This topic contains 70 replies, has 55 voices, and was last updated by
October 7, 2015 at 6:32 am #1911Keymaster
Total Truth Process: This thread is a great opportunity for you to begin to forgive yourself and others. Just reply with whatever details you feel comfortable. You will find it freeing to share with others. Of course we recommend you leave out or change any specific details regarding other individuals.
January 27, 2016 at 11:22 am #6010Participant
Total truth process – self
I’m angry that I have wasted so many precious opportunities by not being fully there.
I hate it when I can’t fight the urge to drink.
I’m fed up with the toll it has taken on my relationships, health, lack of follow through on my purpose.
I resent that I far too often opt for what I think will provide an escape from sadness or other negative emotions in the moment instead of what will create a life that I truly love and don’t feel the need to escape from or numb out to.
It hurt me when I realized I’m not in control of my drinking.
I feel hurt that I haven’t cared enough about myself to take control.
I felt sad when I squandered opportunities to be a good role model to my children, or truly connect with them, my spouse, friends and people I could have helped.
I feel disappointed about the damage I’ve done to my body, my brain and all of the good work I could have done with more energy and focus if I wasn’t drinking excessively.
I was afraid that I couldn’t get over my insecurities and socialize without alcohol or face my fears, failures, hurts and feelings totally sober.
I get afraid of [myself] when I look in the mirror and see a sad stranger and not the version of me that can make a positive impact and help others.
I feel scared when I think about how my life, and the lives of those I care about, will turn out if I don’t change my actions.
I’m afraid that I’m not strong enough or good enough to change.
I’m sorry that I have not been a good steward of all the gifts I have been given.
I’m sorry for allowing alcohol to take such a large role in my life.
Please forgive me for not taking control sooner.
I didn’t mean to waste all the gifts and opportunities I’ve been blessed with.
All I ever wanted was to love and be loved.
I wanted to help make the world better.
I want [me] to tackle this once and for all and have the positive impact in the world that is my purpose.
I want freedom.
I deserve a joyful life full of contribution.
I understand that I was scared and hurting.
I forgive [me] for drinking too much.
I appreciate that I am trying to make it right now.
Thank you for trying.
I love you for doing this.
February 5, 2016 at 10:39 am #6772Participant
Thank you for saying all of this for me….
February 5, 2016 at 3:21 pm #6775Participant
Wow, I feel like that’s what I should have written. I went through the exercise and thought “this is bullshit” I struggled to find someone to forgive…I forced myself to write a forgiveness that made me feel petty.
February 24, 2016 at 11:18 am #7612Participant
I appreciate those words they really helped me to see that the first person I need to work on forgiving is myself. Thank you
March 7, 2016 at 6:45 pm #8151Participant
Wow! You nailed it! I feel like you are writing my story. Thank you. I’m going to do it this time.
March 7, 2016 at 8:34 am #8140Participant
This was excellent. Thank you for sharing.
March 23, 2016 at 2:44 pm #8771Participant
Thank you for expressing what I could not.
November 19, 2016 at 7:28 pm #15100Participant
Thank you…This is what I needed to say and didn’t know how to say it. It sure is encouraging to know there are people who feel the same way xo
December 16, 2016 at 1:36 pm #15321Participant
Yup that pretty much nailed it.
February 25, 2017 at 3:14 am #16567Participant
Thank you for that, I did my exercise using your outline and it was great. so much appreciation
January 29, 2016 at 9:39 pm #6125Participant
What if . . .
What if I’m having trouble with the owning the part in letting it occur/continue and the understanding where the other person is coming from?
Owning — yes, some of the trouble has been from my drinking. But the stuff that I’m angry/hurt/resentful about started long before my drinking got out of hand. I’ve let it continue by staying with that relationship.
Understanding — that person has been involved in therapy almost as long as our relationship. I understand that the stuff comes from family-of-origin behaviors. I’m having trouble being forgiving that greater changes have not occurred, given the amount of therapy that this person has been to.
January 31, 2016 at 9:16 am #6349Participant
I’m ready to love the person in the mirror again. Not waking up everyday angry and mad that I once again over indulged for no reason at all. I want to forgive my Dad. He was an amazing man who passed away almost three years ago. He was an alcoholic and I resent that I made life decisions based on his opinion – while he was 3 sheets to the wind. I have to forgive him for that. And I have used alcohol to push away and cover up all my feelings of failure. No more. I have found my answer to help me every day for 30 days to change and be my true self. Thank you.
January 31, 2016 at 6:00 pm #6390Participant
I’ve done a great number of courses and read hundreds of books, looking for the answer. I have to say that Day 4 was the hardest for me. I had taken my mother out to dinner before doing the work. I was never so present to her self loathing and critical judgment of others. I have been very upbeat and positive since starting my sobriety (three weeks today!), but I could not wait to get away from her. On the way home I became more and more depressed, and actually thought about stopping for a drink. I didn’t. I worked on Day 4 until 2:30am. I was stunned at the level of hatred and resentment I had towards my mom. My sisters and I were taught that it didn’t matter how you felt on the inside, it was the appearance on the outside of a perfect life that mattered. Prefect House, family, job, dinners, husbands, decor etc… Screw how you feel! I realized that I have trying to live the perfect life according to mom, and to my great detriment. I understand that she was doing what she thought right, but I am taking a break from mom. My sobriety is more important right now. I love her, and absolutely forgive her, but I am taking a break, and risking not being the perfect daughter.
April 1, 2016 at 9:37 am #9094Participant
This is so familiar. I went through, and continue to do, similar issue with my mother. Negative, judgmental, etc. It is depressing to be around people like that, even if they are our parents who we love so deeply. It’s normal to be depressed after spending time with them. Growing up and into adulthood it was never acceptable for me to attribute my feeling to her behavior. Somehow I was supposed to feel good about her feeling so bad?! Only by creating emotional space and giving myself the emotional freedom not to get sucked into her negativity am I able to move forward, increasingly with love, forgiveness and compassion for her and the reasons she is stuck in that way of thinking and feeling.
April 26, 2016 at 1:14 pm #10244Participant
Same here with my mother! I’m noticing a pattern…..
