To The Hills!

I am back home again in southern Alberta, settling into my routine. To wit, my routine now seems to include not getting to yoga, not getting my 10,000 steps a day in, not cooking regular meals, and not writing as much as I had planned. I am floundering.

On Friday night, we had our little grandsons come for a sleepover and it was a wonderful evening of reading books, sculpting play dough, eating snacks and missing the official bedtime by a long shot (unintentionally – they were too excited to fall asleep even though we got them to bed on time). Mornings are the best – all snuggles and pjs and quiet chatter.

I was feeling desperate to get some serious writing done. I am 19 days out from the arbitrary deadline I gave myself to finish a first draft of my novel and I need to get at it. I decided to send myself on an overnight writing retreat to the ski hill – our big family cabin is empty and quiet in the off-season; a perfect place to hide away and write. As soon as the little boys went home, I grabbed my laptop and a tea from Tim Horton’s (large, one milk, two sweeteners), and started driving.

So here I am, writing on the deck. That is not a painting behind me, that is the reflection of the mountain view. I used to drink a lot here, like a lot of people do on ski vacations. Now I drink tea and revel in the freedom and power of sobriety.

From the Rocky Mountain of southern Alberta, I wish you all freedom and peace.

Writer at Cabin


  1. Really….you people think you are drinkers?….Alcoholics even? Wow what first world petals are you? Long story short …I was a long distance truck driver who drove an average of 600 miles a day and when I stopped for a compulsory break I would drink a fifth of bourbon just to take the edge off… I am now retired at 66 and still drink every day…my liver is shot and I know I am going to die a painful death…but who gives a fuck….I cannot stop the Juggernaut …luckily I have the old 303 cal in the shed for when it becomes time…y’all need a backup plan ,,,


    • Hi Ian. Thanks for sharing, though I don’t like to see that type of disrespect for others. Maybe it’s important to leave your post up though, because you obvious are sharing for a reason. I hope you find relief, it sounds like you could be happier. There’s no prize for being the worst alcoholic, no crime in getting sober before alcohol makes life miserable. You asked who gives a f—, and I tell you that I do. I am sad to know you are living this way, and I hope you find freedom and joy. Be well Ian.


      • I am sorry you are offended by my language but I am what life has dictated me to be… I am an alcoholic and my anger is at the world…I have survived in this life with this attitude and will do so until I finally succumb…I have worked the most menial jobs (cleaning toilets in an office block) to the work I enjoyed most (driving trucks) Never once being on welfare and I feel I have been robbed of happiness…and WORST ALCOHOLIC? All I was trying to say is there are degrees of alcoholism , as in life and you and a lot of the people on this site are in the lowest category of pain and suffering… sorry for rambling.. I’m drunk….


        • Oh Ian, you don’t have to live in pain for the rest of your life. Addiction is not your fault but recovery is your responsibility. And the reason I ask you to be more kind and careful with your words is because telling someone they’re not a “real” alcoholic because they are not so far on the spectrum as you is judgemental bs that could cause someone to throw away their recovery. I don’t think you meant it that way but that’s how it could interpreted. If someone quits earlier in the trajectory, that’s a GREAT thing and should be encouraged, not slighted. Ian, if you are a strong enough person to work as hard as you do then I 100% believe that you are strong enough to overcome alcohol addiction and have a better life. You’ll have more money to spend on other things and more time and energy to enjoy it. You may not find people here on my blog that you can relate to but there are tons of others like yourself out there who have the same story as you and who got their lives back. Would you ever consider going to an AA meeting? I think you might really like it. Sending peace to you, Ian. I’m glad you’re looking at Recovery blogs, even if they kind of irritate you. I’d be happy to help you find a sober friend who you could have coffee with and see what your options are for changing the direction of things. I believe things could be different for you, and maybe you’re here because deep down you believe it, too.


          • I thank you for your encouragement Ma’am but I am beyond redemption… I did two tours of Vietnam in 66-68 and in hindsight that was probably the most enjoyable period of my life…I had good friends then and we lived each day like it was the last…all that is gone now and I miss them terribly…but when I get really smashed I go back and remember the good times ….then I wake up and realize what a shitty world this really is..
            I wish you all the best in your future endeavors..




            I want the apocalypse to happen… and i want to be standing high on a hill watching it come in so I can yell at the sky “FUCK YOU” to whatever deity causes it to happen…


            • Peace to you, Ian. You do have a choice. No one is beyond redemption and there are millions of sober veterans happy to help you. Meanwhile, please do not undermine the recovery of others. (Note to other readers of this thread…a cautionary tale perhaps, and a cause for compassion. Do not let anyone tell you that you don’t need to get sober just because they drink more than you. Your addiction will gobble that up and use it against you.)


