Why I stopped reaching for the bottle...

Me "managing" the bar pre-sobriety.

Me "managing" the bar pre-sobriety.

It wasn't until I'd experienced over 4 weeks of violent diarr - loose stools(!), that I decided to visit the doctor. My anxiety issues kept me awake at night as I dreamt up all manner of ridiculous reasons for said bowel movements, including the age-old "it must be cancer!" or my personal favourite - an outbreak of Cholera. Contrary to my diagnosis via Web MD, neither of these illnesses were the cause. It was, in fact, Sugar.

I was so taken aback when I was told my blood sugar was so high I was potentially pre-diabetic, that I began to weep. I don't eat sugar in vast quantities whatsoever - I live on hard-boiled eggs and spinach, and I pride myself on my clean diet. So where was the sugar coming from?

It didn't take long to click - I manage a busy Tequila bar in West London, and those on the London bar scene will know that we are all undiagnosed alcoholics. Its true, and its just part of bar culture. Would you want to work in a loud, dark environment being bombarded by fat Englishmen slurring their words, and have nothing to drink yourself? Nope. By all means, some are worse than others. I've known some bartenders to get through a whole bottle of Tequila in one night, and end up half-naked, being forcibly removed from the building while telling customers to Fuck Off (mentioning no names Edi...!)

So you get the jist. Much like the rest of London, the bar trade is corrupt. And working in this environment, its easy to be under the influence ALL THE TIME without even realising. But I'm not an alcoholic, I told myself. I don't crave alcohol, I don't shake or feel ill when I haven't had it. I don't feel any different. But it turned out I sort of was. I was dependent.

I quit and went cold turkey the day after I received the dreaded news, and the week that followed was one of the darkest, most depressing epiphanies I've ever had. I cried uncontrollably every day, I became ill, and my skin broke out into a vile rash of death. I had zero energy and the worst attitude - but I realised that these side-effects were nothing more than amplified versions of the ones I was experiencing in the weeks leading up to the doctor's appointment...

Alcohol, when drunk in vast quantities, can cause depression, irritability, clumsiness and a foggy mind - and that's exactly how I was feeling (I thought it was bad PMT). I was knocking things over, moping about, and occasionally - although not in front of people - I would have mad fits of rage over trivial issues. I was so angry with myself, I had no direction or motivation - and the worst part was that I hadn't performed any musicals in the mirror for months (i.e. DEAD INSIDE). What's scary is that it took a nasty bout of the shits for me to accidentally find out why.

It is crucial that I share this article, because (and I am talking to you especially, Londoners) it is so easy to have one drink a day and think you'll be ok. But the reality is that not only is alcohol fucking poisonous and full of sugar, but its probably holding you back from ambitions and dreams you never even knew you had. I'm real life proof that sobriety is the way forward: I'm finally working towards my goals, I'm achieving new things every day, I feel uplifted and constantly hyper, my relationships have improved, and last - but most certainly not least - I lost 4kg in 4 weeks and my bod' is now slammin'.

If that's not a reason to quit drinking then I don't know what is.