December 16, 2016 at 3:18 pm #15322Participant
Here is my letter to my mother:
I hate it when you respond to me only on the level of judgement and fear. When you are so negative. I’m fed up with you badgering my dad and complaining about having to take care of him. (Isn’t that what you two signed up for when you were married. To care for each other in sickness and health?) I resent that you attempt to impose upon me your insecurity about what others think.
It hurt me when I asked you what you think I am good at and you could not come up with anything except ignoring reality. I felt sad when you wrote that that my dad agreed with you – although I doubt he would have sent that email right after my husband posted that gut wrenching, heart breaking letter on facebook about how he had to leave me because I, the love of his life and best friend, had been acting and smelling like the worst drunk ever. Talk about hitting someone when they’re down.
I am afraid that I will find it necessary to cut off communication with you. I’m concerned I might go off and get suicidal which is why I don’t listen to the news either.
Please forgive me for allowing things to get to the point that they did, where he was pushed to make publicize your daughter’s problems with alcohol. I am sorry that I did not communicate better, work things out better with my husband so this thing did not have to get out there. I am so sorry for all of the embarrassment it has caused you. I certainly didn’t mean to drag everyone into this.
I wanted to finish this program up here staying with my friend, away from him (he scored a 3 on day 27) and that trip to Europe intervened and when he picked me up at the airport and I had a beer or five–I was on lesson 29, NOT being a drunk, had already abstained for more than 30 days but I hadn’t waited to find out in lesson 30 whether or not I could drink “normally”. So he doesn’t know all that stuff he just said hey she’s sitting up there at her friend’s getting plastered and he just drove me back up there to sort it out. He wouldn’t have heard any explanation like the one above. So I didn’t even bother. I deserve better treatment from my mother I thought, when I got right on the horse and set out to finish the program, getting excited about finding my life’s purpose, and I ask you what you think I am good at I deserve to have a well thought out answer and not some clever quip that probably made you snicker. Right.
I appreciate that you were concerned that my husband would try to steal my condo, clean out my bank account or whatever you thought–that I was not terrified and making moves to transfer assets to the Caymans or who knows…What WERE you thinking I should have been doing ANYWAY??? But seriously thank you for your concern. I forgive you for nearly pushing me over the edge by your remarks. But I nonetheless just lowered your score from 6 to 5 in lesson 27.
February 2, 2016 at 7:19 am #6564Participant
I want to live. I want to remember. Ive been blacked out most every evening for years. Embarrased pretending l know what my wife talked to me about. If I dont stop, lm afaid Ill never see 60.
February 29, 2016 at 6:53 am #7823
I feel your pain. I hated waking up every morning trying to remember what I did, saw and heard the night before. I got sick of hearing “I told you that” from my husband, I just gave up trying to remember. Hopefully you’re on a better tract now. I’m only on day 4.
February 5, 2016 at 7:15 am #6760Participant
I am a strong woman. I have overcome the pain of an absentee and alcoholic mother. I have overcome the near poverty of my childhood. I am the first in my family to finish college. I have worked through the pain and shame of being gay in my father’s very religious but condemning home. I have overcome obesity. I am successful, financially secure, and a leader in my company.
And yet, I am ashamed and embarrassed that every day I want to come home and have a drink. I am embarrassed that I haven’t been able to control the urge for a nightly beer or cocktail.
No more. I am a strong woman. I have overcome what should have failed me. I have succeeded beyond my expectations and the expectations of my family. And because of that success…I know I can overcome the urge to drink. My problem drinking is just one more challenge to conquer. I am a strong woman…and I am sober.
February 11, 2016 at 12:23 pm #7032Participant
I drink to escape my shitty relationship with my boyfriend who I let push me around. Well… maybe I drink to escape the shame of not being strong enough to stand up for myself. hmmm…strange. Somehow this didn’t occur to me when I was writing in my journal.
February 12, 2016 at 9:10 pm #7085Participant
Hello I am angry at someone who was emotionally abusive to me during our marriage. I am angry because I expected that person to be strong and loving enough to acknowledge their behavior and seek help. I am angry because I feel robbed of the love that I sought in this person.
So I began to drink to numb my life.
The hurt and pain created tore through my children, spilled into self loathing, low self esteem and fear. Fear of raising two boys on my own. Fear for them being cared for by an abusive father. fear of their fathers retaliation over any resistance to his control. Fear of others knowing what I was living through.
So I drank privately, secretively and after many years grew to be beyond my control.
Own any part… Tricky because I did eventually get out of the abuse, but I didn’t get out of feeling sorry for myself. I never addressed ways to improve my self esteem and instead I allowed myself to slip into drinking every night to shut everything down.
What I wanted was a loving whole relationship. What I wanted was the life of my dreams with a family and a husband who could be kind, loving, giving, caring, trustworthy. In fifteen years I have not yet had a relationship. Drinking has helped keep me away from being with a loving partner. I would like to now live my life sober, honest with myself and able to open to a partner. If I don’t find someone to be in my life, it doesn’t matter because I need to love myself and be loving to myself and be at peace with myself.
I forgive you. I actually really do. I have learned so much from this experience and from you and I can say that it has made me amazingly strong. In a way, I couldn’t have done it without you. Without your abuse, I couldn’t have said no more, enough, I won’t be mistreated by anybody any more. I do wish you well and hope you can heal your behavior. It’s cliche, but its not your fault.
March 10, 2016 at 6:17 pm #8266Participant
I am a kindred spirit….just wanted a great husband and family. I have a beautiful daughter, but after cheating the entire marriage, he left me after 15 years. Alcohol was my best friend. I need new friends! I am glad this experience woke me up and now I am ready to find my new life, maybe love? And sobriety.
February 15, 2016 at 3:01 pm #7178Participant
well, I’m back in the Forums and ready to give this program another try. I had two weeks sobriety under my belt, but only worked through day 4 in the action plan. I got the audiobook over a week after I stopped drinking. One thing that resonated with me is the need to really focus on sobriety, and not everything else. I am a “do-er”, and I upped my workload even more (as I tend to do) when I was sober. I got hung up on step #4, had alot of bad feelings, it was a holiday weekend, and I went back briefly (one evening) to booze. I’m back on track though! I want to find the focus and community to keep going-I was already halfway through the time! I am going to try to recommit myself because I really like this Program and believe that there is something to it!
