I’m hungover.



I’m hungover.

Except I haven’t had a drink almost 3 months.

My head is pounding and I’m dizzy and nauseous as if it was 1999 and last night I chased a bottle of strawberry Boone’s Farm with 10 Natty Lights.

I stagger to the shower. Shower. Towel off. Get changed. Get coffee, started feeling sorry for myself, move to my laptop and start writing you.

All pain–emotional, physical, spiritual–provides choice: a choice to suffer alone or with someone.

Sometimes when I’m in pain I grow quiet and create physical and emotional distance with people.

It’s like when you were in junior high, stomped in the house, dropped your Jansport by the door and mom asked, “What’s wrong, honey?”

And even though every fiber of your being wants to tell mom about all the things bothering you–you can’t. She won’t understand. She’ll judge you. Criticize you. Laugh at you. Probably send you to some far-away mental institution with white linoleum floors and little cups of green Jell-O.

So you snap, “Nothing!” and march to your room and slam the door.

I’m 38 and, like a teenager, I often slam the door.  And when I do–my anxiety and frustration and anger intensify.

How much of our dysfunction, our unhappiness is simply a result us believing we must suffer alone? That silence is the healthiest, most productive way to correct our unresolved issues? 

When I was in college, a greasy plate of bacon and eggs followed by a nap almost always cured my hangovers.

But the stakes are much higher now.

There’s now a hole in my brain that sometimes makes my feel hungover. I no longer eat bacon or eggs. And sometimes, despite all my fatherly and husbandry responsibilities, I want to shut the door, draw the shades, and go back to sleep.

But I know solitude won’t make me feel better.  Separation is not the answer.

Four years ago, I started writing you. Telling you my story. Because I knew if I didn’t, I’d be in a very bad place with the door shut.

So thank you for listening. Thank you for not sending me to a mental institution. Thank you for being my bacon and eggs.

Be well,

Jay

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