anonymous confession booth: things we wish we could say

step right up. for one day only, i’m creating an anonymous sober confession booth.

I want to focus on things we wish we could say. Like things you would like to admit but you don’t have anyone you can tell. Sex things, relationship things, guilt things, kid things. Drinking things. Fear things.

This came to me because of a one-on-one call i had with A. earlier this week (thanks!). We all have things that we feel we can’t tell anyone.

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 tell someone, or something you’d like to admit. For example, i’ll make one up: “Because my brother was sick when i was a child, i never got enough attention.” OR “I like one of my children more than the others.” OR “I want to tell my mother that I’m sober so she could stop worrying about me, but I can’t bring myself to do it yet.”

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

i have a feeling that this will unfold in a lovely way. because you’re all lovely people. and we all feel tongue-tied sometimes. What would you say if you could?

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

  • I wish I could go back in time and change my children’s growing up years. Making promises and not keeping them.
    Talking on the phone to colleagues and friends letting them know what I thought and not remembering the calls or what was said. Day 88 and feel ashamed.

    • a tiny bit of apology goes a long way. kids love their parents. even when. even if. so you saying “i screwed that small part up, but from now on it’ll be better” – that will be huge.

  • I wish I would have broke up with my first boyfriend when we were dating after finding out he cheated on me. Instead I was so insecure I married him and ended up cheating on him (repeatedly) after having my two kids with him, I eventually left him because I did not love him. I just feel so guilty for putting my kids through that and I carry that with me.

  • I don’t really enjoy having intimate relations with my husband even though my husband has been my best friend for a long time. He spends all his time on the computer playing video games, often being oblivious to myself and young son. I honestly don’t know if my marriage will survive me getting sober and working on myself.
    Love, S

  • I used to regularly stop at the bar for 2-3 drinks BEFORE picking up my child from daycare.

    We walked home but I’m sure I smelled like booze to his teachers. When I think about that it makes me sad and embarrassed.

    • I understand how you feel, my aunt used to watch my son and she claims she didn’t know that I had a drinking problem but I really don’t know how that is possible. I had to have smelled like booze. I still carry guilt about this so I am working on forgiving myself.

  • I did not know where my kids were at an event. Thankfully, a family member took care of them. I have no memory of what happened.

    • So many embarrassing events are amped up because of booze. A lot of parents loose their little ones at big events. It doesn’t make it better, but it happens. The alcohol adds another level of shame, but look at you!! You’ve done something about it!! That’s impressive, not everyone can say they have taken action to change things once they made a mistake. Focus on the positive change you are aiming for as a result of that incident:)

  • I feel moments of trauma when the drinking memories, especially ones of the recent downward spiral of loss of control starts replaying. Thee is no room for fucking around anymore. I could drink an ocean of booze and it ever be enough. I choose either life or death. That’s it.

  • I’m no longer in love with you, haven’t been for several years, scared to be on my own, so I fake it. The wine numbed me, I’m not numb anymore. I want happiness.

  • Your challenge did not help me. In fact made it worse. I have complex PTSD and now that I am dealing with this, the drinking as a means to escape emotional flashbacks has disappeared. Please, Belle, be considerate that this may be the case with many drinkers. Alcohol and drug abuse affects 50-65% of folks with CPTSD and PTSD.

  • I yelled and grabbed my kids because I was a boozer, depressed and hated who I became. I took it out on them, I hate that memory.

    • clarifying my post . . .The challenge didn’t help me, but I still follow you and find solace in a lot (not all) of your posts as well as feeling great empathy for all on this path.

      Love and Light and Healing to all of us who want, need and desire it..

  • I would say that I have been sexually assaulted at least five times when I’ve been really drunk. There is a period in my life that I don’t remember much of but I do remember that I was homeless for a time and stayed in a bug infested hotel. I have never told anyone I know about this period in my life.

  • While drinking I cheated on my husband with someone I don’t even care about…I played mean tricks on friends, vomited in public, things I would never do sober. I am still ashamed of these things and more but mostly it makes me grateful for being sober. The more I am sober the more embarrassing or shameful memories come up and I am glad I am no longer in that place.

  • I don’t think my husband loves me anymore. I’ve caused him too much pain and suffering. Now he is paying me back. His face is painful when I try to kiss him. He no longer looks at me like he used to. I wish I could tell him to just leave but I can’t because I need the financial support. I told myself for years I would never rely on a man for financial reasons and I have slipped and do so now. But the children create a whole new reason to stay.

  • A few days ago I realized that my wife is an addict. Everyone has told me so for years but as an alcoholic myself I’m a little too good at making things all about me. I know I’m screwed up but to explain her problem to her just makes me more of an ass

    • Everyone’s marital dynamic is different. From my perspective, my husband and I drank together daily for over 20 years. We both wanted to stop many, many times…but I guess one or the other wasn’t really ready. When I finally decided to commit to the 100 day challenge, for once I put aside the idea that we both had to do it in order for me to do it. After 2 days, and an embarrassing episode where he had been drinking and wrongly chastised our adult son, he joined me, (before, I was always the “crazy maker” but this time, no. I was sober and sane), We are still sober together. Perhaps if your wife sees you committed to making yourself better without pressuring her, she will see herself that she needs to change…On the other hand, I also think genuine honesty changes hearts if you are coming from a place of loving her. Tell her you’ve been an ass, you can see your part and you are committed to changing…would she want to help you, or join you? It is huge you’ve seen this and I wish you & your wife all the best.

  • 34 years married to another heavy drinker. He won’t stop. I’m 25 days in, supported by a friend I feel more for than I should. I need to find a way to stay with the love of my life and father of my kids and let these feelings go. On top of staying sober, that’s pretty hard.