I am trying so hard to forgive myself…why is it so hard for us to love ourselves? I really struggle with giving myself a break and cutting myself some slack. I always push myself to the breaking point. I wonder if sometimes that’s why I numb out on booze?
March 25, 2016 at 10:43 pm #8872Participant
One thing that helped me was doing the action steps every day and journaling every evening before bed. If I felt that I was slipping in my motivation, I would reread my journal and highlight and star different comments to keep me on track. Hang in there and do not give up. If you fall down, pick yourself up quickly and keep moving forward. It is worth it. You are worth it!
March 21, 2019 at 8:57 am #121938Participant
Thank you! If I fall, get back up.
February 27, 2016 at 6:04 pm #7761Participant
I’d like to share one of the letters of resentment and forgiveness that I wrote today. It was the hardest letter for me to write. Instead of giving you specifics of the ‘system’ I’m talking about, I’ll leave it out so that maybe others will connect with it more personally in their own way. Here it is…
I am resentful for the ways in which you have treated me for years. I was hurt and deeply humiliated by the many different experiences I was subjected to during my time in relationship with you. When Larry treated me the way he did, when the lady at the front desk treated me the way she did, again and again, when you took funds from me that I needed. And because of the chronic and subtle ways in which I’ve been treated and abused and dehumanized by your system, you have contributed to horrible feelings and beliefs about myself.
I felt like I had no say, no voice and no choice but to just “take” the abuse from you. It has made me feel like a number, a file without feelings or value, unworthy of basic human respect. It has made me feel as a child – incapable of succeeding and as though I am deserving of the treatment I received.
This has led me to live with such immense feelings of shame and guilt for being so humanly imperfect, that I became blind to my voice and choice and autonomy as a person.
My frustration and resentment also comes from not being able to express these things and having to live in a chronic state of fear of what else you might do to me, take from me if I were to have expressed my grievances.
All I wanted was to be treated as a person of worth, deserving of compassion and respect. I deserve to be treated as a person just like you, to be able to care for myself as every human should have the right to do. To not be treated as a sexual object for abuse, or as a mental case. I deserve to be treated as an adult, capable and trustworthy of making my own choices.
I am sorry for the money I did not declare, but I was so scared and felt that I had no other option then. I was terrified of you.
I understand that your system is not build on a solid foundation and that it is extremely faulty. I understand too, that there are all kinds of things going on inside the system that perpetuate these problems, and that people are not perfect, just systems are not perfect either.
I appreciate th eyears during which you have supported me, for the time I have been given to heal, and to access the many resources I was able. Thank-you for letting me finish my degree. Thank-you for the time to heal and for the kind people I did have the privilege of working with and meeting.
I pray that like me, your people, your system, may also find ways to heal.
Today I free you, my parents and the systems that be, of any and all responsibility for the beliefs which I continue to hold about myself. They are my beliefs. They are false beliefs. They are lies. They are based on misperceptions and mass distortions of reality. They have no “leg to stand on”. And they are mine to dismantle and dispose of.
February 29, 2016 at 2:55 pm #7858
Thank you so much for sharing this. It was powerful to read and I can only imagine how it felt to write.
February 29, 2016 at 7:04 am #7824
I found that when I started my letter to my mom it just poured out. I have been writing this letter down in my head for about 20 years or more. I had already forgiven her, but it really helped to write it down. Even though we now have a loving relationship (she at 92 and me at 61) and she makes me feel valued, that little girl inside me is still hurt. Having gone to a therapist really put this all in perspective. She gave me the permission to resent my mother and validated my feelings. Thanks for this program! Sharing helps.
March 1, 2016 at 6:25 am #7894Participant
I started with the letter room myself as the book suggested. I talked about hurt I had caused through my drinking. However I was fed up with lying and hiding and feeling shame. I owned my part and then as the letter moved on I talked about how I wanted to be loved how I was afraid. How I understand that I needed it so survive at the time. I was very freeing ….
Then I wrote a letter to my X husband …. a much more challenging letter. I had to think very hard what to thank him for lol. But I was able to own that I pushed him away and though I was angry he had abandon me, I could apologize for not asking for help when I needed it. I thanked him for trying with me as long and hard as he did. I thanked him for showing me not to make the same mistakes in my future relationships.
March 4, 2016 at 12:37 pm #8010Participant
I hate myself! Can’t seem to forgive myself. Didn’t protect my child when he was young. I didn’t know such evil existed in the world. My child’s personality and childhood was taken from him at a young age. It was my fault. I didn’t know! I hate myself. I want to forgive myself but I am ultimately responsible. This is a hard Day 4. Trying to come to grips with forgiveness.
March 4, 2016 at 2:37 pm #8016
You know you can forgive yourself without forgetting…..Forgiveness, especially forgiving yourself, takes a looonnnnngggg time. It will not come today, or even tomorrow maybe not for years, but you will move on and you will be successful in your sobriety. Have just a little faith in your resolve and inner strength that you might not even know you have……Okay if you don’t have faith, I and everyone else here have faith in you. Lean on us!
March 6, 2016 at 11:21 pm #8120
@estcolvie444- Maybe you need to start right where you are. Allow yourself to feel whatever is coming up for you, even if it is hatred towards yourself. You can’t instantly move to loving yourself when you haven’t yet acknowledged the hate. I see your post and I hear you. And now it is time to begin to shed that hate and discover the many, beautiful parts of yourself. I see courage shining through. I see your sadness for what was lost, but also your strength to make a change.
Yes, Day 4 is a difficult one. @jzw is right, forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting. And it certainly doesn’t mean you condone what was done to your child. It does take a very long time to get to a deep level of forgiveness, and we don’t expect you to reach it in one day. All we want is for you to begin the process. Begin to let go of the hate, and be open to letting in the love.
March 12, 2016 at 7:25 pm #8357Participant
I wrote my letter today. I’m having a hard time forgiving myself too. The guilt and the shame are unbearable. I just read your words and I truly feel for you. I know days have gone by since you wrote this. How are you feeling now? Have you been able to have compassion for yourself?
