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Old 02-11-2009, 03:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Does drinking MAKE you do things you wouldn't normally do?

Perhaps we could have a healthy discussion on this topic?

I'm pigheadedly of the opinion that alcohol cannot MAKE you do anything you wouldn't do or consider doing or want to do when sober.

To say you are not in control of your actions while drunk, to me means using alcohol as an excuse.

When I drink, I definitely know what I'm doing... and would not do something that goes against my nature... eg, I wouldn't have an affair, I wouldn't kill someone, I wouldn't hurt or molest a child... I don't see how drinking can cause one to do those types of things. I think we have SOME degree of control over our actions when drinking.

What do you think?

This thread is inspired by the "philaderer" thread.
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Old 02-11-2009, 03:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I started a thread a long time ago titled something like "What was the stupidest thing you did while drunk". Many people did list things that they did. Some were pretty bad but the worst one that stood out was driving while drunk. Alcohol removes our inhibitions and as a result we do stupid things that we would not do, or could not do, while sober. In my humble opinion.
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Old 02-11-2009, 03:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think your reason area is affected. e.g I tell my self I won't drink and drive, but after a pint of whiskey I'm fine to drive(or I think I am) Serious things don't change, but you might be a little more vocal when drunk. Or feel invincible.
Or spend more on something than normal, like buy a $100 bottle of wine when normally you would go for the $10 one, or go to the steak house when your budget suggests McDonalds. Stuff like that.
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Old 02-11-2009, 03:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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i dunno i think there ARE lots of things people wouldnt do if they were sober.
people get to the point of blacking out while drunk and sleeping with people and not remembering. it cant be using alcohol as an excuse if you really have no recollection of what happened.

but i DO know what you mean.
alcohol changes people. its not so much an excuse as a completely transformative agent.
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Old 02-11-2009, 04:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HardwiredFlaws View Post
I think your reason area is affected. e.g I tell my self I won't drink and drive, but after a pint of whiskey I'm fine to drive(or I think I am) Serious things don't change, but you might be a little more vocal when drunk. Or feel invincible.
Or spend more on something than normal, like buy a $100 bottle of wine when normally you would go for the $10 one, or go to the steak house when your budget suggests McDonalds. Stuff like that.
Or sleep with someone you would never otherwise sleep with... the coyote ugly scenario.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tpersis
alcohol changes people. its not so much an excuse as a completely transformative agent.
I think at a certain level of intoxication, a person is not really sane anymore... I've done things in a blackout that I could barley believe let alone explain.
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Old 02-11-2009, 04:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Good topic again here, man folks on here bring up stuff that can really challange the noggin.

I agree with most here, alcohol debilitates the reason center of the brain. It does not totally dismember it, but numbs it. The same principle coincides with the way teenagers and young adolescents make seemingly really dumb choices...the cortex of the brain is not developed and so simple 'reason' is much harder to come by.

I don't think, and haven't, I would ever go so totally out of my realm of reason, even while drunk, to murder someone, or to commit armed robbery....but there are some things that booze clouds reason just enough that I would never do while sober. I admit..I've driven totally smashed. All the while saying to myself that I can do this...it isn't that hard..no big deal. I've said things to my family that I would never have as well.

So...is it an excuse? Probably not for unfettered evil behavior...but it does extremely handicap our ability to make sound normal decisions...especially if you couple it with mental distress.

For me....affair no, but yelling something at my wife that I would not otherwise...yes.
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Old 02-11-2009, 04:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I never was one of those Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hyde type of drinker but yes I can say drinking made me do some things I would never do while sober. Some of the more minor things I would do is take a whiz outside the door then pass out in front of it with the door wide open and my pants down my ankles. Others would be leaving food on the stove or in the oven to burn up. Luckily there was usualy someone there to stop it from doing any serious damage. Going home with "her". And a DWI to prove that I was in fact not ok to drive.

So yeah I say alchol at least for me anyway made me do some stupid stuff I would not ordianly do.
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Old 02-11-2009, 04:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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What do you think?

I don't think when, I've consumed mass quantities of alcohol.
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Old 02-11-2009, 04:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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masseyman, your post highlights a particular point for me...

It seems that we would do "small" things... things that don't bother our conscience TOO much... like not murder or armed robbery, but yelling at the wife, not having an affair, but drink driving.

Other people won't drink and drive, but will get into a fist fight.

I won't kill anyone or have an affair, but I will say things I shouldn't.

Another person will have an affair but won't kill anyone.

All the above statements actually reinforce for me the fact we DO have control over our actions!

I would have to say this particularly applies to ongoing behaviour, when it wasn't an isolated drunken event, but rather a pattern of behaviour such as that described in the philandering thread.

I would have to rest my case that drinking does not cause a person to be unfaithful... (or do any other action) particularly on an ongoing basis.
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Old 02-11-2009, 04:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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alcohol may not make it 'possible' but 'easier', if that makes any sense
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Old 02-11-2009, 04:44 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I did lots of things whilst drinking that i would not do in sobriety. One thing i remember when i was 21 was that knives were all the rage and i had just got my hands on a stiletto which i was so proud of, now i have never been a fighter although i am big at all. We were on the beach and i was hanging round with this piece of crap who did fight and he started on some guys on the beach my reaction was to pull my knife out and hold it out and threaten the guy nearest to me. If the guy had not backed off and had come running at me, i may have stabbed him without thinking, that guy may have died and i would have ended up doing a 10 stretch. I know this is a long time ago but i cant see me ever doing this when i am sober?!

