July 3, 2023

The first few days of summer are like the next day after a night out drinking — hungover. You feel it. You know you did something your body managed to survive. Facing the consequences hurts.

There’s an unquenchable thirst. You had so much to drink then but you’re insatiable now. Not only do you want a glass of water, Gatorade, or Coke, but you also need an Advil to help ease the pain. You drink slowly for fear of it coming back like a drain overwhelmed. You’re trepidatious because you remember that going to fast has forced you to slow down.

The fatigue keeps you awake and longing for sleep. It’s impossible to get comfortable. Laying down makes your body feel like the feet you danced your heart on last night. The sheets are lined with a film of your filth, as if they weren’t rinsed after the fabric softener cycle.  All you want to do is go back to bed, to sleep it off, too wake up feeling better. You have to get up to get to the fridge, shower, and make your way to the couch.

You’re agitated, suffering from hang-xiety. Lights and sounds are brighter and louder than they were last night. Your favourite song played twice last night. You knew all the words. You sang along with every song. The strobe lights made you look like a dancing robot. You yelled to be heard. You laughed. You asked for another drink when your friend went to the bar. Now, all you can manage is to be left alone, undisturbed. Your voice is horse. Your eyes are bloodshot.

You know you’ll get better because you’ve done it before. You’ve sworn that you’d take better care of yourself if it were ever to happen again. You’d drink water throughout the night, eat a proper meal before going out, stop drinking when you were feeling good. Still, you kept going, your water glass is full, and the food is spoiling at the back of the fridge. For now, you can’t decide if you’re sweating or freezing.

Telling anybody about how you feel will just lead to comments about how you should take better care of yourself and how you’ve got a few days so why complain. Nobody understands you because they can’t feel what you do. They don’t know how much energy it took you to party that hard, to keep up with everyone else, to smile throughout the night. The drinks fuelled you. Now, you feel like a fool.


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