Thank you for sharing, I really appreciate this. It helps me to see that I’m not alone going through it.
Chelsie, I’ll try to follow your precious suggestions. Thank you again for the support, it means the world to me.
January 13, 2017 at 9:17 am #15664Participant
i totally understand but i tell myself that i don’t have a choice but to heal so that i can help my child to heal …i truly believe forgiveness is the only way for a happy life for either of us. her father is a very broken man, he must have been a very broken child and was never able to forgive or he could never have done such a thing. i kick myself for the mistake of choosing him but i forgive myself for the lesson i had to learn …my daughter will grow up to be a strong and loving person, she already is and it is my responsibility to be a safe and nurturing place of reprieve.
March 6, 2016 at 8:12 am #8075Participant
So I actually am on Day 6 of not drinking (yea for me!!!) but am so stuck on Day 4’s tasks because they seem so enormous to me. On Day 1 I heard the news that the small town where I grew up was the subject of a Grand Jury investigation that revealed 4o years of sexual abuse of children by 50 priests that was then covered up by the bishops to protect the institution instead of protecting children. Although I was not sexually abused by priests I have suffered enormously from the sexism and misogyny that I was raised with in that institution. Hating myself, as I was adroitly taught to do, resulted in self destructive behavior in my adult life. Seeing that so clearly recently now that my head is clearing. When I heard the news of this horrific, terrifying evil, the first thing I wanted to do was to get totally smashed to smother the pain I was feeling. I abhorred what that institution did to me, to other women and to the children that suffered the sexual abuse. What happened next was miraculous. I continued to work this program and I prayed for strength to love myself and not to continue with my self-destructive behaviors. I know that if the world is to become a better place it will only happen if I love myself enough to look at my own shit and to place all my energy on cleaning it up before I waste more energy on hating that institution and all it’s baggage. Even tho I had left that institution years ago I was amazed at how blown wide open I was when I received this news. I am now on Day 6 doing all these very difficult push-ups, but doing them as honestly as I know how. I am forgiving that institution. I am forgiving myself for taking so long to do so. For six days now I have been truly honest with myself and I am humbled beyond belief with the hope I feel for my future. Tears of gratitude stream down my face watering my parched soul and creating fertile ground for newfound seeds of hope to crack open and thrive. Grateful. The Universe is a gigantic YES.
March 6, 2016 at 11:27 pm #8121
I’m so sorry you’re going through this emotional struggle right now. Being able to remain sober through it is one hell of an accomplishment. Your sobriety right now has given you such a blessing- you have been able to forgive an institution that caused so much pain to so many people. You’ve even experienced gratitude in relation to this. Truly amazing.
March 8, 2016 at 2:34 pm #8183Participant
Well, I didn’t think I needed this step but it is exactly what I need. But I am going to have to wait to tackle this. It is too emotional for me. Last week was a terrible emotional time that was my personal rock bottom and I still pulled myself out of it, got with the 30 Day Program and I am on day 5 sober. I am still too “fragile” from what happened just last week to jump into this right now. But I did work to let go of, forgive and resolve feelings from last week.
The odd thing about this exercise is that I thought I was the forgiveness Queen. What this really means is that I was way too quick to immediately forgive others and to show them understanding. I never even confronted them about their behavior. I am talking about people who have abused me and taken advantage of me. I would be the one to look after their health, well being and finances and not my own. Because I have been able to end every situation on what I saw as a positive note and get myself out and I didn’t blame anyone, I thought I had forgiven and moved on. I did move on gracefully but….
The truth is that I NEVER even faced all the pain that many people and situations have caused me. The pain, anger and hurt is all still there. This is the primary reason for excess drinking. It was a way to stuff down emotions. Paint a smile on my face and keep going, no matter what.
So, a big part of my work is going to be to face the pain and the feelings and then use the technique to work through forgiveness with several people and situations and definitely forgive myself for allowing it to happen. And promise to take care of myself from here on. And then let it all go and move forward free of it this time!
For now, I am going to table this and move on to the next solution, believing in myself. And come back to this when I am further along in sobriety ready to tackle it!!
March 12, 2016 at 2:17 am #8317Participant
Total Truth. To Self,
I’M angry- I keep letting myself down. Angry I can’t have just 1. Angry I am an alcoholic
I hate it when- I drink so much I don’t remember the night before. I hate it when I embarrass myself. I hate that I like alcohol so much. I hate myself for being an alcoholic.
I’m fed up with having to drink everyday. I’m fed up with having to drink to have a good time or feel comfortable.
I resent that I need alcohol. I resent spending so much money and time on alcohol. I resent the choices I make while under the influence.
I feel sad that alcohol has cost me relationships.
I feel disappointed in myself for being an alcoholic for drinking alone.
I feel hurt that alcohol is hurting my body and mental health.
I’m afraid that I can’t stop excessive drinking. I’m afraid alcohol will get the best of me.
I’m sorry for damaging my body. I’m sorry alcohol has cost me love and happiness
I didn’t mean for this to become an addiction.
Please forgive me for letting alcohol take control.
All I ever wanted was to be happy.
I want you to love Youself and to be confident. I want love.
I deserve a happy life. I deserve love.
March 20, 2016 at 2:56 pm #8633Participant
Wow, so much honesty here. I can really relate. We all have such deep seated negative feelings. Yet, we are not our feelings and we create our new reality. We can do this; change our lives for the better!
March 12, 2016 at 2:31 am #8318Participant
I understand you wanted the best for me.
I forgive you for the excessive drinking and the bad decisions.
I love you for trying.
Thank you for your courage.
March 12, 2016 at 1:03 pm #8340
Your truths gave me the chills. I love how you went from hate to love and forgiveness. Beautifully done.
