I write this to re-read in moments of weakness, that I am so very grateful to be sober today. It’s funny how everyone jokes about feeling sick or having a terrible headache when hungover, but it is not the comic depiction of a hangover, a relentless banging of a hammer against an anvil feeling, that has made me face up to the fact that drinking was ruining me. It was and is, the hangover depression that frightened me so much, and still does. My heart goes out to people who are living with actual medical depression, it must be very, very difficult.
It overwhelms me for a whole 24 hours after a drinking session. A feeling that I don’t want to leave the house, that I couldn’t face even having small talk with anyone, that everyone would be against me, even fate and life itself have it in for me. On those days I feel that I have nothing to look forward to, and am cloaked in a paranoia about pretty much everything. I find it impossible not to succumb to thoughts that I was unworthy of anyone’s respect, and that I was a moody, unlikeable person.
Those are the days where the only good thing to look forward to is getting into bed to end this alcohol induced negativity; I know from numerous other hangovers that this disappears like magic overnight, that I’ll be fine tomorrow, when the hangover has gone.
The contrast between my personality of these two days would be so starkly different: without a hangover, today for example, I am happy; optimistic about the future, grateful for today, confident and able to enjoy even the most tedious or difficult things the day can throw at me. Remembering how awful those depressing hangover days feel, makes me actually stop and acknowledge and appreciate that I feel like ‘me’. I am grateful.
I always have been fine the next day, thankfully. I often wonder though, if my excessive drinking could have eventually taken away the ability to wake to clarity, with a clean, undamaged brain, that is able to appreciate my free life. It is frightening to think that my drinking pattern could have risked leaving me permanently in that hangover blackness.