anonymous confession booth

note: still time to submit a photo for the 
Sober Photography Project. more info here.

step right up. for one day only, i’m creating an anonymous sober confession booth. i thought of this today, while doing dishes, between batches of lemon bars. I had my hands in warm water, and i thought “i wish that i could tell someone ‘this’ story” — you know, the story that was swirling around in my head.

Then i thought, OK, why not? Why don’t we tell our most shitty stories?

Well first off, i personally hate dwelling in the past — unnecessarily. Yes, sometimes we have to excavate. But i don’t want to wallow. And there’s a very fine line between the two. And then there’s the shame. and the guilt. yeah.

So here’s the deal.

1. Post a comment below.

2. For this to work you MUST leave your name and your email and your website address BLANK in the comments form (if you forget, i’ll go in and delete that info manually). all comments are to be anonymous.  one of the comments will be from me, you just won’t know which one.

3. I have no way of personally knowing who posts what. Promise.

4. In your comment, write two or three sentences (max.) about something that you’d like to be forgiven for that happened to you, or that you did, because of alcohol. For example, i’ll make one up: “I used to steal money from my drunk parents’ pockets when i was a kid, because they’d never notice and they were ignoring me anyway” … OR … “i crashed my mother’s car while drinking but claimed it was a hit and run.”

5. Then take a second and post an anonymous ‘reply’ to one of the other comments already posted, and say something comforting, consoling, forgiving, kind.

i have a feeling that this will unfold in a lovely way. because you’re all lovely people. and we all have alcohol-related secrets. what’s yours?

PS. if your name/email automatically shows up when you start to enter a comment, you can manually delete them OR you can ‘log out’ of your blogging profile.


I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • Belle, this may be one the the most brilliant things you’ve done for the blogging community. Having a place to lay our horrible guilt is a great way to begin the process of forgiving ourselves.

    Day 4 (again)

  • My daughter got pregnant at a point when I was so deep into drinking and sort of hoping that I’d get liver disease or stomach cancer so I could just be done with everything. She was 18 and just started college and it seemed like her life that had so much potential just got flushed, and her first stop was going to have to be at the welfare office. I told her she couldn’t live in my house with a baby, and worried about what the father of my younger daughter would think (I wish I didn’t give a shit about his opinion since I can’t stand him). I pushed away the people that love me and I think it almost broke me. I didn’t provide emotional support when she needed it and i helped pay for an abortion. I’ll never know how it could have turned out if I hadn’t been climbing into a couple bottles of wine every night.

    • Sometimes we are so wrapped up in taking care of our children that we try to find ways to cope. Drinking makes you not care about anything, including the ones we love and ourselves.

      You will have the opportunity to be there for your daughter when you can. Taking care of yourself is a good first priority so that you are ready when that time comes.

  • Trying to ‘seduce’ a female friend when she was staying with her husband with me and my husband for the week – end!!! What’s that all about? Shame, disgust and self loathing doesn’t come into it……. Oh and the humiliation . Fortunately she was pretty cool about it and not sure where it came from as always been straight – bloody Wolfie!! This is my worst but can identify with lots of others – worst thing is the slow, flashback recollections of what happened the day/ night before – nightmare!!!

  • Drunk driving countless times over the years.
    Spilling red wine all over the new carpet.
    Not properly caring for my animals (forgetting to give them dinner, let them out one more time before bed, etc.)
    Stupid, black out fights with my husband.
    Repeated promises to stop and get better, but taking years and years to actually do so.
    So much regret, guilt….not sure where to put it all.
    Destroying my marriage.

  • I woke up from a blackout only to find that I’d decided to use the oversized chair in my bedroom as a toilet. I spent the next morning before work scrubbing piss out of the cushion.

    I regret being in a blackout with my teen daughters witnessing my behavior. Waking up the next morning terrified of what I’d done and said. My boyfriend then tried to strangle me twice.

    Having sex with with my boyfriend’s friend in front of him because that is what I thought he wanted.

