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Where'd She Go?

Mostly, I just slept. (It was a severe bout of Hangover Anxiety.)

Now, now! Before you start saying that I'm making light of a serious mental health issue - I'm not joking. It's a real thing. You can deny it all you want, but the D&A* Brain just doesn't like alcohol as much as we do. It was only after my terrible week that I connected the dots.

As you can see, I'm back on the blog, but I felt that I had to share my latest experience with those of you who don't really understand what it's like for people like us.

Managing my mental health is easier these days (on medication), but that does not mean the dark pit has disappeared. It happens less frequently, but sometimes I turn a corner and fall right in. I miss all the signs, and until last week I never fully understood the havoc partying can wreck on my navigation.

During my teens, I was drinking regularly so there was never a real opportunity for me to experience the lasting effects. Before I could hit a low I'd be drinking again, feeding the high for another few days. I've grown milder and more responsible into my thirties, but when I have the off chance to let my hair down, I grab onto it with all the force I can muster.

My sister's 30th birthday party turned out to be a rager. For me at any rate. Hubby was babysitting our dog children, all but one of my siblings were going to be there, and I could just crash at her place if I was too drunk to drive. There was no one to impress, no one to look after, and nothing important to do. Add to that the rooibos gin I had just discovered, and it was about to become legen...

...dary! We had plenty of laughs and my night was vomit-free, with little to no maudlin going on. (Party Goals sure changed a lot, haven't it?) Even my hangover was nowhere to be seen. Or so I thought.

Shortly after the weekend, fatigue set in. I woke up tired every morning, I read less, watched more television, avoided unnecessary social interaction and then binge-eating showed its ugly face. I had no idea what was going on. My world was getting smaller and smaller until the shame spiral song was stuck on repeat.

My support system, however, is fantastic. When I eventually opened up to my family about how I was feeling, my big brother helped me trace back my steps to where the symptoms started - right after that party. That's when I found out that alcohol is a depressant. Needing him to tell me that really pissed me off. Why should he be smarter than me simply because he's older?

Pride aside, turns out he's right. To stay on track, I've recommitted to my new morning routine and plan to avoid binge-drinking from ruining more good days.

*Depressed & Anxious


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