Day 18 — Emotional Hangover

A Day In The Life Of Sobriety

Today I am fighting an emotional hangover because of the events that have happened over the last few days. Waking up this morning for work was a chore. Thinking about going into work was enough to bring faint tinges of a panic attack. No matter how much coffee I consumed, it wasn’t enough.

Emotional hangovers feel very like drinking hangovers, without the throwing up/ nauseous feeling in the morning. Unfortunately, there is no “hair of the dog” to cure this hangover. No easy way out.

Something I have learned over time, after countless emotional hangover mornings, is that I must keep putting one foot in front of the other. I can’t just call in sick to work because my soul feels like it was run over by a Mac truck. I can’t sluff off my duties at work and home because I am emotionally exhausted. It would be nice if I could, but alas, I cannot.

As hard as it was to go into work today, I still showed up. The first step for me when I am recovering from an emotional hangover is, recognize my feelings. I own them, and I own the part I played in the events that caused the hangover in the first place. I do not however stay in those feelings. I do not let them control my life, or the rest of my day.

The second step for me was limiting my interaction with my manager. Is that healthy? Maybe, maybe not. I would say no if I was purposefully avoiding her, and trying to avoid thinking about the events that transpired. Today however I recognized how I felt, I recognized my part, and I didn’t feel there was any need for further discussion. Therefore, in order to do my work, I needed to put distance between myself and my manager.

The third step was not living in the past all day. I tend to replay events in my head, conversations, arguments, what I said, and how I could have said it differently. I have learned over time that living in the past doesn’t change it. It only causes me more harm. What I did instead was focus on what was happening in front of me. Practicing staying where my feet were. Focusing on the work that needed to be done, and the work that I could accomplish.

And finally, the fourth step will be happening shortly: sleep. Tomorrow is my day off, and I try to sleep in if possible. Sleep is like putting your phone on the charger. When we sleep, our bodies can rest and recharge. Sleep is also when our brains can work through complex thoughts or problems. Dreaming is also part of that process. Sleep is incredibly important for curing an emotional hangover.

Emotional hangovers are rough. Sometimes they are unavoidable. But today, I don’t have to let them bring me down. As long as I keep putting one foot in front of the other, and take care of myself, they eventually pass.

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