April 4, 2016 at 6:08 pm #9298Participant
I have experienced self loathing that’s for sure. It makes perfect sense that I have to free myself of the blame and guilt and the shame. I need to Lose this chain of shame I’ve forged. I’m trying to wrap my brain and my heart around the fact that where I have been and what I’ve been through was necessary for me to be here today…I’m Trying to respect my self, my health, and my life. I’m trying to believe that I have the opportunity to change my life In a heart beat. I’m feeling some optimism. My mantra: I release my self from the shame and blame and regrets of the past. I am free to rediscover what’s truly in my heart. I free all others from blame and I forgive myself and others freely in the name of love and health…
March 12, 2016 at 1:47 pm #8349Participant
I was going to put this exercise off but, then, was making lunch while being pissed off so I decided to write about that ~ it said to start where I wanted, right? So, I am resentful and very angry at my daughter and son-in-law. They borrowed money at Christmas and have only paid a third of it back, to date. I live on a pension and can’t afford this BS. I am working at forgiveness ~ but, when I get the money back, I will never, ever lend them money, again. For any reason. To make matters worse, they did have the money in January and chose to pay their cable bill with it, letting me know that they had to reuse the money on FB ~ too afraid to phone? Yeah, I would be too! 🙁 I bring it up and am firm but very nice, thinking that if I’m not I may never see it. I feel really USED!
I thought writing about it was supposed to help? but I’m pissed off all over again. 🙁
March 15, 2016 at 5:44 pm #8439Participant
The Total Truth Process took me for a total loop even though this is nothing new to me. I won’t get into details but I know my drinking has to do from childhood feelings of not feeling “right”. My parents, still together, looked like responsible and caring parents to outsiders, but I felt they were much more concerned about how other people perceived them rather than how I was feeling. In retrospect, I don’t think they knew how to deal with feelings, and just did the best they could despite being fairly highly educated. In short, I was just a bad seed or something like that… nothing they did influenced the way I became.
This exercise brought out extremely sad and frustrated feelings. I had been four consecutive days sober (the longest in months). I know my parents didn’t mean harm, but they did harm. And it’s my fault that I believed this crap. (And the stark contrast is that my grandma – mom’s mother – loved me unconditionally – I even lived with her only a block from my parents place when I was “invited to leave”).
The difficult part is that they are not out of my life (although, sadly, my dear grandma has passed). But, at least they have a very minimal part in my life now. I speak with my mom on the phone about every two months, and we (me, husband and three kids) see them about 1-2 times a year…. and they live 10 minutes away. After everything I’ve tried with them, I realize that this is the best it will get, and that makes me sad. The only way it would get better is for me to pretend to be someone I am not (to make them proud) but I won’t do that because, despite my drinking, I’m a pretty decent person (I have a secure job that I mostly enjoy, job security, three teenagers staying out of trouble, etc). I just don’t trust my parents, and never will… they put their own self-image above my emotional estate for decades so I’d be a fool to think this would change.
For my part, years ago I started to set boundaries (like not attending “family events” where a family member treats me poorly) and this has worked for me but has taken away the illusion of a “happy extended family”. To me, it has been more peaceful. It wasn’t well received by them, but I didn’t care anymore.
My problem is that I can’t find it in my heart to forgive them. My gift to them is keeping contact, although it’s the type of chat you’d have with a neighbor. It’s a job like scrubbing toilets: you know the mission, get in and do what you need to and get out as fast as you can. I can’t think about this too much because it angers me… where do I find forgiveness?????????
PS. My relationship with my own kids (two are adults – one living away from home) is HUGELY better, and that’s my biggest concern.
March 18, 2016 at 10:38 am #8553
@tendollarbanana- It’s great to hear you’ve made the necessary changes to be different from your parents and have a better, positive relationship with your children. That’s one of the best things you can do. I can relate to your story in the sense that I fit the role of one of your children. My father was an alcoholic and drug addict, which stemmed from a difficult childhood and parents who cared more about themselves then him. I’ve watched him grow and thrive over the years, as he learned to “forgive” his mother. I put forgive in quotes, because forgiveness doesn’t mean we condone what was done. Rather, we forgive what has happened in order to move on and live better lives. Honestly, it sounds like you are on the path to forgiveness, as you said, ” I know my parents didn’t mean harm, but they did harm.” You’ve begun to understand them and the fact that they did the best they could with the resources available to them. Now, doing what is best for yourself (seeing your parents only a couple times a year) is absolutely okay. You are putting YOU FIRST. Great job!
Best of luck as you move forward and work towards letting go of your anger. Remember, this doesn’t happen overnight, so don’t pressure yourself!
March 20, 2016 at 2:24 pm #8628Participant
I have been so angry and shameful of you all these years! What in the hell has been the matter with you??? Letting yourself get to the point of not caring about yourself at all! Overeating to the point of being over 100 lbs overweight! Drinking heavily to escape from your life! Did you think there would be no repercussions? You are lucky you haven’t been in trouble with the law or haven’t had any serious health consequences! Well, at least so far! The universe probably didn’t grant you children because you wouldn’t have been fit – along with that alcoholic husband of yours – which you continue to enable. What is that all about? Why don’t you have the guts to do something about that? And, why didn’t you change your life around when you could have????
I know it wasn’t your fault that your mother made you think that you were inferior at a young age and you didn’t challenge that notion until just recently. But, why didn’t you? Certainly you should have known better! You did many good things! You did the best you could as a daughter.. you were a good friend! A good person! A decent wife! Why didn’t you know you could treat yourself better?? Anyway, it’s never too late to start.. At least you are trying to reduce your alcohol consumption. Then, you can work on your food.
Me, I do realize that you have been doing the best you could do to cope with your life situations. All you knew how to do was “escape” even if it was through a substance like food or alcohol. Well, I am telling you now that I forgive you for all the years of bodily harm and self -destruction. I forgive you for not taking care of yourself properly… for putting other people in front of yourself and for thinking that everyone else was important but not you.. I forgive you for thinking that you basically SUCK. I forgive you for calling yourself terrible names!
I want you to look at yourself from now on each time you pass a mirror and tell yourself how much you love yourself. I want you to say it out loud! I want you to think it every chance you get! If you don’t believe it now, you will eventually! I promise!
With Love and Gratitude forever,
March 21, 2016 at 7:15 pm #8685
I love how you were able to progress from negative, shameful emotions to so positive and forgiving in the course of your letter. I can see how powerful this exercise was for you.
