‘I got sober thanks to the coronavirus pandemic’

‘I got sober thanks to the coronavirus pandemic’

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. 

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