Lately I am scaring myself with my drunken reckless abandon and this weekend I reached a new low.  I drink heavily on the weekends and engage in some pretty risky behavior.  Sometimes I wake up and cant remember driving home, and considering I live in the middle of the woods these drives are usually about 40 minutes long.  Until recently, my drunk driving was the scariest reckless behavior I've engaged in.  I'm on the pill, but have had unprotected sex with 4 people since my last serious relationship.  Two of them I know do not have an std, but the other two I barely knew at all.  One was a guy I met at my college who I had gotten a drink with once, and then again we went to a party and I got wasted and threw myself at him… we had sex without a condom and he came inside me.  This was in the fall.  This weekend I went out drinking in the city I work in with some coworkers after work.  Eventually I met up with a friend of a friend, who I will call Jane, alone at a different bar.  I was already very drunk and trying to party hard this weekend after doing so much school work.  I was asking random guys in the bar for cocaine, because once I had been at that bar and a guy had brought my friend and I into the bathroom and bumped us up all night.  A man who was talking to Jane, who I thought she knew (Jane and I were not very close before this night), said that he had some at his apartment.  Naturally, being as reckless as I am, I was like "let's go!" and we went to his apartment.  I don't remember what he looked like or his name.  Jane does not know his name either, and tells me he was about 40.  The apartment was huge, beautiful, and right downtown.  After doing some cocaine my memories of the night become very choppy and blurred.  I remember kissing and touching Jane, being on the man's bed with her naked, and him in the room, but I don't remember being penetrated.  We had a threesome without a condom.  I remember coming to in Jane's car after leaving the apartment, realizing I could not find my keys or phone.  He had brought my phone to the bar in the morning, but I had to get my spare key and go back to the city to get my car the next morning.  I am very scared of myself now.  I have been reckless before and told myself I would settle down after this, but once I start drinking I don't care about anything and I just want to party and have fun.  Yet in the morning I am horrified by the dangerous situations I put myself in.  I don't want to stop partying, I just want to make safer decisions, and now I am horrified that I have hiv or something.  I have a doctor's appointment this month and am going to get tested for everything, but I know if this man had hiv it will be months before it will show up on a test for me.  I am starting to scare myself and I know I need to change my behavior, but I always just seem to be reckless again.  I don't even know what I was thinking or remember deciding that I would be willing to have sex with this man.

Sorry this is so long and I know it's somewhat unrelated, but I wanted to share this with other women here because I don't really want to tell anyone I know about it, I am very freaked out by myself and I didn't know anywhere else to post.  Does anyone else do this?  How have you changed your behavior and how do you cope with things you have done and move on?

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25 Responses to totally reckless behavior

  1. Sseyle says:

    I’m really sorry you’re going through this. (())

    I know you said you don’t want to quit partying…but I wonder what it would be like for you to take a break from it? Just for awhile. It might help you to gain an understanding of what you get from that lifestyle…you might notice that you in fact don’t stop partying even if you initially intend to. Or that you really miss it at times when you are lonely, or sad, or excited. Or you might notice something entirely different. But it might provide you with some information that you don’t have right now. It would also give you time to reflect on what you need to feel safe.

  2. Tsespb says:

    Thanks for your advice and understanding, I am definitely going to turn down the volume for a while.

  3. Nikra says:

    Is there a reason you drink so heavily? Do you work really hard during the week and feel like you deserve to let go on the weekend or something?
    There’s nothing inherently wrong with what you’re doing, unless you think there is, which you do. If you want to carry on, I would make sure you always carry condoms with you and do not drive yourself out to bars, take a cab there and back.
    Did your last relationship end in such a way that you feel you have to behave like this?
    I’m just trying to get you to figure out the reason why you’re doing these things.

