“ and see alcohol for what it is: a carcinogenic neurotoxin so indoctrinated in our culture that abstaining becomes a bold expression of social resistance.”
I can so relate to this, for two reasons: First, I went sober six-and-a-half years sober and it was an interesting experiment. I’ve since resumed imbibing though now and then I’ll drink a Sunkist or something in the bar…and oh the stupid comments I get (like, “what?!?! You’re not drinking?!?” as though it’s a crime or something to ridicule).
Two, I live in a small town where most people’s idea of fun is drinking (and usually smoking) and playing pulltabs in the bar. In addition, for these people alcohol must has to be included in any other recreational activity they do (boating, camping, etc.). I feel for the children around here who are exposed to that view of “this is how we do life" and hope they get a counter-message that there ARE alternatives to constantly soaking one’s brain in alcoholic beverages. My great, late mother opened my eyes to this alcohol-soaked cultural “norm” in which we live and I’m so grateful she did. If nothing else I hope my great nieces, great nephew and (possible future) grandchildren also get this message.
Good article, and congrats on your sobriety!!