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How to Handle a Comedown, in Five Easy Steps

Having the worst Monday of your life since...last Monday? Head inside for a selection of life saving tips.
November 2, 2015, 4:55pm

While we here at THUMP would never explicitly endorse drug-taking of any kind, it'd be churlish to pretend that clubbing isn't pretty much nearly entirely predicated on young people ingesting illegal substances that make them, y'know, feel different from how they feel at work or in seminars or on the bus or on wet Wednesday nights waiting for a sub sandwich on your corner bodega. And what happens after you do the things that make you feel different is that you feel even more different. Welcome to the comedown.


The comedown exists in several forms. For some of us, it's no more than a sluggish hangover, best cured with a single skin and a few episodes of The Office on Netflix. For others, it's a weeklong look down the barrel of total emotional ruination, an entering into complete desolation. Then there are those horrible in-betweeners, the comedowns that flit in and out of view, stretching the fabric of reality until everything feels (paradoxically) calmly unhinged.

Given that clubbing often comes with them, we thought we'd do the right thing and provide you with a failsafe way to sail through those endless, eternal Sundays.

1. Know your limits (the night before)

Photo by Mike Renlud

The thing about drugs is that different drugs work in different ways for different people. You might be blessed/cursed (delete as appropriate) with a strong tolerance, or you could be one of those people who finds their eyes rolling back into the back and beyond of their skull at the merest possibility that they might be in the vicinity of some form of narcotic. Either way, please, for the love of god, just be sensible. No one's ever been embarrassed by a friend who indulges in the illicit in a sensible, cautious manner. On the other hand, no one ever really wants to carry their buddy home.

2. Remember that there's safety in numbers

The author and his friends just bloody well trying to get on with everything, alright.

As far as is humanly possible, short of following your pal into work and sitting at their desk eating Pringles while they try and sell Broadband to the elderly, it's best not to end up alone the day after the night before if you can help it. The moment any comedown seems at its worst is the second you're finally all alone in bed, staring at the ceiling considering whether or not you're ever going to find "the one." So, with that in mind, try and stay as a pack for as long as it takes. Even if that means having a sleepover in your late twenties.

3. Accept that guilt will consume you totally and there's nothing you can do about it.

Photo by Robert Couse-Baker

Guilt is an inherent part of being human. Guilt eats away us at all. It stays with us for years, decades, entire lifetimes, even. We magnify the tiniest wrong we've done to Burj Khalifa proportions. We flagellate ourselves incessantly and unceasingly. This is the human condition. Being on a comedown is like being human times ten. Imagine if the pill that Bradley Cooper boshes in Limitless—which, by the way, is a helluva watch on a damp evening when you're sitting there on a gritty sofa under a grubby duvet, waiting for a diarrhea-inducing 16" stuffed crust pizza to arrive—has the complete inverse reaction.

Well, that's pretty much what you've unwittingly done last night. And you know why you feel like shit being squeezed through a colander. And you know you can only blame yourself. And you do. You will sit there and eat that pizza with the intensity of a man who truly believes he never deserves to eat again, and you will realize you've taken up smoking again, because, well, you are on a comedown. And you're smoking and sitting there working your way backwards through every wrong you've ever done, and you will believe that you deserve to feel this terrible, this wretched, this fundamentally guilty. It is your fault. Ride it out.

4. Be prepared

Photo by Keith Caswell

Hey son, it's your dad here, and I'm here to remind you that one of the side effects of doing drugs and having fun in a club and going back to someone's lounge to do more drugs and eventually going to bed at around 4 in the afternoon is that when you wake up, at 8—drenched in sweat, stomach fraying at the edges, with a parched mouth and a mind swimming in regret and remorse—you probably won't want to have to drag your sallow corpse out of bed down to the office for a bag of chips and a six pack of beer, so be a good little boy and as soon as you think about buying drugs, think about going to the supermarket first. Imagine how life-ruiningly bad you'd feel if you woke up to the sound of X Factor and realized you'd run out of toilet paper. Harrowing. Anyway, have a blast, son.

5. Stop fucking wallowing in it.

You know what? Disregard all that. We've saved the most obvious, and best, piece of advice till last: the easiest way to deal with a comedown is to stop being a fucking child about it. Get out of bed. Walk to the shop. Buy a can of soda. Drink said can in three gulps. Have a shower. Have a 30-minute shower. Get out of the shower. Put on sweatpats. Walk to the shop for another can of soda. Get a bag of chips too. Drink the soda. Eat the chips. Done. You've beaten it. You have successfully circumnavigated a comedown. There will be no tears. No recriminations. No gut-wrenching anxiety that stretches from Sunday to Saturday. You have survived. There's literally nothing worse on this earth than the spoiled, self-inflicted endless whine of the coming down clubber. Don't become one of them. Life is an unceasing process of action, reaction, and consequence. Get used it it, fucko.

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