It’s coming to the end of new years day and I’m lying in my bed staring at the ceiling. I have spent the entire day rolling around on the couch like some sort of beached whale, moaning occasionally as the random waves of pain wash over me.
The hangovers started getting worse around the middle of the year. I quit drinking for 3 months last year and when I rejoined my fellow drinkers, boy, was I in for a shock! What used to be a mildly dehydrated day of lying on the couch watching movies has become a lucky dip of pain. It’s rarely the same. Sometimes it’s chronic headaches where it feels like my head is in some sort of vice and while it pinches tighter and tighter there there is some sort of tube connected to my body sucking out any sort of hydration. Sometimes it’s the gargling gut, where all smells become extremely heightened and at any random moment the contents of my stomach can come rushing out of my mouth and won’t stop until I’m a sweaty, crying mess on the bathroom floor. Then today I had the internal damage hangover, where every organ in my body feels sore and at any moment feels like they could all melt and fall out of my body.
I could probably manage some of these things but the killer is the second hit that always follows the first, the second hit is an overwhelming wave of depression. As I sit and struggle with the physical pain I feel as though all of my inner demons sense the weakness and declare war.
Every negative comment about my drinking habits come flooding into my mind. “Your an alcoholic” “Your wasting your life away on being drunk and hungover all the time” “How much money have you wasted on drinking?” “Imagine where you would be now if you put all that time and money from drinking into something positive”. I like to think of myself as a fairly motivated and driven person and I can’t help but think to myself that these comments (except the one about me being an alcoholic) are true. Imagine if all that energy was focused on something positive? I would be a fitter, happier, richer and all round better person. So why do I keep doing this to myself?
I look around at my friends and see them all settling down and popping out kids. I also notice as the kids come the drinking and partying dies down. I guess when you have someone else to be responsible for getting shit faced is pretty insignificant or at least no longer a priority. So where does this leave me or any other gay man. Kids aren’t on the cards any time soon, if at all. So what is the defining moment that makes me decide to transition to the sober side? Is just wanting to no longer feel like this enough of a reason? Does anyone else out there have this inner battle every time they drink? Is it just me?