As a teenager I rebelled by drinking thinking that as I was underage this was cool and edgy and that I was behaving like someone so much more sophisticated than my years. It bolstered my fragile adolescent confidence and made me feel bigger and better than the real me.
But I realise now that none of that was true and actually my drinking had reached a level where at times I behaved in a very unsophisticated way, it had destroyed what little confidence I had and made me feel smaller and worse about the real me. My ‘supposed’ friend had become my enemy.
Now as an adult I feel like I’m rebelling by not drinking – why is that? Maybe it’s because its approaching Christmas and the advertising hoardings everywhere are urging me to have a drink, to ‘earn it’ in the words of one drink promotion campaign strap line. And the thing is everyone does it nowadays don’t they? That’s how it feels. So if everyone does it then by doing something different you are rebelling aren’t you? You aren’t following the corporate media marketing spiel.
Is what is going on some form of cultural ‘group think’? Groupthink is is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people, in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an incorrect or deviant decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative ideas or viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupthink). In my head alcohol and our drinking culture ticks all the boxes of group think but then I always hung around with drinkers and I happen to live in a country of drinkers, where to not drink is seen as strange, almost anti-social. ‘Never trust a man who doesn’t drink’ is a saying that us Brits have. Where it came from I’ve no idea but really? What a load of drink justifying rubbish!
I agree with Lucy who calls it the ‘Sober Revolution’ or Mrs D who sees ‘sober as the new black’. I’m going to call out my rebel yell of sobriety whether my culture agrees or not 🙂 Day 87.