  4. Tsespb says:

    My last relationship ended very badly. I dated a guy for my first three years of college and we both lived off campus. We didn’t really go out and have fun, he was an opiate addict and psychologically abusive and controlling. When I finally got the courage to cut him out, I felt like I had missed out on my college years and started to party really hard to sort of make up for it. I have a lot of friends now, but not many that I am super close to, so I think my drinking partly comes from social anxiety and also a desire to go hard my last year of college to make up for all the fun I missed out on. Also I do work really hard in school, I have a good gpa and I also work in a restaurant, so I do feel like I need to let go on the weekends. I have no moral qualms with hooking up with people, it’s just the risk of STDs that scares me, you’re right I’m definitely going to start carrying condoms. Also, this night particularly bothers me because we went to this man’s apartment and he was a total stranger and I don’t remember even wanting him, just wanting his coke. He could have been some dangerous american psycho creep.

  5. RaeNet says:

    Hi there,

    First of all, sending hugs your way. I hope that you can understand that everyone goes through difficult times, and many of us have made decisions that we’ve later regretted. Be gentle with yourself about the mistakes that you’ve been making and don’t beat yourself up about it while you work towards figuring out how to change course.

    I second atlanta0jess’s suggestion that you consider taking a break from partying. This doesn’t have to be permanent, and it doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to go out drinking, dancing, etc. again. I do think taking a break will help you get a little perspective on why you get “out of control” and make choices that you know are dangerous and bad for you (physically and, it seems, psychologically). It can also help you identify what sorts of triggers make the night change from “going out and partying” to “making dangerous decisions” (it could be certain drugs, particular people or places, a bad day at work/school,etc.) Perhaps you could take a couple of weeks to do non-partying activities and reconnect with friends who you don’t typically party with.

    In the mean time, I also suggest thinking about talking to a counselor or therapist. It’s really encouraging that you recognize the desire to change, and talking with someone could help you figure out ways to make sure you have fun and go out while not making choices that make you feel bad the next day.

    Good luck! And remember you are totally NOT alone in this dilemma – many, many of us have been there too.

  6. Tsespb says:

    I started seeing a therapist in the fall after I broke up with my serious boyfriend because I have a lot of anxiety about death and violence, and my sister is in Afghanistan now which makes that worse. Also he was an emotionally abusive drug addict. However, I didn’t find my therapist very helpful. She tried to help me to figure out why I behave recklessly, but that was it. She had me ask myself questions, but the answers still didn’t help me stop being reckless or make me less anxious. Knowing why I do it doesn’t stop me from doing it. I liked visiting her, but she honestly didn’t give me much actual instructive advice and therapy didn’t really change anything. I am going to take a break from partying though… I will still go out but I am going to try not to drink nearly as much and to have my friends make sure I don’t drive by telling them ahead of time not to because I always tell them I’m fine because I think I am and drive home way too drunk because I always just want to go home as I have a very hard time falling asleep anywhere else unless I am soooo drunk that I pass out there. Thanks for your advice and understanding.

  7. SseNope says:

    I agree with the others that it’s worth a look at other factors in your life that might be leading to your drinking and risk-taking. Taking a break would allow you to reset your behavior and teach yourself a new routine, including finding that sweet spot where you’re buzzed and having fun, but still completely in control and aware of your actions.

    Some anecdata: I’m a tiny person with sort of awkward social skills to begin with. In college, I would quickly pass the “lightly buzzed, relaxed” phase and enter into the space where I was rather obnoxiously drunk. I mostly embarrassed myself rather than anyone else, but the next morning, I would remember the many ways I was annoying that night. I basically just started pacing my drinking much more rigidly, and since have discovered that my limit is two drinks over the space of three hours. More than that, and I behave in a way I don’t like. In college, it was also helpful to have a friend who would let me know if I was speaking too loudly or about to say something stupid.

    I know annoying outbursts are nothing like your post, but the pacing and wingman strategies might be useful for you. However, from a purely psychological standpoint, it can be difficult to make radical changes to behavior without changing your environment. (Think about all those non-smokers who light up during finals or at a bar.) So not partying for a while would give you the chance to change the environment and thus help you change your behavior.

