Sunday 14 January 2018

10 Thoughts I Have When I'm Hungover

The struggle of post-night out anxiety is real and I don't think it's just me who suffers from this. I think I've always had this, to some extent. Only now it's worse because I don't get quite as drunk as I did when I was younger. If you're 18 and blackout at the end of the night, you genuinely have no idea what you said, who you offended or whether you managed to fall out with everyone. I used to have a love-hate relationship with the next morning as my friends and I would piece together the night before, laughing at the funny things that had happened and collectively suffering the shame and horror of yet another drunken night out. 

This doesn't happen when you're in your 30s. I think you're supposed to be adult-enough to remember your own night and wake up without the sense of dread that young people are plagued with. I am not so lucky, that sense of dread is following me right through to old age. And, of course, hangovers are nowhere near as fun when you have children to parent the next day. With all this in mind, I figured I would share 10 of the thoughts that have been running through my mind today (and pretty much consistently over Christmas, too):

1. Why are my kids so loud?
Even when I get a lie-in, and I often do, I'm still woken up by the thuds, shrieks and giggles of my ridiculously loud family. My usual plan is to sleep through the hangover but this is impossible when there are what sounds like 18 elephants stomping around your house playing an elaborate and noisy game of hide and seek. Really, all nights out should end in hotel rooms where you can hibernate until you feel well and truly ready to face the world again, even if that takes a week. 

2. Who did I offend last night?
It always happens, doesn't it? Or it does to me. I am a screechy, giggly, loud drunk and I sometimes forget that I'm not on Comedy Central's Roast. I think you can kind of get away with this bad behaviour when you see lifelong friends who have loved you for years, but perhaps it's not quite so acceptable with new people...

3. Why would I say that?
My memory doesn't hold up well when saturated with alcohol, but there are usually a few clear memories dotted through the night. It's usually the stupid things I said that stick in my mind and then play on repeat for the duration of the hangover. If I'm lucky, those things will only plague me the next day, though on occasion I will fret over them for weeks. Does this happen to other people or am I an overly anxious drunk? 

4. What secrets did I share last night?
I should never tell myself anything because I cannot be trusted. When I was younger, my favourite nights were the ones that ended with me and a friend sharing secrets in a filthy toilet cubicle somewhere. I think, when drunk, I try to relive those days by telling secrets to anybody unfortunate enough to sit next to me. I'm really hoping I will grow out of this but it seems unlikely. In the meantime, I will just have to avoid making eye contact at the school gates for a while. 

5. I should have drunk more water
I should, shouldn't I? If I'd had a glass of water between every drink like my mum has been telling me to since I was 16, maybe I wouldn't have a big black hole where my memory should be. It is good to have drinks but maybe they shouldn't all be prosecco, maybe half of them should be water. It would be worth the extra bathroom trips to avoid embarrassing myself. Plus, maybe I wouldn't feel like my brain was fizzing was still fizzing with prosecco at lunch the next day. 

6. How much did I eat last night?
Usually, the lack of water drinking occurs to me around the time I stumble out of the venue at the end of the night. I then usually make a decision to eat as much food as is humanly possible to try and 'soak up some alcohol' (I am aware this is not science). Last night I got chips from a takeaway and then came home and ate about three loaves of bread. I recently ate an entire vegan pizza on my way home from a night out. If there are crisps in the house, I will eat them all, even if they are pom bears. Sometimes it is better not to know much I have eaten, for this only adds to my shame. 

7. How much did I spend last night?
This is the most terrifying thing of all. Once upon a time, my bank account only let me spend what I had and that money was all to spend on nights out. So it didn't really matter. Now my bank has more money in but I'm supposed to spend it on things like food to feed my children. It is not all supposed to go on nights out. Sometimes, I count up the loose change in my bag and think I did ok only to find out a few days later that I went crazy at the bar and bought many drinks on my bank card. This is never good. I miss the days of Visa Electron. 

8. How many movies is it ok for the kids to watch in a day?
Ok, hangovers aren't what they used to be. I'm not sat on a friend's sofa binge-watching Friends and eating crap. But I can recreate that with the help of Toy Story and some crisps. It's not the same because I didn't have to keep asking my friends if they needed the potty or getting them drinks and raisins, but it's still manageable. Thanks to television, the occasional hangover is survivable and, dare I say, even enjoyable even with small children climbing all over me. 

9. Maybe I should just blanket apologise to everyone
Should I? There is about a 70 percent chance that I offended everyone on the night out. But there's also a pretty good chance nobody will remember until I text them and remind them. But if I don't text them and they do remember, they might hate me forever and never invite me out again. What's the right thing to do?! 

10. I hope everybody else was as drunk as me
Now, I know this one isn't true because I have years of experience of always being the drunkest person at the party. However, it is the only way to switch off my worries and get on with my life. So, at some point in the afternoon, I make myself feel better by telling myself that everyone else was probably just as drunk as me. They probably don't remember my weird dancing or the fact I overshared or the offensive thing I said. They probably just went home and binge-ate marmite on toast and woke up today not knowing what had happened or where all the bread had gone. 

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