Getting Over Shame in Addiction

So, you have an addiction to sex or pornography. You compulsively act on this addiction by engaging in risky sexual behavior or watching / using pornography on the regular. Guess what? It happens. And if it happens to you, the thing is, that's kind of what it's made for. The way it's designed and marketed, they want to get you hooked. The more hooked you are the more clicks they get, the more money is made. There are literally millions of people out there that fall for the trap at some point in their lives.

Can it be a little embarrassing to talk about? Sure. Does it make you any less of a person? No way. It's just something that happened to you. Just like people aren't embarrassed that they have heart disease or diabetes. It's a disease. It happens. And the only thing you should do with shame about the matter is to get right over it and worry more about getting the help you need.

If you're feeling guilt and shame, just know that those are normal feelings to have when you're battling addiction. The most important thing your focus should be on is just getting the help you need and getting better.

People tend to fall prey to addiction either as a result of traumas and stress in their lives or vise versa; they have new traumas and stressors as a result of the addiction that they're dealing with. Whether you fall into either category only matters in that you want to deal with whatever it is that is bothering you underneath that response (addiction) or you want to deal with the addiction so that it stops causing other problems for you.

Either way, the first step in solving the problem is accepting it. Knowing where you want to go from here and then jumping on that train and riding it out to healthier days. Don't worry, you can do it, just like the millions of other people just like you have done and are doing now.

Reference
Miller, L. "What is Porn Addiction". Project Know. (website). 2018
  • 14 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • I think there is a fine line. From my experience, addicts can get too comfortable with their addiction and when they lose too much of the guilt/shame, it hinders the healing and gives them an excuse. Any addiction is difficult to break. Sex addiction is harder because sex and intimacy is a normal part of life and falling in love. I think addicts need to remain ashamed enough to know their behaviour is wrong and they need to do something about it, but not ashamed enough to not be able to tall about t with people who matter.
  • @AlwaysAlex I'm really glad AA has helped you so much! Thank you for sharing this!
  • It’s important to realize your recovery is your responsibility. Very proud of you for that.

    I am also proud of my fb every time he opens up and talks to me about his mental health and addiction problems. Seriously. And he was upfront and honest since we met, I chose to pursue a relationship with a man in recovery. The reasons behind it are because of how honest he’s always been. And I don’t believe he would be able to be in that place if he hadn’t done the work prior to get himself there.

    We talk openly about his mental health issues and he has a good balance of being open with me but not burdening me.

    There is no shame in any of that. And the reason I posted this was because your comment about no one caring is quite disheartening. Please do not shut any loved one out or assume that no one cares. It may take time to find the right people who care, but there certainly are people in this world who genuinely care and want to support loved ones in their journey.
  • thank you for sharing.... i also want to mention some people have no idea how to talk about mental health issues or alcoholism. i saw a commercial the other day that i find great... it was two friends sitting on a bench... not knowing what to say to each other... then the one said, "hey, i noticed you're not yourself lately" (or something like that)... "are you ok?"

    i mean, simple like that... opening the door to conversation... without judgment...with concern and compassion.

  • Definitely people don’t know how to talk about it. Goes for the person with the addiction as well as the loved one. I don’t even know what to say half the time. Most of the time my go to in the beginning was just to remind him that I was there and whatever he needed to share with me would be welcomed without judgement. There’s been times all I’ve done is listen, there’s been times I’ve thrown some serious truth bombs, and there’s times I’ve been able to suggest situation solutions. He’s told me numerous times I am his best friend and he trusts me and that’s a great place to build love from.

    It’s gotten easier as we’ve gotten to know each other better. But the amount of time it takes to developer that could easily turn someone off for sure.

    There are definitely people out there who care and while being in charge of yourself is great,
    Having support is great too.
  • @AlwaysAlex I am glad your SO is supportive! That makes me happy to hear, I get what you mean about it being on you though. I just wanted to make sure you know you should be able to accept support too. It’s a dark place to be if you’re on your own!

    I do a lot of research on correlation between childhood dysfunction and adult mental illness and addictions and it’s all so interconnected. Rebuilding the positive pathways is a big job.
  • Oh @AlwaysAlex I completely agree with that analogy! Everything takes time. I love your outlook on self help and I think it’s fantastic! I love hearing your opinions and experiences as someone who is struggling with an addiction which I gather is similar to my bf ... I’m basically in your girlfriends shoes and it helps so much to get all of this insight! I only want to be the best person I can be for him and for him to be able to achieve the life he wants.
  • @AlwaysAlex thank you again!!! So very nice of you. I have a post of my own about all of what’s gone on the past several months. We kind of met during one of his “slip ups” as you call it... I believe his intentions were good with wanting to find a partner but he ended up in a big mess. I actually stopped talking to him a couple times in the summer because he was admitting to stuff that I didn’t want to be a part of and I told him to figure it out and come back when he does lol... We’ve only been truthfully dating for the past couple months even though I’ve known him longer. We reconnected very casually in September and have been slowly moving up from that. He goes to therapy and he does genuinely seem to want a good life.

    I have asked other people this before, and it’s probably different for everyone, but do you find abstinence to help? That’s kind of where we are at right now, we have been intimate before though. And I don’t believe a relationship, especially new, needs sex to exist. All my gf’s who I’ve spoken to about it are like wtf though lol, and as a woman we are used to men lusting after us quite obviously
  • @AlwaysAlex I’m glad you said that. We do a lot of cuddling and other stuff. We kiss. Give each other massages and if he stays over he will spoon me all night and hold my hand. I love that stuff. It’s nice to know that men also value that more then sex sometimes.
  • @AlwaysAlex wow 5 years though! Super proud of you and super proud that you are here to help share your experiences.

    I really value the type of relationship developing with him and I think the more healthy our bond is the better the sex will be anyway. He wants a healthy sex life with love as the purpose. And after so many years of partying and being used for sex etc, I completely respect that. Hopefully as he heals, he too with developed the healthy fear you have!
  • @AlwaysAlex I hope you get your vacation!!!! The guy broke up with me, well he said he wanted us to be best friends forever but not gf/bf because he doesn’t want a relationship with anyone. But I can’t live with that and told him so. So he is gone
  • @AlwaysAlex haha your reply made me giggle, thank you
  • It deleted the rest of my message... I think you are 100% right and it’s his addiction/depression calling the shots. I have been nothing but amazing to him but I’ve also called him out on a lot of hard truths (in a non-judgemental way). And yes, I said my piece, and my piece involved telling him what I thought was BS etc, and leaving it to himself to figure out if losing me is in the cards for him or not. His responsibility. We went through a situation similar in the summer and I was incredibly harsh about it and he was back in less than a couple weeks. We’ve had 5 months of bonding and having each other in each other’s lives since then.
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