Drinking alcohol is fun. The advertisements all say so. You can build a boat with mates which will eventually sink, but have fun while building it. You can jump in the spa with your girlfriend and almost drown her with the bubbles, and have fun while you’re doing it. You can paint a porch, have a barbie on the beach, swim in heavenly waters with goddesses, you can even dance to Flashdance in your leotard. All good fun things to do. All done with alcohol.
Where do you go to see the not-so-fun side of drinking alcohol? The domestic abuse. The broken families. The coward punch. The emergency rooms. You watch the News to see all of this. Watch the News on any weekend and I can guarantee you will see at least one of these not-so-fun-drinking-alcohol stories.
So why do we portray drinking as fun? Is it a plot run by advertising companies to make us think we can be smarter, funnier, more interesting when we drink?
We drink to commiserate, to celebrate, to console, to open up, to let down our guard, to feel no pain. Why? Why can’t we achieve these things without the Great Pretender?
One of the hardest things about giving up alcohol is breaking through these barriers and relearning how to celebrate or commiserate without social lubrication. I say ‘relearning’ because there was time when we didn’t drink, and we could do all these things and so much more while sober.
Can we get back to that state of mind? Of course we can. And we can do it without the Great Pretender.