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Drinking is not always a “truth serum”

Old 05-21-2018, 01:45 AM
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Angry Drinking is not always a “truth serum”

So I’ve been reflecting a lot recently on my drinking and the strange behavior it triggered in me. I would often say flat-out lies, half-truths, and do things I would never otherwise do. It basically made me a totally different person.

I decided to try to apologize to someone whom I had hurt pretty badly... completely betrayed his confidence by going behind his back with his friend and then retaliated with some rather mean comments when I was called out for it (unfortunately after I’d had a few and was well on my way to blacking our). I said something along the lines of “what I said was not true, and I cannot attempt to explain why I did what I did other than I was temporarily insane.” His reaction was the opposite of what I would’ve hoped for.

He basically rejected the apology and snapped at me that alcohol makes people tell the truth with no filter. I could not disagree more. I know that for some people it makes their impulse control weaken and they end up confessing things. The way I drink, however, it literally makes me so the most inexplicable nonsense; things I don’t believe and never have. I wish I could’ve made him understand that. I know he didn’t owe me anything, so I just kind of left it at that. I just hate it when people don’t understand that my drinking made me at war with myself.
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Old 05-21-2018, 02:53 AM
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I'm sorry it didn't go well.

As far as I'm concerned - and I'm not in AA - but a good amends is really just something like 'I'm sorry my actions caused you pain'.

Any attempt to try and explain or rationalise or seeking understanding for past behaviour tends to dilute the amends part of the exercise in my experience.

For what it's worth I talked an awful lot of nonsense when I was drunk too - but if people don't believe that, there's not much you can do but accept that response and move on to whatevers next on the list.

So, it sounds like you're sober now?
I'd be glad to hear that VN

D
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Old 05-21-2018, 03:02 AM
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I also learned that an amends was just a very basic "I am sorry for my actions".

Owning what I did but not in any way trying to explain them. Explain really means justifying. That just infuriates people.

The other part is to never repeat those actions.

Then leave it with the other person, give them the grace to decide for themselves how they feel about it.

I did some horrible things under the influence. They may not have been true to the real me, but it was still me that did them.

I found when I was deeply thinking about things, the best thing to do was get out for some exercise. It helps blow it all away. Deep thinking is not a friend of mine! Causes me trouble.

All the best to you.
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Old 05-21-2018, 03:02 AM
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I can totally relate to you. When I was drinking I told the most ridulous lies. Things I never would have said sober. I would wake up the next day and not remember anything and my partner would tell me these things and I would be shocked. I twisted so many things it was complete nonsense. I like you have hurt many people with my lies but all you can do now is rest knowing u have apologized and taken the first step.
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Old 05-21-2018, 03:49 AM
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Thank you so much for these kind responses. It has been tough, and I’ve done a lot of damage while under the influence. I tried to phrase it in such a way that it wouldn’t seem like I was trying to get a free pass because of the alcohol, but I also wanted to make it clear that it wasn’t my “true self” coming out with lower inhibitions. I think he just thought I was making excuses/trying to justify. When all is said and done, I do have to accept that not everyone will be willing to forgive.

It was particularly awkward as this person doesn’t drink and was 100% sober throughout. It makes me sick to think of putting people I care about through the stress and insanity of alcohol abuse... I guess while in active use, we will lie about just about anything to preserve the ability to drink endlessly. I hope those days are officially over... one day at a time.
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Old 05-21-2018, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by VigilanceNow View Post
So I’ve been reflecting a lot recently on my drinking and the strange behavior it triggered in me. I would often say flat-out lies, half-truths, and do things I would never otherwise do. It basically made me a totally different person.

I decided to try to apologize to someone whom I had hurt pretty badly... completely betrayed his confidence by going behind his back with his friend and then retaliated with some rather mean comments when I was called out for it (unfortunately after I’d had a few and was well on my way to blacking our). I said something along the lines of “what I said was not true, and I cannot attempt to explain why I did what I did other than I was temporarily insane.” His reaction was the opposite of what I would’ve hoped for.

He basically rejected the apology and snapped at me that alcohol makes people tell the truth with no filter. I could not disagree more. I know that for some people it makes their impulse control weaken and they end up confessing things. The way I drink, however, it literally makes me so the most inexplicable nonsense; things I don’t believe and never have. I wish I could’ve made him understand that. I know he didn’t owe me anything, so I just kind of left it at that. I just hate it when people don’t understand that my drinking made me at war with myself.
Sorry to hear your friend didn't accept your apology. Maybe over time he will.

