A Grief Hangover

Have you ever experienced a grief hangover?


You begin to wake up and your senses kick in.  Your face hurts.  Your eyes feel puffy – opening your eyes takes energy.  Your head hurts.  Your body feels like someone beat you up while you were sleeping.  Sound familiar?

The more you wake up the more you feel the effects of your grief hangover, and then you remember.  You begin to remember the life situation (loss of a loved one, divorce/breakup, intense emotions that feel out of control, sick child, etc.) that brought on the emotional pain, the crying, the pain in your chest as you try desperately to grasp your new reality.  You remember.  And taking headache medicine won’t make it go away.  It remains.

Sometimes, I find, that when we are in the midst of a grief hangover there can be an underlining fear that our intense sadness will overcome us.  You need not fear, though.  For the masses a grief hangover typically lasts a few days.  Each day you will likely cry a bit less, and feel a bit less beat up physically.  Your grieving process has begun.

You will have some good days and some bad days.  Accept it.

If you don’t accept the natural process your physical body, and your emotional/mental mind need to go through, you will be ignoring the pain – you will be ignoring the natural process that we were created to go through when we experience grief.

If you choose to ignore, this will only lead to the beginning of you trying your best to fake it through life while ignoring yourself, which over time will build and build typically resulting in some sort of breakdown or anxious tendencies developing.

So allow the grief hangover to remain for a few days.  Enter into the grieving process.  Care for your needs.  This won’t last forever.  I promise.

-by Lianne Johnson, LPC