This story was originally published on February 27, 2017.
Waking up and realizing you got in a drunken fight with your partner can feel worse than the physical wrath of taking dozens of tequila shots. There's the reminders that you said something really out of line, the feeble attempts to take back what you said, and the guilt of knowing that you really didn't mean to sob and yell at your loved one on the sidewalk in front of all your friends.
Not familiar with this? Bless you. Perhaps you've heard of "Tequila Katie," the drunken doppelganger of Katie Maloney-Schwartz on Vanderpump Rules? Many blowout fights have stemmed from Tequila Katie doing something dark — like sending angry texts to her then-fiancé or rubbing frosting in her frenemy's face — while she was lit up from drinking tequila.
Why do we do this? "When a lot of alcohol is consumed, your brain is flooded with dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate our emotional response," says Kristin Wilson, a licensed professional counselor and National Director of Clinical Outreach at Newport Academy, a teen treatment center. And if there's too much dopamine, your stress, fear, and anxiety responses become blocked and you do whatever you damn want, like get into fights with your loved ones. "Oftentimes, we use alcohol as an excuse for bad behavior, but this provides little comfort when a partner feels hurt by your drunk actions," she says.
This gets dangerous if it becomes a pattern: "If you need alcohol to speak your truth, there may be an underlying issue that needs to be addressed," she says. If these sort of intoxicated battles become a theme in your relationship, Wilson says you might want to seek professional help. Here are a few ways to deal with the aftermath of one drunken fight.