Sober Barmaid: Sweets For My Sweet
Club Soda member Gala wanted to start her own blog about her journey with giving up drinking, not only to create a kind of accountability for herself but also to inspire others who are on a similar path. She’s now 45 days alcohol-free and determined to stick to it, after what’s already been a rollercoaster journey of self-discovery. We asked her if we could share one of her blogs, so check it out below – and you can enjoy more of her blogs as Sober Barmaid here.
‘Sweets for my sweet, sugar for my honey
Your first sweet kiss thrilled me so
Sweets for my sweet, sugar for my honey
I’ll never ever let you go’
These famous pop song lyrics describe for me the first time I tried alcohol (and every subsequent time after that for that matter!). It’s no coincidence that we replace alcohol in adolescence for the sweets we gorged ourselves on as children.
Have you ever observed children at a kids party with an all-access sweetie area? They are off their little heads. Buzzing around, climbing the walls, shouting at each other.. sometimes it ends up in a fight or usually tears. Fast forward 15 years and a very similar situation presents itself in city streets across the country. The cola bottles replaced by WKD, the gobstopper turns into a Jager bomb. The only difference being that now we have added the magic ingredient ‘alcohol’ to our sugar high (did we need to get much higher… really?).
Maybe we become immune to the effects that sugar once had. Our tolerance becomes unbearably high and those wine gums just ain’t touching the sides anymore… so you add – alcohol. Oh and, guys, it’s in a drinkable form now, this ‘high’, so as long as you keep going to the toilet to excrete it at either end you can drink as much as you like!
I have lost count of the amount of times I would make myself sick just so I could keep on drinking. I mean that quite literally is the definition of stupid… or addicted… I like to think the latter now I’m sober.
Think about it, if alcohol wasn’t addictive, why would we put ourselves through the vile process of drinking ’til our heads spin, then vomiting to stop the spinning, then drinking to stop sobriety kicking in… sicking, drinking, sicking, drinking… and the cycle goes on… I shamefully have done this 2-3 times in one whole evening (frequently) when I was in my 20’s as I cared far too much about other people thinking I was a ‘lightweight’. Technically I was edging on ‘alcohol bulimia’.
Seeing alcohol as an addictive drug rather than a genuine pleasure has been integral to my sobriety so far. It’s a trick of the mind. If we thought we were addicts it would make pub gardens look like crack dens and parties like dealers houses and a huge amount of society would recoil at that thought.
Look, I live and work in a pub, I’m not going to demonise alcohol and say it’s the same as crack, it’s just an interesting perception. I still enjoy the socialising and general pub life, I just don’t feel entrapped anymore. I can choose if I want to be in that situation and leave when I’ve had enough… I’ve found my off button! The batteries were definitely wearing thin without it.
Another interesting thing I’ve realised is that I have always, always said I don’t have a sweet tooth… “Quiche over cake, any day” I would gallantly say whilst devouring my sixth glass of sugary white wine. I felt very proud of my lack of a sweet tooth. Told everyone I could easily keep chocolate in the house for weeks and barely touch it. “Another shot of Jager you say? F*ck Yeah!!!! get out of my way that’s mine!!!”
It was only when I had stopped drinking that I realised how sweet my tooth really was. I was probably consuming 3 slices of chocolate cake, 2 bags of Haribo and 4 doughnuts on your average weekday. I could have eaten Willy Wonker himself at the weekends! Yep, I had a sweet tooth, a massive sugar coated, honey dipped, treacle glazed SWEET TOOTH. Well, I never!
In my first week of sobriety I can’t tell you how many dreams I had about cake, it was bizarre, and when a craving for alcohol hit, eating a little slice of cake or a handful of sweets literally got rid of it… Ha! In those first few weeks of sobriety, this is ok, as the weeks are going by I’m slowly craving sugar less and less and smaller amounts are satisfying my cravings. It just helped me to see an alcohol craving as a sugar craving and then work on reducing that. It may be the lesser of two evils but I’m not going to sit at a party eating cake ’til 5am… (if you see me doing this please send me home).