  2. Just a quick note. I’m not sure if this was the trip that you did your recording while kayaking and it doesn’t matter. The point is I LOVED it. The sound of the water actually brought tears and I felt like I could breath. Thank you for that quirky interlude.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I just finished reading your entire blog over the past 4-5 days. I appreciate the thoughtfulness you have put into your words and of course for validating that we women can indeed have a problem with alcohol even if we aren’t at rock bottom. It seems that there are quite a few blogs about this and that writing really helps one work through these issues. For reasons I won’t bother to go into I just can’t blog about my situation. So I started a journal as if it were a blog and if you don’t mind I’d like to share my first “entry” here. Just to get it out into the universe. Oh, and I’m on 9 days sober and doing well.

    June 29, 2018
    Day 5 Sober
    “Y’all drink every day!” This holier than thou, accusatory statement came out of my daughter’s bossy (sometimes) mouth more years back than I care to remember. She is now married with one child. She made this proclamation when she was home from college after my husband and I had settled into what has now been a ten plus year habit of…drinking every day. Well, almost every day. And as if drinking every day was not enough, I have swilled down multiple drinks on most days. Yep, pretty much every single day except for several months almost 3 years ago when I did the auto-immune paleo diet to see if I could clear my psoriasis and the 4 week stint this past February when I thought I’d just had enough. But the diet change didn’t seem to make much difference and this past year I thought I could start again and just have wine with dinner, or at least just one or two glasses a day. But the thing is I can’t. Or at least I seem to lack the good judgement, willpower, what have you. Anyway, have I enjoyed drinking? Yes. Do I like the taste of wine? Oh, yes. Do I like making my own cocktails from scratch and trying out new ones and creating my own? Definitely. But alcohol has taken something away also. It has robbed me of good, honest sleep that I really need to be able to have the energy and brainpower to do my job. It has made we wake up multiple times per night with my heart racing and my stomach hurting wondering if I’m doing permanent damage to my insides. It has caused me to lash out at my sweet, wonderful husband when I’ve had too much and I’m angry at the world and since he is my world, well, he gets the brunt. I have driven to work hungover. I have gotten up and put drops in my eyes to get them clear before I left to babysit my grandson for the day. When I wonder if I have a problem with alcohol my husband says no. He says no because I can quit and not drink and feel fine. I have no “physical” symptoms when I don’t drink. I guess I could agree that if I do have an addiction it is most likely emotional. But, does it really make a difference? I used to think that because I never had any really wild days as a teenager or young adult (mostly because I was too chicken), that it was now my turn to really cut loose. That now, as an adult, I was having all the fun with drinking that I didn’t get to have or didn’t allow myself to have in my youth. But at this point, I don’t even really get a good buzz anymore. And I feel like crap when I drink. And it isn’t really worth it…and I think I wasn’t really missing out on anything worth doing all those years ago. So THIS time, I have been sober for four full days and am now on the fifth day. I have slept much better this week. My stomach doesn’t hurt. And I am hopeful.

    Thanks for letting me “borrow” your blog – hope it was okay,


    • This is wonderful- thank you for sharing. You’re a gifted writer and truth teller. Congrats on 9 days. Huge accomplishment! You’re through the hardest part for a daily drinker. Keep going!


    • Great article, thanks for recommending it. It rings all too true. I also recommend reading “Drink” by Anne Dowsett Johnston. Congrats on 14 days! If you were a daily drinker then you are through the hardest part. Glad you are here!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you Jean.Thank you for your post.Thank you for the Bubble Hour.Thank you for bringing us all together and thank you for your continued inspiration. One of the most effective tools is when you (and your guests on Bubble Hour) share their “human side” (e.g., I immediately felt not alone after reading your post {that I too had neglected my 10,000 step/day goal and my yoga practice, and had not accomplished my recent deadline}; and I’m still struggling with today beginning ANOTHER “Day 1” -ugh! But instead of embarking on my fresh attempt at a LIFE of sobriety with self contempt for all my past failed attempts, I realize that I CAN do it (because you’re THERE, at a ski cabin where much drinking was done nonetheless!), embracing the work you love: writing your novel, while enjoying clarity, health and beauty in your life of sobriety.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You look fantastic and what a beautiful place you have to focus on your writing! I love that you escaped there to do this for yourself, I often wonder what it would be like to just go someplace serene and beautiful away from work and the normalcy of every day life for just a day or two to only write. I may just have to do this one day.

    Liked by 1 person

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