While writing the post on symptoms involving the nervous system, I nearly compared them to that of having a hangover. I decided against it but as I continued writing, this idea must have been bumbling at the back of my brain, because I decided it was more accurate than I’d first realised. Now, I’ve never had a hangover, so anyone feel free to correct me, but from what I’ve heard the symptoms can be surprisingly similar.
The difference is you inflict the hangover on yourself and it lasts a day. I have no choice and it’s much longer.
So anyway, description of a hangover:
You become conscious – sort of. No, you know you are because you feel terrible. Prising open an eye is a major battle, and when you manage it you wish you hadn’t. Light too bright, and it’s such an effort to keep that eye open. You feel like you’ve been gone over by a steam-roller – you’re plastered into the mattress so that trying to move is the worst idea in the world. You try it anyway. Your head hates you for it. It’s being stabbed from the inside, spun on a spinny kids ride, and is stuffed full of something that’s too unhelpful to be a brain and much too big for the space occupied anyway.
If you eventually make it downstairs – congratulations on that by the way – the torture just keeps coming. There’s more light and noise and people. Too loud, too happy, too bright, too alive. Slumping into a chair you prod your brain into thinking of food because you know you should. But it’s too much thinking of it, never mind actually making anything. Even if someone put a plate in front of you, you’re too tired to eat. Besides, you’re not hungry. You’re cold, shaky, feeling like you’re in the wrong body because your co-ordination’s shot and things don’t feel quite right. Food would probably taste weird too.
Everyone around you is going about their day.
Someone asks a questions which, by the time you’ve worked out what they said, what they want, and what you could say in reply, they’ve gone. Finally you’re alone. It’s blessedly quiet and still. But now you have to move again because you’re going unconscious in the chair. You stand up– nearly fall. Getting your balance, you start trudging forward– bounce off the door frame because you missed the hole. Another bruise. Keep trudging.
Upstairs is too far. You make it to the couch and collapse. You’re still strangely cold, achy, impossibly tired. Damn, you need the loo. But you fall asleep before you can make up your mind how desperate you are. You know because someone’s waking you up and now you really do have to go.
You’re meant to be eating something again. It’s evening. Apparently when you were awake before it was a bit after midday.
You want to crawl into a dark pit and die, except even that sounds like too much effort. You’re no less tired than before, still not hungry, you have a killer headache (and don’t you wish it would get on and finish you!) and now you ache all over too. Needless to say your mood is not the best. Despite this you’re so tired you also don’t feel much of anything else. Until someone asks you another question and suddenly you hate them. After a bit the feeling goes again though. You’re almost numb, uncaring – you’ve switched off the world. And why not? You can’t take part in it, you only make everyone else miserable or uncomfortable, and you don’t feel any better than when you woke.
Will the day ever end?
Someone offers comfort – ‘you’ll feel better soon, everyone has a bad time now and again’. In your head, which has decided to function minimally (yippee), you know they’re right. At the same time you wonder how that helps. So you get better sometime. This’ll happen again, and then what?
Time to drag yourself upstairs. You can’t face a wash, you can barely hold the toothbrush. You bumble into your room, crawl into bed. Will tomorrow–?
(Return to start and repeat)