The hangover is a complex thing. When you're young and sprightly it hardly occurs at all, say for maybe some extreme thirst or a slight headache. Nothing that a super greasy breakfast, a ton of coffee (like a vat) and a nice long nap won't fix. But then it's like as soon as you mature and get older, aka past your early 20s, those hangovers seem to get so much worse. Like so, so much worse. Suddenly you can barely drink without getting crazy hungover the next day, no matter what you do or how much water you try to guzzle. Those hangovers start to hurt a lot more. For some reason it's really hard to learn the lesson about how crappy hangovers can be, no matter how horrendous they are to experience and no matter how much you swear to yourself you'll never, ever drink again. Here are 15 emotional stages of a hangover in case you forgot how terrible they can be and need a quick reminder.
15 Remembering The Blackout
If you drank enough to get hungover, then there definitely might be a few blacked out moments in your memory from the night before. In the midst of a blackout, a lot of people make some fairly questionable decisions, which is always scary to deal with when those memories start to come flashing back. Or worse, when the photos and Snapchats start surfacing. Often times nothing really that terrible happened during the blackout, but the issue is that when you first realize that it existed you just have absolutely no idea what went down. That's when you start to panic. Realizing this to be true is often scarier than actually hearing what happened. Just because you got away with a blackout, this time, doesn't mean you will next time, which is a fact you can never run from. Keep that in mind the next time someone offers you a shot.
14 The Still Drunk Giddiness
Perhaps the most maniacal stage of a hangover is when you wake up still drunk and think everything from the night before is still entertaining. The reason that this happens though is that you're actually still drunk, so reality just hasn't quite set in yet. It's fun for a minute but it never lasts. Beware of what you say and do during this stage because it's the most likely time that you'll post a questionable photo from the night before that seems hilarious now but won't in a few hours. This is also the stage where you might commit to a day plan like driving to the zoo and then realize halfway through the trip that you're actually going to pass out from low blood sugar and feel like barfing all at the same time. It is, however, the time that you're probably most likely to get in your workout if that's on your to-do list, and who knows, that could even help you feel better.
13 Desperate Hunger
It doesn't matter how much you ate for dinner or what sort of late night snack you fed your drunk self, aka all those sweet potato fries that you totally inhaled. Nope, that doesn't matter at all because there will always be a moment when you're hungover when you're so hungry that it doesn't even make any sense. It's like someone dumped out everything that was in your stomach without you noticing and your entire being is now crying out for something massive and probably terrible for you. The annoying part of this is being aware of the fact that you already drank a day's worth of calories in cocktails, so adding a ton of crap food on top of it means come Monday your skinny jeans won't be fitting. And yet there's nothing you can do besides tame that beast with something filling otherwise you'll be dealing with a sad growling stomach all day long.
It seems incredibly unfair that the desperate hunger of a hangover can be replaced so quickly with nausea, but it happens, and it seems to happen almost every single time that you get hungover. Sigh. Just as soon as you decide on the perfect hangover meal and eat it, your body decides that it was the wrong choice. Occasionally this nausea goes so far as to actually turn into throwing up, which is really a horrible way to start the day. Throwing up because you're not responsible enough to turn down a free drink is a really great way to make you question your life choices. Alcohol is literally a drug and knowing that you fed yourself enough to make your body technically sick is a really weird thought. And not throwing up is just as miserable because then the sense of nausea never totally goes away. You just lay there feeling sorry for yourself and wishing for the time to pass more quickly.
11 Knowing You Ruined Sunday
Oh crap. You had so much stuff that you wanted to accomplish this weekend and now none of it is going to happen. Sundays are rife with possibility, but when you give precedence to the shenanigans of Saturday night it often wipes out those possibilities. There can be a real sense of guilt involved in this realization since you are an adult and yet you can't seem to keep some simple commitments to yourself. This is made even worse when you were planning on doing chores and cleaning on Sunday but now you do not feel good enough so you are just laying around in your own filth and have no clean dishes. This is when a fairy godmother/magic hangover treatment pill would really come in handy. Ruining one Sunday is not a big deal, but when you can't remember the last time you did not ruin a Sunday, that's not great.
10 Hating That You Made Plans
For some reason, your drunk self is way more social and committed to hanging out with other people than your sober self is. Half of the friends you make when you're drunk aren't people that you would ever choose to bond with sober, so it's a bit of a mysterious thing. Sometimes you make plans with these people and the realization hits you in the midst of your hangover. Even worse when you make plans with your actual friends because they might be more likely to hold you to it. Knowing that you committed to something important can put a real "oh crap" vibe in your morning. The last thing you want to realize from your hungover dungeon cave is that you promised a friend a ride to the airport or made a first date with that guy with on Tinder. And you thought you'd be up for that because why?
9 Sad Thirst
One weird thing about hangovers is that no matter how much liquid you try to take in, you still feel thirsty. It's like your mouth is now the desert and there is no saving it. Part of this is because drinking throws your electrolytes out of whack in a major way, and replenishing those can take more effort than just downing a Gatorade can accomplish. Plain water has a way of feeling boring when you're hungover, so perhaps your surround yourself on the couch with fizzy waters, lemon infused ice water, sports drinks, etc...and nothing seems to be helping. Dehydration can actually affect your mood, so it's no wonder that you feel bummed out about it. Even mild dehydration makes simple tasks seem more complicated, leads to headaches, makes it hard to concentrate, and adds to fatigue. Couple this with the lack of sleep your night out robbed you of and major ouch.
