On Dancing, Drinking and The Come Down From The Happy Chemicals

Certain things give me a massive hit of the happy chemicals. I experience an almost giddy high that’s rather like drunkenness.

Its intoxicating and addictive

When I manage to make it, a good night of dancing, with good music, friends, drink and lots of smiles and laughter is one such thing.

Im elated. But still not in balance. And whilst it feels absaloutley amazing, and it’s so refreshing to feel so very good after so long of feeling bad or nothing (I almost don’t care that such highs are not  strictly healthy either. It seems worth it) you can have too much of a good thing.

The come down is hard. Very. Very. Hard

I had started to notice this come down throughout the last 9 months or so in particular, but it’s probably been around for longer unrecognised.

Some evenings, the come down is harder than others. Last night was particularly so.  The last time I danced was followed by a pretty hard hitting come down too.  Both times,- I realised-I’d been drinking. Not to the point of being wasted but certainly I could feel it’s affects. Shall we say, merry?

I wondered, both in my cab ride home last night – as I felt myself feel increasingly crushed by the weight of this particularly harsh come down -and this morning as my pounding head indicated the extent to which my four glasses had affected me, just how much alcohol had exasperated this come down.

I have a basic awareness of how alcohol exasperates and heightens existing emotions or tendencies. If you’re happy it will make you more so, if your sad it will make you more so. Whilst I was happy socialising and dancing drink seemed to only add to this. Afterwards however,  when the stimuli for the happy chemicals was done, the drinks I had had seemed to serve to heighten the down.

I tried with almost a feeling of desperation in the ride home to differentiate between the influence of alcohol and my actual feelings. I couldn’t; not much.

The cut off from the high…I began to wonder if that’s what addicts feel like when they go cold turky

Its passed now, but felt terrible at the time. Oppressive. And very very low.  I walked in the door and the tears just sprang like a burst water mains. Then came the feelings of conflict  because I was crying to be home with all its strains and triggers, far removed now from dance etc, but that wasn’t to say I didn’t  love my home. I saw the photos of my children on the wall and felt horrendous guilt that I wasn’t happy to be home, where they are.

I feel fine this morning though. I’ve spent a relaxed morning with the youngest, playing and  watching Frozen. The come down is hard, but always passes and I feel more grounded by the next day usually.

Back in touch with my actual life.

I still feel capable and on an Up phase so the come down doesn’t appear to have had any long term affects. This time

My main concern is that I’ll experience it again the next time. And the next

Since returning to dance two years ago, I’ve found I need at least one drink at the beginning because I’ve become so socially anxious, self conscious about my image and lacking in confidence in my abilities often I’m a tightly wound spring when I first arrive. There’s a tight, painful knot in my stomach. And I’m good for nothing then! Stumbling, mumbling, being awkward. A nose dive into feeling worse.

When I go out, I want to emulate the shine I used to radiate back in the day. Or it’s up to date equivalent. I need at least one glass of something if I’m to stand so much as a chance of that (I’m hoping there’ll come a day when this  ‘need’ will no longer required because I dislike feeling dependant on booze for anything no matter how small).

That freeing feeling of being unshackled that alcohol can give is rather delicious, especially when so much of my time is spent feeling trapped. But I don’t really need to drink excessively when I’m out. I don’t feel like I must. When I do drink in excess, its driven by pure impulsiveness (a naturally impulsive nature fuelled further by depression means hat probably about 55% of all I do is ‘impulse’. I’m pretty self aware, less so self disciplined!)

I’m going to try and monitor my drink intake the next time I go out. I want to establish more clearly of the degree to which it affects my come down when the evening ends. Once I understand it, I’ll be able to control it more

Knowledge is power after all

Much Love 

Kirsty