Breaking Down the Emotional Hangover


Recently, RecruitmentChair and I had a lengthy discussion about hangovers. There are wine hangovers, which mean you probably spent at least $500 on the night before on shit you didn’t need. There are beer hangovers, which I’ve heard are terrible because you feel bloated and ugly for months. There are vodka hangovers, which are second nature to all of us. But there’s another type of hangover taking the world by storm: the emotional hangover. The result of making terrible life decisions that cause you to feel like shit about yourself the next day, the emotional hangover can only be cured with a lot of sleep, fro-yo, Taco Bell, and avoidance. When it comes down to it, the emotional hangover comes to us exactly the way the other hangovers do — you know you don’t need that extra shot, but you take it anyway, because fuck it, you want to get drunk. Similarly, you know you don’t need to show up at your not-boyfriend’s house at 3:00 in the morning to give him head, but you want to get laid, so fuck it, you’re going. Both scenarios lead to a searing headache and put you amid the throes of a midlife crisis. A typical night of drinking usually follows a timeline. I will be describing the alcohol-induced hangover and RecruitmentChair will lay out the emotionally-induced hangover and wrap it up.

Shots 1-2: With Chasers
You know you want to start drinking, and you’re totally ready to play out a million scenarios in your mind all of which include a great night with your girlfriends. You’re sober, so you try to ease into Helen Keller status by chasing your cheap vodka with Crystal Light. You’re going to be fine.

Shots 1-2: The Text
You get the infamous “What are you up to later?” text from the guy you’ve been interested in. Your mind starts running through a million scenarios with Mr. Wonderful that might play out over the next 24 hours. You’re not sure what’s going to happen, but you’re excited, you’re pumped. This is the pregame. It’s going to be a great night.

Shots 3-4: Less Chasers
You’ve got a solid high-school girl at prom buzz on, so everything’s good. You no longer care that you hate your hair tonight, and you’re ready to fucking rage. You know your liver is currently drafting an eviction notice, but whatever, you’re just starting.

Shots 3-4: The Date
You’re probably a little bit emotionally tipsy at this point, so you’re feeling great. He’s opening doors, paying for dinner, and the word “beautiful” has been thrown around. Your stomach is full of butterflies and you’re eating up every minute of the attention. You haven’t stopped to think about what’s going on, but why would you? You can tell that you might be starting to develop feelings, but this guy is perfect, so you keep taking emotional shots.

Shot 5: The Downward Spiral
You are officially drunk and texting solely in emojis. You are cheek-kissing every friend you see, whether you actually like her or not. You LOVE THIS SONG. There’s no need for you to order that shot of Rumplemintz, but you know what, there was no need for the Germans to bomb Pearl Harbor either.

Shot 5: The Turn
This is it. The moment you know you should stop drinking. Here you’re faced with a decision: do you make the responsible choice and call it a night, or do you keep pounding shots, because you’re out to have a night you’ll never forget (or more than likely, will never remember)? You do what every girl in your situation would do. You keep drinking. The same goes for the emotional drunk. You decide, fuck it, I’m going for it. You know you should stop and tell this guy to leave you the hell alone because he doesn’t want a relationship, but you’re bored, you’re lonely, and he’s hot. Whatever. You’re making out and you’re on cloud nine. You feel a little bit bad, but this feels better, and so it continues.

Shot 6-8: Jesus Take the Wheel
Who the hell knows where you are, who you’re making out with, or what you’re drinking? You don’t, because you just slammed 8 shots within an hour, the last 3 of which were well over 100 proof. You know you’re either going to throw up or fall face first on the sidewalk later. Should you stop drinking? Yes. Will you. No. In the words of Miley Cyrus, “WE WON’T STOP.”

Shots 6-8: The Regrettable Decisions
When you’re drinking, this is when things officially go south. You either take off your heels, or you attempt to keep wearing them, resulting in your plummet down a flight of stairs. You get caught in sloppy dance floor makeouts. There’s a tiny voice in the back of your head telling you that you’re going to puke your guts out later and almost die, but you tell that bitch to shut the fuck up because you really just need something good to happen right now even if you’ll regret it later. Just like that, you start making those decisions you know you’ll regret. You may or may not end up in bed with the guy, but that’s not even the worst part. Just like being drunk causes you fall down stairs and makeout with randos, being emotionally drunk leads to you even worse things. Someone says the L-word. Dating comes up. Worst of all, you start to get attached.

Shot 9+: Death
Just kidding, but you strongly consider a juice cleanse to rid the toxins from your system. Instead, you lay around watching Bravo all day in your sweatpants and cry until the random guy who has become your pledge class’s bitch brings you Taco Bell and a six pack of Diet Coke. You hate yourself for doing what you did last night, but you had SO MUCH FUN, so you’ll probably do it again and find yourself in the same self-loathing scenario tomorrow.
Oddly enough, the emotional hangover usually goes along the same lines.

Shots 9+: The Hangover
Your sleep mask is on, you’re physically sick, you’ll call of out work and wish Taco Bell made home deliveries, and you know from experience that the only way to cure a hangover is to stay drunk, so you grab a bottle of wine and start all over again, even though you’ll hate yourself even more tomorrow than you do today. You’re confused because you’re not sure where things went wrong, but it’s clear that they have since he hasn’t returned your 34 texts and 17 voicemails. You’ll feel miserable and tell yourself that this is never going to happen again.

But good news. Just like all hangovers, the emotional hangover will fade. Sure, you’ll be sick for a while. You’ll lay in bed and cry. You’ll force your little to come lay in bed and play with your hair and tell you that you’re the smartest, hottest, and funniest girl she knows, even though you don’t entirely believe it yourself. Eventually the weekend rolls around, and you’re right back out there like you were last weekend, just a little bit smarter. You’ll be able to look back on this and laugh about how stupid you were, but it helped you grow into the less sloppy version of the hot mess you are today. Don’t worry. It gets better. Now go out there and give yourself an emotional hangover, because, fuck it, you only live once.


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