I love sweet tea. It’s true. I have loved it enough to marry it since I was a single digit age. If I had a lover, a temptress, a little something on the side… it would be sweet tea. If I had to choose only one thing to drink from here till eternity — no, through eternity — it would be sweet tea. If I could bath in sweet tea… no, that’s just disgusting. But I do love the stuff.
Sweet tea, however, has lots of sugar, and because people tell me sugar is bad for me (in excess) I decided to start introducing the unsweetened variety of tea into my afternoon gallon — er, glass. I started off slowly, not wanting to get all crazy, and would just tap the dispensing handle at the restaurant to splash my sweet goodness. It was a shock at first, but like jumping into a cold pool, the shock wore off and I realized that cutting the calories wasn’t as bad as it seemed. Over time I would begin to push my sweet tea out, replacing it with the virgin sister, and now I’m down to an approximate 2/1 mix, slowly saying goodbye to my sugar-fest addiction.
Addiction? Did I actually just say that? You bet. Life is full of addictions. We like to think we have some sorted sense of control, but in fact, we are addicted to so many blessings and curses, fears, drives, substances, and each other. We are surrounded by addictive personalities, addictive foods, and addictive activities. Don’t get me wrong, addiction in and of itself is nothing to be ashamed of; in fact, addictions are what make us inventors, artist, builders, creators of all things. Addictions also wreck and ruin us — the addictive tendencies that make the headlines — but not all addictions are evil. It’s about understanding an addiction, potentially embracing it, sometimes overcoming it, but always being self aware.
My addiction for the liquid gold doesn’t cause me to knock over convenient stores or pimp out my body for more of it, but it can have side effects that shorten my quality of life. Therefore, my personal choice is to continue to make that abyss-ful descent into sugarless tea and live another day. At least, that’s what I’ll tell myself.