I got my first real hangover at about 15. It mainly involved throwing up a lot. My Dad just laughed at me. It was a laughter tinged with nostalgia, perhaps. Then I guess my hangovers got steadily better (or at least less messy) as I got older and built up a tolerance to alcohol. There was a point when I’d just turned twenty when I hardly got any hangover at all, no matter how much I had drank (or how drunk I had been). I got into the fairly sensible routine of downing a pint of water before I went to bed and that basically prevented me from feeling like complete shit the morning after… for a few years, at least.
For the past couple of years my hangovers have got slightly worse. I’ve stuck to the routine, and although I’m never really sick, I do tend to have a throbbing headache after a heavy night. As a writer, this can be fairly difficult to deal with. I can’t really concentrate on getting my thoughts together when my head is pounding. Perhaps this is why I favour weed, currently. I basically never get any hangover and can, the following day, get on with my work as usual.
I was talking to a friend about this on Saturday night as I explained I had some work I needed to get done by the end of the weekend (hence why I was not drinking, but was smoking) and he seemed surprised and said he gets weed hangovers just as bad, if not worse, than his regular hangovers. He said the following day his eyes are red and stingy, his cotton mouth is debilitating and he couldn’t begin to put pen to paper in a coherent way if his life depended on it (and as writing pays my bills and gives me food, I suppose it does).
It got me thinking about the differences between the two drugs (and we mustn’t forget they both are drugs). In both cases the route cause of feeling like shit is the fact you’re dehydrated. Water is the ultimate weapon in combatting a hangover of any kind. But I suppose the main difference for me is, when I smoke I smoke the amount required to zone out and just relax. It doesn’t have to be that much. I never smoke more than I need to. In contrast, when I go on a night out, I don’t drink in the same way. One drink turns into three into five etc.. very quickly. I drink more than I need to and for different reasons. Like anything, it’s going beyond your limits that causes the damage.