Binge Drinking & Blacking Out

Binge drinking is the act of consuming alcohol solely to get drunk.  Blacking out is typically associated with this behavior.  A black out is when you drink so much that your brain literally stops creating memories.  When someone is in a black out, they’re fully conscious.  They can carry on a normal conversation, drive, even have sex – unfortunately they often can’t remember much of it.

Until the last year or so, this was the only style of drinking that I knew about.  I learned how to shoot Jack Daniels and chase it with soda.  After a few months of “training”, I no longer needed the soda.  Before going out, I was the cheerleader for pre-gaming.  While getting ready to go out, my friends and I would take shots.  We justified this by telling ourselves, “The more we drink at home, the more money we’ll save when I make it to the bar.”  In actuality, we were just getting drunker and ended up being more frivolous with our money.  This led to a string of poor choices at the bar.

After a night of partying, I would wake up confused.  I would piece together my night by looking at strange bruises on my body.  Usually the sloppier I got, the more I would fall down or bump into things.  I would look at my phone and cringe as I read the texts I sent the night before.  My spelling was terrible, apparently I bought so and so a shot, and would text boys that I didn’t need to be texting.  At the time, I thought all of this was funny.  My girlfriends and I would put together the pieces of a disturbing puzzle and laugh at the dumb things we did.

Once I was able to pull myself out of bed and was able to start my day, I would walk to my terribly parked car and have no recollection of how I got there. I was lucky enough that my behavior never resulted in a car accident, hurting myself or someone else, or getting arrested.  I would spend the first few hours of my day miserable, psyching myself up to go to the other side of the bar and make drinks for people.  On my way to work, I’d stop and pick up my go-to hangover fix: a bacon cheeseburger and Dr. Pepper.  When I would pay for my food, I would realize how much cash I spent the night before.

This is how I drank several times a week for nearly 15 years.

Until recently, I had no idea what a black out really was.  To me, blacking out was just part of drinking.  Today, as a 30 year old woman, I’m now dealing with the repercussions of missing memories from half of my life.   I thought I was happy.  I thought I was just having fun.  Hindsight now shows me that I was subconsciously seeking reasons to numb the present, forget the past, and prevent the future.

Copy Editor: Alisson Wood


10 thoughts on “Binge Drinking & Blacking Out

  1. raven

    I have both good and “bad” things to say about your posts/blog. I consider the “bad” more constructive criticism as opposed to just railing on you. Lets start with the bad so that we finish on a good note. I am happy to hear that u dont “binge” drink anymore but i encourage you to study a little more about subjects before posting. I am not sure if you have ever known a true binge drinker or alcoholic but a true binge drinker will go months or even years sober and then fall off the wagon and go mia for days doing nothing but drinking. They seldom eat and their bodies become dependent on the alcohol to the point where they shake and convulse without it and have to slowly stop drinking so they dont go into shock and go to hospital or die. A true alcoholic cannot function without alcohol and it is a daily ritual that consumes their entire life.. Your “binge” drinking sounds more like a hobby and an immature thing you do or did for fun. Your idols seem to be famous people that are into the sex , drugs, rock and roll lifestyle so it was fun for you to pretend like you were like your heroes. I feel that you making light of a horrible disease that ruins lives and families is offensive. If you have ever been to a celebrate recovery group or an AA meeting then you have seen the faces of the people in some smoke filled crowded rooms of homeless , jobless people that have ruined their lives and lost their families because of alcohol . Your posts exude politics, being liberal, helping others, your outlook on life, your opinion on politics and freedoms etc but i see one central theme and that theme is Tawny. You seem to do things for shock value and to rock the boat because you are starved for attention and love to be the center of it..Its look at this pic of me doing yoga , look at me dropping out of school, look at me moving to new york, look at my new crazy outfit, look at my new color hair, look at my blog,look at me with this famous person and that one, read about me getting drunk etc its ME, ME , ME…I think that like the majority of your heroes you border on narcassism . It makes me wonder who tawny is when nobody else is looking.. Do you sometimes cry yourself to sleep at night? Do you find your days greatly impacted either in a negative or positive way depending on how many FB likes or comments you get? Do you think to yourself..”should i post this?? maybe i shouldnt…What are people gonna think of ME?? Oh well im Tawny im a rebel who doesnt care what others think .. But if you truly dont care what others think would you be going back and checking your FB page every 30 minutes to see how many people liked it or commented? When nobody cares are you almost devastated for the rest of the day or at least a few hours thinking nobody likes you?? I am sorry but i am not buying what your selling.. What i see is a broken girl that like everyone is searching for a purpose and meaning and to be loved..Now for the good part..You seem to be independent , very ambitious, bright and there is no denying you are a beautiful girl with a huge heart..You can have curly hair, straight hair, pink hair, galaxy hair and you are still amazing..I hope that one day you find what your looking for but i promise you that if you do find fame that you will learn that it is empty just like sex, drugs, rock and roll and money..I hope that one day you are filled with true joy and no longer need the attention of others and constant gratification to feel wanted or loved .. i wish you the best of luck.. take care

