Right, so I was trying not to drink alcohol this month (formally known as Go Sober for October) and it went about as well as the time I tried to not text my crazy ex for a month.
I mean, I haven’t been drinking wine eeeevery single night, which is an improvement. And I’m sleeping and gym-ing better. But it’s still fair to say my willpower is equivalent to a Labrador on Weight Watchers.
There’s really no defence to my slip up except maybe I’m an “almost alcoholic” (and so are you), but I’m still very sure things would have been easier if I hadn’t lined up a date with a millionaire on day seven. (Here’s a tip, don’t date strangers sober. It’s like catching a bus naked.)
I intended for this post to be about the discomforts of alcohol deprivation, followed by a claim to accomplishment. But having failed that, I thought I’d cover the discomforts of trying to sober date, and the pride in having a jam-packed social life I can’t get away from.
Day one: Sunday 1st October
I had a bottle of wine the night before, so day one off the drink was easy. Until the afternoon when I suggested a Sunday roast and my friend Niall told me you can’t have one without a pint. No Sunday roast.
Day two: Monday 2nd October
I wanted a glass of wine for breakfast just because I knew I wasn’t allowed one.
Day three: Tuesday 3rd October
Made dinner for that girl I was seeing for a little while. That girl whose entire relationship with me, until now, has been based on enjoying an alcoholic drink together. We had coconut milk instead.
Day four: Wednesday 4th October
Went out to a social media event for work in the evening. After they talked about email newsletters like they were an innovative piece of tech, we snuck out and went to dinner. Dean had an assumably delicious wine, I had London tap water.
Day five: Thursday 5th October
Worked from home all afternoon, stung for wine right up to the point I went to sleep, sober.
Day six: Friday 6th October:
I had Dean and Clare over for a Friday night vegan pasta. No one drank alcohol and it was weird. We played Scrabble and had Innocent Green Smoothie.
Day seven, date one: Saturday 7th October
I spent all day telling myself I could meet the founder of a multi-million dollar company and not drink alcohol. I clearly assumed I had been talking to someone else because the minute I sat down at Soho House I ordered a gin to be polite. Then another. To be extra polite. The date was fine and the chat flowed but I really don’t know if I went there looking for a potential suitor or a potential business mentor. And I don’t know if he was just looking for company while visiting from LA, or looking for company while visiting from LA. But I have a feeling he may have started yawning not long after I mentioned I don’t go home with people I’ve just met. He’s from LA and flew out the next day. He’s a good contact to have, so I guess he was worth the gins.
I can be so naive. Also, did he die?
Day eight: Sunday 8th October
Got a haircut at a trendy place in Shorditch. They offered me a beer and I reluctantly declined. It was a dismal haircut.
Day nine: Monday 9th October
Felt pretty fresh for a Monday so could have killed a Monday-night cocktail. Didn’t.
Day ten: Tuesday 10th October
No alcohol intake. Nothing else to report.
Day eleven, date two: Wednesday 11th October
My single pals and I had all lined up dating-app dates for Wednesday, so naturally we all hung out drinking beforehand. I was left in the pub where I was to meet a 35-year-old Spanish audio engineer, who appeared to have a nice-looking head on top a thick neck. Aside from his accent which I struggled with a little, he seemed nice enough. That is, until about half way through where my nose got a hold of his breath 🤢. You know how sometimes, when the universe wishes an unpleasant experience on you, you get too close to someone whose mouth smells like MOTH BALLS? Well that happened to me. So after fighting the gag reflex through the first drink, I plainly yawned my way out the door muttering excuses of fatigue. Followed by…
Okay, go ’em tiger. Unmatched.
Day twelve: Thursday 12th October
I’d already failed twice and had all intentions of failing again for another Tinder thing on Friday, so I generously poured a bunch of complimentary cocktails down my throat at the No.29 Power Station West launch par-tay with Clare. It was worth it.
