View Full Version : What Does it Feel Like to Become Inebriated?

07-18-2006, 03:11 PM
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07-18-2006, 03:18 PM
You've certainly come to the right place to ask, David.

07-18-2006, 03:33 PM
You've certainly come to the right place to ask, David.
What are you trying to say cat?

It's been my experience that the physical effects vary (to some degree) from person to person as well.

It's kind of hard to describe. There are physical aspects that are easily described: numbness in extremities, particularly the fingers and hands; slight loss of balance, accentuated by the inability to steer your feet properly; The excessive urination.
But the over-all feeling of being drunk is trickier to describe. The best I can do is that it resembles having your brain wrapped in cotton wool; Everything is softened.

But, like I say. It does vary from person to person. I may be a freak.

07-18-2006, 04:40 PM
OK, as another usual designatated driver here's the perspective of one who very rarely drinks and so it hits me much faster, usually.

For me, at first, there is a feeling of distance, of stepping back from the world. You are there, but in a more softly surrounded state. Cocooned. There is a lightness to the brain. An increased feeling of invincibility. Maybe even a separation of mind and body. I remember once a long time ago drinking a great deal and throwing it up. Now I hate more than anything to throw up, but then it was - hey look, I just threw up and I didn't feel a thing. Let's go back and drink some more. Those margaritas were good. Mind and body were seperate. When I turned 21 we bar hopped for free drinks. I ran my leg right into a pile a firewood. I remember thinking, man that's gonna hurt tomorrow. Then I didn't feel a thing.

Then there is the delayed reaction time. In college I used to sometimes play Frogger. I played it once after a few too many drinks. I thought I was in control, but my score proved I wasn't.

Now, since I really don't drink alcohol, wine especially, can make me very flushed. My face can get really red after one wine cooler. Then after a drink or two, I'm zoned out, off to the land of Nod. Yep, a cheap drunk.

Cathy C
07-18-2006, 07:33 PM
My mother was also allergic to alcohol and, like you, had a curiosity about what drove people to drink. I once explained to her that drinking felt like putting on armor. Nothing could touch you or, if it did, you couldn't feel it.

It's a lot like nitrous oxide (laughing gas) at the dentist, if you've ever experienced that. You know what's happening, but you just don't care.

(Oddly, I wound up with the reverse of my mother...alcohol has little, if any effect on me unless I drain a fifth in under an hour. I metabolize all drugs too quickly. Dentistry is a little private hell for me.)

07-18-2006, 09:41 PM
I don't drink very often because I don't like being intoxicated. What I particularly dislike is the sense of not having complete control over myself.

When I drink I immediately feel flushed. I get pink.
After a few sips, I giggle. Everything is funny. I feel mildly detatched from what's going on around me and sort of giddy.
After about a half a glass, the very tip of my nose gets numb and my face and hands feel tingly. I become clumsy(er). My inhibitions fall away and I'm more likely to say or do embarrassing things because the filter between my brain and my mouth shuts down.
If I keep drinking past that, I feel queasy and dizzy. While I feel distanced from my surroundings, everything also seems very loud and intense and irritating.

One thing I have never understood is why people think it is fun just to sit an a bar and drink.

07-18-2006, 09:46 PM
This thread from the Writing Novels board might help, too:

Drunken Dialogue:

I'm not allergic to alcohol but I don't drink, so I was trying to figure out how to depict drunken speech patterns for one of my characters. My own tolerance to alcohol is pretty low. After a glass of wine I start feeling warm and slightly off balance walking. Not falling down, I just notice that I have to be careful in how I move. It's also a lot easier to laugh out loud. More cheerful.

07-18-2006, 11:02 PM
Funny how it differs from person to person. I understand BM's description of being like your brain is wrapped in cotton wool - I experience something similar.

I go through a stage of having to concentrate that much harder to do things - like put a glass down on a table, or put one foot in front of the other. But the real killer comes when I lie down and I feel unbalanced (for some reason this never happens when I'm upright).

That said, I've never been drunk enough to do something really stupid or to not remember the experience, so perhaps I'm not doing it properly.

07-18-2006, 11:08 PM
I loosen up and become more comfortable in my surroundings. I throw out all worries about money and other daily stressful thoughts.

But that's only after one or two drinks, after that - I get sick feeling.

