Hello from Day 112 of my 365 alcohol-free challenge. Woot, woot!
I had a frustrating few days since my last post thanks to acknowledging emotions and certain realities square in the face that I’ve stuffed down for years.
Alcohol sure is fantastic for anyone who wants to keep unproductive emotions tucked away. However, what I’m learning is that we all have some degree of repressed anger, fear and sadness.
To live a truly authentic life, we must continually bring the uncomfortable feelings to light, particularly if we are a do-gooder and/or people pleaser.
So, one of the major awarenesses I’m having since hitting the snooze button on booze is just how prevalent alcohol is portrayed in television, radio, print and online advertisements. I feel the messaging conveys that alcohol is a necessary ingredient for happiness, success, good relationships and attractiveness.
We’ve all seen them. The commercial featuring an in-love couple sitting on a stunning beach with violins playing in the background. The camera slowly zooms in on the true source of their happiness–two ice cold alcoholic beverages nestled between them.
And then there are the alcohol ads that show friends and family having the time of their lives thanks to the particular brand of booze being enjoyed.
A 2015 study from the University of Texas at Austin indicated that between 1971 and 2011 alcohol advertising in the U.S. increased more than 400 percent. That makes me say a big, “Wow!”
With all of these messages presented to us about the benefits of drinking, what if there were ad campaigns showing the other, very real side: the harsh arguments spark by the buzz; the hangovers; the lethargy; and the lack of motivation. Let me be clear, I am not anti-alcohol. I’m just a gal who drank for years and am now on a 365 day booze-free journey to change my relationship with alcohol. What my fellow challengers and I are doing (One Year No Beer) is not for the faint of heart. However, I can say with resounding confidence that I feel fantastic and authentic in a way that I can’t ever recall feeling…ever.
One more tidbit I recently read. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, the Bureau of Justice Statistics indicated that two-thirds of victims of spousal violence report that the perpetrator had been drinking. Now this is not to say that alcohol was the culprit, but I can–ahem– speak personally that the few doozies of an argument I’ve had in my lifetime, booze was present in each occasion. Oh, alcohol and the dreaded, unfiltered loose lips.
Who are those people in the booze ads? Paid actors, that’s who. What if we also started ad campaigns featuring happy, in love, fit, successful people who are contentedly alcohol free. What if?
Cheers and love,