What Happened Last Night?
Trying to remember blackout memories and not being able to can be confusing and frightening.
What did I say, what did I do? These are the two questions that are most often asked.
Then we may find ourselves asking, Did I make a fool of myself? Did I upset anyone?
Are these the type of memories that you find yourself wanting to find? I think that they are for most people.
For people who are successful in life, and maybe have a family, home, and normality on the outside, it can be very disorienting trying to piece together blackout memories.
If you have been blackout drunk and want to know how to remember what happened here are a couple of things that may help.
Track Back Your Memories Before the Blackout Began
Get a piece of paper and a pen and make notes of everything that you do remember up to the point of the blackout.
Where were you, and who was there? Were you home alone? What was the last thing that you remember, and approximately what time was the last thing that you remember?
What Is the Next Thing You Remember After the Black Out
If there was a complete blackout, then at some point you will have woken up, so make a note of the time that happened.
If you wake up in bed, then you may well have been there for a few hours, whereas if you wake up cold on the sofa, that is less likely to be the case.
How to Remember Blackout Drunk Memories
There may be memories that are completely blacked out, that don’t come back. This type of blackout is called “en bloc”, literally “in a block” where time stopped, and memories just aren’t there.
- Drinking at home alone and blacking out
If you were at home drinking alone, then the obvious places to check are your phone for texts, email for sent emails, and a walk-through of the house to see if anything looks out of place or is broken.
Check pets to make sure that they are where they should be, and that they are safe. You can also check to see what you did drink, and piece together any other evidence as well.
You can also check your phone for any incoming or outgoing phone messages.
If you feel brave enough, then put a call out to anyone that you spoke to and ask them if anything untoward was said during your call.
- Remembering Blackout Memories when Out Socialising
If you are a single woman who has suffered a blackout, or maybe several when out socialising, and doesn’t remember getting home, this can put you at significant risk of harm.
You are laying yourself open to rape, attack, robbery, and a host of other crimes.
Women find that they are more promiscuous when drunk and if she is behaving out of character due to alcohol, it is unlikely that she is making sound decisions, and it is worse if she can’t remember what happened.
Following the tips above may help you to piece together memories.
You could check your phone to see if you booked an Uber or cab, check your bank account to see when you spent money and where you were. Does any of that bring memories to the foreground for you?
If you got home, but don’t remember how you got there, can you see any evidence at home that helps you to understand what time you got home, and what happened after you did.
If you were out with friends you can call to check that they got home safely, and maybe you can find out from them as to what time you left and how you got home.
- Drinking at home with a partner: blackout drunk memories
One of the most personally damaging occurrences of blackout drunk memory loss is being at home with loved ones.
Maybe you had friends around for dinner, or mid-week cocktails with your partner, when you drink as a rate and quantity that causes you to black out that can be very scary.
There are very few relationships that can continuously weather that storm without being affected.
High quantities of alcohol regularly drunk together in a relationship cause things to be said that wouldn’t when sober.
As blood alcohol content levels reach blackout levels, other changes are also taking place.
The ability to regulate emotion is fading to zero, which means that emotions cannot be controlled, and can spiral out of control.
People tend to either be a happy drunk or a sad and angry drunk, and there is a direct relationship between alcohol and aggression. Even mild-mannered people can become angry when there is no emotional regulation in place.
Being with a loved one who drinks regularly and loses control can be scary, and it is as scary for a man to be on the receiving end as the stereotypical women scenario.
Women become emotional, unreasonable, argumentative, and scathing, and all of this contributes to a slow breakdown of trust, and ultimately love in a relationship. Three is certainly a crowd where alcohol is concerned.
If you wake up with a drunk blackout after an evening at home, the only person you can ask what happened in your partner.
If they were drinking as well, then their memory will not be clear, and if there was an argument it takes a very self-reflecting honest individual not to exert some blame bias in your direction.
This instigates a position of power for the person who didn’t black out, and this can have a detrimental effect on the self-esteem and confidence of the drinker who has to put her hands up, and say, “I can’t remember.”
Why Can’t I Remember Blackout Memories
During a blackout blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) levels spike.
It is the level of BAC in the body that affects the part of the brain responsible for laying down memory. This part, the hippocampus, can’t do its memory-producing job when alcohol levels increase beyond 0.16%, which is about twice the legal limit.
This type of amnesia is called “alcohol-related amnesia” and can cause feelings that range from fear to shame guilt, and even anger directed towards yourself.
At a high blood alcohol content more than just memory is impaired. Alcohol affects judgment, decision-making, and impulse control.
Individuals often act out of character when intoxicated and do things that they frequently later regret. This leads to alcohol anxiety the next day, and these feelings can affect self-esteem, confidence, and the entire sense of self.
In a blackout, individuals are much more likely to engage in risky behaviors (crimes, drunk driving, fights, unprotected sex), and then have no memory of what they have done.
As previously discussed, intoxicated individuals don’t have access to previously formed memories, including morals, ethics, rules, and laws.
However, they may lose the ability to base decisions on previously stored information or to recognize that their actions are immoral/illegal or right/wrong. They may not fully comprehend that there may be consequences for their actions, or they just don’t care.
If you were out on a date and can’t remember what happened, you are bound to be grappling with, ‘what happened last night?’
If you were home and woke up with a bruise on your hip, you may feel anxious, worried, and embarrassed about what happened, and how much you drank.
Do Blackouts Equate to Alcoholism
At The Alcohol Coach, we don’t use the term alcoholic or alcoholism.
We don’t believe in labels and certainly not sticking any to you for life. The term alcoholism is widely used in society, so it is used here for ease.
What we are really asking here is, “do blackouts mean that I have a drink problem?”
I think, whether there is a pattern of regular drinking equating to addiction, or regular binging, equating to a binge drinking addiction, or a very rare event of being blackout drunk, then whatever applies, it is definitely a problem.
If there is a blackout that occurs at a one-off, then although it may have been a problem, the event has passed, and it is best to probably evaluate, adjust and move on.
Blackouts are a sign that an individual is drinking to dangerous levels. Blackout is not the only symptom of high blood alcohol content, and irrationality, mood changes, and heightened emotions, all often accompanied by aggression all indicate a serious problem with alcohol.
It is no coincidence that in a global study, alcohol was found to be the most dangerous drug on the planet. Alcohol blackouts are just another indicator of this.
If you have found blackouts confusing and frightening and that they are having a detrimental effect on your self-esteem, confidence, and relationships, then you are not alone.
The women I speak to all make the same mistakes with alcohol before we come together. I have seen these mistakes so often that I have put together a free Masterclass just for women so that if this article resonates with you, it will help you too. Click here for your spot.
Hi, I'm Michela
I’m a leader in the science of transformational freedom for women, and someone previously addicted to alcohol. I have walked the path. I understand your concerns and fears. Here you will find some of my thoughts and insights. Happy browsing!
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