Living with poor mental health often, to me, feels like sloughing through the day with a raging hangover.
The relentless march of stress always seems to leave me with the pounding headache, sawdust mouth and brain fog that you’d associate with a night spent knocking back gallons of beer and umpteen tequila shots, washed down with a questionable kebab and a wobbly night bus journey home. Except I’ve been living on green tea and spinach and lentil curry and going to bed at 10.
Depression doesn’t just affect your mind, it wrecks your body too, even when you’re living like a saint. At least with vodka you can get away with showing a burger vendor your pants and confessing your undying love to a lamp post.
With this in mind, I give you quite possibly the best literary account of a hangover to ever grace the pages of a book. Ladies and gents; Kingsley Amis and Lucky Jim:
“Dixon was alive again. Consciousness was upon him before he could get out of the way; not for him the slow, gracious wandering from the halls of sleep, but a summary, forcible ejection. He lay sprawled, too wicked to move, spewed up like a broken spider-crab on the tarry shingle of the morning. The light did him harm, but not as much as looking at things did; he resolved, having done it once, never to move his eyeballs again. A dusty thudding in his head made the scene before him beat like a pulse. His mouth has been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as its mausoleum. During the night, too, he’d somehow been on a cross-country run and then been expertly beaten up by a secret police. He felt bad.”
If there’s a better description of a hangover floating around in the stratosphere, then I will sail down Regent’s Canal in a saucepan, and eat my shoe. Try me.