  • I never get involved with the site but read the emails daily. I’ve hit 8 months of sobriety on hopefully my last attempt. I ruined my overall previously good life with 4 years of deep alcoholism so much so that I am still digging out of some pretty embarrassing things. Mostly I miss the memories that I don’t have because they are permanently gone into the fog of drinking. I missed 4 years of my child’s life. But regret is over as there is nothing I can do now but push forward each day, wait for my wolf email, and not drink. My biggest anonymous issue is that I still feel so awkward when people talk about drinking and go out after work, and I immediately feel the urge to make an excuse of some sort that I don’t drink. It would be so much easier to just say I’ve never had a sip of alcohol (and am thus, innocent) than the reality that I’ve had more to drink in 4 years than 10 “normal” people drink in their entire lives, combined. Waiting for the guilt, shame, dispare, and uneasiness to end – but am doing so sober.

    • I admire you greatly for what you have done and continue to do. The weird thing is that normal drinkers really don’t care about who drinks what or how much. They don’t even notice. When the time comes that you can go out and sip happily on a coke, you will know. The guilt and the shame will definitely ease but it may take time, maybe even a lot of time. What is important is that you are no longer doing anything to be ashamed of.

  • I gave myself away, a lot, when I was younger. I thought that’s all anyone wanted of me. Sex is loaded with guilt and shame. Most of the time, I don’t want sex. Which is causing problems in my long-time marriage. I care about my partner, but I am all fucked up about a sexual relationship.

    • I gave myself away a lot, when I was old enough to know better. But I was drunk and just got carried away. I was happily married at the time – still luckily, thankfully am – but I cringe to think of the betrayal to him and downright danger to ME. 6 months plus sober now. Hasn’t happened in a long time, but I do carry shame and guilt around about this.

    • I did that too. I know now it was all about needing to feel loved. You are lovable and deserve to be happy. I hope your partner can help ease you into a loving sexual relationship.

    • I gave myself away a lot too in my younger years, I thought it was what I wanted. I stopped but only after making a wreck of a relationship and loosing myself and my self worth in the process. The constant in my sabotaging behaviour and guilt was alcohol.
      But I see now that I treated sex, like I treated cigarettes, like I treated alcohol – no moderation mode, no happy medium.
      So it is all very quiet here, but I think now I am sober that perhaps I could meet someone, but I am terrified of that all consuming side of my nature.

  • I would leave my relationship but i am terrified of being alone. You can say you’ll be fine but I have been alone before and with no family to count on and friends generally being fair weather folk, I know I will never leave. As a young girl on the brink of being homeless and desperate to survive I did some unthinkable things. I have no children but had an option… more than once. It’s so far away deep down in my heart but being sober forces me to consider forgiving myself …. It was my choice and belief that I would not allow my painful experiences and loveless relationships to be inherited. I chose to end the cycle and bury my mothers and grandmothers and great grandmothers demons. Some hurts go so deep they change who you ever were.

  • I hid behind my wine glass and was gradually stopping social events, friendships and opportunities. I was in a booze coma for my 30’s and have missed out on a lot of living…. but I am 400+ days away from that half life and I am going to keep moving forward…

  • Since my dad was an alcoholic and never around, and I was the oldest of three, I felt pushed aside a lot. I slept the majority of my younger childhood years away, and don’t have any real happy memories.

  • I really like being sober but I am having a hard time accepting it into my heart and question whether I truly want continuous sobriety.

    • I value your honesty and hope I can be motivated by this reality too, to revisit all the bleak moments from drinking and all that occured while under the influence that propelled this break in the first place.

    • I have felt this way too… Just focus on today and maybe make a list of the pros and cons of staying sober. It helps keep things in perspective. Thanks for being so honest, hugs!

  • I don’t desire my partner. I don’t like sex. I’m not sure if I even like him. I certainly don’t respect him. I believe that I will never have another relationship because I’m too old so I don’t leave him. I don’t want to be on my own. I DO feel tenderness for him because he is sensitive and easily hurt. All the problems in our relationship are glaringly obvious now that I am sober.

  • I never thought I would become addicted to alcohol. I grew up with both parents and step parents deep in addiction, and I was sure I would keep myself from ever doing what they did. I didn’t begin drinking until I was 40. I will be 44 in a month, and I want it to be sober.

    • It happened to me the same way. The stuff is very, very addictive and there is a strong genetic component. You wouldn’t blame yourself for being short, or tall, like your parents, you would only make the best of it. You can do that now.

    • I totally hear you. I grew up with an alcoholic grandfather that died from his addiction. Growing up I worried about it and here I am struggling to stay sober. You can do this!! 🙂

  • I’ve been unhappy in my marriage for so many years but just never do anything about it. Nowhere to go, and now that I don’t drink it’s even more apparent. I miss laughter.

  • Reply 2 – your husband sounds like my father. My mother hit us when she was really tired and frustrated. I promise you I have forgiven her. All the love and communication since means I don’t even think about it. There is really good chance your grown children feel the same way now. And if they don’t, communication and honesty can often repair things if they are open to it.

  • I wish I could have tried to be wise, not thinking I needed things so I would steal then the drinking stepped right in. Bang!

  • Married to an extremely difficult man who ignored his children, I had to be both parents. I sometimes hit them in frustration when they misbehaved as children. It eats at me to this day, 30 years later.

  • I have so much to say I could not do so in two or three sentences but just the thought of what I want to say has made me cry – love your site xx

    • As a child from a troubled marriage it would change my whole life to know my mother even noticed or cared or even thought about it. I would try to tell them if you can, so much gets lost and whether it’s a deep conversation, comment or loving apology I’m sure it would go such a long way.