Mental Hangover

by Bill Brenner on September 17, 2010

This morning I wrote about the one-two punch I got yesterday from the good and evil sides of OCD. Right now I’m experiencing a hangover as a result.

Mood music:


This hangover has nothing to do with binging or drinking. I did neither, though I did think seriously about it. I lingered in the wine section of the grocery store for a few minutes, wondering if I should buy a couple of those little bottles that are easy to hide. Maybe, I thought, I’ll have some tonight. No one will ever know.

Then I snapped to my senses and moved on, muttering something to myself about how sobriety sucks sometimes. Not a huge deal. I’ve been through this sort of thing a hundred times over. It’s something every person in abstinence and sobriety goes through on a regular basis. We didn’t stop because we didn’t love the feeling of intoxication. We stopped because we had no choice. The addiction was going to destroy us. So we did what we had to do. But the love affair never dies completely.

Of course, there’s always a deeper emotion triggering the impulses. I think I’m feeling sorry for myself this afternoon because it’s a day off and I’ve been running around all day when all I really want to do is pull a blanket over my head and go to sleep. I got the kids up and off to school. I dropped off my niece, who spent the night with us. I checked on a guy I sponsor in OA to see if he was OK because he’s had some diabetic trouble. Then it was time to pay some bills and run to the grocery store. Now I have to run back out to get a coolant light in the car checked before the kids get home, at which point we’ll have to run to my chiropractor appointment. I can’t break it because I’ve been having twinges of pain in my back this week. Tonight I have to start writing a talk I’m going to give at an upcoming Catholic retreat.

If I sound like a whiny punk, that’s because I am a whiny punk. At the moment I am, anyway. This is especially unsettling because I have little patience for other people who do the same thing. Go figure.

So what am I going to do about all this?

I’m going to get the stupid coolant light checked and keep my chiropractor appointment. Once the kids are settled after dinner, I’ll write that talk. That’s actually something I’m looking forward to.

Life can be exhausting, but you know what? I sought the relentless activity in my life. It’s a blessing to do these things every day. And if the payment is that I have to keep moving when I want to collapse, so be it.

The answer for me is the same answer I give my kids when they grouse about having responsibilities:

Too bad.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

io_saturnalia September 17, 2010 at 9:00 am

Looks like you’ve gotten most of that retreat talk written, already. Something about life on the cross not being a joyride, but it ultimately transcends the annoyances and cares of this world. But what do I know? I’m a heathen.

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