Day thirteen, lack-there-of date three: Friday 13th October
I thought I’d do something freaky for Friday the 13th, so arranged a rendezvous with someone who had explicitly told me he’d like to meet me for sex. Well yes, I do usually need a lot of mind-sex before unlocking the chastity belt. So this was out of character. I matched fuckboy on Tinder two years and we recently ended up in each other’s Instagram feeds. He had very wholesome-looking pictures of friends and family which he assured me were a cover for the more sordid character within. He also made me laugh a couple of times and ignored my texts a lot, so naturally I wanted to meet him. Season’s are changing, maybe he has warm feet. I had little-to-zero intention of sleeping with someone so impolite, but was up for the uncomfortable experience and slight chance that he was way cooler in person. Do you want to know how much of a loser I am? Sure you do. I was sat up in bed one evening Googling how people engage in casual sex, the rules and regulations. Googling for a friend. I didn’t end up meeting him anyway because he was weird and hesitant about the effort required to meet me; pretty sure he was weighing up effort vs. likelihood of getting laid. Yeah… next.
Already a slave to the idea of Friday drinks, I had a wine with my besty Deano instead.
Day fourteen: Saturday 14th October
Dry as a bone, with all intentions to not go on any more dates or go anywhere with free alcohol for the rest of the month.
Day fifteen: Sunday 15th October
I had a nice brunch with friends because that’s what mature adults do on Sundays. Naughty Jess would have had a Prosecco with Dean, well-behaved Jess stayed clean.
Day sixteen: Monday 16th October
Went to Stratford for dinner with my friend Sparkes, caught up on goss, had a giggle or two. Home by 8.30pm. Sober.
Day seventeen: Tuesday 17th October
Was at home, stayed sober, none of your business.
Day eighteen: Wednesday 18th October
Ah oh. Went to an evening talk put on by WeWork, about business and selling your business. WeWork are so generous with everything because they’re a billionaires, so they provided delicious alcohol. I couldn’t help myself. One small wine and a cider over two hours. I guess I technically stayed sober.
Day nineteen: Thursday 19th October
Another networking evening with drinks that cost me nothing except my sense of accomplishment. It was about data vs. insight in PR.
Day twenty: Friday 20th October
Heck, it’s Friday, might as well go for a hat-trick. Went out in Dalston with Dean and Niall and Clare – the three reasons I came back to London. It was like a reunion and it would have been weird if I didn’t get involved in the rounds.
Day twenty one: Saturday 21st October
Clare and I went to The Orange Soda Film Club which is this groovy little film club in a small cinema in a train tunnel. There was a bar. So I had a beer. Then we were hungry so we went for dinner with wine. p.s. watch Set it Off, soooooo good.
Day twenty two: Sunday 22nd October
Finally a day off. Felt a little worn and puffy in the the old face. Would have stayed in bed but Luke was in town! So we went for a fun breakfast at Eggbreak in Notting Hill and then a glorious walk in Hyde Park. My recounts are getting a bit boring aren’t they.
Day twenty three: Monday 23rd October
I actually detoxed this day. Like didn’t eat anything. Only drank soda water, water, herbal tea and kombucha. It was tough but I felt nice the next day.
Day twenty four: Tuesday 24th October
Went to the movies with Grainnie. Ate dinner without alcohol. Watched Blade Runner, don’t recommend it. We did a drug deal and I got some sleeping tablets for my flight to Australia.
Day twenty five: Wednesday 25th October
Went to dinner with my ex-colleague and pal Charlotte. Two glasses of wine later…
Day twenty six: Thursday 26th October
Ummm, I stayed up all night and drank a bottle of wine to myself because I was technically on holiday.
Day twenty seven: Friday 27th October
It’s today now. I’m going to post this blog because I’m sitting at the airport about to fly to AUSTRALIA and have no doubt in my mind that I will drink on the plane and at various points over the next few days.
So I failed at Sober October. I set myself up for failure and I failed. Not surprising is it. But I don’t feel too bad about it, not least because no one sponsored me except myself and I have had a damn fine October.