When I was young - I used to frequent happy hours - free or very cheap alcohol in mass quantities for a few hours - and everytime - I drank too much, my friends drank too much, eveyone drank too much.

We got into fights, we walked home barefoot in the snow, we had sex with strangers, and we lost our housekeys.

And not necessarily in that order.

07-18-2006, 11:11 PM
Contrary to what some might think, I don't really drink all that much. My father was an alcoholic.

That said, I do enjoy the occasional cocktail - stopping when I reach the "fuzzies". The mind distances itself from the world, everything seems easier to tolerate, I smile a lot for no reason, sometimes I get talkative or just the opposite. I cannot drive after two drinks, and I know it, so I don't.

I don't believe I've ever been DRUNK though. I just get happy, and comfortable, and sleepie - then the alcohol is metabolized into sugar and I stay awake all night long !

07-18-2006, 11:30 PM
The first time I ever drank too much, someone was trying to get me drunk--I paced the room saying, "I don't like this feeling, I don't like this feeling!" I like to feel in control, so it wasn't a pleasant feeling.

Coordination-wise, it felt like I was on a tilt-board and trying to balance.

My best friend and I get together sometimes and have a few. I get really giggly. We are relaxed and talkative, but in a loosely-connected sort of way.

07-18-2006, 11:37 PM
It's sort of like being drunk.:roll:

--james (sorry, I couldn't resist.)

07-18-2006, 11:54 PM
So - could you describe how it physically feels to become inebriated? I'm less interested in the emotional reaction which varies from person to person and more interested in the gradual physical affects.

I'm not laughing! I have to say, however, that it depends on the person (his or her size, weight, tolerance), and what they are drinking, if they're eating anything with it or drinking on an empty stomach....There are so many factors.

I'll give you my personal experience:

I'm 5ft, 7inches, female....I'll just say a "normal" weight for my height. I don't drink often...maybe a few drinks to none during a month. If I'm at a get-together, I might drink 3-4 drinks. I've only been really drunk during college a few times, and since then, maybe twice to the point where I was sick the next day.

1 glass of wine: Depending on the brand, the first glass might not taste that great, unless it's a really wonderful wine. A little bitter or dry...I don't notice much, other than that I feel relaxed. By the end of the glass, I'm much more in the mood for another. I don't notice much in the way of physical effects.

2nd glass of wine: It doesn't taste bitter or dry at all. In fact, I'm really liking this wine. By the bottom of this glass (depends on the size), I feel a little buzzy...translation: I feel like I want to giggle....I feel like I just took a pain killer or something that makes me feel comfortable...I don't have any problems walking...When I go into the bathroom, my face looks normal. I can have a normal conversation. I don't feel dizzy or anything. I should probably stop now and switch to something non-alcholic.

3rd glass of wine: This is the best wine I've ever had. Did I say it was bitter before? It's not at all! By the end of this glass, I feel happy, buzzy, and like everyone at the table is my best friend. I could tell them anything. Did I tell you about the time I got arrested, Mom? Ha Ha! This time, when I go to the bathroom, I sort of feel like I'm a little bit removed from my body....like my head is in a bubble...it could be described like the "medicine head" feeling you get from some cold medicines....When I look at my face in the mirror, it seems a little weird....like when you stare at a word too long it doesn't really seem like a word anymore?

4th glass of wine: I'm not just buzzy, I'm getting pretty tipsy. I'm a little more clumsy when I walk. I can still hold a conversation, but I'm probably giving everyone too much information. My teeth and tongue are starting to feel numb (not everyone gets this, but I do), not to mention purple because I'm drinking red wine--I'm starting to look like a carny. When I walk, I feel like I have to concentrate more. I'm not staggering, but I'm definitely slower in my reflexes, and I'm not going to be driving. I'm starting to think about switching to something else to drink...like tequila shots or Yager. Luckily, my husband won't allow me to mix and I stick with the wine.

5th glass of wine: I'm such a lightweight. I can't believe I'm drunk. Oh well, it feels good. People are starting to look at me, but I don't really care. I think I'm talking too loud. My husband has to take my arm and make sure I get to the bathroom okay. I stumble over my own feet, even though there is nothing to stumble on...When I get to the bathroom, I don't even look at the mirror. It will probably be waving around, and I don't want to get too dizzy. I concentrate really hard on getting my underwear and pants back up...wonder if I look drunk to anyone who doesn't know me...I don't bother washing my hands because I'm thinking about getting out of the bathroom to have more fun.

