It’s no secret to anyone who has ever taken part in the circuit scene that the after-effects of partying all weekend long can impact your mental and emotional health. Atlanta Pride was no exception as I found myself gasping for air and some type of understanding as to when my emotions would bounce back to normal after four days of non-stop partying.

Sunday night we danced from 11pm until 6:30am without a break. I knew all day Monday would be spent in and out of sleep with the remainder of my house guests along with my husband, and I was thankful that my body had no other plans. But Tuesday was a day I knew would be coming long before Pride weekend ever got here. The emotional lows I experienced were unbearable and at certain points I couldn’t stop pacing back and forth as sweat and tears poured down my face. I thought about all of my house guests that were gone, the smiles that left with them, and the memories we shared, all of which were distant thoughts in my mind. I knew why I felt the way I did and that’s what upset me the most.

For the majority of people taking part in parties over Pride weekend, there is some type of drug use involved. For others, there are a lot of drugs. I intended to take it easy throughout the weekend as I had to work our Georgia Voice booth at Piedmont Park on Saturday and Sunday. But it’s now how things panned out. Come Friday night I was ready to go all out. Saturday afternoon and evening, and then Sunday night and Monday morning, I was in a whirlwind high that I couldn’t even get myself out of. I knew I had to let the drugs run their course and exit my body just as quickly as they entered my body. With every pill I took, I knew the comedown would be just a little bit more intense. I kept telling myself that when the feelings of loneliness and despair hit me that Tuesday morning, I’d just brush them off and blame them on the drugs. But it wasn’t that easy.

I crawled out of bed after more than 15 hours of sleep feeling like a zombie, barely able to look at myself in the mirror. I avoided social media as to not be reminded of just how many wonderful memories I made over the weekend. I knew with just one glance that I’d break down in tears and not be able to pull myself together. I tried to erase the weekend from my brain, but subtle reminders around my apartment pulled me right back into what I had quickly tried to forget.

Why do I do this to myself? I’m already a very emotionally unstable person, and adding drugs into the mix didn’t help me at all. It might’ve masked the pain of my ups and downs, but in the end, the consequences of a weekend of partying were more damaging than a quiet weekend cooped up inside.

As my emotional breakdowns continued through the week, I kept telling myself that things were going to be ok and that the drugs were responsible for my roller coaster of emotions. It’s hard to imagine just what these substances do to one’s body, but I can account for the fact that no matter how much fun and how many amazing memories are made in 72 hours, the following 24 hours can ruin all the progress of happiness that one has made.

I’m here to say that while we make decisions that we know will negatively impact our future feelings, we must dig deep and tell ourselves that things will be ok and that what we feel isn’t reality. My time with friends over Pride weekend was beyond incredible and nothing can take away that, not even a steep drop from the highest of highs from even the strongest drugs.

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