  8. Tsespb says:

    This is helpful because I am the same way (just with different results). I am 5 feet tall and 90 lbs so I get very drunk very quickly. It’s hard because I like to get drunk and at bars people are always buying me drinks and my friends are always wanting to take shots, but you’re right I need to pace myself and have more self control unless I know I am in a totally safe environment where I don’t have to drive and won’t be put in any sketchy situations.

  9. 012woa says:

    A few years back I was working so hard during the day and I would go all out crazy partying at night — drinking, drugs, random hookups, same as you it seems. Work ended up getting even crazier for a while so I basically HAD to tone down the partying, and then after work leveled itself out, I just didn’t let myself get back into the same bad habits, which is easier said than done, but I tried to find other things to keep me busy. Like the commenter above mentioned, if it’s something you feel like you deserve after a long week (which is kind of how it was for me), maybe you can try and replace the drinking/drugs with other things that’ll make you feel good and special. For example, instead of spending money out a bar, spend it by going to a spa for a day! It’s a really nice way to treat yourself and relax without all the regret the next morning. Also, just look for new hobbies, for example I started going kayaking every Sunday morning, so now when I go out on Saturday, I take it easy so I’m not hungover the next day.

    This is cliche but, the first step is admitting there is a problem and I think you know that so…hopefully things get better for you soon! Good luck.

  10. SguTuT says:

    I’m someone who has engaged in reckless/self-destructive behavior for almost a decade.

    I know you don’t want to stop partying. And you don’t have to forever. But it would be extremely difficult for you to simply cut back on drinking and learning to drink responsibly (ie, not get blackout drunk or binge) without going cold turkey for a while. You’ve mentioned school work so I assume you’re going to college? If so, your college more than likely has a program within their counseling offices that helps students with drinking and drug related problems.

  11. 29dWoman says:

    Can you drink without getting completely wasted? If not…you may need to cut that off for awhile *at least*, since it’s resulting in not only the posssiblilty of you being harmed, (and please remember, there is much more to STIs than HIV!)but as another commenter mentioned, you’re putting others at risk as well when you drive drunk. If you’re not able to insist on condoms while drunk/on drugs, you need to take that into consideration as well.

    Set out clear rules before you go out-who is going to drive, how late you’re going to stay out, and bring money for a taxi and a package of condoms. Once you start feeling buzzed, STOP. Don’t go further than that right now if you choose to not abstain for a bit.

  12. Zdozoa says:

    I’ve engaged in a lot of reckless behavior as well, gotten way too wasted, did all sorts of drugs, and had unprotected sex with people that I didn’t even want to sleep with, just because I didn’t care enough either way to say no I guess. I eventually chose to quit drinking completely (almost a year ago) after many, many years of trying to moderate. I don’t subscribe to the AA-style “disease” mentality about alcoholism, and I do think it’s possible for a lot of people who are problem drinkers to get their problem under control and still continue to drink. I personally came to a point where not drinking seemed more appealing than drinking, but I don’t think you necessarily have to follow the same path. However, I do think you’re in serious need of help, and if that therapist didn’t work out for you, you should try another one. I’m especially concerned about the drunk driving. I have friends who have been killed by drunk drivers, and I’m really sensitive about that issue. I think it’s incredibly fucked up and selfish to drink and drive. I know you’re not thinking rationally when you’re drunk, so I think you need to take care of the situation before you start drinking. Take a cab instead of driving yourself, or ride with a trustworthy friend who wont decide halfway through the night that she wants to drink too. Or suck it up and stay at the friend’s house even though you have a hard time falling asleep. One night of bad sleep is better than, you know, killing someone because you drove home drunk.

