It’s 4 in the morning and you’re at a random house party. Your friends are any number of things: passed out, belligerent, making out, the list goes on. As the party slowly clears out, you feel truly alone with your thoughts the first time that night. They are stronger than ever now, leaping over logical gaps that appeared seemingly insurmountable just a few hours ago. In a moment of weakness, you pull out your phone and start writing a text the length of a PhD dissertation. It could be because you had a fight with a significant other, you are wondering that you have been friend-zoned, or maybe that one person that one time looked at you funny and you want to make sure you’re cool with each other, you know? Again, the list goes on.

Later that morning, you wake up with a headache and the nagging feeling that you did something you shouldn’t have. When you check your phone you see the text you sent in all its elementary-school-level-English glory. After swearing off alcohol, now it’s time to figure out what to do next.

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Since high school, I have heard the same lies constructed to recover from a drunk text: my friend did it as a sick prank, I didn’t mean to text you but I was really drunk or I meant to send that to someone else. No one is by any means convinced, and science has proven the situation just became 10 times more awkward.

Not acknowledging the truth only makes it worse, because you are convincing the other person that the issue has implications that you don’t want to admit. They read the text. There’s no going back. So how do you recover from a drunk text? Well… you don’t. Even if you pass off your lie, the nagging problem in your mind is unresolved and will come back stronger eventually.

Often when we have feelings that we feel we shouldn’t have, we bury them deep inside. Not only are you giving them undue power, you are also invalidating your own emotions. This is fundamentally wrong because your emotions are always valid, no matter what you or others say. Maybe you understand that you should not have these feelings, but it is important to accept that you are having them and to understand why you are having them rather than letting it fester in the back of your mind.

Instead, you should make use of this opportunity. You’ve opened the can of worms, now you might as well just talk it through with the other person. The hardest part of bringing the issue up is not a problem anymore, so have an honest conversation to hash things out. It may not always end well, but it’s the best shot you have, and at least you always get closure.

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