6th glass of wine: My husband warns me that I'm going to be sick later, and I better stop drinking. I can feel wine sloshing around in my stomach. I'm getting a little bit of a headache. (If this were beer, my nose would be totally stuffed up by now. If it were mixed drinks w/alcohol, I'd be in trouble.) I can't walk very well at this point, so as I stagger around the room, I have to sort of cling onto each person I pass. I can't feel my teeth or tongue at all when I try to bite down on my tongue--something I feel the need to demonstrate to everyone I pass. I'm starting to feel a little nausous, like maybe I should eat something dry to soak up some of the alcohol. I'm careful not to sit down, because when I do, the room will start spinning (the speed of the spinning can range from the slow drift of a boat on the water to the Tilt-a-Whirl carnival ride).

7th glass of wine: If my husband even lets me have one (and I probably will have already cut myself off at this point--but on rare occasions I have gotten this far), I'm totally drunk. Someone is mad at me because I kept telling her I loved her...and she's accusing me of being gay and hitting on her boyfriend, too, which doesn't make sense--but I'm drunk and not really concentrating. I'm trying to make peace and explain I'm drunk. I can't walk unassisted. I'm going to the bathroom every 5 minutes now, and I'm feeling no pain. I could potentially walk out of the bathroom without my pants on and not feel it, because my legs are sort of rubbery and numb. My head is spinning now even when I'm standing up. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be sick in the morning, if not tonight. Bright lights make me feel like I'll throw up, especially flashing ones, and any music at this point is sort of irritating because it seems to make the spinning faster.

8th glass of wine: Okay, I've drunk like 2 bottles of wine. I was on my way to the bathroom, and I tripped. I laid on the floor for a few minutes and the tile was nice and cool against my cheek. After 30 seconds, I forget where I am or where I was going. After another 30 seconds, the cold floor starts to feel like a toilet bowl, and that's a good thing cause I don't feel so good...and I throw up on the floor. My head is spinning...I can't form a coherant thought...I feel like I'm in a dream that has gotten away from me. My husband lifts my head from the vomit and asks if I'm ready to go home... I think. He could have suggested we go to Rome or the Silverdome....or to a club or to a friend's house. My hearing seems to be off...or my ears work but they are sending the wrong messages to my brain. Everything is fuzzy...like I'm underwater. My husband is looking at me funny and laughing because I've said something that has absolutely nothing to do with anything. I repeat it and get the same response. I'm starting to get a little pissed that he's laughing at me. I just threw up. I stomp ahead of him, probably fall a few times on the way to the car, lay down in the backseat...potentially throw up on the side of the road, or worse out of the window so that specks of who knows what can hit the side of the car or fly back at my face.

I get home...eat a piece of bread. Drink a glass of water, even though I don't want to but my husband makes me. I take 2 asprin in anticipation of a hang-over. If I lay down on the bed, I get really dizzy and the room spins...not fun amusement park spinning, but-I'm-gonna-throw-up-in-2- seconds-if-it-doesn't-stop.

I may throw up a few more times during the night. If my husband takes pity, he might bring me a trash can for next to the bed. Otherwise, I'm exhausted...too exhausted to get back to bed...and I awaken in the morning on the bathroom floor, curled up in a ball on the mat next to the toilet. I swear I'll never drink again. The thought of food is disgusting. The thought of wine is even worse. My head is pounding...my back hurts from throwing up...my throat is raw...eyes are red and dry...I'm completely dehydrated...I can feel my teeth and tongue and limbs...but I wish I couldn't because everything hurts. I sleep all day and don't drink again for a year.

Hope this helps! I tried to give both my physical and emotional experiences...you can't really separate the two when you're drunk. Physical and emotional all seem like the same thing. Experiences can vary...sometimes I might be funny drunk...I can be obnoxious drunk...sexual drunk...hungry drunk. This is just a typical drunk...if you can call typical 2 or 3 times in my whole life.

All-in-all, you're not missing anything.


07-19-2006, 12:05 AM
wow! Thats quite indepth - Nuoddo!

you really hit the nail on the head and in fact, described how how I acted at least once a week for about 10 years.

