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Addiction to Alcohol/Very bad short-term memory since Christmas binge



Background to my question:
On 22nd Dec I went to a house party where I had 350ml whiskey and felt a bit drunk but perfectly ok. Then my friend gave me a drink with vodka (I think that was lying around somewhere for about a year beforehand), wine, whiskey with olives and hot sauce (don't ask haha). A few minutes after having that, I remember falling. There's about 4 hours after that which I cant remember. Apparently I then downed half a bottle of wine in under 5 minutes. I was so bad that I tried to open a car door wide open when it was driving full speed down a motorway. I also fell twice more during the night.
The strange thing is, I get drunk very often and alcohol hardly ever effects me like that, people usually cant even tell when I'm drunk. I have abused alcohol a lot over the last 5 years and I've only ever been this bad a couple of times before, my usual amount to drink in a night would be 350ml of spirits and about 4 pints of beer.

The next day, I was so badly hungover that I just kept drinking for the rest of the day, in fact I kept drinking every day until and including Dec 28th. By Dec 25th, I was staggering around the place and slurring my words a bit and felt a bit out of touch with reality. This may sound like normal effects of drinking but I have drank for days before and been relatively ok, this was a different feeling. By Dec 27th, I could barely eat anymore from the sickness in my stomach and I was getting bad anxiety (something I suffer from anyway, but this was worse than usual).

My question:
Apart from New Years night, I have barely touched alcohol since the 28th Dec. But my short-term memory has become extremely bad since this binge. Things like sitting at a green traffic light not noticing it has changed, switching the oven off while I'm still cooking, not remembering what was said a few minutes ago, finding it hard to follow conversations. I'm not as bad now as I was about a week ago but it's still bad. My short-term memory has always been bad but this is worse than usual, people have really noticed it. What I noticed on Dec 27th is that after about 4 or 5 pints of beer, instead of feeling significantly drunk it seemed to just bring my brain more back to "normal", as in I felt better and my memory was a bit better.
Do you think I may have caused some kind of damage or will time and cutting down on alcohol fix it? Maybe I was spiked with something for all I know?

Hi Bobby,

The body can restore itself from some very bad states of
mind but cannot cope with constant intake of alcohol.

It sounds like you have had quite a long history of regular
drinking. The problems can suddenly sneak up on you
because alcohol has a way of clouding the mind to how bad
things are really getting. It sort of causes us to blank things out

It is common after years of drinking to only feel "normal"
after a few drinks. In my own case I feared the only way
I could live normally was to stay half drunk.

What eventually happened was I got some help from
counselling and then AA for about a year.
At this point I was able to handle my anxieties without
drinking. My brain also cleared up and memory improved
and I felt normal more or less without being drunk.

Another benefit was the fog that made me feel separate
from others and reality lifted and I felt like I was not
so different from everybody else.
In other words I didn't get much from being drunk and started
to enjoy the freedom of feeling sane and sober.
No more worries about getting hurt or going to jail
or getting into some trouble drunk.
I felt like I was no longer a prisoner of alcohols demands
on me or my time and money.

Your brain can recover if you give it a rest from drinking
and try to enjoy the process of learning and living without
alcohol. Cutting down may help but your thought processes
will have trouble getting sorted if you drink too often.
It can take a few months to clear the body of the bad effects.

If you can't control your ability to drink or not drink
then you may even be addicted which requires some
help to get free.

Be vigilant and watch out for your mind denying a possible
problem with alcohol abuse.

Good luck!


Addiction to Alcohol

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All questions are important, I have over 30 years of personal experience with alcoholism and recovery issues. Advanced Counsellor Training / Experience with treatment and AA.


Over 30 years of recovery from alcoholism. Counsellor in an alcohol outpatient office. Experience as client and as counsellor in treatment center.

Advanced counsellor certificate, Melbourne ORYGEN Research Centre volunteer consultant

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