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3 Jun, 2014

151 Days of Alcohol-related Blackouts | Alternet

by May Wilkerson

I was a blackout drinker from the first time I ever got drunk at 16, and my blackouts would cut broad swathes of time right out of my memory, ranging from an hour to an entire night.

After waking up the next day, I would search my immediate surroundings for physical clues. Ketchup packets in the bottom of my bag. Photos of me as a tiny blur onstage, holding a microphone. A ticket stub in my pocket, a stamp on my hand. Mostly I relied on other people’s stories to fill the empty spaces in my memory. No matter how intently I focused, or how long I waited, these black holes remained, dark and unforgiving.

I once approximated that I blacked out an average of three and a half nights a week during my drinking career twice a week in college and four or five nights a week in the four years after college, before I got sober. If I lost an average of two hours a night, that’s about seven hours a week, 52 weeks a year. Over 10 years of boozing, from age 16 to 26, I must have accrued over 3,600 hours–or 151 days–of forgotten time. That’s five months—enough time to pen a novel or hike the Appalachian Trail.

Read the rest: 151 Days of Blackouts | Alternet.