07-19-2006, 12:14 AM
This is quite fun:


Personally I get giggly; labour under the delusion that I am incredibly witty (check my Friday night posts) and think everybody is wonderful. Oh, and I have been known to stay up till lunchtime the following day.

07-19-2006, 11:16 PM
Nuoddo - that is exactly right!

(which is why I now only drink occasionally and in moderation).

Spice Islands
07-20-2006, 02:49 AM
I usually forget everything and blame someone else...

07-20-2006, 06:03 AM
Thank you all for your responses. They were most insightful.

I wish I could get inebriated now since my left knee hurts like the blazes. While responding to a carbon monoxide call as a volunteer firefighter, I donned an airpack and mask and went into an old lady's basement.

The woman had stuff cluttered on the stairs. There was no light. The face mask also restricts some visibility.

I nearly tripped and fell down the stairs. As it was, I twisted my left knee and pulled a ligament. I was okay yesterday but the knee won't bend ...

Yikes! Does Advil help? Ice packs? Hot tub? If you don't have one, commandeer the neighbor's for injuries incured the line of duty. :)

07-20-2006, 06:21 AM
Inebriated? It's like when you were a kid and you spun around and around until you got dizzy and then you fell over--then threw up.;)

07-20-2006, 06:29 PM
What makes this injury difficult is that I'm a B&B innkeeper in an old building that was constructed back in 1883. There are four flights of stairs to go up and down. The laundry is in the basement. Guestrooms are on the ground floor and second floor. I live on the third floor.

I can't close the inn. I have guests who are here and guests who are in-coming. These guests also provide my livelihood. I also have no staff ... so it's slow going ...

I've got a medical prescription for a pain killer and the doctor's strongly worded suggestion that I spend the next couple of days off my feet. I'm taking the medication but I can't not work ... so I'm limping around the inn ...

Not a good situation. Can't hire some high school kid to be a runner for a few days?

Hope they're good painkillers and it heals quickly. :)

07-20-2006, 08:50 PM
Get to a good acupuncturist ASAP. You won't be able to do the can-can, but you should be able to walk without limping after the first or at most the 2nd session.
I tore ankle ligaments kickboxing - it took me two weeks to get an appointment and I was still hobbling when I got there. I could walk normally afterwards, though I still have to take it easy to an extent.

07-21-2006, 01:08 AM
Numb, all wise, brother to superman; later dumb.

07-21-2006, 02:33 AM
Innkeeper, sorry to hear about your fall. Thanks for doing your job as a fireman. As a child, we would have lost our house if it weren't for a volunteer fireman.

Now, to answer your question. All these folks have described what they feel like when they drink too much, and they are all right on the nose. For me, it has been many, many years since I indulged in that, but I have taken medication that bring back those same feelings without all the reprecussions in the morning, then again, I never really had hangovers.

When I take prescription pain killers or prescription sleep aid, they make me feel tipsy, dizzy, and sometimes giddy. That's when I go to bed.

07-21-2006, 04:55 PM
hey there,

Not being able to drink would've saved me some money. I started drinking when i was really young. I remember the first time i was like 13, and it was just fun doing something "naughty". For a good while that was what most of it was about--as a teen-ager. Physical effects hmmm... in my teenage years i puked almost every time. my friends and i thought that i might be allergic too--- but i was just stupid and drank too much. The worst physical feeling i've had when drunk--is either right before puking--or long hours of dry heaving all night or day--- i even burst the blood vessels in my eyes after a long night of tequila shots at age 21.
The best feeling i've felt while drunk--is the lack of inhibition--- the physical touch of someone else-- a drunk cuddle--- or a shared drunk stumble with a good pal. it can be fun. also something weird about me--- i love laying in the grass and looking at the stars when i'm drunk---but it makes me throw up--everytime. somehow like one out of every four times i drink i end up laying in the grass and looking at the stars...and then i turn over and throw up. isn't that romantic?? anyways, i only drink like once or twice a month now. in the last year or two it stopped being important. i guess i'm growing up. weird, huh? -- sorry i rambled.
maybe you should smoke pot---that's a good time. I don't really do that anymore-- but i loved it in college---- however, the risk of going to jail is far scarier than the reward. take care--and have fun!!!!!