anonymous confession booth: things we can’t control

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scroll down to read through everything. do you see yourself in here?

hugs, belle



a lighthouse helps shine a light on dark waters. helps your orient yourself. keep you from crashing.

Lighthouse 7
acrylic on wrapped canvas
sides are painted BLACK so it does not need to be framed.

art by mr.belle.
hugs, me and him


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 want to let go of the grief & fear, which prevents me from being available to the possibility of new experiences, connections, joy & love. I’ve lost a lot in my life e.g., people of importance who are no longer here; goals, ideals, aspirations, and dreams for my life; and self-worth. Alcohol is behind &/or has kept me locked in the grief of these losses. Now that I’m sober I no longer ruminate over what was or what might have been, yet I seem to have a fear that if I create positive & desirable things in myself & my life, that these too may be taken from me. I want to be less risk averse & let go of that irrational fear, which immobilises me from fully moving forward with & grasping life!

  • I want to let go of worrying about what people think. Especially when I don’t know what to do and worry about looking stupid.

    • know exactly what you mean… what are they gonna think?? did I do sth bad? (saw sth recently that I really loved… it went like:*the difference between your opinion and coffee is that I actually ASKED for the coffee’😀think I’m gonna print it on a t-shirt ✌️

  • I’d like to let go of the pressure of what other people of think of me.
    More accurately, I’d like to let go of what I imagine other people are thinking of my decisions on a daily basis.
    I realize that most people aren’t thinking of me nearly as much as I imagine they are(!), but I imagine a different life and trajectory if I don’t feel so judged.

    • This is so me too! I try to let go of stuff like this but it is hard. It gets to the point where I don’t want to socialize cause I feel like “enter worse case scenario” will happen. It’s so exhausting!

    • This is exactly what I’m feeling today! What part is my intuition and what is just paranoia? And why do I obsess, when in reality, people probably aren’t thinking much about me at all?! 😳😕

  • I have been thinking for 2 days about what I continue to regret. I have worked hard to deal with the past resentments and sources of anger. I am in a divorce from a black out alcoholic with all of the negative behaviors you would like to imagine with them only recently involving physical threatening. So, I will be so much better off. I don’t regret the marriage–I understand that. But, I regret the control I gradually ceded over time. If he complained long enough about something (like the coffee maker, my working in Wash DC, and so forth, I would just concede. That is a lot of ground given up over 30 years. Now as I look forward to making ALL the decisions in my future I am astonished at how much I tolerated. I am sober 875 days. My sobriety likely was what through our “family system” into its spiral. That and covid, his 102 year old mother moving in, his toxic and selfish family, and so forth. I look forward: sober and free.

  • I am letting go of the guilt. Ten years ago, I worked as an ER nurse. My shift ended, I went home, drank wine. Around midnight there was a text to all staff asking for more people to come in as multiple gunshot wounds were coming in. I saw the text, figured it was the gang activity I had heard as I left work, realized I’d been drinking so I couldn’t work anyways. Went back to sleep since I had to be back at work in 8 hours. In the morning, I saw the news that there had been a mass shooting with 19 dead and more than 50 people injured. Almost all the victims went to my ER. I couldn’t help because I was drunk.
    I do realize how illogical this feeling is. I didn’t know what was happening… drinking or not, I probably still would have gone back to sleep. But it sickens me to think that I *couldn’t* help because I’d been drinking, that wine robbed me of the choice. Would it have made a difference? Would I have been able to help my team, my community, even one person that night? I’d like to let this go.

  • I want to let go of trying to get EVERYTHING done right now! Since my husband died in April, I’ve been a whirlwind of productivity and it helps the loneliness but is exhausting.

  • I am letting go of taking care of everyone else. It is time for me to SAVE MYSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I’d like to let go of thinking I’m so special that I can’t be athletic and that I can’t make a lot of money. That I will always be awful at sports I attempt to do and will always only make a pittance.

