The Bachelor SA’s Kim Grey: ‘Alcohol was the glue that held my lifestyle together’
Cape Town 0 It may have been the end of the road on The Bachelor SA for contestant Kim Grey (28), a business owner from Cape Town but it’s only the beginning of her journey towards sobriety.
After working in the alcohol industry for a luxury beverage brand, her days included entertaining clients with vodka and French champagne, to the point where she had a blackout every day and she couldn’t remember a thing.
“Alcohol was the glue that held my lifestyle together; the friends, the invites to special events, the reason for my career, the reason I could develop relationships professionally and personally. It was my liquid confidence that took away any overriding feelings of social anxiety and awkwardness,” she recalls.
“I didn’t know myself sober, who I was or what I did with my life without alcohol being the intrinsic value to almost everything that made me. How sad does that sound, but it really was true.”
This was part of her decision to enter The Bachelor SA – she wanted to try her hand at a relationship that was real, one that was sober and one that wasn’t fuelled by drunken emotion and feelings.
“It’s definitely easier to be drunk in love than sober in love for the most of us, I know it was a lot easier for me to endure relationships after a few glasses of wine,” she says.
Alcohol became the binding agent to her day to day and life became a nightmare, constantly thinking about it.
At her then young age of 25, her mom brushed it off and dubbed her drinking as just having fun, but soon it became a real problem, something Kim says defined her.
“The scariest part of my drinking rituals was that I was never called out for being drunk by the people closest to me. I held myself well and often people were surprised that I was drunk when I called them up the next day to collect the forgotten memories from the day and night before. This was probably the most dangerous part of it all, there was no one else but me who knew when I was well over the limit considering my composure which really fell apart,” she recalls.
Entering this dating competition and being in a house where drinking has become a common occurrence, particularly before each rose ceremony (where The Bachelor chooses who’s still in the running for his heart), Kim was a little concerned that her sobriety would compromise her chances of making it on to the show.
But once she entered the house, she felt very comfortable sipping on her non-alcoholic drinks and not pressured at all. She’s even picked up some tricks to avoid the ‘why aren’t you drinking?’ questions and to make her non-drinking a little less conspicuous.
“I have adopted a few techniques to help me blend into the social setting better. Some include drinking Appletiser in a wine glass to make this look like wine, adding lime wedges into a glass of water for vodka and grabbing a sneaky water shot to cover up a shooter event at the bar. These are great ways to avoid falling into social isolation,” she says.
Kim says that she’s enjoyed her experience on the show and it’s something she’s glad to have been part of. She just wishes she had more time to open up to Lee and that she didn’t have to constantly try and win his heart or affections.
But nonetheless, it’s an experience that has changed her for the better and helped her on her journey of sobriety.
“The Bachelor was a perfect social experiment for me to discover the possibility for love to unfold without the help of alcohol,” she says.
“I am slowly overcoming my fear of sober intimacy. There is something attractive about a sober date, a sober kiss and a conversation that takes you to intellectual dimensions… When your body is clean, your mind and thoughts are crystal clear and everything is achievable with sober thoughts.”