Honest Timeline: Trying to Stay Sober During Quarantine
Sobriety is tough to stick to in the best of times, and the COVID-19 pandemic means we’re as close to the worst of times as most of us have seen so far in our lives. Staying indoors playing Super Mario Bros. 3 for hours on end, joining yet another Zoom meeting, or sexting with an ex would be so much more enjoyable if you were wasted. But, you’re not, because you’re better than that. You’re alcohol-free, which is more than we can say for ourselves. We applaud your efforts, but we also want to be realistic about how hard it is to stay away from the booze when there’s a deadly coronavirus outbreak happening right outside your door. That’s why we put together this honest timeline, which perfectly depicts what trying to stay sober during quarantine looks like.
Cover Photo: gilaxia (Getty Images)
Steer clear: 10 Kinds of Shoppers You’ll Encounter (And Who Will Annoy the Hell Out of You) During the Coronavirus Pandemic
You wake up, unaware of what day it is. And it doesn’t really matter. Every day is the same damn thing thanks to coronavirus quarantine. Nothing to look forward to; no one to see. Your one task? To stay sober. One day at a time.
You’re on your second pot of coffee. As you drink the bitter brew, you reminisce about the good ol’ days before social distancing when coffee drinking was a group activity, one you engaged in excessively with your other sober friends. *sigh*
You drank too much coffee and are starting to feel jittery, but there’s just something so comforting about hot liquids. You switch to tea, but because store supplies were low, you ended up with some nasty raspberry leaf brew. Apparently, it’s to help women regulate their cycles. If you had a uterus, it would be so toned right now.
You attend a virtual AA meeting, but it just isn’t the same via Zoom. There’s always that one asshole who doesn’t mute their microphone, another whose camera is zoomed in on her boobs, and another whose kid keeps interrupting his share. It works if you work it, but this just isn’t working for you.
You’re taking your trash out when you happen to pass your neighbor in the hall. She just got a big liquor delivery and invites you in for a drink. She’s not unattractive, and you are lonely enough to say “Eff you, coronavirus” and just go hang, but you know one bad decision leads to another, so you politely decline.
You can’t stop thinking about your neighbor, sitting alone in her apartment with all that liquor just waiting to be consumed. You call your sponsor, who suggests you do a drive-by. While maintaining 6 feet between him and yourself, he gives you exactly the pep talk you need.
You sponsor suggested you get engaged in a hands-on project to take your mind off booze, so you come home and bake two dozen cookies. They turn out kind of ugly and are a little overbaked, but the sugar rush is a totally acceptable substitute for alcohol. The best part? You can eat them as messily as you want, and do so standing over the kitchen sink.
Your fellow furloughed coworkers host a virtual happy hour. You usually don’t go to these when they have them in bars, but you figure temptation will be low from the comfort of your own couch. What you don’t expect is how fucking boring watching other people drink is without the loud, skeevy ambiance of your local watering hole.
You order Chinese, eat way too much chow mein, and watch a mind-numbing amount of The Office. Right in the midst of your food/couch potato coma, your parents FaceTime you. Your mom mistakes your malaise for drunkenness and keeps grilling you about your alcohol consumption. You insist you're sober, but she isn’t buying it.
You decide to go for a drive to get some fresh air but you start to doze off and your car accidentally meanders over the center line…just as a cop passes on the opposite side of the road. He does a U-turn and pulls you over, then makes you do the sobriety test, despite your protestations that you’ve been sober for over a year now. You’re a klutz with poor balance, and the cop is getting a kick out of this. He seems to be inventing exercises that you swear aren’t part of the standard sobriety test. After you play court jester for him long enough, he lets you go with a warning.
You go on Tinder in the hopes of connecting with a real woman today. Unfortunately, all the hot ladies’ profile photos feature cocktails and all the sober women pack their bios with recovery speak. Given the options of flirting with someone who might make you fall off the wagon or texting someone who only wants to 12-step talk with you, you’d rather be alone.
Who knew doing nothing all day could be so exhausting? You’re so tired you barely even make it to bed before whispering the serenity prayer and passing out. If only you could sleep until the pandemic ends. Instead, tomorrow, you’ll wake up and do it all again. You really deserve an extra medallion for this.
Help Prevent the Spread of the Coronavirus