March 21, 2016 at 11:47 am #8666Participant
My first letter was to my mother. Like others here once I started things just poured out and I still have to deal with her. When I was younger she never trusted me although I was a good child, she would tell me that she wanted to divorce my father who was one of the kindest people I have ever known. She would hit me with whatever she could get her hands on or with her bare hand. I have separated from her a lot and it has helped me immensely but I still have a good bit of contact with her as I feel like I can’t completely abandon her. I still feel like I’m never good enough as far as she is concerned. She is always judging me and makes comments to let me know she isn’t happy with something I have done or not done. She makes me feel ugly, self conscious, guilty and inadequate.
I know why she acts like she does and says the things she says but even knowing why I still have intense negative feelings about myself as a result of her comments.
Now I need to write a letter to myself, ex-husband, past friend, & current husband. This is an awfully heavy assignment…
March 21, 2016 at 7:14 pm #8684
Sounds like that was a pretty heavy letter to write, @ginger_88. You don’t have to write all of the letters today. Be kind and gentle to yourself and give yourself time to do the assignment. Make sure you know who still needs a letter and do it within the 30 days. Otherwise, I’m concerned you’ll emotionally exhaust yourself today. Please be sure to take good care of yourself today and over the course of this program!
March 22, 2016 at 9:41 am #8721Participant
Thank you Chelsie 🙂
March 26, 2016 at 1:00 pm #8890Participant
Total Truth Process for Myself:
I am angry that you can’t stop drinking.
I am fed up with all the bad nights and crappy mornings.
I hate it when you say “I’ll never drink again”.
I resent the fact you know this is not good for you and a lot of the time you don’t seem to care.
It hurts me when I see what it is doing to us.
I feel hurt when you drink enough you don’t care about us.
I feel sad when I know you don’t want to be this way.
I feel disappointed when I think about the life you are missing.
I was afraid you would lose your family.
I get afraid you will die.
I feel scared during the times death actually doesn’t frighten you.
I am afraid one day you will be drunk enough that dying that day feels ok.
I’m sorry that you didn’t learn you were worth enough not to punish yourself.
I’m sorry for not loving you more.
Please forgive me for not being your friend.
I didn’t mean to give up on you.
All I ever wanted for you was peace.
I wanted you to grow up loving yourself.
I want you to see the intrinsic value you hold.
I deserve to be part of you.
I understand that you didn’t know what else to do with your emotions.
I forgive you for turning to alcohol to drown out your bad feeling about yourself.
I appreciate you starting this journey now.
Thank you for giving us another chance.
I love you for being you.
March 26, 2016 at 9:03 pm #8904
Beautifully done. I love how you chose to talk to yourself as if you were someone else. That is a great technique to use. It gives us distance from the actual situation, sometimes allowing us to go deeper than we would have otherwise. Thank you for sharing.
April 2, 2016 at 12:51 pm #9159Participant
Total truth process: me
I am angry and fed up with myself for allowing alcohol to take over my life and dim the beautiful light that once radiated from me and I hate the feeling that I feel powerless to stop it.
I resent because of my drinking I have allowed men into my life that were bad choices for me.
I feel hurt that I don’t love myself enough to stop this rollercoaster and get off.
I feel disappointed that I worked so hard to lose 76lbs and once I started drinking alcohol again my low carb diet fell apart because I may horrible decisions about what I eat when I am drinking and have gained back 60 of those pounds.
I get afraid that I will never be able to quit drinking and have a life of thriving in sobriety.
I feel scared when I think about what a life without alcohol will be like.
I’m afraid that I won’t have things in my life to replace the time I spend drinking as spend most of my time either at work or home alone with my dog.
I’m sorry that I didn’t love myself enough to value all of the things that I have been given in my life
Please forgive me for wasting the last 10 years of my life in the bottom of a vodka bottle…it wasn’t something I ever wanted to happen ever.
I didn’t mean to let my drinking problem get this far out of hand that I was drinking almost every single day.
All I ever wanted was to feel accepted and loved and to feel like I belonged somewhere.
I wanted to numb my feelings so I didn’t have feel them.
I deserve to live a full happy life not just exist in it.
I want to have a life where having a drink doesn’t enter my mind.
I want to finally be free from the ball and chain of alcohol and spend the rest of my life paying it forward…as a thank you to God for helping me achieve sobriety.
I understand that I was trying to stuff down all the angry feelings I had from events in my life with alcohol.
I understand that I thought that alcohol was numbing my pain & anger and now understand it was only making my pain & angry grow bigger and as it grew bigger so did my drinking.
I appreciate that I now understand what I was doing to myself and why and I feel so much lighter just because of that fact.
I forgive myself for being so unkind to my body and soul and not treating it with the love and respect it deserves.
Thank you for waking up before it was too late and for never giving up on yourself ever.
I love you for finally loving yourself for who you are and taking your life back.
April 13, 2016 at 2:41 pm #9675Participant
I learned that I was hurt due to a feeling of being unloved by my mother when I was a child.I forgive my mother for not loving me. I understand that it was the result of her bad family situation and upbringing and not directed at me. I took it personally and now I understand that it came within her. I now know that she does love me but just didn’t know how to show it. I forgive her.
April 14, 2016 at 3:15 pm #9699Participant
Total truth, letter to myself.
I hate it when I act in a way that is not authentic, that I’m not being “my best self”
I feel disappointed that I don’t value myself enough to make good choices, like not drinking.
I was afraid that my life was a total waste, that I didn’t deserve to live anymore because I felt like such a failure.I All my life I felt that I was a disappointment to my parents.
I’m sorry that I didn’t have the strength in the past to recognize how strong I am
I deserve to feel good about myself, to love myself, and to not give too much consideration to what others think of me.
I forgive you for trying your best to feel worthy of being loved and forgive you for not yet finding the strength to believe in your own worth and goodness.
April 18, 2016 at 8:37 pm #9887Participant
I’m on Day 5 and sober 5 days, and it is not quite what I thought it would be. Not saying it is easy by any means. I just conjured up the notion that if I made it 5 days sober I would be a gelatinous mess wobbling in the corner while chewing on a table leg…or desperately searching the woods for my keys after I threw them in a fit of frenzied withdrawal and desperation. I finished the actions for day 5 earlier, and was about to close shop when I remembered that I purposely skipped the Total Truth Process from day 4. I went back and actually started.
