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False Memories During Blackout?

Old 05-29-2017, 05:36 PM
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False Memories During Blackout?

Last week, I went out with several co-workers to a sporting event. My boss rented a school bus (since it's a very big drinking occasion), and on the way to the event, several people were passing around drinks, which included shots among other things. Over the course of the night, I had too much to drink (which is not uncommon for me; I've had a torrid relationship with alcohol for several years now). I fully remember the bus ride to the event, and I remember most of the first stop (a bar where we were provided with food and more alcohol), but after that the night gets patchy and then completely black. I have one very short memory inside of the venue of the game, but other than that I really don't remember the game at all. I don't remember leaving the game, or the bus ride home, and I don't remember getting back to my apartment. I woke up in the morning in my bed, still wearing my clothes from the night before and the contents of my purse spilled across my kitchen counter. My cell phone was missing. I woke up to the most severe anxiety I have ever experienced, completely unable to recall the events of the night before. What did I say? Who was I with? How did I get home? Then...out of nowhere I started having really scary thoughts about what I could have done. I questioned whether I possibly made out with a co-worker, or even my boss (which would be awful since we are both married). Then I worried we made out on the bus home and other people saw. When I tried to dismiss these thoughts, other scary thoughts of what I had done crept in. What if I met a stranger and slept with him? I have a bruise on my knee...is that from a sexual encounter or did I fall somewhere? Did I talk about embarrassing/personal things to my co-workers? Who drove me home, and did I need help getting back into my house?

My question is - is this normal after a blackout? To catastrophize and think the worst? I still don't have my phone, so I'm unable to use text or photos of the night to try to piece things together, but I checked work email and did not find anything (though I don't think if any of my fears are true that someone would have sent an email over our work server related to it). I do suffer from anxiety, even when I don't drink, and I am on and off prescriptions for it. Is this common for people with anxiety and alcoholism?

At this point I'm so done with drinking, I just hate feeling like this. But I haven't been able to sleep or eat for days because of the constant worry of "what have I done?" - Has this happened to anyone else before? Is it common to make up false memories to worry about after a black out?

Would love someone to provide some support while I try to get through this. Tomorrow will be my first day back at work since the night out, and I'm just so anxious and terrified about rumors or how people will react to me or how I should act.
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Old 05-29-2017, 05:49 PM
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I used to feel similar anxiety and worry after blacking out. Fortunately, everything usually turned out fine. I am pretty sure if you did something "catastrophic" you would have heard about it by now. I'm pretty sure you have nothing to worry about except your plan to quit drinking. Sorry about your cell phone, those things can be expensive and a hassle to replace.
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Old 05-29-2017, 05:50 PM
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Welcome to the family. If you can get sober for good, these kinds of catastrophes will never happen again.

I would just go to work, hold your head up, and see what happens.
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Old 05-29-2017, 06:11 PM
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Hi and welcome JayPray

I think it's normal to fear all kinds of things after a blackout...

For me, blackout memories were almost completely gone, never to return. I hope that nothing happened, tomorrow is a normal day, and you can move on.

For me the worst thing you could do with blackouts was get used to them. Once I had one they kept reocurring.

I've never had to deal with the problem since I stopped drinking.
I hope you're considering the same?

D
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Old 05-29-2017, 06:19 PM
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Lucky for me my blackouts were never crazy. It was more of me sleeping in bed and waking up to pee next to the bed and not knowing I did anything until I saw the stain the next day or I would walk around and talk to people and not know anything about it. It sucks not knowing what you think you did when blackout. Lucky for me I always stay cool about things when blackout because I would have to stop drinking. I was more load if I was just in the drunk stage of things.
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Old 05-29-2017, 06:53 PM
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Someone will eventually solve your mystery as to how you got home. A hideous thing I learned is that just because it feels/seems like "everyone" is drinking heavily enough to go blotto/blackout - that perception doesn't make it true. There were people present in their right minds.

I despise those types of "work" events now.

Not sure about false memories.
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Old 05-29-2017, 07:32 PM
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Jaypray, yes, I had blackouts towards the end of my drinking days and they caused horrible anxiety. And, it's not surprising. Blackouts are so dangerous, especially for a woman and the fact is you will never remember what happened. In a blackout, your brain doesn't create any memories so there is nothing to recollect. It still scares me to think about it.

The best thing is to know you never have to go through that again.
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Old 05-30-2017, 02:22 AM
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Yes, I remember that feeling . The moment my eyes opened in the morning and searching for the last thing I remember happening. The horror of images where I didn't know if it was my brain seeing what did happen or just something I was conjuring up. It's a horrific feeling. That sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.

The last time it happened I didn't have to guess too much. When I opened my eyes I was on a concrete slab on the floor with concrete walls around me.

To this day one of the greatest perks of sobriety is the absence of that experience and knowing I am 100% accountable at all times.

I hope you consider quitting. Once I had the first blackout they happened more frequently.

