I finished a run of night shifts this morning. I hate working nights but it’s a big part of my job at the moment. I work nights every other week and have been doing so for a couple of years.
In the past, night shifts have been one of the few times you could guarantee I’d be stone cold sober. Staying awake all night is hard enough without adding a hangover into the mix. So no matter what happened, I wouldn’t drink until the last night shift was over.
Of course, the end of that shift could never come soon enough. When 9.00 am finally rolled round I’d go straight home and open the bottle of wine waiting for me in the fridge. I’d stand in the kitchen gulping back my first glass, barely tasting it. Then a second and a third. Then on to something else. I’d have lots of snacks prepared, to soak up some of the alcohol without taking the buzz off.
When you’re trying to get out of night shift mode, the trick is to get just a few hours sleep and then force yourself to stay awake so you can go to bed at a normal time in the evening. It’s not nice – you inevitably feel tired and groggy. I used to think that drinking during this transition period was a good use of my time. Can you believe that?! A ‘good’ use of my time.
My thinking went like this: I’ll have to get shit faced at some point soon, I can feel the need to do that building. I’m so tired that today is going to be a write-off anyway. If I start now I can drink as much as I like and it doesn’t matter if I pass out. When I come round later I’ll have had a bit of sleep and will be sobering up. I could have a takeaway for dinner and then go to bed. By the morning I won’t even have a hangover!
Logical thinking huh? More often than not, I’d resurface mid afternoon and the monster inside my head would still not be satisfied. So I’d end up going to the shop round the corner, drinking all evening and waking up with a hangover the next day, which ruined my day off.
So … this morning I thought I might struggle. Perhaps this was going to be a trigger? But actually, I totally kicked ass. I came home, had a huge breakfast and went to bed for three hours. Got up when my alarm went off and made myself get out of bed straight away. I went into town and ran a load of errands. Stopped by the gym for a yoga class. Bought takeaway sushi on the way home. Watched TV in my pyjamas. Wrote this blog whilst eating ice cream. Life is good.