The Morning After Guilt

Some people get the drunk tears. I get the hangover tears.

In college, this is what I called my “walk of shame”. I would be strolling home from a party after having the best time of my life, yet feel so sad. As an adult, I wake up in my own bed, in my own beautiful apartment, after my fabulous birthday celebration and feel empty. After a night of drinking, I don’t have a  pounding headache or an upset stomach.

Instead, I feel depressed and anxious, constantly replaying the night to make sure I didn’t do or say anything wrong. Most of the time, I remember every little detail, yet I don’t trust myself that I do. What if the one thing I’m forgetting is the one thing that could ruin my reputation? Or destroy a friendship?

As a New Yorker, drinks are apart of your social life. It’s just the way it is. And sometimes, it feels so necessary after a long day of work. Participating doesn’t make me an alcoholic, but once I take that sip, I know I am going to pay for it in my own kind of way. In my mind.

However, I will say it always passes and the guilt doesn’t last too long. Somehow I use that knowledge to convince myself that it’s okay to keep going. However, when I do over-consume (which is not the norm) the feeling can last up to a few days. I will run into people who were with me and feel nervous.

“Hey Em. I had so much fun with you the other night.” Yet, I don’t believe them. “Was I okay?” “Did I do or say anything stupid?” I would say 99% of the time the answer is no. Yet - I STILL don’t believe them.

After some research, I found out that it has to do with chemical and nutrient imbalance after a heavy consumption. We forgot that alcohol is considered a “downer”  that suppresses the mind. No wonder why I feel so emotional in the AM.

If you are experiencing this, know you aren’t alone. This is such a tough one because It isn’t crippling enough to  stop us from enjoying a night out, yet the outcome goes against what we stand for regarding self-care. I’m torn.

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Written by Emily