How To Stop Blacking Out Once And For All (Hopefully In Your 20s)
How many times have you woken up in your bed (or someone else's), not remembering how you got there, feeling very disoriented and failing to draw on memories that you'll sadly never have because you never got a chance to form them when you were busy washing away your brain cells in copious amounts of alcohol. Sound like last Saturday? Hitting too close to home?
We hate to break it to you, but you were blackout; yet, judging from your friends' sarcastic "you were the life of the party" remarks and the number of missed calls on your cellphone, you probably knew this already.
We're not trying to make it worse (trust us, this isn't a friend-tervention disguised in an Elite Daily article), we're here to help and make sure that when you promise yourself you're never getting that out of control again, you actually mean it.
Let's face it: we're literally too old to be drinking as much as we do. Our bodies are not the same quality as when we were 19 -- our livers are tapped out, insides shredded from bile, and voices ten octaves lower from that nicotine-hash cocktail. This is human nature's way of saying that it's time to stop blacking out.
So, you later find out that you insulted people to their faces, mugged a lady on the street for her hot dog, and made out with a stranger whose true identity will never be known. Classy. Congratulations, you've finally hit rock bottom! But don't fret, we're going to help you get back up.
Unless you want to be marking tallies on your arm for each shot of Jameson like a toolish 15-year-old visiting college for the first time, take our advice and curb your drinking the adult way: responsibly.
Go Out With A Debit Card, Not A Credit Card
Part of the reason why you're blacking out so often and so easily is because you're buying way too many drinks at the bar. When your credit card is taken hostage by the bartenders (we call this "opening a tab") there's no way you're seeing it sober again. Out of sight, out of mind, right?
If you leave your apartment with only your debit card, your sole lifeline to accessing more cash, you'll be more aware of how much you're spending on liquor. There won't be any rounds for the group, any rounds for yourself, or even any accidental over-tipping for the bartender. You won't make any news friends, but you also won't lose any either.
Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself
Easier said than done, right? After you're two red cups plus three refills in, not so much. Take a quick break from the party, excuse yourself to go to the bathroom and take a look at yourself in the mirror. Is there any soul behind those eyes? Can you remember who you spoke to last?
Have you lost track of how much you've had to drink? Answering (or not being able to answer) these basic questions will help you to slow down and recognize where you are on the drunk spectrum. Realizing that you don't know the difference between your inner monologue and actual spoken words -- priceless.
What's worse than being bloated when you go back with your man? Getting the spins and throwing up all over him. Don't try and skip out on dinner because you think you'll feel skinnier when it's time to take your clothes off.
The only reason you'll be looking so thin is because you shadily barfed up the contents of your stomach in the club's private bathroom. Do yourself a favor and if you plan on getting wasted, have a filling dinner that actually includes some carbs. You won't regret that slice of bread, but you will regret not eating it.
Don't Feel Insecure
Insecurity is the leading cause of drinking. If you're not enjoying yourself or you're feeling self-conscious, it's easy to believe that getting drunk will solve your problems. Guess what, it doesn't! In fact, drinking to the point of not filtering what comes out of your mouth will actually make things worse. Every. Single. Time.
Instead of gaining confidence, as we all wish alcohol would do for us, liquor makes us even more insecure -- only we're blissfully unaware of this until we find ourselves crying in the corner of the bar over a fictitious fight that never happened between you and no one else....er, what?
If you're standing on the wall and not fitting into the scene, either leave or continue being miserable -- just don't look to liquor to propel you into conversation. Remember, alcohol is a depressant and it will exacerbate any kind of mental instability you are experiencing. It's kind of like taking drugs backwards and it's kind of not the best idea.
Pace Yourself At The Pregame
You've got a long night ahead, so you're thinking you need to stock up now in order to make it through the whole evening. Wrong! This should be the reason you don't drink to excess.
You can't take back that fatal shot, but you can always get more. Think of the pregame as a warm-up, not your entire night. The idea is to still remember it when you leave. It's already embarrassing when you can't make it out past the pregame; it's even more shameful when you forget the only part of the night that you were (barely) present for.
We're sure you've heard this countless times, but make it a personal goal not to black out before midnight.
Don't Compete With Your Friends
How come we never make bets on who can be the most sober? Don't make it a contest who can drink the most/who will get the most f*cked up/who will be the stupidest person that evening.
Let's not forget that you are here because you already have a problem, and therefore you are always getting drunker than everyone else, so there's no need to prove it...again.Everyone is likely to assume that you will be the most blackout anyway, so call yourself the "reigning champ" and go at your own speed.
Pregame To A Less Aggressive Soundtrack
Is it just us or does EDM have this weird ability to accelerate our drinking by 10-fold? You know what would really slow us down -- an Alicia Keys ballad or something besides unz, unz, unz. When the lights are down and the music is up, the only thing to concentrate on is alcohol.
You can't even converse in between refills because the beat is playing too loudly. If, however, Adele was singing and the mood suddenly got really, really sad, you can bet we wouldn't be pounding shots and itching to party. Rethink the playlist and your drinking problem will follow suit.
Don't Make "Getting Wasted" Your Evening Plans
If you have another goal for the night besides "getting so sh*tfaced I can't see," you'll be more likely to accomplish something, rather than face-plant with your clothes still on.
Go out with an agenda other than imbibing, or else you're literally going out to get blackout (and we all know how that ends!). If you make it your mission to make out, make a friend, or make it back home safely, then you'll have a real target other than the bar.
So you really need to be put in the doghouse, don't ya? It's an old trick, we know, but try substituting water for every other glass of vodka. No one will be the wiser and you'll have a natural drink-pacing-system in place. Plus, you won't feel so hungover the next morning. Cheers!
Sip, Slurp And Savor
Make that one drink count by spending some quality minutes with your beer and taking your time to finish the whole bottle. And, if you always have that one glass in your hand, no one will offer to buy you another. You've got yourself an automatic defense against drinking too much.
Cradle every sip and cherish every moment you have with your rum and coke because we're not allowing you to get another. If you impose this rule, you'll find that things are a lot less cloudy than your normal memory is used to.