  • I need to give up the idea that I have to give myself over sexually to someone for them to care for me. No more “impressing” men with how giving I am. That “all for you” BS robs me of my true worth, minimizes me to an object. Sober me knows better

    • I hear you! I’m currently 10 months sober and recently had the very same thought. Revelation, really. I’m in my mid-40s & have been sexually actively since 17 and realise I was always more comfortable making it about them (the men/my partner at the time) & their pleasure. Didn’t want to use condoms because I didn’t want to reduce THEIR sensation (so I altered my hormones through the contraceptive pill & didn’t guard against STIs instead); was more comfortable giving than receiving oral sex etc etc. I’m divorced, single & celibate at the moment… because I vowed to give myself at least the first year of sobriety to focus on me , but if/when I do start dating again, I will no longer make it, or let it be, all about the man. My needs, sexual & otherwise, are going to be equally valued & catered to. Good luck with your liberation! We deserve more. If we are not given it, we need to ask for it. And when we are given it, we need to value ourselves enough to accept it.

  • I want to let go of the anger and frustration l feel at myself for allowing my bad tempered violent mother control and almost destroy my life. I can’t forgive myself for being so frightened of her even as an adult when the actual physical blows of childhood became assault with words, gaslighting and haranguing me. I am furious with myself.

  • I want to let go of all that is happening in politics. There is little I can do to control it but vote.

  • I need to let go of relationships with damaged men that are clearly non-starters and realise that I deserve better than someone who is ambivalent about me.

  • I need to let go of my shame over my life looking nothing like I thought it would or feel it “should” by this point. I don’t have a stable or successful career and I feel like such a failure that I let it consume me entirely as a person.

  • I am letting go of acting based others expectations of me. When friends are disappointed because I am not drinking, it doesn’t matter I am going to stay in my lane.

    • Yes! I feel this. I’ve been working on this myself over the last few years—it’s so wonderfully freeing when I allow myself to be me. I’m cheering for you.

  • I need to let go of the pressure to always show-up perfectly coiffed, with interesting things to say, with work and home all done and managed. To let go of the fear of being messy.

    • Yep! We get to be a human among humans in sobriety. Who knew we could let ourselves be just like everyone else? Cheering for you.

  • I need to let go of my frustration/anger/rage at my MIL who lives with me and annoys me literally all day long because she has perfected the art of being a victim in life. She refuses to do anything on her own or for herself (although perfectly capable), refuses to oblige my basic household requests, and I feel suffocated constantly in my own home and have no privacy except in my bedroom. And also my husband who is so afraid of hurting his poor mothers feelings that he refuses to do anything about it and has told me as much. I am 13 months sober and have not figured out how to let this go and it is threatening my sobriety. Help, please.

    • More tools… more tools.. more tools. You cannot change her but thinking about drinking at her won’t help keep you being the amazing human you are! 13 months is SO awesome!

    • I have one of those as well!!!! I go out. I spend a lot of time in my bedroom. I watch a great Netflix series or read a good book. I consider my bedroom my escape room – ha ha!!! You GOT this!!! Treat yourself to a manicure/pedicure. Extra TREATS!!!!!

    • I have no easy solution for you in terms of how to deal with you MIL and a husband who is putting his mother’s needs before his life partner’s needs, other than to say it is essential for both your sanity and your marriage to find a workable alternative. However what I would really like to stress is that if you let this situation, and your MIL in particular, be the reason you start drinking again, you are handing over your power to her (and your husband). Do not let them be the reason you start drinking again. You are in control of you, and your sobriety is your magic power. Please hold on to that little piece of magic in your life because it will lead to a better outcome. You have to believe it. Take care. 🤗

  • I want to stop saying to myself that I am bad at interviews as it seems to be a self fulfilling prophecy that I screw them up most times.

