Blackouts….ah yes, a super un-fun occurance that happens after you drink a lot of alcohol. …or, after many years of chronic alcohol abuse, drinking just a little bit of alcohol, depending on how your body decides to process it on any particular evening.
I was having blackouts as a young 20-something before I even knew what blackouts were, or even recognized that I had a problem with the way I drank alcohol. I remember waking up in my apartment after a night out at the bars with my friends, looking down at myself and feeling so –happy and satisfied— that I was neatly tucked into my bed w/ my pjs on. And when I couldn’t recall where I had put my driver’s license and money at the end of the night, I had to look no further than over to my bureau to see that they were neatly stacked together, next to any jewelry I wore the night before. …‘I’m such a good drunk’ I thought to myself amusingly.
Fast forward 15 years when drinking almost every night by myself, but with my family around me, was the norm for a long time. There were too many times when I would wake up in the middle of the night and couldn’t remember what pjs I put on my children before bed. Did I brush their teeth??? Of course I did…. It just took me a long time and lots of mental effort to remember, and even when I did the memories were fuzzy. What did I watch before I went to bed… I usually couldn’t recall, and if I did, again, it usually took a lot of effort on my part to recreate the night before from the time where I did remember watching (earlier in the evening), to the time where I knew I switched the channel (or another program came on), but for the life of me I couldn’t remember what it was.
The most troubling blackouts were the numerous times my husband and I would have a conversation while I was drinking and the next day I wouldn’t remember any of it. I would bring up a topic the next day and he would say to me, ‘don’t you remember we talked about that last night?’ ….no, I don’t. These times were not fun nor funny. I tried my best more than once to roller skate around a conversation if I had been caught not remembering it from the night before. Often times I just didn’t bring up things during the day that I could have possibly talked about with him when I was drinking for fear that I would be caught in yet another blackout moment. I will be honest with you…. this, and my drinking habits, took a very serious tool on our relationship. Not fun.
And even as I sit here typing this entry… 3 days without a drink, I am crazy addicted to alcohol enough to think that maybe that won’t happen to me again….if I’m just careful and don’t go overboard.
I am grateful for understanding that alcohol addiction tricks your true mind into thinking ‘it won’t happen again,’ when you know it will. I learned this the hard way… after numerous true and dedicated tries to control or abstain from drinking. Ultimately they have all failed in the end, but not all is lost…. I learned from each relapse, and each time I try this journey of recovery from alcohol addiction I emerge a stronger and more wise person. … Here is to a successful day 4 tomorrow.