God and Wife are clearly trying to give me a kick up the bum to deal with my alcohol addiction, which I’ve written about previously here. I read this piece in The Guardian the other day and it really hit home – ‘My drinking years: Everyone has blackouts, don’t they?’
I’m like the author. I ‘know the thunderbolt of waking up to discover a blank space where pivotal scenes should be. My evenings come with trapdoors.’ Just a month ago, I woke up in Tinder Girl #4’s bed. Clearly we’d had sex as I was completely starkers. I don’t remember it (read my post here). I don’t remember a taxi ride back to hers. I don’t remember going in her house. There are just hours of emptiness.
I didn’t realise that not everybody has blackouts.
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve woken up having no clue how I’ve gotten home. I’m the fit widow version of a homing pigeon. Last week I was out with Widow Bestie. Next morning I woke up with a new blanket – I’d stolen it from the restaurant where we each consumed a bottle of Pinot Grigio. Don’t remember that at all. I must remember to take it back.
I’m surprisingly eloquent and functional even though I’m in a blackout phase. I walk in a straight line, I argue against the privitisation of the NHS, I type texts with perfect spelling.
Until I read the article, I had no idea that the mechanics behind a blackout are pretty straightforward. Drink too much and your blood alcohol level reaches a certain saturation point, leading to the shut down of the part of the brain responsible for making long-term memories (the hippocampus). Get too battered and the brain shuts down.
I’m an alcoholic and even though I’ve started to tell friends so, they laugh it off. You have no idea how hard it is to abstain when living in the City of London; drinking on a weeknight is standard and it’s more than commonplace for there to be booze even in the office.
I don’t know how I got here. Thing is, part of me doesn’t want to get out. I’m kinda self destructing, but drinking some really bloody tasty posh wine in the process. Why shouldn’t I?