Home Comment The Stages of Recovering from a Rocky Night Out

The Stages of Recovering from a Rocky Night Out

Beth Lindsay sets out the stages we all go through to come to terms with what went down last night...

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We’ve all had it: that feeling of absolute horror and humiliation as you open your eyes the morning after a particularly heavy night out. Maybe you confessed your undying love to someone you really shouldn’t have, or had one-too-many and drunk cried all over Wednesday Night TP and most of the way home. Maybe you blacked out and ended up falling out of a taxi and tearing a muscle in your arm (I’m not confessing to anything). Whatever it was, find comfort in the fact that someone somewhere has probably done worse.

I find that the roller-coaster of emotions you are forced to ride over the following day is a lot like the five stages of grief. Because, like it or not, you are grieving – for that shirt you ruined, that ring you lost and first and foremost, your dignity. So, there you are lying in bed, riddled with embarrassment and regret. Perhaps you are wondering if certain people will ever look at you the same way again, or you might just be contemplating whether you need to make an emergency detour to the bathroom.

The only way to really combat this feeling of morbid dread is to face it head on

The instinct to stay in bed and wallow in self-pity is a strong one. But it is your first error, a form of denial and the first of the five stages of overcoming a humiliating night out. Experience has proven to me that the only way to really combat this feeling of morbid dread is to face it head on. Get out of bed, make a coffee and shower away those feelings of disgrace and regret.

Human contact is essential at this low and fragile point in your life, so messaging any friends who may have been astounded or even horrified by your behaviour is always a good idea. In doing this, you may be hoping that it was not as bad as you remember, and your friends will jump to tell you so. I’m sorry to inform you that none of us are this lucky, and the sooner you realise this the sooner you can get on with your day and get closer to the precious release of acceptance.

The next stage is, of course, anger. At yourself, at your friends for letting you go that far. Embarrassment can often turn to resentment, a very dangerous state to be in as it will only push you further into disgrace. If you have any friends left, meeting up with them at some point for lunch or coffee would be ideal, by which time you will hopefully have found a way of laughing at your faux-pas (unfortunately, you have no choice but to laugh at yourself, you have probably forfeited any right to taking yourself too seriously for a while). The next stage may occur at this point, as you try to renegotiate parts of the night and perhaps convince with your friends to remember a different version. Bargaining will get you nowhere my friend.

You have probably forfeited any right to taking yourself too seriously for a while

In the afternoon, some of you might decide to tap out for a while and go back to bed, some of you may heroically decide to get some work done or even attempt some exercise. These are good coping mechanisms. Controversial as this may be, I often find that missing a lecture is one of the biggest blunders when recovering from disgrace. This is purely because doing something constructive will remind you that despite what may have been suggested by recent events, you are still capable of making good life choices.

What you do with your evening is up to you, for some a movie and an early night is the perfect way of finally putting this day of hardship behind you. For others, there may be no other option but to put on the standard Exetah ‘jeans and a nice top’ or ‘plain t-shirt and skinny jeans’ (yes boys, I’m on to you) and head right back out into battle, and hope that you handle your drink a bit better than you did last night.

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