      • Wolfie causes us to do utterly stupid activities while blacked out – it is not who you are. That behavior does not define you and moving forward, it sounds like you have taken steps to regain control so something like that will never happen again. You have learned from your experience, now is the time to forgive yourself and move forward not necessarily forgetting what can happen if you open the door to Wolfie….but keeping it on the back of the bookshelf as a reminder of why you need to keep that door locked.

  • Making out with the husband of a (newly pregnant) friend while I was totally shit faced. A man I’m not even remotely attracted to when sober *NOT* as if that would have made it ok!

    This one still kills me because she is one of the loveliest people ever and the pain I could have caused had we been caught… over something so stupid and pointless that I didn’t even want. It’s two years later and I still feel a bit ashamed every time I see her/them. I have made many poor decisions about men and sex while drunk but this is definitely one of the ones that still upsets me the most to recall. I know there are worse things, like if I’d slept with him – as he tried on – but still.. Ugh. I also would have stood to lose a whole entire friend group had this ever come out. Ugh. Ugh.

    • The good news is that you didn’t sleep with him and you’re on the right path now. It’s easy to say, ” forgive yourself” but it’s something we must do. We aren’t those people anymore.

    • You must find a way to forgive yourself. We have all done hurtful things to people we love when intoxicated. We own that is was stupid and irresponsible, but you have to forgive yourself for that behavior in order to move forward. You have made positive choices to prevent such an event from happening again and you should be proud and confident of those good sober choices! I want you to give your permission to be forgiven!! You are a good person, wolfie was controlling you back then, and you have regained the control. Be proud of what you have done to fight him.

    • This could have ended a lot worse. Be kind to yourself – you are in a different place now! Count your blessings , she is still a friend!! 🙂

  • Almost caught my house on fire.

    Put my husband through years of pain and frustration that has lead to our current legal separation…losing my husband and best friend and there is nothing I can do to fix it now. Regret that I could not make a change sooner.

    • It’s hard to know exactly how much your alcohol consumption had to do with the ending of your marriage. It may have contributed, but I’m sure there are lots of other factors. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You don’t have to own all of the failings of the relationship.

  • When I was 16 I was at 8 am mass with my dad. I excused myself 2x to go to the bathroom. On the second trip downstairs to the bathroom, I vomited all over the steps. I even fell and slipped on it. I left it there. Told no one as I was ashamed and trout I would get busted for being hungover. I can’t imagine who had to clean up that mess. I’m ashamed to this day. I think I told this story to a few as a funny drunk story apologizing I can’t believe I did that as a stupid teenager.

    • It sounds awful 🙁 It must be nice to know that as a sober person, this will never happen to you (well, let’s hope not!). As a sober person, you will never get yourself into a situation like that again.

  • I drove while drunk. really drunk. many times. I peed my pants. I puked on my pillow. I woke up with bruises and couldn’t remember where I got them. I flirted with men in bars. I was so drunk some nights at home that I couldn’t have driven any family members to the hospital if I would have needed to, including my pregnant sister. I set a bad example for the young people in my family. I gave up on being myself.

  • The years between 20 and 32 are awash with recollections of drunken sexual choices. I look back now and realise that I just had no respect for myself, no respect for my body or my reputation.

    I’m past that stage of my life but that doesn’t stop me from making stupid, painful, hurtful choices when I am drunk.

    • Under the influence we make really terrible choices. I’m glad you’re sober now. I bet you’re glad, too. Nothing like this will happen again.

  • Every time I shamelessly flirted with my husband’s friends when he wasn’t paying attention.

    • I too have flirted with my BF friends or even strangers when he was right there too. Blame it on the wine… But inside I knew what I was doing. Let’s forgive ourselves.

  • Drinking and driving lost my licence and job last year. My partner and children have suffered immensley because of this. Also have never told my family and my partner has had to keep it a secret because I am so ashamed. Many more things I regret and struggle to forgive myself with everyday.

