Jemal Polson, CNN Reporter, Writes “Why My Sober October Lasted a Year”

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Jemal Polson decided to stop drinking for a month a year ago this October and it turned into a year instead of a month.

Abstaining from alcohol for a few weeks or even months was nothing new to Polson. He decided to document this is an article, since he is a reporter for CNN , based in London.

Polson says even though he could quit drinking for periods of time, it would always start back up again. He says he had anxiety and regret after drinking which would sometimes last for days.

Giving up alcohol indefinitely was too much of a task, so he decided to start with “dry October”. This took place in October 2022.

Tired of all the times waking up in a haze and and not sure of the night before, Polson started this journey after seeing a CNN piece about wellness, on a day he was particularly hung over.

He read it through and then bought a book called, the naked mind, control alcohol  by Annie Grace. In it shes mentions many issues surrounding alcohol. As it turns out, he realized he needed more than a month’s break.

Many questions were addressed including “would I still be fun without alcohol”? “Would I lose friends? How would I navigate dating, especially in the LBGTQ community”?

The answers to these questions turned out to be “yes he would still be fun, no he did not lose friends, and dating can be a struggle with or without alcohol”.

THe first few months being the hardest, Polson played many video games( known ot improve mental health in moderation) and navigated  parties and wedding in those early months.

After these 12 months, Polson says he sleeps better, has more money, and more freedom not having to worry about drinking too much.


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