Sometimes, one is reminded of the limitations of language. Of the words that should exist but don't, and it's hard to find ways to express the concept.
There should be a word for the days when the past lays heavy on you. When every bad, wrong, stupid or embarrassing thing you've ever done pursues you, nipping at your heels, catching you when you pause for breath to run you through the heart again and again. It doesn't matter whether they're things that only you can remember, or things that you get teased about, or the worse things that nobody mentions but you know people are aware of.
First year, juniors. I'm either seven or eight years old. We have a daily "word quiz" - the idea being at the end of the day, the teacher gives us a question and we go away and look it up/find out the answer, overnight. One day, the question was "A quarrel is an argument... what else is it?" And I, for reasons probably to do with fantasy books, know it. Hyper-competitive (really, some things don't change), I blurt out the answer. "It's an arrow for crossbows!" Is there a more embarrassing word than blurt? It's up there in the pantheon of 'words and phrases that are never good' along with "smirked" and "a double-length edition of You and Yours".
More than thirty years, and that little memory has been a recurring pain. A burr that prevents me from sleeping comfortably. And of course, when you've thought of one embarrassing thing, all the others come crowding in, as if not wishing to miss out on the opportunity to give me a good kicking. Many of you were there for some of them. I regret them all.
There needs to be a word for it. Some kind of incantation that banishes it, some kind of lotion or balm. Alcohol looks promising, but like most such things it's just an invitation for further incidents.
There's an Aimee Mann song about this: