One Year Clean

On Da Stuff

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I don’t drink alcohol. I don’t smoke. I don’t take drugs. In fact, I’ve never tried any of them. I haven’t gambled in years (and I’ve never gambled more than £30 ever). So what could I possibly need to break an addiction to?

I feel like when you don’t involve yourself in any of the obvious vices, you’re going to end up falling for some weird ones instead. I don’t think we can call it an addiction, but it took some real strength to overcome this one thing in the past year. What is it?

Sweets.

Yes, I’ve managed to go a full year without any sweets whatsoever.

So why does it matter?

I’m going to say that Hollie was actually responsible for my sweet-eating habit. I might have been into them heavy before, but I can’t remember anything before one of her first big gestures to me.

It would have been very early in our relationship; probably the first four months or so (so nearly a decade back). We lived 130 miles away from each other back then, so it was difficult to see one another anymore than fortnightly. I came home from uni to find that there was a shoebox waiting for me. Inside it, I was met with about 2kg of assorted Poundland sweets.

Crazy.

It took forever to get through them all, but it sealed an obsession with them from that point. Once we started living together in our own place, we had a bucket full of them and it was impossible to avoid.

The cheap ones did the job. As well as the selection at Poundland (from which Vimto Skidaddles and Chewy Bonbons were the greatest), the Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco own-brand boiled sweets were exactly what I needed to see me through the day. Whenever I needed a quick hit, they were just there. It’s not as if I was really spending any real money, so we would make sure we were always stocked up.

It followed me to work too. At the agency I worked at, the first round of recruitment meant that we needed to entertain the newcomers somehow. It was decided that we needed an endless supply of sweets. They went all-out and stored it in a giant jar that I’ve since inherited, and now use for rice.

Early autumn 2014, I felt tooth pain on my right side. It wasn’t constant, but whenever I had something sugary, it was yelling at me to stop. Rather than going straight to the dentist (the sensible thing) I just decided that I was putting an end to my sweet eating. 30th October 2014 (the day before Halloween) was my first day as a new man. I decided that I couldn’t and wouldn’t go back to my old life.

It wasn’t long before the tooth pain disappeared completely. I was so proud of my achievement. I managed a good six months without any sweets and because I’d got over my addiction and the toothache, I would be able to integrate small amounts into my life again.

Wrong.

One mini pack of Haribo and that pain was back again. At least now I knew that it was definitely the cause of the issue, but I had to start all over again. This time around my mum (who was heavily into Haribo) was also taking part in this challenge too, so it made things easier, but it didn’t last long. For some reason, I had relapsed and was back to my old ways by 2017. Let’s blame the new baby in my life at the time.

In 2018, I started my new life living in Nottingham and decided that one of the many ways I would alter my life was by putting down the sweets. I decided I was going to take my training a lot more seriously, and lowering my sugar intake came with it.

I took my time to get going, but 1st April 2018 was the first day without any, and here I am 12 months later (in which time I had another baby) and I haven’t gone back.

I bet it won’t last.

*Listen to Roachee*