” strategies. It has been key in my early days to remember that cravings only last a few minutes (thanks for the reminder, Pete). This is same logic/strategy that has gotten me through hot flashes! The “long term” is a longer conversation….and I find the changes happening slowly inside me, almost imperceptibly…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations on seven years! I have just 30 days under my belt, but it has been an amazing 30, so far and I look forward to so many sober experiences moving forward. I even took the leap and registered for She Recovers LA in September and I couldn’t be more excited (and a little nervous) about having that to look forward to. Listening to The Bubble Hour has been a tremendous part of the early recovery process for me, I have not yet made the decision on AA, but have played these podcasts for months through times when I started to consider sobriety and then when I finally took the leap. You and the work that you do continue to be such a huge inspiration for me – so, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “I broke free from the burden of daily drinking.” —- i have never heard it described as a burden, but as I read that sentence, it was the truest thing i’ve ever read. It was an enormous
    burden. Congratulations on 7 years. I have 2.5 and I celelebrate every morning, simply by waking up clear headed and ready to face the day.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. New to sobriety (19 days – woot!) and new to your blog, Jean, but already looking forward to plundering your archives to follow your journey. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Bec (Mrs Sobers)

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Jean, I love you for what you’ve shared with all of us. I’m so grateful for you and your blog and podcast. You are truly saving lives, including mine. Congratulations on seven years of freedom!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. A heartfelt congrats to you Jean. I found your blog while googling alcoholism and a chasim of me tos opened and enveloped me. The stigma of the secret I didn’t even admit whole heartedly to myself fell away . Your story and the bubble hour gave me courage and still do.
    August will be four years sober and I know there are many others who have you as an important tool in their box or their bubble. A very accomplished seven years ! Bravo !

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Your story rings near to my heart. I tried to stop for nearly 5 years, and then since last July, I magically have not had a drop. It has been hard. I have had to deal with some emotions and thoughts I never wanted to face. Now, my 14 year old daughter lies to my wife and mine’s faces daily. It is so much easier to handle sober. It is so much easier to be in the moment and not check out to get a drink. I’m thankful for this time I have. I’m thankful to hear the story of others. I’m thankful that God finally flipped my switch. Finally, I’m thankful for your writing, inspiration and modeling of how to do this. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Congratulations! I am laying next to my 4 year old little boy and I am cherishing every moment because I know he will be 24 in the blink of an eye. You should be so proud to have raised such an independent young man! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Woot! Woot! So happy for you! I found your blog in the earliest of my recovery days and read it like a novel. You gave me something I thought was lost to me…hope. Thank you Jean. I have 18 months myself and consider you a sober mentor!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Congrats on 7 years! Thanks for letting us join you on the journey!
    I too have grown sons and I get what you mean about seeing them out ” adulting”. I’m especially glad that I’m clear and present for them and that they are proud of me. It’s a good place to be.
    Day 628 🌻

    Liked by 2 people

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