Nobody shame-spirals during a hangover like me. Well, that's a little narcissistic. There are probably a lot of you out there in the great expanse of the universe who hurdle down the shame vortex after a night of boozing.
I'm actually shame-spiraling with a hangover as I write this to you.
It's Friday, and mama knocked back one too many glasses of white wine last night. I'm having what I like to call "white wine regrets." It's awful, this whole hangover business. I woke up feeling slightly hungover this morning, but OK. "You didn't make too much of an ass out of yourself last night," I dutifully thought to myself. "Good, job Z."
Just as I began to paint my slightly puffy white wine face with a thick dollop of heavy foundation, I suddenly remembered that I sent a text to a girl I like. F*CK. I actually think I sent about four text messages to her. Slight heart palpitations quickly ensued. I didn't even want to look at my phone. I was feeling far too vulnerable to face my humiliation. I suddenly had an insatiable desire to be cuddled by a motherly figure. "You're so alone in the world," I lamented to myself. I was now definitely feeling too vulnerable to take the hostile subway, so I ordered an Uber.
It was 2.5 surge rate. Insane. I can hardly pay my f*cking rent. But I took an Uber anyway because the thought of a train packed with people was enough to send me into a full-blown panic attack. This is when my shame went from mild to severe.
"What the f*ck is WRONG with you, you frivolous little bitch!" I thought to myself as I slid into the black leather seat of my ridiculously expensive car ride. "WHY do you drink so much white wine that you can't HANDLE taking the subway like every other NEW YORKER the morning after. Girl, you need to get your sh*t together. You can't afford this. If you can't handle the subway after drinking, YOU NEED TO QUIT DRINKING!"
I was stuck at a traffic light, stewing in self-hatred right at Lexington and 53rd street when I firmly decided it was time to check my text messages. "You can't avoid the truth forever," the nasty voice in my head taunted.
I could feel my blood pressure raise. I had a full-body, physical wave of anxiety as I pulled out my glitter-cased iPhone 6 Plus and glanced at my text messages.
It was time to face the music: With shaky hands, I scanned my text messages. Phew. It wasn't too terrible (I've been much, much worse). Just a little heavy on the exclamation points. But was it necessary to send her a f*cking selfie? AND BAM, I was suddenly catapulted back into that ugly spiral once again.
"Zara! You're so NARCISSTIC and VAIN! Why do you send people selfies, like they really give a sh*t? No one gives a sh*t about your bleary-eyed selfie. Get over yourself! How do you think you will ever find a nice respectable girlfriend when you pull stunts like this! And seriously, going out on a Thursday? Aren't we a little old to be going out on school nights?" I was being mean to myself, but I couldn't stop it. That's the problem with the shame-spiral; it's bigger than YOU.
Now I'm sitting at my desk at Elite Daily, too afraid to look and see if I posted something on social media whilst under the influence. Social media and booze are the WORST COMBINATION, and kids, I'm still spiraling. I have moments when I'm sort of OK, then BAM, a tiny little flash of revealing a little too much to new friends at dinner last night explodes in my brain, which turns into a full-blast panic. It's ridiculous, I know.
My best friend, Owen, calls it "shame shudders," which I find to be the perfect description of the post-alcohol panic and fear. It's much worse than just a physical hangover. It's an emotional hangover that cuts into the souls of us fragile people. I have friends who don't spiral. They are the types who were just born to drink. They never make fools of themselves. They wake up in the morning and hit the freaking gym after a bender. They are usually gay men. (God, please make me a gay man in my next life!)
However, all of my fellow emotionally unstable friends spiral right alongside me. The other day, I woke up to a slew of Facebook messages from my best friend, Ruba. "I'm in the drinking HALL OF SHAME," she wrote. "I woke up with an iPhone that isn't mine in my purse! I drank an entire bottle of wine and slept through my alarm! My BOSS is going to kill me! What am I doing with my LIFE!?" She was messaging me at the speed of rapid fire.
The girl has her sh*t together. She was just caught up in the post-drinking shame-spiral. Shame-spirals have the ability to derail even the most successful women.
There is no way to avoid the shame shudders, shame-spiraling, white wine regrets, whatever you want to call it, if you're wired this way. It just is going to happen. But we can spiral together, babies.
And you know what the best remedy for the spiral is? To look up quotes from the great writers and role models throughout history who will totally justify our bad behavior. In fact, it can stop you full throttle from going to a super dark place.
I mean all the great artists have sinned. It's not just us. And if Oscar Wilde can own his sins, then so we can WE.
So here are some quotes I've pulled together to justify our bad behavior and make us feel better about our reckless lives. Because the truth is, lovelies, we might be hungover and not in our best form today, but at least we ARE LIVING. And what is life without a few embarrassing text messages, bad selfies and excess?
Don't believe me? Read these quotes babe: