I’m inching closer and closer to a month alcohol free and I’m not being cocky when I say I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a walk in the park to hit Day 30. Drinking is the furthest thing on my mind when I feel like I’m in throes of a hideous hangover.
The symptoms are similar- pounding head, never ending thirst, aching body and lashings of fatigue. Only this time, it’s not self induced, it’s a simple case of having the Dreaded Flu. I’d actually started to think I was going to dodge it this year and so of course, my reward for such thinking was for the Universe to say “Here you go, have a lovely big helping-enjoy!”
I spent the first two days scoffing vitamin C, garlic and painkillers and lying in bed feeling wretched. It disturbed me how similar to being hungover the experience felt. The knowledge of all the things I ‘should’ have been doing (going to work, housework, exercise) coupled with the physical inability to actually do any of those things, left me feeling agitated. Flu plus mental agitation equals Not Fun Times. It felt like I’d taken 20 steps back and the familiar loop of self berating thoughts were quick to make an unwanted appearance.
I slept for 12 hours straight last night, waking in the exact same position I’d fallen asleep. I felt better and immediately got stuck into ‘doing’-washing dishes, vacuuming the floors, hanging out and bringing in washing, grocery shopping, paying bills and decluttering my garage.
Midway through this frenzy of doing, this making up for lost time, this obvious attempt at controlling my world, my inner voice started suggesting that perhaps I was over doing it, that perhaps I needed to take it easy and rest. I squashed that voice down, ignored it, told it to shut up. I kept going and going until I noticed suddenly that I really didn’t feel so good and needed to lie down.
And so of course, here I am now, with a pounding head and aching body and the realisation that I haven’t eaten all day, because I don’t have any appetite, because I’M SICK.
I’m not hungover, this is not self induced and I don’t need to push or punish myself for not being able to meet my (ridiculous) expectations for the week. What I need is to be kind to myself. Eat if I feel like eating, lie on the couch and watch silly TV, sleep for another 12 hours if that’s what my body needs. Drop the expectations, drop the shoulds and the doing and just be here.
And listen to that inner voice, it knows what I need better than I do.