I can make myself feel ashamed of anything.

I have been exploring my porn addiction for years now. And while the compulsive behavior and the physical toll of porn addiction trouble me, I am convinced that the shame is the most essential aspect of the addiction. Even more than I am addicted to porn, I am addicted to shame. Using porn is part of a lifestyle where I am isolated. I crave to be alone and when I am not working and I do everything in my power to satisfy this craving.
I have tried to white knuckle myself out of porn addiction. It doesn't work. I have forced myself to quit without telling anyone what I was going through, and then beat myself up when I did not succeed. Einstein said that insanity is doing something over and over and expecting a different result. Well I am tired of doing the same thing over and over again. I am at a loss. All I know is hardness and shame and militaristic discipline. And all I know is failure.
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  • @JamesMatterlingii... Welcome to the community, my friend. When I read your post, I immediately thought of this video from Brené Brown on "Listening to Shame." You may get something out of watching it. Also, know that you are not alone. And that you can lean on us anytime you need help, support, or just a place to vent. 

  • @JamesMatterlingii Hello and welcome. Thank you so much for sharing. I don't always know what to say , but I'm super glad that you reached out here for support. 

    That video Dean posted is really great. Brene Brown is super good at helping people who struggle with shame. 

    Have you ever considered seeing a therapist ? I know not everyone is keen on that, and there tends to be a stigma attached, but as someone who's background is mental health I am a firm advocate of therapy. I think all of us need someone to talk to and sort through things with , and someone who has been trained to help can be quite valuable. If you're at all able to get to a counselor, make a commitment to go for  a number of sessions. It's going to take some time to dig down deep and get to the core issues going on with this addiction. 

    Try not to isolate so much. I know that's easier said than done , but we all need community of some sort . Helps us feel connected and there really are people who care. We are always here for you to listen and support you however we can.

    You're not alone in this addiction. And there are various resources that can help you. But if you tried and you just can't stop on your own, start entertaining the thought of reaching out for professional help. Start doing your research when it comes to counselors in your community or even online counseling. There's some various online counseling venues that are affordable and with licensed counselors. 

    Don't give up on yourself. Find ways to feed your soul each day, whether that's reading or watching YouTube videos on motivational topics or inspirational topics. Make a commitment to retraining your brain . I want to offer you hope, and know that you're always safe here to come and share whatever it is you need to share.

    Sending you a big cyber hug and lots of positive vibes.
  • @DeanD Thanks, I actually have seen that video a couple times. Brene Brown's first talk on vulnerability provided an insightful moment for me in my life a couple years ago. It gave me a boost.

    @dominica Thanks for your kind post. I have been seeing shrinks for maybe the last four or five years. I go to group therapy now. Often though I leave feeling relieved or open after therapy and I walk back into a world where I feel like I have to shut down. I feel that I am not surrounded by people that I can be safe with. This is not to say I am in a unstable environment. My friends are pretty calm and I am in a decent financial situation. But shame is all-consuming.
    I needed another outlet to talk about these things which is what brought me to this website. Porn addiction has been difficult for me but the causes of porn addiction have become crippling. I use quitting porn as an excuse to beat up on myself if I do not succeed. As a matter of fact I use anything healthy as an excuse to beat up on myself.
    So in the last couple months I have slowly started to embrace the concept of compassion. Although it is a truly foreign one to me- I am starting to believe it is important.
  • @JamesMatterlingii do you have a good friend or SO you can lean on? We all have shameful things in our lives. My bf has a porn addiction and open communication has been very helpful. We had bumps dealing with it until we were both willing to truly listen and consider each other's positions. I can tell when he's had a set back and I do my best to stay patient and positive, as I would not want anything I'm ashamed over thrown in my face.
    I have years of abuse that still creep up on me, thinking I was not worthy of a better life held me down for years. It took a lot to over come that. I am thinking the shame holding you is similar. One of the things my bf and I have begun to do together is go to the gym most days during lunch. Working out together has given us a positive way to better ourselves and keep each other motivated. He has said that having that to focus on gives him a reprieve from the pull of porn
  • @ern... Thanks for sharing your insight. It's always great to hear things from the other perspective. I'm glad you're a part of this community. :)
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