Post-Thanksgiving, Hungover

I just wrote a piece called Depression in Two Parts. I stuck it in the Vault. That’s what I call the buried folder on my hard drive where revealing essays go to die. The ones I don’t want to post. The ones that aren’t about me. DITP is about family. And friends (ex-friends) and emotions. There’s only one scene I want to share:

Tommy the cat realizes we’re alone in the house. He crosses the room at a trot and bounds onto the couch, purring. He can tell when I’m feeling off, agitated. When I go to bed sad, Tommy rubs his head on my hand and eventually lies down on it, pinning me in place, like Jesus, by my hand.

Today was rough. My in-laws left town this morning. Three days of togetherness. As an introvert, I’m good for two hours. Then I need to recharge. Hence my moment with Tommy. Recharging. Sophie got up to see her cousins off, to pick up Eli. He slept over at ground zero for three days, his grandparents’ house. Fourteen of them on beds and cots and couches and floors. Eli’s an extrovert. When he wants to be. The rest of us slept at home, thankful for the space.

Sophie and Eli returned to find me at home drinking coffee—crusty, headachy, like I drank something last night besides seven glasses of water—grumpy and uncommunicative, not that they wanted to communicate either. Sophie went back to bed. Eli fell asleep on the floor. Susan held out until evening but eventually took a nap.

Today was almost a total loss. I tore a fluorescent light fixture from my closet ceiling. Something I vowed to replace when we moved in fifteen years ago. The bulbs were out, all but one, and that was flickering. I painted the space where the light used to be—with primer, not ceiling white, there was none left in the basement. It almost matches.

Susan and I took a half-hearted walk, a mile around our neighborhood, for fresh air and to talk. That was my day, all of it. I didn’t put up a new light fixture, I didn’t even go out and buy one. I didn’t exercise like I said I would. Most of my day was spent on the couch, reminiscent of my real hangovers twenty years ago.

I’ve hit the point of day, nine o’clock at night, when that real hangover from my past life might go away. Shaky and spent, famished from a day of illness, I’d watch a movie, eat some takeout and then read until late. Very late. The goal was to go to bed without once thinking about my life, my wasted day, my coming workweek. Just occupy my mind until deep sleep blanked it for eight more hours.

I suppose writing is the opposite of that. Immersed in my thoughts, introspective. I’m confronting my life, at least pieces of it. So why does tonight feel exactly like one of those hangovers from my past?

33 thoughts on “Post-Thanksgiving, Hungover

  1. I got anxious just reading this sentence “Fourteen of them on beds and cots and couches and floors.” Yikes! 14 people in one house😱
    Too many people is energy draining. No surprise you feel hung over. It’s like being dehydrated only you’re re-energized. A purring kitty and a quiet space is a good start on recuperation.

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  2. If it’s any of consolation Jeff, your non-hungover hangover has bloomed a beauty of a post here. Some gorgeous phrases. I love the part about the cat pinning your hand like Jesus… very visual, sweet and deep all at once. Hug

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      • I mostly only follow sobriety blogs via this account. The reason is (or was, especially in the beginning) that when I login with this profile and look at Reader view, I don’t want to see content that could mess with my sobriety mindset. And no, it’s not hard to manage…. sober. ;)) Although it does feel complex and sometimes I wish I could amalgamate somehow… But I have other things to do in life as well as blog. So I haven’t figured it all out yet. :))

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      • P.s. On further thought there’s more to it than that… I also don’t generally want to see WP Reader content twice; that doesn’t make sense to me. I can switch you to (I.e. follow you from) the other account if you prefer? Just realized that might be what you were wondering about since you ask it here and not on my own blog… also I didn’t know we follow many of the same blogs other than sobriety blogs. Sorry it’s not simpler… I created this sobriety account on a whim; there was no premeditation nor inkling of how long I would write in it… good to know it might be an issue for some people… I certainly meant no offence by it; it does all have (whimsical/artistic?) logic from my point of view… hope that clarifies things a bit, Jeff :))

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      • 1st, I’m not offended in any way, and I’m honored to be part of your sober-safe circle, and I’m very happy with your sobrietytree id as a follower-it might even help others realize that sobriety is a huge part of who I am now even if I’m not writing about it. I was just curious. I have a wordpress alter ego too where I post stuff that isn’t real-life friendly, and I also use it to to comment on certain topics. I find it a pain in the ass to pop back and forth.

        I typically read and comment on blogs at lunchtime. By then, most of the blog-action has already taken place. I’m constantly running across you in the comments section.

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      • Ah ok cool. :)) Also love hearing that someone else has MI(D)O haha just made up – Multiple Identity Dis(Orderliness) going on! Yes I have become a massive WP addict so you will likely run into me nearly any time of day (until I finally get *this* monkey off my back somehow ;)) Thanks Jeff for the kind reply. xo Nadine

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  3. There’s no way I would have been able to handle that many people for that long. I wouldn’t meet a single person’s social expectations and since I would appear “odd” or “bitchy” that would make me feel inadequate and would pile on my “go away” crankiness. Wow. Hope your mood passes as you fall back into your familiar. Probably a social hangover cured with good amounts of familiarity and solitude. Hopefully.

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  4. 17 people for 3 days… that’s a nope from me dawg. I tend to just sit still and zone out when the ‘overwhelm’ is too exhausting, it appears as stand-off-ish to people, just not great. Glad to see you’re feeling a bit better after some recovery time.

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  5. I love all the holidays and everything about them. But, sometimes they trigger past distress, maybe due to the pressure we put on ourselves to be social, cook a good meal, etc….it’s a new week Jeff! Get out for a good run and clear your head :-).

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  6. You are good at introspection, Jeff. I guess that’s one benefit of being an introvert. You know when you are keeping busy to avoid thinking about your life. Writing does tend to open our hearts and minds. I also just wrote a piece (and edited it over and over and over) that I don’t think I want to publish, either. It’s too personal and controversial. It’s now in my “drafts” folder staring at me!

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