The Monday Hangover

The Monday Hangover occurs not when you’ve drank too much the night before. On the contrary, it happens when you’ve done too little on the past Sunday.

Sundays often operate on extremes. They hold a mirror up to your life. Sometimes the mirror is pristine and sometimes it’s cracked with coke residue. When it’s the former, Sundays have the ability to make you feel sublimely happy, like your life is full and complete. It reminds you that you’re surrounded by love and living in a wonderful city with solid friends. Everything slides down your throat like the creamy soft serve ice cream you’ll devour after you have your obligatory life-affirming brunch. (So much laughter! So many mimosas! People are definitely jealous of all the fun your table is having!) The whole day feels lazy, hazy, and dreamy. You walk idly from shop to shop, maybe even buying that book you’ve been meaning to read. (It will look really good on your bookshelf. Who cares if you actually read it.) Before you know it, it’s 5 PM so you go home to your apartment to listen to some soothing music, cook dinner, clean your room a bit, and read in bed. It’s the perfect amount of sloth. You never feel restless, you just feel rested. Then you sleep amazingly, like you’ve been drugged, and you wake up on Monday feeling lucid and bright. So blessed right now…

But when the mirror is dirty and broken, you could have a Sunday that’s your worst nightmare. I’m talking about the kind of Sunday that’s so gluttonous and lonely that you’ll begin to question every facet of your life. All it takes is one solitary day of too much boredom and too much food and too much lethargy for it to all become temporarily unglued. All of it just crumbles in your hand, reduced to mushy sand. You wake up with no plans, which doesn’t really bother you. Sundays can be fun when it’s just yourself! You’ll go to lunch alone, read a book, and maybe go to a movie! You’ve done it before and it’s been a blast. So why not?

Hold on. You realize you actually want to be with people. You spent last night in decompressing so you’re ready to spread your wings and be a social butterfly. You text your friends and everyone is already busy. Sunday is a hot ticket social day. You can’t just wiggle your way into a brunch or meet someone for coffee. They had this day planned in advance! They have to go to the flea market with their friend who’s visiting from D.C. and then they’re going to the museum, okay?! That’s fine though! I respect your boring day plans. You think, “This won’t be so bad. I’ll watch a movie and veg. Relax!” But, wait, newsflash. Vegging out and relaxing is only fun when it’s your choice. When doing nothing is forced upon you, when there are no other options, it feels like… doing nothing. Which sucks. It feels awful to waste a day. Most of the time you don’t mind it. Most of the time you can make your own fun but on this particular Sunday, you don’t want that. You need activity. You need people. You need the freaking flea market and museum.

But you don’t get it. So you just sit on the couch feeling disgusting and lazy. Not the good kind of lazy. The kind of lazy where you feel like a ton of bricks. It’s too much Y-O-U time. You’ve overdosed on you. The ironic thing about these kinds of yucky lazy Sundays is that you actually get exhausted. Your body just wilts out of boredom and all of a sudden you couldn’t even go outside and do something even if you wanted to. You lay there like lumpy mashed potatoes. Your limbs are jelly. You don’t know what to do with yourself. You remember feeling this way a lot when you were in middle school and had no life, but it feels weird now. It feels weird to do nothing. You’re too old to be bored!

So you eat food until you get a stomachache and drag your ass to the shower. You watch your fingers prune and start to question whether or not you have friends or if your life here is really that fantastic. It’s ridiculous! One day of being alone with your thoughts and you turn into a psycho.

Now the worst part of these Sundays. You can’t even sleep! You go to bed at 11pm because there’s absolutely nothing worth staying awake for but you find yourself tossing and turning till the wee hours of the morning. You’re just too full of neurotic thoughts and food to actually fall asleep. You eventually grab two hours and wake up feeling hungover from all the sloth of the prior Sunday. You’re hungover off of doing nothing. Great. Slow clap! Next time you might as well drink a bottle of wine. At least it’ll put you to sleep. TC mark

image: Jeff Pang

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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  • DAMO

    this hits the proverbial nail on the head. fucking monday hangovers mhmm.

  • Maja

    Yep..my type of Sundays, alright..I just wish I didn’t also have the week-long hangover that often, before and after work. Sometimes even in-between.

  • Veronica

    Oh my gosh so much truth here.

  • http://www.thenormalmachine.com/ Michael Zunenshine

    “Vegging out and relaxing is only fun when it’s your choice. When doing
    nothing is forced upon you, when there are no other options, it feels
    like… doing nothing.”

    Well-played.

  • http://twitter.com/Nujent Anuj Goyal

    that was literally me yesterday, and currently suffering the hangover effects today.

  • http://twitter.com/dangergirlOOO Jerri

    Damn you’re good lol

  • KRTK

    “Sunday is a hot ticket social day. You can’t just wiggle your way into a brunch or meet someone for coffee. They had this day planned in advance! They have to go to the flea market with their friend who’s visiting from D.C. and then they’re going to the museum, okay?!”
    That.

  • KC

    “One day of being alone with your thoughts and you turn into a psycho.” <~~ TRUTH.

  • Rich

    I got dumped yesterday.  Reading your articles makes things as better as they can be.

  • Père Lachaise

    thank your for this. nothing more  intellectually stimulating and emotionally soothing like recognizing yourself in the thoughts of someone else.

  • Sally Rose

    Good to know this doesn’t only happen to me. Sunday psychos unite!

  • Dj Dingus

    Ryan: you’ve written nearly 800 articles for thought catalog over the course of two years; each one is very comforting to the modern and inevitably desperate-for-validation 20-something year old collective ego of privileged north america. that’s swell and all, but perhaps the cliche of “writing what you know” has just about run dry for you? i’m not trying to reduce your writing in a mean-spirited way – i think you are gifted and for you words flow easily and they are usually quite endearing. instead, i’m trying to reduce your writing in such a way that it could be beneficial to you. it seems you’re in a livejournal-esque stasis. i don’t know much about your other writings. perhaps you create radically different works outside of this website. perhaps thought catalog is inherently shallow and this kind of work is all they ask of you, but consider going outside of your comfort zone. thanks for reading this arbitrary internet comment from some anonymous asshole.   

  • Sundays

    I just started reading your articles yesterday and I am hooked!  I can relate to so many of your articles.  Keep up the great work!!

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