    • Madison

      Hi, my name is Madison and I am an alcoholic and drug addict, I am 29 years old this year. I am one of those people who sit in the smokey rooms, the air tinged with the smell of Folgers, body twitching from 24hrs without alcohol, fingers clasped tightly around my desire chip, hoping that maybe today will be the day. Recalling every other meeting that started of this way. I use that hour to recollect on the cars I’ve wrecked, my friends who have lost their lives, the days I’ve spent behind bars, the jobs I’ve lost, the relationships I’ve shattered, I cry remembering the day my little brother lost all respect for me and chose to never speak to me again. Easter, Christmas, New Years, those are days i’ve lost friends forever, those are nights i don’t know if ill wake up from. Since i turned 21 i’ve spent more birthdays behind bars or in a hospital bed than not, all due to alcohol. I just pulled over on the side of I-35 and puked 3 times twenty min’s before reading this post, i can taste the lonestar on tongue now.

      I remember sitting at the bar a few years ago drinking off a hangover asking my bartender (who id been out with the evening before) when we were going to grow up and quit this life, asking when were we going to be normal. I recall discussing with her how we missed having an appetite in the morning for anything other than beer, or carbombs. She would ask if i had tried giving up liquor and sticking to beer, she read somewhere that works for some people. I wasn’t so sure. Id feel guilty when she asked if i had listened to her Dj show in the morning, she was trying to step out from the bar and do something other than work with alcohol. Id lie and say that i had it on my radio as my alarm in the morning, knowing full well i didn’t. I remember when she was a zumba instructor and i tried to be supportive and go to a class of her’s and i showed up drunk to the class, im sorry. I remember when she wanted to start blogging and asked if i would read her blog and i thought it was lame, but i lied and pretended like i cared. And now i see my old bartender no longer serving drinks, but serving knowledge, experience, and emotion. I see a light in her where before was a dark abyss.

      Tawny I am proud of you, I am proud to see that you crawled out of that cesspool of a life we led for too many years. If you can ever break away from counting your Facebook likes and comments, drink a glass of tea for me. <3

      Raven, i am sorry for whatever negative experience you drew from Tawny's post. Your "constructive criticism" is based on a lot of assumptions, i realize Tawny's post was rather small, and didn't give you a lot to work with, but i don't think it was intended to document her experience or knowledge of alcoholism and binge drinking.

  2. Jody

    Candor and compassion with a hint of cheekiness. Thanks, Tawny. I am curious if your parents or other family members knew about your drinking habits and if they ever tried to “help”. Could you speak to that in a future blog? Thanks. – CW Jody

  3. Anonymous

    Well that was a little harsh. In response to her view on blackouts and alcoholism. It comes in all shapes and sizes. You could ask someone who is a heavy drinker and say “Do you have to say I will only have one iced tea tonight?” If you are not a binge drinker having one or two drinks is prob fine. Anyone who has to binge and blacks out is a problem. Admitting to that problem publicly is brave. It doesn’t mean you need to be a complete jobless degenerate. If you ask some the most dangerest type of alcoholic is one who functions because they keep going. Sometimes not even remembering going to work. I’ve been to meetings. I’ve seen who is there. If you ask your doctor if blacking out a couple times a week is ok I assure he would say no. So in conclusion I’m following this bc I would also like to replace my drinking with tea. And maybe this isn’t just about YOU. We, those who need help are listening. And thanks for your bravery. Haters gonna hate. I’m not drinking tonight. 😉 happy new year!

  4. dietitianleah

    Thanks for baring your soul, I know it’s not easy! But when we share our stories, we never know whose lives we can touch! Something I learned working in the mental health field – nothing is black and white, and definitions and diagnoses often leave people with real problems out, which is a such a shame. Be bold and be yourself – it gives everyone permission to do the same. 🙂

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