Before quarantine, Jenna McPhail, 26, spent her weekend nights drinking at dive bars in Williamsburg or at concerts. An analyst for a record label, she quit alcohol in February, and said lockdown has helped her stay on the wagon.
I’ve always had issues with drinking. I never liked who I was when I was drunk, it was so expensive to maintain, and I wasn’t getting much out of it. I went cold turkey, and it’s helped so much that lockdown has removed the temptation to go out on a weeknight with friends, or to a bar with my boyfriend.
I feel more empowered when I don’t have people yelling in my ear or a bartender saying, “Can I get you anything?” I think it would’ve been hard to stay sober without the lockdown. This forced reset is a really good thing for me.
I’ve also carefully curated my social media feed with positive messages instead of ones like “I’ve earned a glass of whiskey.” The wine mommy culture is annoying, and when I realized I needed to stop drinking, I pulled myself away from those messages online. I’m reading a ton of blogs and websites, like Tempest, to figure out how other people have done this.
I won’t lie: I’m still fighting urges, and it’s a hurdle every single day.
This has given me time to build healthy habits. Going to my favorite spots will be a cool test, like, “Can I do this without alcohol?” I think the answer will be Yes.
— As told to Suzy Weiss
Read more about silver linings from the coronavirus pandemic.