So it was with sadness that I watched the last episode of Mad Men and it was as exceptional as the rest of the series. If you haven’t watched it yet I suggest you skip this post as I don’t want this to be a spoiler for you!
I’ve love this series from beginning to end. I came to it late but devoured it – the story lines, the characters, the sets, the cinematography. Paul over at the Alcoholics Guide to Alcoholism wrote a great post about it here and I’ve written about it in the past too here.
The weird thing is that over it’s 8 year series span I have experience the biggest changes to my drinking from the downward spiral in 2008 to the battling to moderate between 2009 and 2012 and then finally quitting in 2013.
What’s really shocking is that when I watched the original show from which Paul has taken this clip and shared it in his post I was still actively drinking and the fact that Don was totally hammered giving that presentation at the time didn’t even register on my radar or give me a flicker of concern. I was so in denial about my own drinking that I couldn’t see a problem with his. Fast forward to now and I’m horrified by that clip and my failure to acknowledge both his and my own issues with alcohol abuse.
But the last episode gave me hope. Why? Because up until almost the very end Don is still drowning himself in booze. Until he goes to a retreat and appears to experience a
nervous breakdown spiritual awakening. He is introduced to meditation and group therapy and in the final scene is seen meditating on a clifftop overlooking the sea and smiling as he ‘oms’.
And the show ends with the iconic 1971 ‘It’s the real thing’ coke ad shown above. An ad for a soft drink. Was this Matthew Weiner the shows creator telling us that booze isn’t the answer for Don or the rest of us? Is the girl at the beginning of the ad the receptionist at the retreat where Don was staying? Was this Don’s genius ad creation? Did how the show finished prompt Jon Hamm to get help in real life? Who knows but this is how I chose to interpret it because this mirrors my experience. Replacing the numbing of emotions through drowning in booze with the peace and acceptance of where and who we are. This is how Don looked at the end of the show and how I feel now 🙂
And so for today’s Friday sober jukebox – only one song seems to fit the bill 😉