Nurofen isn’t going to touch the sides of this baby. Nor is bread, although I’ll obviously give that a go. I have a humdinger of an emotional hangover and it’s compromising the way I see the world and I’m not functioning properly. But, like the secret drinker, I can’t talk about the fact that I am emotionally hungover because it will make me look weak. Not vulnerably charming weak. More pathetically teenaged weak.
Emotional hangovers can last for minutes (after a squashing comment), days (after an email telling off with a sting in its tail) or months (a break-up, a betrayal, a falling out). They can last years but the longer they go on, the stealthier we get about them. Because of the shame. Because of the belief that we are the problem. Extract the shame and you extract the toxin and the hangover is cured.
It is perfectly possible, if like most of us you are an emotionalcoholic, to live in a state of perpetual hangover, acting out on the low, seeking the feeling-seltzer, trying things and people on for size to act as antidotes.
A bad date will do it. Or a bad job. Even a bad conversation. And the hangover worms into your brain and sticks around even though it hasn’t earned its place. Because, blended with the shame is fear. And fear corrodes. It makes us lesser.
So, if you are hungover, confront the cause. Get it out in the open. Share it, halve it, give it new labels and new language and fuck its power up. With yours. Feelings are only feelings: they are not guns and bombs. They will not win