    • It could be!! Words are powerful! Have you read “the 4 agreements”? I recommend it. First agreement is about be impeccable with your word. Try to remember that the companies liked what they saw on your resume and you are just reinforcing that it reflects your strengths

  • I want to stop letting my guilt of relapsing. I am back on track on using more tools than ever to quit permanently. I wish the people in my life believed in me, but I can’t make them. I can only believe in myself.

    • That’s right. Belief comes inside first. And once we have more time under our belts, we become more reliable, more accountable, more trustworthy, and some people begin to see that. Good on you for getting back on the horse. I believe in you. Keep going!

    • Yes! Stop looking backwards, you’re not headed in that direction. You’re on the right track, keep facing and moving forward. You’ve got this!!

    • You absolutely can do this. Every time you quit for any length of time, you show yourself the truth of your ability to do what will make you feel better. I have a range of private tricks that I’ve picked up from Belle and other sources. Some I invented. They make me look forward to the morning after another evening of successfully not drinking. The fact that only I know about them keeps this as a deal with just myself; my quitting efforts are strictly for me, by me. What anybody else thinks is their problem. I keep using these tactics so long as they work and adding to them. Make this a secret project and be in cahoots with yourself!

    • Yes, I experience this as well. It’s my responsibility to stay on track and believe in myself. I think I’ve started over so many times that no one believes me

  • I need to let go of the anxiety that I’m dying on a semi- regular basis. Because I’ve been an over drinker for Many years, I think I’m going to be punished by God…something physically bad happening to me… ie,. Heart attack, liver failure, stroke, kidney failure, aneurism…. it stresses me out to the point I have to go to the ER to then be told I’m fine.. completely relieved by the news…. I can continue to “ over drink” until the panic happens all over again… I’m so tired of this nonsense!!

    • That sounds so hard. But, know that as soon as you stop drinking your body will begin to repair itself. Why don’t you do a challenge? And, you can see how you feel during that time – and maybe realize that drinking is not doing the things you hoped it was.

    • This is me! I’m so worried about my health. I have high blood pressure, and I know overdrinking isn’t good. My doctor said that’s a bigger risk than liver damage and all of the other stuff. I want to stop drinking. I stopped for 100 days, and my health was so much better! No more pounding heart.

    • I have these same worries, and let me tell you that quitting alcohol has alleviated a lot of that stress, because I’m not feeding the anxiety loop anymore. Push yourself through the first few weeks and you will start to see and feel the light. I promise it is better, much better. (day 71)

  • I’d like to let go of worrying about my anxiety as it prevents me from living fully. I’m afraid to do things when my anxiety is at its peak.. Then I get nervous to do things because then what if I have an anxiety attack. I want freedom from my anxiety. If today was my last day on earth, I surely would not care about my anxiety.

    • Can you reframe anxiety? It activates the same neural networks as excitement? Also, baby steps. As a practice/experiment, I try to do things that make me nervous, but only slightly (like wearing something I wouldn’t normally) as a habit builder/experiment to see what happens. Guess what, nothing bad happens. We can’t control the world, but we can begin to see ourselves in a different light.

    • I love your last sentence. When I get really anxious about my situation, I find it helps to look at a picture of the galaxy and take comfort in my own insignificance.

  • I wish that I could let go of the fear I have of leaving my day job and pursuing what I believe to be my life purpose, making art and music. There are so many days where I feel as if I’m watching my life from the sidelines instead of having courage, conviction, and discipline to fully commit to being primarily a creative.

    • You don’t have to do it all at once. Make a list of small steps that you can do each day. Talk to someone who has done what you want to do, practice your art/music, make a business plan. Grand plans start one bit at a time, never giving up.

  • I want to stop showing up everywhere 20 min early because of anxiety. People praise me for being on time but it’s fueled by worry and fear that I’m not good enough. I’d like to relax AND not teach it to my kids.

    • Wow… I’ve never thought of this.. I’ve been late for everything my whole life… I cram too much in at the last minute… I’d love your trait…. And you definitely are good enough…. That’s just Wolfe talking!

