You wake up in the morning, struggling to open your eyes, head throbbing, body aching, feeling like you got run over by a truck.
What happened last night? You ask yourself, trying to remember all of the moments from the night before.
Then suddenly, flashes of your mistakes — the things you shouldn’t have said, and those last few shots you shouldn’t have taken — come pouring back in. You begin to regret even going out last night as your body punishes you for all of the things you did.
It’s at this moment that you realize you have two choices: get out of bed and try to fight the hangover or grasp your comforter tightly, letting the hangover take over your body, and attempt to sleep it off.
Finally, after a few hours of self-loathing, you manage to pull yourself out of your bed, order some greasy food and plant yourself in front of the television. After what feels like days — and maybe it actually is — you feel like you are finally ready take on the world (or your apartment at least), move off the couch, shower and allow your roommate to convince you to get ready to go out again.
While, you are fearful to recreate all of the mistakes you made last night, you manage to shower and come out feeling slightly refreshed. But, with the events of the night before embedded in your mind, you are still hesitant to start drinking again — almost too scared to even look at another drink.
We’ve all been there: the morning after struggle that challenges us to dare to try again. Although, you are tempted to crawl into your bed and hibernate for the next 20 years, somehow, every time you manage not only to make it through the hangover blues, but you even conquer your hangover so ferociously that you make it out the next night.
Based on this reality, the one that exemplifies your ability to get over the seemingly never-ending misery, you should begin to treat every breakup like a nasty hangover.
All of these marks of a hangover are strangely familiar to the process of getting over a breakup. It’s a feeling we’ve all felt — the dreadful moment when you realize you should have refrained from that last shot or, in the case of your relationship, another opportunity to make it work. And while you tell yourself that last tequila shot won’t hurt you in the morning, you are left beaten up, holding on to some semblance of hope for recovery the next day.
Either way, it is not until the day after, with the regrets of the past looming over you, that you realize the only way to move on is to actually give in to those horrible feelings, eat something unhealthy and partake in a cycle of self-loathing for a bit. Like a hangover, in a breakup, you must give in to the feelings of desperation and seemingly everlasting misery in order to allow yourself the space to recover from any mistakes or heartbreak you may have.
Although, a broken heart may take more than a few hours or a day to heal, at some point, you will be ready and excited to try again. At this point, the misery of your relationship hangover will be in the past and you will be ready to begin living again.
Suddenly, it’s as if all those hours spent clinging to your sheets, chugging water and taking two Advil (then swearing you’ll never drink again) never even existed. You will no longer think about the regrets you had, but instead, will be able to remember the laughter, the happiness and the naïve recklessness that existed.
Once you allow yourself the space to mourn your decisions, that last shot, and even your relationship, you can and will recover. It’s important to treat your breakup like a hangover in order for you to put yourself out there fearlessly, convincing yourself that you’ll never be heartbroken again.
When you allow yourself the space to feel destruction and to conquer it (and there is nothing like the feeling of finally beating a hangover or a broken heart), you’ll come out knowing that you’ve defeated the worst and you may just have it in you to do it again.
Photo credit: Wolf Of Wall St