I knew who my first letter would be to, and I skipped it yesterday because that was a can that I didn’t feel that I was ready to open. Tonight I started the letter, but I didn’t realize just how hard and emotional it really would be. I acknowledged to my father how angry I was for how he just forgot about me, how it made me feel unloved and unwanted, how I felt that I did something or was something that couldn’t be loved, how I didn’t try to reach out to him to let him know that I loved him, or how I’ve been able to be a better parent by knowing what not to do. I also told him in the letter how I forgive him for staying away because he felt that was what was best for me…I know this because I am very much like him. The problem is that now I don’t know how to forgive myself for not reaching out to him before he passed.
October 12, 2016 at 5:45 pm #14530Participant
I’m frustrated that you have been skirting the idea of thriving in sobriety for almost 40 years with much less than 100% commitment. I’m angry that you have gotten so good at covering up your feelings that you are afraid to feel them anymore, that a year ago you showed up on Brenda’s doorstep with a case of beer because you felt YOU needed it to get through HER breakup. I’m fed up with alternating liquor stores so the clerks won’t think badly of you. I hate it when you forget what was said in any conversation after 7 PM. I get afraid of you when you have blacked out, and the next morning you try to piece together what’s missing hoping nobody notices that you are putting that puzzle together using their clues. I’m afraid that you are going to choose being alone in your comfort zone with your Busch Light over almost anything else. I’m sorry that you’ve been allowed to abuse your freedom with no limits. I’m sorry that you feel like you don’t fit in, but the amount of beer you drink and the time it consumes doesn’t fit YOU. I understand that life is hard, that feelings are difficult. I only want you to live life more on life’s terms, not so much on your own. I forgive you for your failed attempts to moderate your drinking . I forgive you for not being the best daughter, the best sister, the best mom, or the best wife that you could be. I appreciate that you are willing to try again, and this program seems to be a good one. Thank you for making it to Day 4. I tried, but I can’t say I love you. Not yet.
October 13, 2016 at 9:43 pm #14589Participant
universe I need more time~ this lesson is so so so big for me & homework INTENSE & much needed.. I’m scared to break my momentum so I’m posted this comment. After today’s lesson i know forgiveness or lack of it is at the root of my drinking problems. God bless this program xxx
November 9, 2016 at 6:55 pm #14986Participant
I started today’s exercise by listing everyone I’m angry at…and the list kept growing! I can’t believe I’ve been hanging onto so much anger. Like so many, my mom is at the top of the list. Why am I angry about things that happened 30, 40 years ago? I am still angry at people who have passed away! I don’t even know where to start. It’s overwhelming.
November 9, 2016 at 8:30 pm #14988Participant
I started the exercise by doing the first letter to myself. But like you, I did a list (after I did my letter) and already I have 31 people on the list and I fear it will keep growing the more I think. Like you, I cannot believe that I have this much anger and resentment built up…and then it’s no surprise about the drinking. Carrying that much anger and resentment brings me feelings of guilt because that’s not the kind of person I “should be”.
Maybe just starting the letter to yourself will help. The book says you can work on the other letters over time. I think the one to yourself is most important. Good luck!
November 19, 2016 at 6:17 pm #15098Participant
Dear Mom and Dad
I am angry that you always had favorites, you decided who of your children where more special than the other. You chose to love your older daughters, one for you mum and the other for you dad.
You loved me that I will not deny, but it hurt me that in your eyes I was never as perfect as number 2, she did/does no wrong in you your eyes mum, and number one was dads brilliant smart everything. I was just the last-born, never really knew where I fit in.
I learnt to doubt myself and never think I was perfect in anything I did, I turned into quite, timid Shilla, living in the shadows of my confident and brilliant older sisters, never sure if what I did or said will be right in your eyes. I just slowly turned into myself as the years progressed.
I am sorry that part of what I am today is because I never really tried to stand on my own two feet, but let myself leave in the shadows of some of the most amazing women I know today, I cowered in their presence, how I always felt so tiny. At the age of 36 I am still referred to as Dr X’s sister (It makes me so angry as I feel I have no identity of my own) or K’s lil sis.
I want you to know that I love you and appreciate all love and opportunities you have given me, but your kind of love created a timid, insecure little mouse. But this is now something I have to work on and let bygones be bygones. I am going to live in the now from now on and leave the past exactly where it should be.
November 29, 2016 at 10:07 pm #15190Participant
To my grandfather: I have been angry with you for the last 50 years for your sexually molesting me when I was only 6 years old. Although you admitted it when my parents and I confronted you, and you asked us to “forgive and forget,” I found out years later that you molested at least 4 other little girls because we never reported you to the authorities. And it has been hard to forgive myself for that. It’s ironic that when you molested me, you were always drunk, from whatever that frozen bottle was you kept in the freezer. I realize I need to forgive you to move on with my sobriety and my life. But I can’t. I can’t help thinking how I might have been able to maintain a healthy relationship, with marriage and children, had it not been for what you did to me. Instead of being what I am–a bitter man-hater with hundreds of hookups to remember, but very few actual loving relationships. Help.
January 12, 2017 at 12:01 am #15626Participant
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February 23, 2017 at 1:39 pm #16554Participant
I’m angry that I’m fed up with Letting people use me and treat me as if I am incompetent. Not good enough.
I hate it when I depended on other people’s approval to make me feel good enough and validated. Always trying to fit in. People pleasing to the point of not making sure it was something I was comfortable with in hopes people would like me. Always thinking I was doing everything wrong and that I was dumb.
I resent people for treating me 2nd best. Not respecting my feelings, un-appreciated and un-recognized for my hard work and efforts.
Acknowledge the hurt and pain that it created. It hurt me when as early as I can remember I was not praised for doing good, but never heard the end if it when I did something wrong. Being belittled and put down as a motivational tactic to get me to be better or achieve.
I feel hurt that I was treated this way.
