Everyone Here is Anonymous

It’s 2019, the 3rd of January.

I’m now 228 days sober and feeling good. I no longer send drunk texts, I no longer devalue my worth when it comes to boys after too many drinks, I no longer have days with zero motivation, beating myself up for wasting a day when I could be working, or working out.

Don’t get me wrong… I still fuck up, make bad decisions, go on bad dates and order McDonalds.

I’ve maintained my lifestyle, events, dates, holidays – all sober and all revealing. I wouldn’t say I identify as an addict, however, there were some behaviours I needed to break for my wellbeing and all forms of addiction are valid. I definitely had my vice’s and I think living in London and working in the world I work in it’s hard not to. Someone recently tried to persuade me on drinking and drugs, saying it opens your eyes up to a whole new world, but I’ve been drinking and doing drugs since the age of 13… I’m now 33 and my eyes are open to an ENTIRELY new world now, one that’s clearer, easier and although doesn’t come without challenges is one I prefer.

This journal isn’t a dramatic account, I haven’t lost my house, or all my money so sorry to disappoint if that’s what you were after. It’s an account which so many people can probably relate to, addiction isn’t defined by the urgency to down a bottle of Vodka first thing but repeatedly doing something which has negative effects. I’m no better or worse than my friends who still drink, it’s not a journal which sits me up on some high stool looking down on things, this is just my experience in changing things up and removing drink and drugs from my life as a 33 year old, single, busy, working female in London.

These are my words, I’m in no way saying I deserve to be in an ‘addict’ space but this is MY space and you are welcome here, to read, or submit to me your own experiences, as the blog says – EVERYONE IS ANONYMOUS HERE –  if you are considering taking some time off your vices for whatever reason, I hope it may help in some way.

Here are a couple of early entries –

10th June 2018

Day 22
Today I’m flying to Amsterdam to visit my sister and her husband Joe this evening for 5 days. I wanted to write about the weekend ‘it’ all stopped, or should I say started, I’m going to come back to this, but it’s definitely the best example of a silver lining I’ve ever experienced.
I woke up before my alarm at 6.20am. Since being sober this happens regularly and I love it. I’ve always been a morning person but I think I may have lost my morning person to hangovers over the past few/15 years.
I got to the airport and it suddenly triggered my booze button, not in a way that I was desperate for a big fat wine but a realisation that airports had always been a boozy place for me, an excuse to sit in the lounge with the open bar sinking wine and Jack Daniels. It suddenly occurred to me that this was my first time in an airport sober!
I stood surrounded by restaurants and bars and tried to really work out what I wanted to eat like I had one choice and it mattered. (I made it all about the food). Randomly shortbread biscuits popped into my brain. So that was that I hunted down shortbread, justifying the calories in my head by considering how many calorie-laden drinks I would have downed and headed to Pret for a cuppa.
As I was walking I texted my sister:
Me ” Realised this was such a boozy place for me before, weird!”
Alice ” Really?!”
Me “Yeah, which now I realise, maybe isn’t too normal?”
Alice “It never occurs to me to drink in an airport as flights are so dehydrating already”
Me “It would never have occurred to me NOT to before”
I order my tea, the woman looks back at me smiling and says “this one’s on the house”
It was as if the universe was giving me a big old message. I had that overwhelming happy feeling that sometimes fills me during these first few weeks of making the decision to remove drink and drugs from my life.
I buy this notebook, some stick on gems (wondering if I’ll ever mature out of ‘make and do’) and board my flight. The drinks trolley comes up the aisle and I order another tea. The two women next to me do the same – and I have another realisation, ooooh, not everyone just orders wine on planes…
I land and there it is, I’ve done my first sober flight.

18th June 2018

Day 29
I’ve spent the last few years dating on and off which goes hand in hand with moaning, bitching & laughing a lot to my friends down the phone about said dates.
Don’t worry, this wasn’t a one-sided affair. I’ve received my fair share of both depressing and hilarious stories from them. I’m sure I’ll exploit a few but maybe not yet!
When drinking I always thought it made dating easier, but looking back I think my party girl side could be quite overwhelming – I’m not a crazy loud, dance on tables type (although there have been moments) but I’m definitely not a wallflower by any means. I also think looking back, my drinking self could have been quite off-putting.
An example of ‘drunk Polly’ – myself and one of my best friends Ben worked a drag night, they are amazingly fun, fab and fulla booze! Arriving home around 4am, we ordered MacDonalds, stage 1 of grossness…
A guy I’d been chatting to on a dating app was texting me saying that he was at a house party nearby, about to leave and that he could pick me up on his way home…I said YES…I mean of course, go home with someone you’ve never met and who lives on a boat…that’s the obvious decision, isn’t it?
He picks me up in an Uber, I bring blankets as he says the electric is playing up on his boat… again, all very normal(?).
We have a drink and get into his bed…we have sex, fall asleep and the next morning he drives me home. Now, surprisingly, this is one of the only one night stands I’ve ever had. I’m not telling this story because I feel particularly bad about it… I managed to file that story away almost immediately (nothing like some good old denial). in fact, I totally forgot about it until my friend Ben reminded me about it recently.
HOWEVER… there is some relevance to this story, a few days ago I noticed this hot guy I was somehow following on Instagram, after stalking him a little (Hi 2018!|) I DM’d him, we started chatting, he asked me out and two days ago he drove from Peckham to Stoke Newington (if you’re a Londoner you will understand the shock in this… it’s considered romantic if you venture past Dalston for a date!)
We sat in a pub, he didn’t drink either (was a bit hungover) and it was maybe one of the best dates I’ve ever had…he was super funny, seemed really kind and sweet…and it was the first time I’d had butterflies about someone and KNOWN it wasn’t down to a blanket of booze…
Now, back to the relevance of the story, having watched his Insta stories that day, I realise that one of his best friends is ‘Boat Guy’… and in one fail swoop the universe doses me out another healthy helping of a message…
THIS is what happens when you engage with a guy when you’re drunk at 4 am and THIS is what happens when you engage with a guy nearly three months sober at 3 pm in the afternoon.
instagram guy came over last night… I don’t think he knows yet about ‘boat guy’ but I’m really hoping ‘drunk Polly’ hasn’t ruined anything for ‘Sober Polly’…we’ll see…if nothing else, it’s been another ‘sobering‘ message…TBC.
Sidenote* This didn’t work out, guess I do have some things to thank ‘drunk Polly’ for.

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