  • A quiet evening at home alone, all by myself, sipping (ie trying to moderate and enjoy) a good bottle of wine turned into drinking much more than “one” good bottle of wine + beers…I eventually stumbled to bed…and awoke a few hours later drenched in my own urine. I pissed in my bed. A good amount too. At 40 years old. And I was still too drunk to bother to get up and wash/clean/change sheets, so I passed out again and slept in my piss-soaked sheets and mattress until I was able to be vertical again. Not cool. I was so disgusted with myself. Horrified to this day.

    • That has happened to me too, and my husband cleaned it up. More than once. It is in the past, and it happens to people with drinking problems. Let it go and know that nothing like that will happen again. That incident does not define who you are, but rather is a good reminder of why you do not want to drink any longer.

  • I got drunk, had a blazing row with my husband, then drove my children off in the car in the middle of the night, still drunk, still swigging from a bottle. I hope they don’t ever know. I risked their lives. I sicken myself daily with that one, what could have happened. So ashamed.

    • Forgive yourself. No one was hurt. You were unwell. The past is the past. The future is now. Much love.

  • Upset about my parents break up, drunk and depressed but mostly drunk. Decided it would be a good idea to take a bottle of my Mom’s anti depressants and sleeping pills. Wasn’t really serious about dying just drunk out of my mind. Waking up in the ER with no recollection of the ambulance, the stomach pump, my Mom’s utter despair and heartache at watching it all. My precious life and I didn’t give a shit.
    I’m sorry Mom.

    • Forgive yourself. You were full of despair and confusion and trying to obliterate it. Your life is precious and your experience helped you to know that.

  • At the beginning of developing my drinking problem. I took a travel cup full of wine to a PTA meeting where I was an officer. I sucked mints at the same time. What an outstanding member of the community and such a good mom. HA!

    • I’ve done that too, to relieve the stress of people and meetings. I was just you trying to look after yourself the way you knew how at the time. You can learn better ways to take care of yourself now. You’re so worth it.

  • It seems so trivial but when I was really partying hard, I always prioritized cash for drinking over anything else. I have three friends who got married and I never so much as gave them a wedding gift. My money was elsewhere. I have one friend whose wedding I was in, and I didn’t even pay for the bridesmaid dress. My focus was on spending money on the more important things (alcohol). I feel sh!tty to this day about all of it – I mean, what kind of friend doesn’t even give you a gift on your wedding day? Ugggg….

      • Knowing what I do now I often look at the parents in school meetings and wonder “Do you need a drink to get through?” So many parents do – me included. You probably thought you were alone with that travel cup of wine, chances are you probably weren’t. The great thing is that you’re here now and who knows – your experience in the future might just be the help that someone else needs. 🙂

    • Yes – hurts like mad to reflect on moments when I did not behave toward the people I love with integrity – and, love. Might be worth thinking about it as = a reason to be grateful that you have people who love you and want you with them for their weddings – without thought to what more you can give them. We hope for friends who will be with us when we aren’t at our best. Pretty great to have them. The fact that you regret not giving a gift is kind of a big deal – means you are motivated to show your love and respect. Most of us hope to have friends who are motivated that way… And, not at all trivial. Having relationships with integrity means the world….

  • Too many too count. Countless blackouts, most ending up sleeping with someone I did not want to. Sometimes multiple people in the same night. Going crazy from too much booze, punching screaming kicking anyone who crossed my path or tried to help me. Destroying my stuff, destroying and hurting myself anyway I could. being thrown out of parties or friends homes, being left all over town to fend for myself because I had been so wretched to anyone who tried to stop me from drinking. Binging on drugs till the sun came up, sometimes for multiple days at a time, sometimes never sleeping. Calling into work, blowing off all responsibility. Lying to and worse worrying my family. Getting a DUI, completely blacked out. All before I’m 22 realizing alcohol and drugs despite was I thought staring at age 14 are NOT my friends. I’m about a month sober now, changing my life. I came across this blog today and jumped at the chance to anonymously word vomit. Thank you

    • My list of people I’ve slept with under the influence is also long – and embarrassing. I’m in a better place now and am happily married – and I realize I was meant to find my husband! Someone who would understand all of that and look past it because that’s not who I am anymore. You’re going to thrive…THRIVE…and be well!

