I’ve woken up this morning with a hang-over but I haven’t had a drink for at least two weeks. I’ve began to term it a ‘small group hang-over’.
I don’t know if it’s an anxiety thing or if I’m just a bit strange but I get a lot of the same feelings after attending a small group as I’ve had after heavy nights on the town. When I say small group I mean anywhere where you get together with a bunch of people. There’s no more than 10 people and you might be at a connect group or bible study like I was last night, an evening class, a get together where you maybe don’t know everyone like a birthday or an ann summers party, anything along those lines. I would say I only suffer these after effects when I’ve been a part of a group made up of people I don’t know very well.
Basically I wake up the next day with all the stupid things I said right at the forefront of my mind. I feel like I talked too much and I just walk around the next day wincing either at having shared something that suddenly now seems too intimate or telling myself off for talking too much or just you know, saying something completely daft. And more than that, also berating myself for being so egotistical in spending time considering what I said so much! Last night it didn’t even wait until the morning to kick in, I had a dream that I was at said bible study group and had accidentally left it too late in leaving and was the last one left, scrambling to put my shoes on and race to my car as I had embarrassingly inconvenienced my hosts. What’s that about?!
I used to go out a lot and drink a lot, most weekends, and I would have similar dreams then but they were slightly more surreal because in the dream I thought I was awake. I would dream that the people I had been out with were in my bedroom and I couldn’t go to sleep until they had left, often getting up to get dressed as I felt embarrassed being in bed. I always thought it was because of the alcohol but after my strange dream last night, maybe not.
Every time I drank I would get a guaranteed hang over the next day, which is why I stopped drinking altogether for a while and now I only have a couple occasionally. A banging headache, nausea and vomiting were a given every time and furthermore, flashbacks of dancing like an idiot, or some stupid meaningless conversation over clouded by a general blue feeling and a promise to never again drink so much.
Now to get the same effects except for the physical ones I don’t drink, I just sign up to every small group meet going! You would think I would shy away from them considering I almost know I am going to feel like an idiot all the next day but on the contrary it’s as if I can’t resist. The thing is I actually really enjoy them at the time. Getting to know people on a deeper level that I might not usually get the chance to get to know otherwise. I like to be part of a group that could possibly be support to someone who might not get that elsewhere. I particularly like studying and taking classes. And when I get home I feel OK it’s just the next day things pop into my head and I think to myself ‘I am never going to speak in a group situation again.’ I always do though, a few days later when it’s passed me by and I have better things to think about.
There’s always those people who will sit silent through an entire class never having the confidence to say their opinion out loud, and I wonder if this small group hang over is a similar thing just in reverse. I’m too gobby to keep my mouth shut at the time but as I get older I’m questioning how worthwhile my contributions are and how contrived they are as well. Am I speaking honestly in those situations? Or is my good girl complex kicking in and I just want to say the right thing? Is that why I feel funny about it the next day because I feel disingenuous? I can’t tell but it’s something I’m thinking about! As Eleanor Roosevelt once said…
“You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realised how seldom they do.”
I love that quote! It’s definitely one I need to remind myself of more often. What do you think, is it an anxiety thing? How do you find small groups – like or loathe?