This Cup Had My Name On It

It snowed here overnight. A few inches of snow, which was immediately covered by the famous “wintry mix.” Schools, offices, bases all closed today.

Last year around this time we had a similar storm. I was on Day 46 for that snow day. Today, here in the 2.0 version of NoMoreSally, I’m at Day 57. Last year I was dreading the “informal social gatherings.” This year, I don’t have that problem, as I don’t really do social gatherings of any kind – informal or formal.

I do: home, work, meetings and morning runs with my two girlfriends.

Certainly, there are also a few extracurricular coffees and extended family gatherings. Once a week I gather for decaf coffee with three friends to do a Brené Brown study. But, honestly, that’s about it. My husband and I no longer head out to the local beer bar or wine cafe. We don’t host Friday night socials. I am no longer the crew director for my neighbors and friends. I am certain they are gathering without me, which is FINE (she said in a high-pitched tone), but is also totally okay (normal tone now). I don’t drink and these events are drinking activities.

But I am a little lonely and that loneliness adds to my increasingly-apparent Anxiety. This Anxiety is something the wine “fixed” (at least during the drinking hours). Now, without my wine fix, my Anxiety hangs around all day chatting me up and bringing me down.

I am concerned that my newly defined, every-so-slightly-smaller social circle will not be enough for my husband and my children, whose social calendars are historically filled in by me, usually with the same activities I’ve planned for my neighbors and friends. I worry that these same friends are not going to be my friends for much longer. That our connections were/are tenuous and as I go further into sobriety they will think I am too serious, too different, too SOBER.

I am also worried that my opinion of them will change and I won’t be able to connect with them in a meaningful way.

There are new connections at the AA meetings I attend. People are recognizing me and greeting me with warmth and familiarity. I was meant to go to a meeting last night, but as a Virginian, I don’t drive in snow. (It’s part of our Virginian charm, Sherry.) Later last night, I received a text from a friendly AA pal that said “The cup had your name on it!” with this picture attached.


Sweet, yes? Agreed. It also made me anxious (what doesn’t these days?) and I immediately thought, “Wow, this AA shit is starting to creep into my real life.”

Yes, that same real life that I just said was pretty much nonexistent.

But here is my truth: even though I am scared and lonely and my only constant companion is Anxiety, I still want to stay sober.

I still want to keep moving forward into the spooky cave ahead, hopeful that it opens up into a light-filled, warm, wonderland of sober goodness.



11 thoughts on “This Cup Had My Name On It

  1. It does open to that light…I promise. The key is to always move forward no matter how lonely, scared and angry you get. It’s always darkest before the dawn.

    Besides…we have cookies.

    Thanks for the shoutout. I like be Virginians…in a Maryland girl!


  2. Keep creeping.

    Honestly, I bet the friends are not getting together without you. And that your hubby and kids are relieved to not have as many social interactions.

    The anxiety will subside. Time.
    I like that about AA. The people actually care.

    You are doing great!


    • Hi, Anne. Yes … the AA peeps do seem to care. It is wonderful not to be uptight and paranoid at the meetings now. It only took about THREE MONTHS of silliness before I decided “WTF – just relax already.” Thank you for the encouragement.

  3. Your post will resonate with so many of us newly sobers. We do pay a price, otherwise it wouldn’t be so hard for us or take us so long to get round to it. I too have not been invited to one or two things by drinking buddies, but i really believe they’re probably thinking of me as mych as themselves. I’ve had a couple of evenings in the past 53 days, where i’ve sat, longing for my bed, watching people that i am really fond of talking, quite frankly crap, into the small hours (i used to too) and it’s boring. So i’m trying to spend different time with those i care about. Walks, cafes, etc. i am aware that i have become a bit of a bore at parties but it’s a small price to pay. My family and yours too will reap so many benefits from our new sober selves (the reduced possibility of having a prematurely sick wife and mother for one), and although i do and will grieve for the loss of my old life at times, it is still worth it. Keep going. It’s hard and lonely at times but so worth it.

    • Such truth in your comment: “i do and will grieve for the loss of my old life at times” … i like thinking about it as my OLD LIFE. Sort of like grieving for being in college or being single. There are good times there and bad times there, but it was a life stage like all the others and we’ve left it behind. Thanks for such a thoughtful comment!

  4. OMG I had no idea I could do Brene Brown’s course on Udemy!! So cool – thank you! As for the anxiety – I agree with Anne just keep going. Sounds like a bit of future tripping when we only have today 🙂 xx

    • I’m just a few lectures in, Lucy, but Brene’s course is wonderful. Very relatable to many aspects of my life, including alcohol. She talks about how we live in a “culture of scarcity”, where we feel like we never have enough: enough success, enough money, enough time.

      Certainly, I never felt like I could get enough wine. But, newly sober, I continue to feel like I can’t get enough comfort/numbness … even though really my life is pretty comfortable and what I want to numb out are feelings and mental dwellings that are uncomfortable.

      Let me know if you decide to enroll. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. Hugs.

  5. I’m sorry you’re feeling lonely and anxious. That’s hard to deal with. But I have to say, I found your post really hopeful! It’s great that you’re making changes in what you do and who you see, and the AA people are being a great support for you. Your running group and Brene Brown study group sound lovely–makes me wish you were in my city so I could ask nicely and see if I could join in! Finding good people to do good stuff with is so important. Good for you for being on top of that. I expect you will sort out the rest of your social life in good time, but there’s no rush. Take care. xo

    • Hi there! Thanks so much for leaving a comment. I’ve been thinking about you and your last blog post. I loved how you said you felt like you were sharing at the AA meeting “even though I didn’t talk to anyone.” That’s exactly how I feel, too.

      I’ve been consistently going to meeting for three months, but don’t share, unless the meeting is teeny tiny and really I’m just introducing myself. It’s been good for me so far. …. I guess, though, that continuing to go to meetings and continuing to not share is the equivalent of reading the sober blogs and never commenting. I think (and I am just realizing this this very moment, as I type this) that by not ever talking, I am short changing the people there. Certainly my comments at a meeting are not going to be super special or profound. And certainly, there is not a need to talk at every meeting – just like there is not a need to comment on every sober blog or every sober post. But, by never talking, I think I am only taking and not leaving anything in return.

      Wow. Worked that one out, right here, right now.

      Of course, that means I have to TALK AT A MEETING.

      And, here is my friend, Anxiety, to help me to bed…..Ugh.

      Hugs to you. Thanks for that!

  6. I just read your blog and I wanted to encourage you to keep writing and keep moving forward. It’s inspirational. You should feel good about it.

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