An alcohol blackout is when you have drank so much booze that you continue to walk around and make a fool of yourself, but your brain stops recording the data. In other words, you literally will not be able to recall the events that transpired while you were blacked out, because the brain flips a switch and stops storing memories for you.
This is markedly different from the ever more present passing out. When you pass out from drinking too much, you lie down and appear to be sleeping. This is very, very different from a blackout.
The worst feeling in the world
The alcoholic, upon waking up the next day, has at least a hint of recollection that something went terribly wrong the night before. There is a lump of evil in the pit of their stomach, telling them that things went very, very badly. Try as they might, they cannot quite put their finger on what exactly transpired, because they were in a blackout. Part of the problem is that they do not really want to try to remember either, because they have a feeling of dread about the whole situation. It is the worst feeling in the world.
Friends or family members will usually say things like “Do you realize what you did last night?” The alcoholic feels hopeless against this line of questioning because they genuinely have no idea what happened. All they have is a bad feeling in their gut that they messed up in a big way.
A sign of worse things to come
If you have had an alcohol blackout due to your drinking, take it as a sign of worse things to come. If you are at this point with your drinking (or if someone you know is at this point), then realize that this person will always experience blackouts if they continue to drink on a regular basis. It is part of the progression of the disease. In addition, the blackouts will happen more and more frequently as an alcoholic continues to drink over the years. It always gets worse in the long run, never better.
So let a blackout be a wake up call for you. Take action and do something about your problem. Anyone in a blackout is capable of doing just about anything, including hurting themselves or others. If you are at this point then now would be a very good time to surrender to the idea that you can’t drink like a normal person.
Think about it: how many “normal” drinkers black out? None of them. Sometimes they pass out when they drink too much, but that is entirely different. A blackout only occurs due to a problem with your tolerance to alcohol. The blackout drinker has consumed so much for so long that they have trained their body to keep going even when their mind shuts off. It is like walking around while you are dreaming….a drunken zombie that has become capable of anything.
A blackout is a turning point. Once the alcoholic has one, they will always have them in the future if they continue to drink. And the outcomes of these are almost always horrible.
A piece of gratitude
Now that I’m sober, I have an enormous amount of gratitude that I don’t have to live that way anymore. I have escaped madness. This is a blessing…..