  13. EttSuper says:

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  14. Remoma says:

    Arg, I wrote a huge long comment and LJ ate it. 🙁

    So, to paraphrase: I’ve had issues in the past with making poor decisions while drinking. What I’ve come to find helps me the most is removing certain things from the equation. For example:

    If I’m going out to *really* drink (I say “really” as in meaning partying versus say dinner with friends that may involve a beer or two), no matter how annoying it is, I bus it, cab it, or ride with a friend who I know won’t get drunk. Not as in I drive my car there and get a ride back some other way. As in I leave my car at home from the start. I’ve learned that I simply cannot trust myself to make safe decisions if I’ve had more than a few drinks. No car = no chance of driving while impaired.

    Something else you might consider trying is not taking a credit or debit card when you go out. Take cash, and only enough to buy the amount of drinks that your *sober* self thinks you should have. Sure, there will probably be other ways for you to get drinks, but when you’re ordering another and look in your purse to find that there’s no cash left, maybe it will make you pause to really consider how much you’ve had.

    And, as others have said, taking a break from partying for a while (or forever if you see fit) would probably not be a bad idea.

  15. Bmuall says:

    i can appreciate your state of anxiety/desire because i have been in a similar place. honestly the only thing that brought me beyond that rut of debauchery was self-discovery and love. for me the catalyst was a combination of reiki therapy, meditation, a few chance encounters, and one really horrific night in which my best friend beat the holy hell out of me while drinking. during this night both of my eyes were blackened, hair was ripped out of my head, my face was bashed into a car and i attempted to jump from a moving vehicle. so yeah, definitely rock bottom. after that i went through a very intense time of introspection and spiritual growth. i realized that, though my friend had done something that was unacceptable, ultimately it had been my decisions which left me so vulnerable. drugs and alcohol, though they may have their place, weaken you, and then you’re at the mercy of the wind. i remember so very many times that i did dangerous things, and it was mostly out of boredom, as you say recklessness and also this sense of masochism. it was as if somehow i had to degenerate myself in order to have a good time. of course it helps to get to the bottom of that: why is it that your fun should almost destroy you? the body is a resilient entity, but nevertheless you harm your entire being when you place yourself in these kinds of situations. clearly you already know this, which is why you came here to share.

    that’s not to say that i don’t have some damn hilarious and wild stories (as i’m sure you do, too)… but these anecdotes used to define me, whereas now they’re simply archives. i don’t really do regrets or shame, but the memories i have from that time are not quite my proudest moments.

    my suggestion would be to take a weekend, when normally you would go out, and instead check into a woodsy or beachy cottage by yourself. or whatever works to remove yourself from that tempting environment and clear your head. it seems like a good place to start. best wishes!

  16. Dlome says:

    If you know you are going to make bad decisions when you are drunk take precautions while you are sober. Figure out how you are going to get to and from a party/bar in advance and carry condoms in your bag.

    You should talk to some of your real friends about this. Tell them you scare yourself with the way you’re behaving and you don’t want to take such large risks with your health. Tell them you are driving drunk. Tell them you are having unprotected sex with strangers. Then, only party with people who know this and care about you. It can really help to have a friend say “the guy offering coke is trying to get into your pants, are you comfortable following him home?” or “you’re hammered, how are you getting home?”

    Cope with past behavior by getting tested and chalking it up to a learning experience. You tried that and now you know it makes you feel crappy the next day. Now you can adapt your party behavior so you have a better experience.

  17. SirFire says:

    Um, so you sound like you were in a terrible relationship that probably caused you a lot of sadness, and you mention anxiety issues…

    Have you ever talked to anyone about bi-polar disorder? When I am in a manic state, what you just described is similar to the things I do. Completely reckless, high risk behavior, binge drinking, sex, and drug-use, even though I am normally not one to do those kinds of things. When I’m OK, I drink every once in a while and only in moderation and rarely do anything more than occasionally smoke marijuana and don’t engage in sex outside of relationships. When I’m manic all that goes out the window and suddenly anything and everything goes.

    It might be worth talking to someone. even if it isn’t bi-polar disorder, you’re probably using binge drinking as a crutch for something more deep seated, and I’m sure you don’t want to do anything that might hurt you during one of these weekend excursions.