      • Hear hear! I was struck Buy a comment in Michelle Obama‘s book becoming. Her father had an illness which limited his walking capacity and they had to arrive everywhere early so that they could get a parking place close to the entrance. This built in her the habit of being early. Since recently reading the book one of my ambitions is to actually be early rather than just turning up just on time with the associated overwhelm!! So well done you 👏

    • I can relate. I do the same thing and now my daughter feels pressure to always be on time. I’m trying to not stress about it anymore, but it is difficult. Hugs.

    • Whenever I am worried about being late to something, I try to remember a time that I was running late – did anything bad happen? Or, try not being early as an “experiment”, I think by reframing it that helps.

    • Yes- this is not a bad habit in my opinion, except that you’re judging it. Relax into it, bring a book, and know people appreciate it. At least I would. 🙂

  • I need to let go of the anger and sadness of how I was treated at work that led to complete burnout, and the accompanying feeling of being absolutely alone. I’m not alone, and I’m not responsible for how others treated me. I don’t need to carry around blame for not getting myself out of that situation, I did the best I could at the time.

    • You know that many human beings are just selfish and horrible! No one is perfect.. it’s just the over drinking starting to beat us up overtime.. I believe when we actually start to care about ourselves.. it’s time to finally stop drinking.. all those years before we never really cared anyway.. alcohol was first place! Your wonderful with flaws! We all have them!

    • You know what? You learned from it and you won’t let that sh*t happen again! Just remember that you are more important than your job and that it doesn’t define you. Sending you many hugs and I’m proud of you!

    • Those are normal human feelings, that you are allowed to have. Give yourself grace and know that so many people feel that way. It’s ok and you’re ok.

    • I am in the same boat. I need to get rid of anger regarding work issues specifically how my boss has treated me and how my sister moved to another state without saying goodbye. I need to reduce my anxiety in general. I have noticed drinking just makes me more anxious

  • I need to let go of always having to be right and being the smartest person in the room. Clearly, I am not, but it doesn’t stop me from trying.

      • OMG.. I never even realized it was all about me ALL the time.. I’m really trying to work on this! Thnx for reminding me!

    • I have that need to be right, too. I think it’s really a need to be heard, to be understood, to be validated as smart, or interesting, or just having value. What I really need is to give that to myself.

  • I want to let go of my shame and guilt. I had one relationship outside of my marriage many years ago….poured wine down my throat for over 30 years….had another relationship……couldn’t stand to look at my face in the mirror anymore. Somehow it all has remained a sick secret. Finally quit and am now sober and faithful…still hating myself most days. Slowly climbing out of the hole I dug for myself. Forgiveness doesn’t seem possible.

    • I am proud of your honesty and dedication to getting better. You had the strength to get out of the hole. Hopefully you can find the strength to forgive yourself. No one is perfect. Hugs.

    • Alcohol makes us do things we’d NEVER do as a human.. it’s the great eraser.. it erases everything good and wise and responsible… don’t beat yourself up… you’re human..,and you’re NOT alone!

    • Sending you love and light as you “climb” out. Sober and free is the path. Virtual hug!!!

  • It’s not the hurtful, hateful things my husband, his mother, sister in law & my sister said over the years, it’s the way I reacted to them that I must let go.

    • Gold fish are the happiest animals on earth – they have a 20 second memory… be a gold fish ~ Ted Lasso
      Not always easy but a sweet goal to consider.

      • You put a smile on my face! Didn’t think it was possible today 🙂. I will try your advice

  • I need to let go of the feeling that other people’s emotions are my job to try to manage and control. The negative emotions of others belong to them. The negative emotions of other people does not automatically mean that abandonment or abuse is what will happen next. I am no longer a child and I have a say in what happens in my life and who can remain in it.

  • I’d like to let go of the shame of a relationship I shouldn’t have had while married. It’s THE THING that I have been trying to drown with alcohol.

    • We have to let go of the past and the mistakes we made. Today is a new day. Do something kind for yourself and for someone else.