You can't change the past but you can stop this from ever happening again. Keep coming here and reading, you're not alone!
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Old 05-30-2017, 04:59 AM
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Hi JayPray,

I can understand your fear, as I had a similar situation on New Years Eve. It is scary when we black out, and I think our minds automatically go into panic mode. I would create all kinds of scenarios in my mind of what happened, most of which weren't true. I have definitely had false memories (or maybe just assumptions), and it is hard to move on until we figure it out!

Keep in mind that this was a "drinking fest", and your boss clearly promoted the event. So, at least you have an excuse for the consumption. When it happened to me, I simply went to work and said, "Wow, I'm not used to drinking like that, what a crazy night, I'm not doing that again!" (all lies, of coarse) This gave me the opportunity to admit that I had drank too much, and put it behind me.

Now, I am 30 days sober and never have to worry about this happening again. I hope you join me on this wonderful journey!

Cell phones can be replaced, it is harder to replace your dignity.

Be well, and take good care
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Old 05-30-2017, 06:28 AM
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I always had that fear and that is the whole reason I needed to stop. I would face everyone and after all the worry it was never as bad as my mind made it to be and that was my down fall. So I would think "see your not that bad" only to do it over and over again.
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Old 05-30-2017, 06:32 AM
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this for me was the worst part of it all. The blackouts happened almost everytime I drank because I couldn't moderate, I drank to be drunk, chasing a high until the bitter end and I passed out. I would feel ill for days with anxiety,worrying what happened during those times. How must I have been behaving if I was that drunk that I cant remember? Did I embarrass myself and were people laughing at me. It just ruined what should have been a good night out to look back on. The fear of that is what made me want to quit for good, I can not handle that feeling, wanting to know what happened but too embarrassed to ask anyone incase you managed to pull off that you weren't that bad. So instead you start creating things that may of happened and blind panic at what might have as your brain plays tricks and starts to create the false memories you speak of. As I drank more regularly, the black outs didn't require as much alcohol to make them happen, on the rare occasion I did moderate, I would still pick apart the rest of the day/evening after to make sure I had every moment accounted for, but felt the same shame, embarrassment guilt and anxiety as I had when I binge drank. Not worth it! The last 4 months I had before I had a regrettable slip one night last week, were the most relaxing and pleasureable months I can remember in a long time and I had absolutely no anxiety. Drinking makes it so much worse, if you have anxiety anyway it will get so much better when booze isn't in your life. I hope in a couple of days you get back to feeling ok, and then think straight about if alcohol is worth this anguish.
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Old 05-30-2017, 06:34 AM
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These aren't false memories as such, more The Fear taking a hold of you. And that's pretty normal. And sane to a degree. What is insane is that we repeat the same behaviour and put ourselves in danger of those fears becoming reality, often until they actually DO become reality and even worse things than we imagined start happening.

I'm so sorry things got out of hand and you're feeling how you are. In AA we use a serenity prayer. ..

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
The courage to change the things I can.
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Now, you cannot change whatever happened last night, but what you can change is the future, and allowing those fears of yours more chances to become reality.

Wishing you all the best. BB
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Old 05-30-2017, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by wildflower70 View Post
Hi JayPray,
When it happened to me, I simply went to work and said, "Wow, I'm not used to drinking like that, what a crazy night, I'm not doing that again!" (all lies, of coarse) This gave me the opportunity to admit that I had drank too much, and put it behind me.

:
This is what I used time and time again to explain it, overplayed how out of character it was for me. So ridiculous the lies we tell ourselves and others.
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Old 05-30-2017, 07:01 AM
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My last drinking episode was a blackout. It was unfortunate. I woke up sweating profusely unable to recollect what happened. I was drinking daily and basically destroying my life.

The embarrassment and all that goes with the drinking like hangovers, illness, shakes and what not was enough for me to discontinue my alcohol use.

You never have to feel this way again.

Keep posting and stay close to SR.
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Old 05-30-2017, 09:44 AM
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Hi Jay, towards the end of my drinking days I had more and more blackouts. I think after a blackout your brain goes into overdrive trying to fill the gaps. And it doesn't fill the gaps with rainbows and butterflies because this is alcohol we're talking about. It's a depressant. Like others have said, try not to worry too much. The reality was never as bad as anything conjured up by my hungover imagination.

Just try to learn from it. Remember this anxiety you're experiencing now and visualise a life when you never have to experience that anxiety again. Good luck
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Old 05-30-2017, 01:09 PM
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Hi Anna, I see that you are an administrator. I would like to delete my account but I can't figure out how to do it. Could you please help me?
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Old 05-30-2017, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by JayPray View Post
Hi Anna, I see that you are an administrator. I would like to delete my account but I can't figure out how to do it. Could you please help me?
PM her(Anna) requesting that your account be deleted
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Old 05-30-2017, 04:02 PM
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Annas actually on vacation now but I can pass that along.

You sure you wouldn't like to reconsider tho Jay?
I think you'd get a lot out of SR?

D
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