8 Being Grossed Out At How Weird You Look
Alcohol is not great for the skin, that's just a fact. Or the rest of the body really, and it likes to remind us of that pretty much every time we over do it. Enter strange puffy face, flaky skin, red spots and oil slicks that have never been there before. Not to mention, the more drunk you were the less likely you might be to wash your face at the end of the night which can just exacerbate some of the issues that alcohol itself causes. Alcohol dehydrates the skin pretty quickly, which is one of the main things that you'll notice when you wake up and don't even recognize your facial shape anymore. When the skin is dehydrated it loses plumpness and makes you look older and less lively. Over time, this can cause annoying issues like wrinkles and rosacea that aren't as easy to erase as they were to create, so think about that.
7 Realizing You're Ruining Your Life
This might be an over dramatized emotion but it's still one that gets felt in the worst of hangovers. You wake up feeling like you live in a garbage can full of regrets and just think "What have I done to myself here???" You spent too much money at the bar just to feel bad, you texted people you shouldn't have been texting, you maybe overspoke your mind to a gossipy acquaintance, and now you're wasting a perfectly good day because your brain isn't working. And you look weird. You know you shouldn't be keeping this up much longer because you really can't deny that it has its consequences...but then at the same time you don't know how to stop because you're social and love to have fun. It sounds like an impossible riddle that you don't want to solve. But it happens every single time you have a nice old hangover.
6 Feeling Alone And Texting 47 People From Your Bed
It does not really matter who you have in your life or how many guys are texting you from last night, there can still be that moment where you are crying over the fact of how alone you are. It might even go to the global level like is anyone ever not alone on this planet? Because how close can we really be to another human? Is it possible to ever really know or trust someone? Will I ever find love? Is love real? You see how this can progress in a downward spiral. These sort of thoughts can come through any day for no reason, but there is something about a hangover that makes them seem desperate and really real. Probably partly because alcohol is a depressant and can have an immediate effect on your mood. Whoops. That champagne was a real upper until it was not.
5 Your Emotional Breakdown Over Nothing
Going along with the same theme, sometimes being hungover can lead to a pretty serious emotional breakdown over nothing. Okay, it might not actually be over nothing, but your feelings are probably over-dramatized and have more of a tendency to see the hopelessness than to get you fired up to make a change. How are you supposed to be a strong confident woman marching away from that crappy guy when you are feeling lonely and incapable of drinking water without pouring it all over your chest? Being hungover is hard, and it has a way of making literally everything seem that much harder as well. It's like this is the end of the world and it will not be getting any better any time soon. The key is not to stress too much, but not to forget about your breakdown either. Just handle it tomorrow when you feel better again or else it will come back to make you cry next weekend.
4 The "I'm Going To Recover" Moment
There's always a moment where you get a weird burst of energy and at least recognize your sober brain and body, even if you don't totally have both back yet. You realize that although you spent a good portion of the day watching terrible television and hating your life, there is a chance that you will once again feel good. The swelling will go down, the thirst will cease, you'll be able to tolerate sunlight once again. Depending on how bad the hangover was this moment can be shocking, and it's always glorious. It reignites your faith in your glorious body to know that without much effort on your part your body was successful at filtering out the poisons that you pumped into it. It's like a miracle really, and you just know that tomorrow is going to be better than this. It's enough to make you think that you can totally drink again.
3 That Desire For Another Drink
Once the hangover lifts to the point where you're not going to puke anymore, sometimes the desire for another drink kicks in. Call it the hair of the dog or whatever else you want, but it can be appealing. Drinking more alcohol might not actually help you heal or clear out any of those toxins, but it is effective at numbing the pain of recovery. But at the same time, you know that if you start drinking again you could end up with a foggy Monday brain and be pissed off at yourself all over again. Plus knowing that you're craving a drink reminds you of alcoholism even if you totally know that you don't have a real problem. Still, the desire to drink after going through that ordeal of a hangover is kind of a depressing concept. Honestly, you just don't know what's wrong with you and why you feel this way.
2 Feeling Like a Hero Because You Showered
Once the hangover lifts to the point that you can use your limbs you might climb into the shower... and feel like a total and complete hero for doing it. Yeah, really. You did not accomplish much in the sense of long-term goals during that hangover, but cleaning that body and pretending like you are washing away your sins and emotional distress feels like a huge accomplishment. The hot water never felt better than on that tired body of yours. Showering is a great way to pause and restart, and there is nothing more relaxing than a cozy evening when you feel clean and your legs have been shaved. It's like a whole new you. You totally and completely forget that showering is a totally normal thing and that you have a shower every day of your life. The thing is that showering on a hangover day is just incredible.
1 Being Elated That You Can Go To Bed
The best part of a hangover is realizing that you survived the day without a single disaster striking and that it's actually a reasonable hour to go to bed. You could have hit the hay at like 4 pm but if you did, you wouldn't have slept through the night, and sometimes making it through those evening hours can be a real challenge. That's also when the desire to drink and eat more usually starts nagging. By this point, you made sure that nothing horrible happened in your drunken state, and you don't feel like the world is going crash in on you anytime soon. Once again, you made it through the dreaded hangover, and hopefully feel a little more optimistic about the next day. You even forget what it's like... until your next hangover. And then the entire emotional cycle happens all over again. Sigh. You never learn, do you?