I felt sad that I want to be successful, but nothing ever works out. I don’t know my purpose.
I feel disappointed about wasted time. Loving and pining over a married man. Living in a bubble fantasy. Believing I meant something to him and that I was loved by him. Not realizing that to him I was just an escape from his real life, a parenthesis. Not seeing or facing the truth, letting it lead me to numb myself with excessive drinking and low self-worth the. I own my share of letting it go on. My part that I played in letting it occur or letting it continue. All the consequences that happened to me for not moving on or getting help or facing the facts. Fooling and punishing myself for 30 years! I’m sorry that I got black out drunk and called leaving a message on your phone for your wife to hear.
January 3, 2018 at 5:00 pm #19881Participant
I’m still angry and have resentment for PF.
I’m angry that he was able to manipulate me many times. I’m angry I let him control me.
I resent that he expected things in return for the manipulations.
I’m angry that he gaslighted me, repeatedly.
I’m grateful I caught on to the gaslighting.
I was afraid I was going crazy. I was afraid I was losing my mind.
I fell for the manipulations and didn’t set up barriers.
I didn’t stick to my guns when I said enough was enough!
I wanted him out of my life and he wouldn’t leave. He kept hanging around, trying to regain control.
I understand that he thought I was the best thing to ever happen to him. His life changed for the better when I was around. I forgive him for not being strong enough to be anything in life but a manipulative controlling person.
I have sadness for AV.
I was hurt by his lack of compassion, understanding and love.
I was afraid that it was my one chance at love and it was gone.
I was stubborn and prepped the entire relationship with my mantra that I’m unlovable. It came true.
I didn’t get to be loved by him. I got to be toyed with, my emotions were toyed with.
I understand that he wasn’t capable of walking beside someone and instead, wanted to be alone or lead.
I forgive him for his lack of understanding and callousness.
I have anger for LF.
I was embarrassed with her treatment of me and continued treatment of me.
I doubt she will ever release her lording over me.
I should have tried harder to learn what she was teaching, even in her absence.
I wanted to be appreciated, supported and praised for a job well done. Instead, I was ridiculed for a minor slip up that was easily solved.
I understand the jealousy as everyone enjoys my company and my ability to work as a team member and they call her names behind her back. I forgive her because I can’t hold on to the anger anymore. I’m just trying to move on so I’ll never have to work with her again.
I feel hatred and anger for the way the cop treated me on my dui.
He made me feel like a horrible criminal and piece of sh!t.
I was afraid my life would never be normal again, even though I never had a run in with the law. Not even a speeding ticket.
I was angry at AV and ran a stop sign. I created a car accident. I had been drinking.
I wanted to be treated like a human. I was respectful to him. I was cooperating and he was screaming at me so much that spittle was flying from his mouth. It was because I wouldn’t tell him where I worked. I was aware of what was happening and told him so.
I understand where he is coming from. I was irresponsible by drinking and driving. Someone could have been killed. He may have seen so many deaths as a result or even lost a loved one. I thank him for working a mostly thankless job. I forgive him for treating me badly.
I hate SW.
Truly rude, jealous, conniving jerk.
I truly thought we could move past childhood and I see now it’s not possible.
It compounds the belief I’m unlovable – that isn’t true.
Once she wronged me; I wronged her double – that is my contribution.
I wanted to be family – all I ever wanted from a sister, her jealousy has destroyed that.
I understand she can never measure up to me. She is unhappy, ugly and mean. She will always be that ungrateful, unhappy person. I forgive her for trying to ruin our family. She must now wallow in her own misery – alone.
I had to do these all together as they are the list of all resentment. It’s out! I let it go.
I dreamt of embracing everyone of them last night, and it was uncomfortable to me because I was trying to remind myself in the dream that I hated them. Their actions helped shape who I am right now and I love the person I am. I can change and so I let them all go.
And if they try to come back into my life; I will not let it happen.
January 10, 2018 at 4:30 am #19951Participant
Today I realized that I have to forgive my mother. Which is odd because my mother was the greatest person in the world to me. It feels wrong that I would need to forgive her. The reason I have to forgive her is because of a secret that she took to the grave. She never told me who Ann was. My mom didn’t share that Ann was actually my grandmother who was in my life for a short time. I even asked her about her friend Ann before she died and she just kept quiet. My biological father and his mother Ann found me in 2010 on FaceBook. The hardest part for me in this is needing to forgive my mom. She’s been gone for 17 years. It’s like telling my self that I have to forgive an angel, who I never ever thought would lie to me. But Mom, I miss you so much and I forgive you. I will break these chains of addiction and this will not be our family legacy. I forgive you mom for lying to me. For keep my dad and my grandmom away from me most of my life. I love you mom and I forgive you.
January 22, 2018 at 8:57 pm #20053Participant
I see so many posts about mothers. My mom drives me crazy for sure but I don’t think of her really being a contributing factor to my drinking problem. Looking at it now there is a lot that was wrong an missing in our relationship as I was growing up but I feel sad about it now not resentful. I homed in on a friend who let me go. I heard from another person that she had said literally that we we no longer friends. It blew me away and I was heartbroken because I didnt understand why……I never did anything to her in fact we were drinking buddies and she would vent to me about everyone else, even her husband. I should have know it was only a matter of time that I would be added to her list. I still want an explanation. If I was that horrible of a friend wouldn’t I know!? So my Total Truth exercise was delayed and I went back to at least go through the steps. Forgiveness though? I think out of reach until that day I get an answer.
January 26, 2016 at 11:36 am #5932
That’s wonderful! Today’s solution is all about forgiveness, and of course loving and forgiving yourself is of utmost importance. Great job acknowledging your love for yourself. We recommend telling yourself “I Love You” out loud or even looking in the mirror when you say it. You can never tell yourself enough how much you love yourself!
February 2, 2016 at 4:57 am #6543Participant
Hear Hear I do love myself. It is time to learn to forgive. Resentment is to heavy to carry
October 12, 2016 at 8:12 pm #14540Participant
I wrote be forgiveness system to my mother who was an alcoholic ( now deceased) but I see now after reading your entry that I am also writing it to myself. Thank you for allowing me to read this and realize it’s me…
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