one bad night

Saturday was not a very good day. First, I was tired, because I’d been up late Friday night. Second, it was cold, wet, with a slow-moving winter storm rolling into town, which made me feel confined & restless. Third, my significant other really wanted a drink. Accordingly, around 4pm, we went out and got that drink, or rather, some beer (for me) and bourbon (for him) to take home. I was pretty sure this would lead to me drinking too much. I also kind of wanted to drink too much.

Guess what I did next? Ow, my head hurts this morning.

Worse than the headache is the emotional hangover. I’ve done very well during the month of April, until last night. Last night, I went straight back to old habits: filling down-time with alcohol, because I was bored and irritable. Waking up this morning, I felt terrible. I felt like I had failed.

And yet what, exactly, have I failed? I overdid it one night, just like millions of people sometimes do. If you count up all the drinks between my 30 and now, it comes to less than one week of my previous habits. Even last night, when I really went wild, I had somewhere between six and eight drinks (counting gets tougher when you’re inebriated) over the course of about five hours, which is considerably less than I used to drink every single night of the week. Today, my head hurts, my stomach is delicate, and my mood bleak. But I have the rest of my life to keep figuring this out.

Mistakes are a part of learning. Yesterday, I discovered that long weekends with bad weather are more difficult to navigate than I had anticipated. My partner probably learned something too, as he feels responsible for my glum mood this morning. So, the next time this situation rolls around, perhaps one or both of us will act differently. I am also in the process of learning that one bad night does not derail all progress; it’s a lapse, not a relapse.

At least, these are all the things I am trying to tell myself, in between feeling like a failure. The rational part of me can write things like above, but the rest of me is dealing with the chemical backwash from a large quantity of alcohol. Time for a little self-care.

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