Just one example, of course i slept with people i did not want to, done things i did not want to, said things i did not want...all more than i care to remember...

I do agree we are responsible for our actions whether drunk or sober, you know the thing that makes me the saddest, really sad is the person that i was during the day because of the drinking, the nasty, negative person that is not me and i don't want to be him anymore.
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Old 02-11-2009, 04:51 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I came here because of a story I was told waking up from a black out. I would have bet MY LIFE that I would have never done what I did. It went against everything I believed in and who I am. There were other people involved initiating and encouraging my fall, but alcohol ultimately caused me to be out of control of my own actions, and for that I will never drink again. I'm ok if people don't believe me, if you think I acted on my own to do this thing and alcohol played no part. I know who I am, and this wasn't me.
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Old 02-11-2009, 05:01 PM   #13 (permalink)
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A very interesting thread, whilst I agree I dont think I would go out and do something awful to another person, and I am lucky to have never injure or hurt anyone being under the influence of alcohol, however I have been very hurt as a result of me being drunk and not being responsible for my lack of actions .... And that is not using acohol as an excuse....
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Old 02-11-2009, 05:07 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I'm learning some things here I think. Allow me to make a few statements and see if I'm on the right track.

For some alcohol can limit the reason center of the brain to such a drastic measure that they will do things, incredibly terrible things, while they are in this state they would never do when sober. All the while not remembering what they did but having the physical capacity to do the thing.

For others...and I would say I am in this group...they will do things while drunk that they wouldn't do, but still have a limit on those things...say their reason center is altered but they can still reason 'enough' not to do a certian set of very terrible things. Every time I was drunk enough not to remember I was laying on my chair after I had reached the limit of my physical capability to function. So maybe, if I were to be able to function after this critical point, I would have done things beyond those I mentioned earlier.

Does this make sense? Different for different people maybe?

Maybe that was a bit heavy, but I think it is an interesting subject.

Answer....don't drink. You won't do stupid stuff eh?
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Old 02-11-2009, 05:15 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I think I might agree with that, masseyman...

But I don't think the person in the philandering thread was in a state of blackout every time they were unfaithful... I could be wrong of course.

I definitely agree with your third paragraph. I think we have a limit on what we're prepared to do whether drunk or not.
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Old 02-11-2009, 06:01 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I believe that I and everyone else is capable of ANYTHING under certain curcumstance. I've seen and done too many things to believe otherwise.

Alcohol does lower my reasoning abilities and make me more suseptable to decisions based entirly on emotion instead of emotion only being one factor.

Part of looking as honestly and deeply as i can at my life and the effect of others on my life...was to realize that there are no people who are all saint or all monster and that we are all equally capable of the best and the worst...and that if I walked a mile in another mans shoes I would be that man (or woman).

This has been key to my sobriety as the insanity that led to my drinking was largly wrapped up in a very very deep misunderstaning of people and the world.
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Old 02-11-2009, 06:22 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Things that seemed like a good idea while I was under the influence were instances of insanity when reflected on sober.
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Old 02-11-2009, 07:00 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I can absolutely say that I did thinks while drunk that I would never do while sober, and I am not in any way using alcohol as an "excuse" to get out of consequences of those behaviors. I am mortified when I think back on things I said and did, or get TOLD about things I said and did. That was not me. Not at all. I am not proud of a lot of the things I did while intoxicated.

And the reason I don't try to use alcohol as an excuse for anything is because 95% of what I did that I never should have done I don't even have any memory of. I was a blackout drinker. It started off where I didn't have blackouts, or maybe just if I REALLLLLLLLY drank a lot. But then blackouts started becoming the norm. Each night I was just about guaranteed to lose 1 - 3 hours. It makes me absolutely sick to my stomach when I think back on all of that.

Was I *responsible* for my words and actions during those times? Absolutely. I'm sure, had you asked me point-blank in the middle of one of those times, I would have ASSURED you that I was FINE, I knew JUST what I was doing, and to BACK OFF because I'm a BIG GIRL. I absolutely, positively had no form of rational thought or reasoning process going on, but I sure thought I did.

I am not a cheater. I have never been unfaithful, to my current husband or any other partner I've ever had. Would I be willing to bet money that I'd never cheat while under the influence? Nope, I would not. Because I'm sure if I had enough to drink, and the right person was giving me the right kind of attention, my drunken, irrational mind would be able to convince me somehow that it was a good idea and really wouldn't be that big of a deal. Of course I would TOTALLY disagree once I sobered up, but by then it would be too late. However, I don't think I'd call that alcohol MAKING me do something I wouldn't normally do. I'd call that me going temporarily insane because part of my brain stopped working for a while. While alcohol would be the CAUSE, it would still be my FAULT, if that makes sense.
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Old 02-11-2009, 07:02 PM   #19 (permalink)
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drinking the HARD stuff.. (whiskey) always made me a MUCH more tough guy than i EVER WAS.. i would say and do things that I NEVER WOULD do sober!
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Old 02-11-2009, 07:08 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I don't absolve myself at all, but I was clearly periodically insane.
Now I'm not.

I've done my looking back, I look forward now.

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