There are times it is hard to be sober. I’ll see a drink that looks like so much fun to drink or I’ll read someone’s meme about drinking. It’s the memes where they are making fun of those who are sober that are difficult. The ones that are especially hard are the ones that seem to say – “it’s no fun being sober. I’ll never be sober, because I’d be boring.” As someone who is now sober, and some days feels alone and not normal, seeing that really makes me feel sad. What also makes me sad, is that drinking alcohol is almost the expected thing to do. “Long day at work? Have a glass of wine. Bad break up? Drink from the bottle.”
Why is alcohol the first thing people go to on the best days and the worst days? Why do we say – “Let me buy you a drink to celebrate!” “I’m sorry to hear about that, tell me all about it over a beer.” It’s the default posture of our culture – grab a drink.
It also really bothers me how TV and movies handle alcohol and addiction. While thinking about this topic, I noticed something on a show I happened to be watching. One guest character was dealing with addiction to drugs. He was shown in a negative light. You almost got happy that the characters were treating him with contempt. “We see you have a problem, we caught you in it, ha ha, you need help now.”
Yet in the next scene, we see a main character having a tough day, when offered the chance, they get drunk. We’re told, “oh, you had a bad day? Let’s drown it in alcohol.” This is shown as a fun and perfectly normal response. Forget about your responsibilities and the fact that your bosses are here, have fun! Thankfully the character does make a mistake and is caught. But it’s still glorified.
If you pay attention to how much characters drink in TV shows, you would think every one of them has a drinking problem. I can definitely look back on some of my drinking days, and watching shows about drinking was a trigger. “Oh, hey, so and so is having a drink, I’d like one too, thank you!” But it would leave me hungover the next day, again.
Is it any wonder people struggle with addictions?
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