  18. Tsespb says:

    That sounds a lot like me. But I have seen a therapist before and they did not diagnose me with bipolar just sort of depression and tried to put me on medication that I did not want to take, but if I see another therapist or when I see my doctor this week I will mention it to her. Sometimes I totally have it together, the good student, dont go out or even really talk to many people for days smoke a little weed and drink w some friends sometimes but don’t overdo it. Then sometimes want to totally embrace recklessness and am down for anything and everything, way over-doing it. However, I am afraid to talk to doctors and therapists about every detail of what I do because I feel like I will be labeled somehow and just in general I feel judged talking to adults (I am 22 so technincally an adult, but you know what I mean). In general I wanna lay low from any sort of system, take care of things myself you know. Klonopins and Xanax help me a great deal, but I buy them only occasionally off the streets and can’t ask my doctor for them, because I think they are specifically for panic attacks or something. Thanks though I hadn’t thought of bipolar. I don’t consider myself an alcoholic and don’t want to be labeled as such by a dr because I know sometimes I drink excessively and do dumb things, but I am not addicted to alcohol, or anything for that matter. Everything’s in moderation until a night when I go out of control, which is not every single weekend.

  19. Tccwoa says:

    First of all, I know this is all hard. I know that people have said a lot already, so I just wanted to add the fact that you’re not alone. I’m in college right now, and a part of my college experience is drinking. I’ve definitely blacked out, though thankfully I don’t have a car, so I’ve never been in that situation!

    However, last weekend, I had to call our university’s EMS and send my housemate to the hospital after she crossed the line to being too drunk. I felt awful about doing it, but I was afraid that she was past a point where my other housemate and I could look after her anymore. She’s had a problem with drinking before, and when she drinks, she often transforms to a completely different person. She’s also had problems with a rough relationship in the past, and that definitely didn’t help.

    I bring this up because I think that you may have a similar problem to her. She’s certainly not an alcoholic. She doesn’t drink every day, and she doesn’t feel compelled to drink. However, once she starts, she can’t stop. As a result, she has a shockingly high tolerance. The nurses in the ER thought she must be an alcoholic because her BAC was so high and she was still conscious and somewhat coherent.

    She’s decided to give up drinking, at least for the time being (through the end of our senior year). She realized that the costs have really started outweighing the benefits for her. I think coming to with an IV in her arm really helped her realize that she needs to stop. She worries that later in life she’ll be in a situation with co-workers, she won’t be able to control herself, and something awful will happen because she won’t have friends around to take care of her.

    Anyway, maybe that whole story is useless, but I hope it helps a bit.

  20. 29dWoman says:

    Im in now way saying your friend is an alcoholic, just that alcoholism doesn’t necessarily mean drinking everyday, and could be someone who when they do drink, doesn’t feel they have the power to stop at a certain point.

    You did what was best for your friends health, hopefully you don’t still feel badly about what you did 🙂

  21. Lidbody says:

    I am the adult daughter of an alcoholic. Your post worries me because you talk about exhibiting a lot of the warning signs of a problem drinker. But, your post also makes me proud of you because you’ve realized your behavior isn’t healthy or safe, and want to make changes.

    You’ve taken the first big step. 🙂

    I’m not sure what the resources are in your area, but if you can find one, you might benefit from using one of your usual party nights to sit in on an open meeting with AlaNon, etc. (IME, Friday and Saturday nights are popular meeting times.) I learned SO MUCH about what my familial dependence issues did to me from just one meeting, and I thought I already knew a lot going in! If you really want to talk to people who learned how to control their risk-taking and unhealthy decisions, that’s the best type of group I can think of. And they’re there to help *each other*, not just themselves, which could help you find a support group that wants what’s best for you in the long-term, not just what’s fun right now.

