Yesterday, as I clung to porcelain, up-chucking the entirety of an All-You-Can-Eat Korean Grill House lunch, I was struck by two things:
- My step mother keeps a very clean home. Kudos Lorraine!
- Heartache and puking are very similar.
At a cursory glance: both are deeply upsetting, both were something that happened with a greater frequency in University when you were much more careless, and both are thoroughly dehydrating. For your consideration, dear reader, the five stages of heartache and/or marathon puking.
Stage One: This is not Happening
This is not happening. This is not happening. Dear sweet baby Jesus; this is not happening. You’re just going to go home, get some sleep, and all of this will have blown over in the morning. It’s fine. It fine. It is fine.
Stage Two: This is Fucking Happening
You are overwhelmed. One second you’re talking and living your life, and the next it hits you. You run to a bathroom, with your best pals in toe. “Are you okay?” they query with pity, whilst trying not to look to you too hard in this state. “It’s fine”, you lie, as everything awful is welling up inside you and now fit to burst.
Stage Three: Horrible, Unrelenting Pain
What in God’s name did you do to deserve this?! You replay things over and over in your mind, trying to figure out the exact moment all of this went wrong. Your stomach turns over and over, and you’re maybe crying a bunch at this point? By now, word has spread through the bar that you’re in the bathroom and that this happening. Some people are disgusted, others riveted—asking many of the same questions you’re asking. Almost everybody pities you, and then recounts tales to one another of when this exact thing happened to them.
Stage Four: The Void
You are empty. It hurts so much, and it feels like there’s more left inside you and that you are also somehow empty all at once. Every bit of bile that could have come from your mouth has now come out. But it still hurts, and for a brief moment, part of you believes that it might hurt like this forever.
Stage Five: You Learn a Shitty Lesson
Eventually the pain subsides, even it took much longer than seems fair. You learned something, hopefully. The hubris of youth about you has worn down some and you’re no longer as invincible as you thought you once were. You vow to make changes: fewer strange meats* and bad boys, more salad and that one articling student your mom keeps trying to set you up with.
You’ve learned a brutal, shitty lesson. But you won’t make the same mistake again. Stay strong out there and watch out for your hearts and stomachs.
*Take me back, Korean Grill House. I can’t quit you.