Author Topic: How have others dealt with guilt?  (Read 72 times)

Steponeatatime

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How have others dealt with guilt?
« on: December 06, 2017, 08:18:57 AM »
I’m curious how some here have dealt with extreme feelings of guilt?  I realize I need to talk with someone about my problems but I’m so ashamed right now.  I feel like because I not only watched porn but also posted a face pic, on a website that allowed for porn viewing and adult dating, that I am really worthless.  What’s my problem?  Why did I do that?  And now that it’s done how do I move past it?  Has anyone else get this way and how did you get over it/get help? 

I just want to add I know some of my problems stem from issues with my dad (we met for the first time when I was 29 and he has another family and doesn’t want me to meet my half siblings), my grandmother dying and some work related depression.  I guess I just never felt like I’ve had any support from anyone but my mom and now I let her down with this addiction.  Years ago she caught me twice with porn and I still got addicted for another 10 years.  I know I’m better then this.  Thanks for letting me vent.   

El Goodo

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Re: How have others dealt with guilt?
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2017, 10:10:25 PM »
As someone who also struggles with intense guilt and negative self-talk (as I'm sure many others on this forum have experience with as well), those are all really good questions. But it's great that you have the self-awareness to identify these feelings and the bravery and willingness to bring them to others.

I'm sure you're aware as anyone else who uses this site that dwelling on our past mistakes and wallowing in that guilt not only doesn't serve us in our struggle to overcome this thing, but that it's actually past of the process. Once that insecurity or fear or whatever other uncomfortable feeling is planted in your brain, the cycle of needing to fix or distract yourself from those feelings has already started.

Furthermore, I'd say calling yourself "worthless" is taking the easy way out. If you are without any value, it's kind of an excuse to just give up and stay in those self-destructive behaviors and avoid the work of self-improvement. Is it possible that you have done things in your past that maybe you don't agree with or have engaged in behaviors you're not proud of and want to stop without it having to mean that you're intrinsically worthless? The fact that you're here and telling us about this shows that you believe you have value and that you have a good life and a good self beyond P.

I know that a lot of my guilt and shame comes from an assumption that other people would judge me as much as I judge myself. But what would it feel like if another physical person was saying these things to you? Or if you saw someone saying to someone you cared about that they were worthless? Or shaming them about things they struggle with? A friend once said to me "If any other person was as mean to you as you are to yourself, I would punch them." I bet there's people in you life who feel the same way.

Take it with a grain of salt, man, because I sure can't listen to my own advice.

As for the parent stuff and broader mental health issues, if you can, I'd find a talk therapist or other mental health professional to go to. If money's tight, I'd look around and see if there's a sliding-scale clinic in your area, maybe one affiliated with a university if you live near one. I went to therapy with PsyD trainees for years that only cost me like $20 a session. It might sound like mental health barber college, but knowing that there was a place I was going every week to talk about myself for an hour, confidentially, with an objective third-party, about anything I needed to, went a long way. Still does, in fact.

Steponeatatime

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Re: How have others dealt with guilt?
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2017, 04:19:51 AM »
Thanks for the info.  I appreciate the part about if someone talked to me like I talk about myself.  I guess I would punch me too lol.  In all seriousness what you said makes sense.  The part about copping out by saying I’m “worthless” also made a lot of sense.  Thanks for being upfront and not holding back much.  Not that I’m glad others have experienced similar feelings but it is reassuring without question.  I’ve been thinking about talking to someone else or a therapist about some of my other issues.  I do think they contribute but are not the reason I turn to porn, webcams and adult dating sites.  Today was a bit of a struggle with my mind but thankfully I’ve been keeping myself busy so no PMOing or anything.  It’s such a damn mind game.  Reading your post did make me feel more positive about everything though.  Thanks.

DoctorDee

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Re: How have others dealt with guilt?
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2017, 08:41:21 AM »
I’m curious how some here have dealt with extreme feelings of guilt?  I realize I need to talk with someone about my problems but I’m so ashamed right now.  I feel like because I not only watched porn but also posted a face pic, on a website that allowed for porn viewing and adult dating, that I am really worthless.  What’s my problem?  Why did I do that?  And now that it’s done how do I move past it?  Has anyone else get this way and how did you get over it/get help? 

I just want to add I know some of my problems stem from issues with my dad (we met for the first time when I was 29 and he has another family and doesn’t want me to meet my half siblings), my grandmother dying and some work related depression.  I guess I just never felt like I’ve had any support from anyone but my mom and now I let her down with this addiction.  Years ago she caught me twice with porn and I still got addicted for another 10 years.  I know I’m better then this.  Thanks for letting me vent.

Thanks for sharing.  First off, I would say that you need to understand why you feel this guilt.  Is it simply guilt and shame from your porn habits, or is it something that is underlying?  If the guilt stems solely from porn use, then the most logical answer would be to remove porn from your life.  If this guilt stems from elsewhere, then other issues need to be identified and dealt with accordingly.

Porn use tends to be a chicken-and-egg type situation.  Do we compulsively use porn because we are unhappy, or are we unhappy because we compulsively use porn?  Everyone's experience is different, but I believe that I fall into the latter category.  Sure, my initial drift towards porn may have been spurred by unhappiness, sexual frustration or general life difficulties, but like all addictive behaviours, the initial cause ceased to be relevant, and the real problem became the use of porn itself.  The first step towards fixing yourself lies in breaking that destructive feedback loop.

As far as shame goes, I, like you, have no desire to discuss this subject with friends or family.  Happily, this forum is the ideal place to discuss whatever may be on your mind without any fear of judgement or opprobrium.  We are all in the same boat.

I'm sorry to read about your personal problems.  I can relate, as my childhood was quite disruptive, and my relationship with my parents (and my satisfaction with work) has not always been good.  It may be tempting to attribute all personal problems to childhood trauma (and childhood trauma is a serious issue, make no mistake), but in the case of any addiction, it may help to explain life choices, but it does nothing to treat the condition.

For example, if traumatic life experiences had led me to become an alcoholic, ruminating over things would be of no use treating the addiction.  Only dealing with the addiction itself (in this case compulsive porn use) is of any use.  Underlying problems can be dealt with at a later date.  Dealing with the most immediate, and harmful, behaviour is the absolute priority.

Sorry if that came across as a lecture.  In a way, I'm actually talking to myself, but I truly believe that once self-destructive behaviours have been dealt with, then the ability to deal with life's difficulties becomes less of an impossibility.