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Dear Wendy

Obsessive thoughts and anxiety from blacking out

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  • #854965 Reply


    I’ve (f26) always been a very anxious person. I deal with a lot of obsessive thinking and thought patterns. Making my situation worse because I’ve been going out and drinking too much. Pretty sure I’m developing a drinking problem because I black out frequently. I’m petite and don’t eat a lot which doesn’t help. Ended up at a strip club last weekend with friends (only been once before, not a regular thing for me.) Got black out drunk. Spotty memory of me going into the champagne room for a dance (which I know my boyfriend (m30) is okay with as we’ve previously discussed. ) Remember the dancer dancing on me then looking over to realize two guys had followed us in and were watching. Remember one of them coming over and touching my leg, rubbing my thigh. Then that’s it. I know I had all my clothes on. Remember meeting back up with my friends after and telling them some guys had been in the room and touched me, one of my friends got really upset. They told me I was only up there for one dance (5 or so minutes.)

    I told my boyfriend all of this. What I remembered and what I didn’t. It’s been a week and I can’t stop obsessing over what else could have happened while I was up there. I don’t remember touching them back I just remember the stripper dancing on me and hands on my legs, but I’m a wreck wondering if I cheated at all. I can’t think of anything else, trying and trying to remember anything that would make my guilty of infidelity because I just need to know.

    I’m over come by guilt and paranoia. I want to stop drinking and putting myself in such dangerous and vulnerable situations. It’s not fair to myself or my boyfriend, just not sure how to stop obsessing over this incident. I feel like such garbage human. Part of me needs to know/find out because otherwise I feel deceptive or a liar. I don’t know how to cope with not fully knowing the extent of things.

    #854966 Reply

    You’re wondering if you cheated?! How about wondering if you were assaulted!?

    You don’t have to tell yourself you’re a garbage human, because you’re not. It does sound like you’d feel better about yourself if you quit drinking.

    #854969 Reply

    OK. Step one is to make an appointment with your doctor, and tell him/her you’ve been self-medicating your anxiety with alcohol and that you need help. You may need treatment for addiction; you definitely need treatment for the anxiety and obsessive thoughts. Don’t worry about the doctor judging you. They deal with problems just like yours all the time.

    Stop trying to deal with this alone, it’s not working, and it’s too much to handle by yourself.

    In the meantime, STOP DRINKING. It’s making everything worse. Don’t just say “I want to stop drinking.” DO stop drinking. Picking up a glass and drinking is an active choice. You can choose not to pick up the glass.

    Put the incident at the strip club behind you; what’s done is done and you can’t change the past. Just focus on getting well.

    #854970 Reply

    What Essie said. It sounds like you have a serious drinking problem.

    Anyway, what kind of club was this that had a private champagne room with dancers but no bouncers to protect the dancers and you from some strange guys putting their hands on you?? Maybe don’t go to places like that.

    #854972 Reply

    Also, you know, drinking heavily gives a lot of people anxiety. I just read an article about it. More than one drink makes you feel good at first, but then I forget the actual chemical process of the alcohol in your body, but it leaves you feeling anxious and guilty and awful.

    #854973 Reply

    I’d make an appointment with a therapist. Do you know what is causing your anxiety? You don’t mention it.

    In the meantime, you need to stop drinking since you don’t know when to cut yourself off. If you can’t do that, you’ll need to get help for the drinking.

    It will help if you choose your company and activities more wisely. So if you know your friends are going out for a wild night, and you know you won’t be able to turn down that second or third drink, make other plans.

    I had a pretty bad relationship with alcohol in my early 20s at a point where I felt very directionless and unhappy with my relationship. But once I got away from the things causing my anxiety, my escapist desire to get smashed completely went away. Therapy would’ve helped me get there sooner, but I only made one half-hearted attempt to see someone.

    Anyway, you’re not a garbage human, but if you recognize that you have some mental health issues and unhealthy drinking habits, you need to start holding yourself accountable for getting some help in getting yourself on a better path.

    #854974 Reply

    I reached a place recently where I was getting blackout drunk frequently too. I was depressed, had terrible anxiety, and was really self-medicating. I realized that if I kept it up, I’d lose everything I worked hard for (great boyfriend, great job, etc.). So, I stopped. It wasn’t easy. For me, after a few months, I could drink again with some certain strict ground rules (no more shots, two drinks at a time max, ONLY when my boyfriend or someone safe is present). My goal is to develop a different relationship to alcohol, where it’s just something that slightly enhances a social experience and not a cure for horrors of life. That might not be the case for you. You might have to stop permanently. Most people do. But you can do it. Trust me. I believe in you.

    That being said- No matter what happened in that room, YOU DID NOT CHEAT ON YOUR BOYFRIEND. Drunk or no, what those guys did or didn’t do WAS NOT YOUR FAULT. It wouldn’t be cheating, it would be assault, pure and simple. Yes, drinking too much got you into that position, but that still didn’t give those guys absolutely any right to touch you. Again, IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT.

    I know the very real shame of drinking too much and not remembering bad things that happened as a result- things you said, did, whatever. And that shame is actually what kept me drinking longer than I should’ve. I couldn’t deal with it. But that’s exactly why the best thing you could do is let it go. Understand it happened, but it’s in the past and all you can do is move forward. I couldn’t quit until I did. You are not a bad person. And you deserve good things in your life. You can get through this. If I did, you can. Again, I believe you.

    #854977 Reply

    As someone who was definitely prone to black outs and their embarrassing consequences (thankfully the only consequence was embarrassment) I would highly recommend cutting down on the drinking. At a minimum I would avoid hard alcohol and drinking games. I would also recommend eating before and during drinking. I would also evaluate the people you’re drinking with if nobody is encouraging you to stop or slow down.
    Also whatever happened in the champagne room was not your fault and would not be considered cheating, if the guys were touching you, that would be assault, they could tell you were blackout drunk, as it’s pretty obvious when someone is.
    Do what you can to forgive yourself and deal with the anxiety that’s causing you to drink to that level.

    #854980 Reply

    You are still so very young! Get serious about this. I suggest — Rehab.

    Sigh… I wish I could escape into a blackout haze. But, somehow, booze only makes me MORE depressed. Much like life.

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