Alcohol AKA The Memory Thief

If you suffer from memory blackouts when drinking and you need to speak to someone confidentially, please contact Holla and Heard alcohol counselling services in Ilkley, Harrogate, Leeds, West Yorkshire.

Alcohol’s role in memory impairment is well documented, which could be seen as good or bad depending on the circumstances. To save the mortifying sting to the cheeks that happens each time an embarrassing fragment from the night before emerges, a memory impairment that left this in the ether would be warmly welcomed.

Alcohol and short term memory

However, if you’ve been operating in full on blackout mode during the night, your brain’s ability to make memories will have been short circuited, meaning you may have been walking (stumbling) and talking (slurring) and goodness knows what else but will have absolutely no recollection of this.

No memories will have been formed at this time and that’s pretty scary, to you it’s like it never happened but often there will be others around who will attest this (usually much to your shame).The more you drink, the less able your brain becomes at making long term memories.

Imagine a future where you only had vague recollections, if any, of special moments shared between you and your family. How disheartened your child would be when reminiscing about an important event to be met with a vacant, half-hearted  response. This future sounds pretty bleak.

Alcohol and long term memories

Previously formed long term memories are not affected by alcohol, this could also be seen as good or bad depending on the circumstances; there may be events and experiences that have happened in your life that you wish you could erase.  This is not possible, however painful memories are often repressed, and alcohol may have had a helping hand in  keeping them repressed by numbing the emotions attached to these memories.

Quitting drinking is not the end of the story

Why does this matter? Well, quitting drinking or cutting down is not the end of the story; changes will occur, and if anything this is just the beginning of a whole new chapter in your life. In my personal experience, the further away I got from my last drink the more frequently I became ambushed by buried memories, I say buried as I had not thought about any of these things for years and years. They kept popping up unexpectedly like long lost friends who had been missing for years. They were making themselves known, a little hello to let me know they were still alive and still around.

Less alcohol creates opportunity for growth

So not only do the emotional floodgates open, creating movement in your internal landscape there is also another factor at play to  account for these once buried memories reappearing. You have shown strength and courage in changing your relationship with alcohol, you’re living your life with nothing to take the edge off. This is life in the raw and this is gutsy.

These are all signs to your unconscious that you’re ready to deal with anything that has been too difficult thus far. You’re in a stronger, more stable position. Do yourself justice and if a long held memory is coming back, know that now you are strong enough to deal with it, to work through it and to finally release it.  

How to move forward without alcohol

Life is wonderfully complex and to work through the richness, including the pain, provides space for beautiful growth. What an amazing opportunity you have to get the work done and to move forwards in life with grace.

If you need help to move forwards in life and to stop drinking please contact Holla and Heard alcohol counselling services in Ilkley, Harrogate, Leeds, West Yorkshire.


This entry was posted on Sunday, November 5th, 2017 at 8:34 pm and is filed under AA, addiction, Alcohol, alcohol abuse, alcohol help, Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholism, counselling, Harrogate, Ilkley, Leeds, psychotherapy, recovery, women and alcohol, Yorkshire. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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