Quitting Can Be Fun

Addiction, social media, and candy corn perfume

Sara Benincasa

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Proof of outfit.

It’s a warm Halloween, and I’m wearing: blue eyeshadow; candy corn perfume; one to three Fenty Skin and/or Fenty Beauty products; Jordan 4s (Retro OG Bred from 2019 but based on a colorway he wore in the ’89 playoffs, don’t worry about it); a blue bra that nobody else can see; black Bricks & Wood gym socks; and a black T-shirt with a white fluffy cat licking its bloody front paw. I’ve also got an evil eye bracelet with a tiny silver charm featuring the Virgin of Guadalupe. My hair is half up and half down. I just did three conference calls in a row and didn’t have to be on camera. I’m sitting outside a coffeeshop I really like, no jacket necessary. I quit Twitter. It’s a good day.

I feel relaxed, but I woke up in the morning like I always do: running disaster or crisis scenarios in my head and working backwards on how to deal with them. These can be personal dilemmas, historical battles, future natural disasters, conflicts in fictional shows or films that haven’t been written yet. It’s a cacophony in there already. Meditation helps.

I know my own addictive tendencies. Over time, I learn how to manage them and still be a person in the world. For example, I still go to the bar to socialize, to write, to have a soda. I just don’t drink alcohol anymore. It was fun for a long time and then my behavior with it became unhealthy, so I stopped. Staying stopped is sometimes hard and sometimes easy and sometimes medium difficult and sometimes a thing I don’t even think about.

I’m still on social media. But years ago, before I was sober or had an idea that alcohol was bad for me, I realized Facebook was bad for me. So I stopped. And today I stopped being on Twitter, too.

It’s not the site itself, necessarily. It’s not the 110,000+ accounts that followed me (many of which are being deleted every day, many of which are bots, many of which are inactive, many of which belong to really fucking cool people.)

It’s not that man, either. It’s me.

I was in the park this weekend for a dog costume contest and a woman clocked me, smiled, and said, “This is an imposition, but — are you Very Online?” It was very friendly and silly, and the best confirmation I could’ve wanted from the…

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Sara Benincasa

Author, REAL ARTISTS HAVE DAY JOBS & other books. Writer of scripts. Host of WELL, THIS ISN’T NORMAL podcast. Patreon.com/SaraBenincasa