I 100% agree with what your saying, I used to tell people a whole bunch of exaggerated nonsense. Waiting on these coming back to bite me in the backside at some point. I always said to people to never believe a word that comes out my mouth after I was under the influence, I try not to beat myself up about it but I know I'm hugely embarrassed by it and once it's said it said.

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Old 05-21-2018, 06:24 AM
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I think for someone who has never gotten blackout drunk (lucky them), it’s hard to imagine getting so wasted that you’d actually invent stories and fabricate things for no apparent reason. I told him it was just as baffling to me!! I tried to explain to him that there are people who drink and get silly, and then there are binge drinkers who whenever they drink lose their damn minds. Unfortunately I’m the latter...
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Old 05-21-2018, 07:09 AM
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It is definitely hard for anyone to understand addiction/alcoholism, and even harder to try and explain it to them. I think that just as we have to accept our addiction on face value, we also have to accept that not everyone will forgive us for our actions. The best we can do is live our life sober and perhaps over time our actions will change their opinion.
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Old 05-21-2018, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by VigilanceNow View Post
I think for someone who has never gotten blackout drunk (lucky them), it’s hard to imagine getting so wasted that you’d actually invent stories and fabricate things for no apparent reason. I told him it was just as baffling to me!! I tried to explain to him that there are people who drink and get silly, and then there are binge drinkers who whenever they drink lose their damn minds. Unfortunately I’m the latter...
I do understand what you are saying. The point, however, is not to make the person understand anything about the why of my behavior. It is simply to own it. Whether or not that person understands or forgives is up to them. That's the hard part. Taking ownership with no expectation of the other person.

"I wronged you. There is no excuse. I am in recovery and will live daily to change my behavior". Then that just hangs out there....and I show through recovery that I mean what I say.

Addiction is nuts, especially late stage addiction where one is a shadow of ones true self. All the more reason to stay stopped. Actions speak far louder than words.
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Old 05-21-2018, 08:04 AM
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Really the best way to look at it is that alcohol is the devil, it distracts you with a "high", while it takes your mind and body for a joyride, making you say and do things you never would if you were sober. Once they crash the car, they run off laughing, leaving you to deal with the wreck.
I know I've lost quite a few friends from stupid things I said while drunk, that no "I was just drunk" explaining could save.
Quitting drinking for good makes sure you never have to go through it again.
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Old 05-21-2018, 08:38 AM
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I had an ex-girlfriend who also said alcohol was a truth serum, and chose to believe what I said and did while drunk was actually a truer reflection of how I really felt. She couldn't grasp that it was only how I was feeling while I was out of my mind drunk! Very little made sense when I was in that condition. That wasn't an excuse, but it was an explanation. Not a very satisfying one, but it's all I had. She still didn't get it, but I eventually learned that she didn't have to. I just had to acknowledge what I did wrong. I hurt and frightened a lot of people, including my children. That most certainly is not how I feel or what I'd do while in my right mind.

As for amends, I agree with what others have said. When I made mine, I simply "owned" what I know I did wrong, and listened for anything I may have overlooked. I then asked if there was anything I could do to make up for my wrongs. Most people were receptive and forgiving, while some (like my ex wife and kids) still don't want to talk about it. The important thing is that you offer, and that you are willing.
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Old 05-21-2018, 03:06 PM
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We can all relate. It was a major force in quitting for me, wanting to have control of my brain and what I communicate to people. I lost 2-3 friends over the years just ranting angry nonsense under the influence and almost lost my marriage for the same reason. Take comfort in the fact that you will no longer lose friends by your own actions that you didn't want to lose in the first place and the relationships you have kept will improve. people will develop respect for you. The past is the past and it gets better from here.
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Old 05-21-2018, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by VigilanceNow View Post
I just hate it when people don’t understand that my drinking made me at war with myself.
I can relate to this. My wife, and so many others as I've come to learn on these boards, just cannot understand what it means to be an addict. It used to frustrate me and perhaps, in some ways, led to me turning from her and to the bottle.

But in the end, what does it matter? The truth is that I am a better man, husband, father, professional etc etc when I am sober.

The poison only poisons us, VN, as you point out. Thank you for the post.
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Old 05-21-2018, 03:32 PM
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VigilanceNow - To this day, I can't explain some of the things I did when drunk. It was definitely not a truth serum for me - it made me into an entirely different person. I became confrontational and bold - and I'm the exact opposite of that. I didn't believe people when they quoted back to me some of the comments I made. Completely out of character. It's impossible to explain to those who aren't afflicted.
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