    Likewise, finding something else that gives you a thrill or rush might help you rein-in your risk-taking. Someone already suggested skydiving, etc. but what about more common-place (and cheaper!) activities like being in a play? Karaoke (though that keeps you in the ‘bar’ environment which might make a 2 drink limit harder to maintain)? Sculpture? Photography? Dance? Don’t overlook the arts as a means of emotional release and putting things out of your mind. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate, including ongoing healing from your relationship with an addict. There are a LOT of ways to find Catharsis, and I’m sure at some point you enjoyed at least one. Hell, even 20 minutes with a coloring book and crayons can completely change a mood! It might not change an entire behavior pattern, but research into art therapy has found amazing things. Maybe it’s worth a shot?

    Good luck & stay strong. 🙂

  22. Arava says:

    Lots of people have already said lots of helpful things, so I just want to add this: Even IF you slept with a guy with HIV, the chances that you caught the virus are very slim. I know lots of people think if there’s infectious sperm inside you then you definitely catch the infection – I used to think that too – but that’s not true. According to Wikipedia there are 10 infections per 10000 exposures to the virus during vaginal intercourse, which means the risk is 0.1%! Maybe that helps a little until you can test for it. Good luck!

  23. Tsespb says:

    That is a very comforting statistic lol thank you!

  24. Sjpeeva says:

    In many ways I have been there… its not a pretty place to be and facing those kind of issues SUCKS, but the fact that you are acknowledging it says something. Only you can change your ways, and there are many different ways to do so, but ultimately it has to do with taking responsibility for yourself. Sometimes it takes getting in trouble for people to realize this, sometimes it takes seeing how other people have been affected, sometimes it just takes being sick of the life they’ve been living. I had some issues with alcohol and the reckless sex thing… I was out of a long term serious relationship and i just wanted “normal college life”…. it ain’t what its cracked up to be. This sort of stuff can put you & other people in danger and a lot of times people think “oh that stuff happens to other people, not me”…. then it does happen to them. I learned the hard way my partying was bad… within less than a year of each other i got a DUI and an STI. In my case, its HPV so that isn’t the worst thing, but i know that my reckless behavior is the reason i have it. Willpower is tricky, sometimes you have to totally change your life (friends, hangouts, habits, etc). that stuff can suck, but whats worse, continuing to make bad decisions or quitting a substance? I still have my old friends, but I have been able to be around them without drinking, some people cant do that. There are tons of support groups for these things like AA, NA, CR… some people find personal counseling to be helpful. not everything works for everyone in these situations, but it doesnt hurt to try various ways. This doesn’t make you a bad person. I hope that somehow you find peace with yourself.

  25. Naceva says:

    I’ve read all of the comments and your replies to some of them. What I’m curious about is that you’re persistent in maintaining a certain rebellious independence … that you NEED to take these risks (especially these specific risks that cannot be replaced with sky-diving or other extreme activities). I get the impression that you may be feeling that you’re running out of time, that you may not be able to take these same risks once you’re out of college and in the adult world, having to behave in a responsible manner (which you may have already judged to be booooooring).

    But adults don’t necessarily need to be boring, even if they look and behave responsibly in their jobs and lives. They can definitely cut loose on the weekends. Also, it’s a fallacy to think that a person (especially a woman) will stop being considered desirable at an arbitrary age (25, 30 … whatever). Sex is fabulous at 45, 50 … and beyond!

    I wonder if that may also be a part of the problem for you: that you’re trying so hard to convince yourself that you deserve to be wanted sexually (as you may still be recovering from whatever wounds your last relationship left you with).

    What I would suggest to you is that you don’t consider stopping drinking and blacked-out hookups as a punishment. Instead you might try substituting other physical rewards. Like the spa days that are really a good idea when you’re awake and aware of all the sensational things being done to your body. If you were to get hooked on these feel-good healthy endorphins, that would be a wonderful outcome as then you’d be trying to recreate them as often as possible. AFAIK, one can’t have too many sensuous massages.

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