It can leave you emotionally crippled for days, induce a downward spiral. The moral hangover is not for the weak of heart.
The other night, my friends and I were discussing the worst types of hangovers.
We hit on all the major subjects — wine, tequila, beer, that vodka we used to buy back in college for, like, five dollars a liter — however, despite all the different types of alcohol-induced hangovers we discussed, we failed to mention the one that I personally consider to be the worst.
Specifically, the “moral hangover.”
The moral hangover, in my opinion, far surpasses any other type of hangover with regard to discomfort.
If you have never experienced the moral hangover, it refers to the drastic feeling of uneasiness that will consume you after doing something regrettable.
Whether that “something regrettable” was sleeping with an ex who might’ve once broken your heart or the fact that you blew your entire last paycheck betting on the US Open Women’s Round of 16 — the moral hangover rarely discriminates.
And while regular old hangovers can be eased with a few bananas or some Advil, moral hangovers are almost always far trickier to cure.
Anyone who’s ever experienced a real moral hangover knows that no proof of vodka could ever compare to the unpleasantness that surely followed.
Moral hangovers last longer than real ones.
I don’t care how much Appleton you might’ve consumed over the course of a night, your physical hangover will (probably) pass at some point the next day.
It may last through the morning — or even the evening, depending on how reckless your night of debauchery was — but it will, indeed, pass (thanks to delivery food and self-medication).
With regard to moral hangovers, however, they’ll likely last much longer. Moral hangovers have a habit of becoming what most would identify as “slumps,” which have the habit of lingering.
When you do something you regret and can’t seem to get it off your mind, it only detracts from the other things you might have on your plate.
And, until you look to resolve whatever it is at the root of all your inner-conflict, it’s likely that your moral hangover slump will last.
Moral hangovers make you feel worse about yourself than real ones.
Granted, you’ll probably feel pretty sh*tty about yourself after a long night at the club — full of overpriced vodka and secondhand e-cig smoke — nothing really can compare to the terrible feeling that accompanies the moral hangover.
Reason being, it’s a lot more difficult to come to terms with why you might’ve done what you did.
When you got a little too f*cked up the night before, it’s easy — you can just chalk it up to the fact that you got “caught up in the moment” or needed a little extra liquid courage to talk to the girl you were eyeing from across the room.
When you resorted back to sleeping with that ex who broke your heart, however, the whole rationalization process becomes increasingly difficult.
A lot of times, when it comes to moral hangovers, there truly won’t be any logic behind why you did what you might’ve done.
Accepting the fact that you’re human and make mistakes is usually a good place to start.
Moral hangovers are more painful than real ones.
Sure, a bottle of red to the face might have you doing a double-take over which hangover is the most painful, but in my opinion, nothing can quite come close to that of a moral hangover.
Headaches are obnoxious, but heartaches — especially those resulting from doing something you feel guilty about — certainly take the cake.
Anyone who has a properly working conscience knows what I’m talking about. Headaches, stomach aches, back aches — all of these things pale in comparison to the unsettling feeling that echoes from our own conscience.
When you did something you know you shouldn’t have done, it’s hard to bounce back.
Moral hangovers will leave you with a piercing feeling in your gut — or a lump in your throat — and, sadly, there aren’t any over-the-counter remedies to battle the symptoms of the moral hangover.
Moral hangovers are harder to cure than real ones.
After a night of drinking too much, usually you can just sort of wait it out in bed while your hangover runs its course. And, typically, a full day wasted in bed is enough to rid yourself of whatever type of alcohol-induced sickness you may have been feeling.
With moral hangovers, however, doing nothing all day will hardly solve anything.
See, if you’re looking to cure a moral hangover, it’s imperative that you do something productive. This is your body’s way of telling you that you f*cked up, and you should do something positive as a form of compensation.
Get up. Get off. Get out of the door!
Originally appeared at Elite Daily. Reprinted with permission.
By Dan Scotti
Photo credit: Flickr/James Whatley