(Originally Posted in The Wine Bitch, Jan 2016)
Says an ad for Tipalet Cigarettes.
Yet it wasn’t in 1969. It was “alluring”. Somehow suggesting that a faceful of cigarette smoke would loosen a girl’s panties quicker than a Tom Jones hip swivel. (I’m old, OK?)
Smoking was sexy. Smoking was cool. Smoking was fun….
But that was then, before we knew that the big tobacco companies had lied to us, had tried (and succeeded) to get us hooked, and had made gazillions of dollars peddling their evil cancer sticks……
We’re so much more sophisticated now. We don’t fall for that bullshit anymore…..
And to a certain extent, we are.
As far as the harmful effects of alcohol are concerned, we DO know far more than the previous generation knew about tobacco. We are well aware of the dangers of drunk driving, drinking while pregnant, alcohol poisoning….most of us even know about the “safe” weekly drinking limits set by governments.
I knew all that. But I drank and drank and drank anyway…….
Why? Because it’s normal.
Everybody does it!
And somehow, we subconsciously convinced ourselves that there was safety in numbers. If we were all doing it, if it was normal, then all that health stuff must be wrong, right?
Well guess what? We did just fall for that bullshit again……
The alcohol industry hasn’t misled us. They have actively participated in safety campaigns, made sure that they remind us to “enjoy responsibly”, and they have refrained from putting out the “cheesy”ads that the tobacco companies pumped out half a decade ago.
We could argue that ‘alcopops” were a cynical move to attract younger drinkers, that the industry has actively pursued the female market, and that argument would be correct.
But they’ve been far cleverer than the tobacco industry ever knew how to be.
They recruited us to sell their shit – and they didn’t even pay us!
Most people drink because other people drink. I first started drinking wine in the afternoon because I had friends that did. I first started drinking wine rather than a cup of tea, when I got home from work, because everybody did that, right? Pulling out a bottle of wine at a kids birthday party was fine – we should have fun too….after the school run, after a business meeting, during a business meeting, at lunchtime, the afternoon, the evening……….we did it, BECAUSE EVERYONE ELSE DID!!
This time, we can’t shriek and blame big corporations for lying to us. We did it to ourselves!
Somehow, we have to squeeze the toothpaste back into the tube.
If we did such a good job of convincing everyone around us that booze was “cool”, then we can reverse that.
I don’t mean by being ‘evangelical” and smug about how wonderful a sober life is (although it is, and I must admit, I do sometime feel a bit smug), not by preaching and pushing it down everyone’s throats…
Remember how annoying those reformed smokers were, when they banged on and on about how wonderful everything smelled and tasted? Didn’t you just want to punch them?
No, not like that.
Lead by example. Enjoy every moment of your life. Do stuff.
Live Your Best Sober Life!!
And maybe some day, getting all drunky drunk will be as uncool as huffing your fag * smoke over everyone….
* “fag” means cigarette in England, my American friends. Otherwise that sentence would be weird.
The Best Emails….
“Yesterday morning I woke up feeling so thankful for everything!!!
We did so much again yesterday. No anxiety. So much energy!
I feel great even after driving 7 hours and after all the activity yesterday and getting home late.
Wow. I am so happy and feeling more and more like myself. Thank you!”
I received this lovely email from a participant of Sober Made Simple. If you would like to feel like this, why not sign up?.