anonymous confession booth: things we can’t control

step right up. for one day only, i’m creating an anonymous sober confession booth on the subject of “things we can’t control”.

I want to focus on things we need to let go of. Like crazy in-laws, compulsive behaviours, and those people you are forced to visit where you’re afraid to eat in their homes because you’re not sure if you’ll get food poisoning or not. “I just scraped off the mould, they say.”

This came to me because of a one-on-one call i had with a sober penpal this week. We are all carrying around this backpack of rocks of things we just need to let go of.

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 stop in your life, some weight you’ve been carrying around, that being sober is going to help you let go of. For example, i’ll make one up: “I’d like to step out of the way of my crazy MIL and just recognize that she’s a flawed human and it’s my job to remove myself from her reach.” OR “I have been a compulsive laundry freak, the clothes I wore today must be clean and folded every night when I go to bed. Now that i’m sober I’m going to let that go. I don’t need to be in control of my laundry anymore. I’m going to let it go.”

  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 a backpack of rocks that we’d like to put down, right? What’s in your backpack?

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

  • Stopping drinking has taken away the soul-crushing shame and self-loathing (yes, loathing) I felt about myself which I thought was all about my weight, but now I realize must have been rooted in the depressive qualities of drinking. I am realizing some healing “truths” that are gently flowing into every area of my life: that I am not in control of everything, so chill out; that it is ok to “be a turtle” and retreat in my shell if I feel the need for some quiet, reflective time; and that I am indeed the captain of my ship, which use to frighten me but now is liberating.

  • I just want to say that I am happy. So happy to have no more guilt. I was so tired of feeling tired. Never feeling good enough to snuggle very long with my kids, or go for that longer walk with my dogs, or actually listen, really listen, to my preteen talk about all her middle school drama. I was so tired of making excuses about why I needed a nap or why I changed my mind about going out for an adventure, on the weekend or why I seemed grumpy to my teenage son. I was so tired of wondering if I said something rude the night before while we were all out, or feeling like a horrible person for driving myself home. I could have killed someone. Why couldn’t I get it together? What if I crashed my car? My kids would have no mother. Or worse, a mother in prison for killing someone else’s mother/ brother/ child, etc. Guilt..Guilt..Guilt..

    I honestly hoped that not drinking would suddenly make me look ten years younger, give me tons of energy, get me to lose ten pounds and help me feel energized enough to exercise twice a day, but it hasn’t. Which is a bummer. But you know what? I feel free. Free from guilt. I can even take a nap simply because I am tired and not feel guilty about it. I didn’t drink myself sick. I am just tired. And I don’t feel guilty when I wake up. I don’t have to apologize to my kids when I wake up. I just wake up and say hello, I love you. No guilt. Amazing. I am on day 46.

    • That is so ME! I could have written the above comment. How is it possible that we are all so damn much alike? It’s just amazing to me–still! It is a life of guilt! And we do things to get by and don’t think about that they could have those awful consequences—our kids injured/death, our own injury/death, spouse…prison. OMG! So true. Thank you for spelling it out. I too hoped that I would look so much younger, feel energized etc. BUT yes FREE it is freeing! I don’t have to worry about what I did that I don’t fucking remember! The blackouts, the sickness and no booze smell. Love it, love it!! On day 43!

  • I drank to wash away how much I dislike my appearance, specifically the color of my skin. I believe it is very well the reason why strangers give me nasty looks, especially women. Racism exists, I see that now more than ever. 155+ days sober, I just want to let that pain go.

  • I’m learning to say ‘no’. Now I just need to stop worrying about what people think when I say it. Spending time pontificating about what other people think is pointless… and if they are truly judging me well f*** them. Easily said.. but so many feelings to sit in in the process.

  • And what a perfect quote after posting the above that just appeared in my inbox: “The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.”

    ― Bob Moawad