  • I was arrested for a DUI and my child was in the car. I lost my job and served 30 days in jail. Thankfully, I now have an even better job and am SOBER and my family has forgiven me.

    • Nobody was hurt, you have a good job, and your family has forgiven you! Those are amazing things. Your life is good because you have changed it and will continue to work to keep it that way. Good for you!

  • I was arrested for DWI; I don’t remember driving. Why did I do that? How could I be so fucking careless? It wasn’t just a little drunk either.

    • me too. You are not alone. I even served jail time. The important thing is that we’ve learned from it.

  • oral sex with the ceo of my company – yuk, horrifying. ick. he is married.
    driving while under the influence, yes – with kids in the car. thankfully no one hurt or dui.

    • We’ve all done yucky sexy things while drunk, believe me. But, no one was hurt and the good news is, you/we didn’t contract any STDs. We can forgive ourselves and move forward, maybe even learning and being able to share empathy with someone else who’s beating themselves up for something like this–maybe even a man, who feels shame about hooking up (are there any?)…

  • I continued sleeping with an ex-boyfriend while dating my husband (we weren’t married yet). There was always drinking involved in our relationship. We would get drunk together and sleep together. I got pregnant while sleeping with both men, and can’t be 100% positive that my husband is the father of my child. I told him the truth when I got sober, and we have worked through it, but he is the only one who knows this secret.

    • I think that when we’re drinking, our idea of what’s right and wrong goes out the window, and we fall into “what feels good” or “what’s easiest.” I’m sure that once you quit drinking, you’d never get into the same situations. I’m glad you’re sober now and that your husband is understanding enough to see that as your ‘past’ not your present or your future.

  • YES! Too many. So many. Going out blacked out and waking up next to a man, and then crawling around, naked on his floor, trying to find my nose ring. Inviting MORE THAN ONE cab driver into my apartment, and once, coming up out of my blackout, having my lips around his dick–a complete stranger, mind you. Getting fired from my job and lying to my family (and everyone else), saying the company laid me off. And, writing “layoff” on every fricking job application I fill out now…and having to revisit that lie and that guilt.

    • We all made mistakes while we were drinking. To me, it seems like a different person did some of the things I did because that is not who I am. You are now free to live your life the way that you really want to live it…no need to feel guilty about things you did in the past. Thanks for sharing.

  • So many “confessions” come to mind. One-Passing out under a car in a friend’s driveway-not remembering how. Hitting my head upon waking up. Walking home at 4 am and getting followed by someone I passed. Banging on a stranger’s door and yelling at him (pacing on the other side of the street) to leave me the @& alone. They never answered but he left. I was 16–should have realized back then that alcohol and me don’t mix.

    • That you were 16 and had to face such awful/dangerous situations just breaks my heart. I’m glad you’re here today. Safe and sober and smart.

  • I have such great compassion for that 11 year old child – who despite probably not feeling very brave or courageous, was both. The strength and grace that has brought you here today has been hard earned. I hope that your siblings have found their way –and your mother, as well.

  • Awakening and not knowing the name of the man I have just had sex with used to happen on a fairly regular basis. Blacking out and driving was another fave trick. I could convince anyone I was sober enough to drive even while blacked out. Miracle is that I never hurt anyone (that I know of) while acting this stupidly.

    • Been there-done that. Glad you made it through. Let’s hear it for miracles and moving on to a better/safer life.

  • I had accompany my mother to the Emergency Department of the hospital after she was beaten by her drunken boyfriend. I was 11 years old. She left the drunken boyfriend at home with my siblings. She was sure he wouldn’t hurt them, he was only interested in hurting her.

    • Decisions made by our parents and those they associate with are not ours to hold and agonize over. We were kids and had little or no say in what happened to us during those times. I’m glad he didn’t hurt you and very sorry that you had to witness it at such a young age.

  • I lost track of time and missed the last bus home, so I and slept outside on a park bench until the first bus was running again in the morning. It was cold but I didn’t really feel it.

    • I am glad that you did not get attacked or bothered and you ended up being safe.
      sorry that you slept on that bench.