[Sober Living] Advertising and Celebrations

How many alcohol ads do you see each day? From the sides of buses, grocery store baskets, billboards, media, and more. We, as alcoholics, see twice as many as “you” do, and they persist twice as long. Great for advertisers! Terrible for us on bad days. That seemingly innocent bottle of whatever lingers longer and stings stronger. And the drinking holidays! What are they doing? Why market highly-addicting party options as lifestyle choices? For fun?!

Maybe it’s selling short-term gratification.

Screw the future! Buy and consume the product that will give you the most pleasure immediately. Borrow the money to get it, if you can’t afford it. It’s not like adding more to your debts will really matter much in the end.

This sort of mentality will destroy society.

We need to look at options that help us in the long term. Delay the gratification of short-term pleasures with the intent of resolving the issues that cause multiple stress offenses. The occasional party is fine.

When it gets to be more than that, that’s trouble.

Overindulging frequently can cause attitudes to shift into arrogance, ignorance, and the general impenetrability of thinking one’s actions are perfect, which can lead to poor decisions that affect others.

Don’t let inebriation control you.

If you’re going to have fun, enjoy it. Don’t let the chemicals you consume amplify your emotions past the point of your control. It should be about having fun, right? Can’t you just have fun without influence?

It is more fun inebriated.

The problem is when it becomes a cultural norm to experience that comfortable numbness and the narrowing of reality. That’s the environment where drinking and driving becomes an acceptably light offense.

These normalizers help remove guilt.

If everyone’s doing it, no one’s thinking about consequences. It’s not that we should close all the bars, lock up anyone that drinks, or do anything like that. It’s that we should reclaim the responsibility for our actions.

I think of alcohol ads as drunk driving itself.

People drive drunk all the time because there is no sudden risk to it. You’re not going to immediately kill someone for having one drink and then driving, which is why it’s seemingly harmless. Even when there are reports of hit-and-run drunk drivers killing people, it’s not seen as a societal problem.

It’s just a social inconvenience.

Besides, over these past seven years of my society, thus far, I’ve been in the vast minority of people that have felt any sort of disturbance by any alcohol advertising. They are otherwise colorful celebrations of a hard-earned two-day weekend from jobs that drives us to drink. That sort of glorification of recreational inebriation is somewhat perverted, because I look at it that if there are problems short-term, then fine, work through them, but long-term problems that require a weekly binge escape point to a larger problem.

What if we all took control of our lives?

What if we all decided that we’d only engage in alcohol or other substances when we wanted to, for fun, or as valid medicine? How would society change? I think for one we would stop borrowing time from our futures and take life for granted less. Having dealt with frequent headaches over the past few months, the only thing I really want out of life is a day or week or lifetime without having my body physically unable to do what it can normally do. Having my eye constantly twitch because it has any exposure to light doesn’t make for a high quality of life.

When all systems are “go,” and I can think clearly, I can move mountains.

Does that mean that I should try to celebrate those moments less? Because then I will swing too far into that, which could cause rebound health problems, just as we covered above? I think that’s where it’s better to practice self-care that involves more casual activities. If I can engage in social or hobbyist activities that aren’t as much about “getting the prize” or publishing some big work, then maybe I won’t be as tempted by factors that I know will help me relax.

I have no intention to return back to drinking or overindulging in life.

No amount of alcohol advertising will influence this decision, although I have been more aggressive in shutting down such advertising over the years since I started writing this essay in April 2018, before leaving it in my drafts for nearly two years. Whenever I see an alcohol advertisement for any social media account I’m registered with, I always report it as offensive. Facebook seems to peddle these ads toward me, despite having the alcohol filter enabled because I like “bars” for some reason in their advertising algorithms.

I’ve shut down one account entirely because of the alcohol ads.

When I go to the store and pick up a basket for holding my groceries, I will skip over the basket that has the alcohol advertisement in the bottom of its basket, as I skip over the alcohol aisles. Some people whose content I like will occasionally make artwork with alcohol designs in them. I won’t like or comment on them. There is an aesthetic that I admit is creative, but it’s not part of my aesthetic anymore.

I prefer more boring celebrations.

If others around me are drinking, I don’t mind if I’m in good spirits, otherwise, I’ll excuse myself from the celebrations and festivities. There is no need for me to bring any party down. It opens us up to having weaknesses, externally for others to exploit or internal for ourselves to use to self-destruct, so I would rather tell people when I’m feeling good that I’m sober, so they don’t bring up their wild partying to me.

Friends will respect those boundaries.

Acquaintances will often forget, because it’s no big deal, bro, but that’s precisely why it’s a big deal. If anything influences your mindset, you should be careful.

I don’t even like coffee or caffeine advertisements…

Endtable:
Quotes: None.
Sources: My personal experiences.
Inspirations: I had felt fed up enough to want to write about this, years back. Fortunately, between then and now, there seems to be at least some better alcohol advertising controls in place for certain places, but the supermarkets are always littered with this junk.
Related: Other Sober Living essays.
Picture: I had thought I drew something to go along with this, and if I had, I don’t know where it went off to… I think it was going to be a parody drawing of some alcohol character or whatever.
Written On: 2018 April 27 [Unknown amount of time written, but I wrote until “reclaim the responsibility of our actions” in WordPress then left it in my drafts.] ——– 2019 December 31 [7 minutes. From 1:45am to “engage in social or hobbyist activities” at 1:52am. Gdocs. I wasn’t feeling well enough to keep trying to finish this up.] ———— 2020 January 03 [10 minutes. From 12:45am to 12:55am. Same WordPress post that I started.]
Last Edited: 2020 January 03 [First draft; final draft – if you consider today’s slight edit of the 2018 material for consistency as part of the first draft. Otherwise, this is the… first and second draft?]

 

My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.