Hangover Shame

bloody mary cocktail with fresh lemon on cutting board

I used to think a hangover was my penance for overdrinking.

Like, I’m hungover and that’s what I get – like, a punishment.

There are consequences to overdrinking, for sure.

But a hangover is just a hangover.

It doesn’t mean I’m a bad person.

It doesn’t mean I’m out of control.

It doesn’t mean my ability to reason is broken.

It doesn’t mean I need to go to an AA meeting.

It doesn’t mean I’m a lush.

A hangover is a medical condition – called veisalgia.

Scientists still can’t agree on exactly what causes them (dehydration, immune response, electrolytes can’t keep up) but this much we know: They’re caused by a biological response and not because you’re a bad girl and should be punished.

We make our hangover mean all kinds of things, and this is where we get into the real trouble.

Because when we make a hangover mean that there’s something wrong with us, or we’ve done something wrong, we shame ourselves.

And no positive, lasting change has ever come from shame.

It does the opposite, actually.

Shame makes you hide, which only continues the drinking (because it gives us relief from the shame we created for ourselves).

So stop shaming yourself.

Get a big glass of refreshing water, take a nap, and sign up for Stop Overdrinking to learn how to stop the overdrinking cycle without quitting (unless you want to, and we can do that, too).

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