Accomplishment Hangovers

Posted November 4, 2013 by Monica O'Connell in On the Ladder

I’ve talked about vulnerability hangovers before, remember?

When you totally show up, you take major risks and it majorly pays off then….. you crash, withdrawal, and maybe second guess yourself.  I’ve noticed the same type of hangover happens when you accomplish something great.  Then you crash.

Maybe they’re different but it seems like they feel similar.

 Here’s a few examples:  

  • A friend completed the ironman triathlon and the next day started totally all out sobbing.  Her friends and family asked why. She had a lot of reasons, maybe.  And it just totally seemed right.
  • Another friend got married. Happy as can be. Super psyched about her partner for life.  A few days later, totally started crying.  And moping around. And feeling melancholy.  Not because she wasn’t still excited about her marriage.  Her friends and family asked why.  She had a lot of reasons.
  • A 3rd friend got a major promotion.  She worked her tail off for this. Day in and out, she grew, motivated and totally earned this.  She was so excited and relieved and grateful.  The next day, she cried her way to work.

You might be thinking, I have a lot of emotional friends. Ha! That might totally be true. And what I’ve seen happen is the aftermath of our accomplishments feels really emotional. Our achievement and holding the feeling of accomplishment can be really intense.  All of these situations I used as examples required a lot of preparation, hard work, and dedication.  One year of wedding planning, months of training all ask for major time commitments. We’re invested.

And then it’s all over, even though usually it means the next step for us. The over-ness certainly can impact the mood. Has this happened to you before?

 Here are 4 ways to deal with over-ness:

  1. Embrace it and know you’re not alone.  You don’t have to feel like you’re a total undeserving, ungrateful wacko. You’re not.
  2. Slow down. Take a second to breathe and let yourself catch up to the change.
  3. Go back over the amount of time, energy and dedication that it took you to get to where you are. Celebrate those moments.
  4. Enroll yourself in celebrating your accomplishments. What parts of this new change excite you the most?

How have you coped? Ever have these post accomplishment hangovers?

About the Author

Monica O'Connell

Monica O’Connell is a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In her practice, she spends her career cheering on “Career Girls” as they learn how to get the most out of life. Monica works with arguably some of the most successful, intelligent, inspiring women in the Twin Cities who tackle self-discovery, career success, and what’s getting in the way of their true desires. She shares her favorite moments as those “best described not by words but by the stomach aching, face soreness that comes from spending an entire day laughing with loved ones.”