By Floyd Godfrey, LPC, CSAT candidate
If you’ve been struggling with pornography addiction, then you’ve also experienced an increasing sense of shame. It is a toxic shame that destroys your sense of self-worth. It diminishes your sense of intrinsic value. Ultimately, it eats away at your confidence. This is a type of shame that tells you you’re bad and must be perfect. It takes your mistakes and internalizes them to become part of your identity.
When this type of shame grows, it becomes painful to share your feelings with others. Your secrets become stronger. The struggle inside becomes an isolated venue. It feels safer to stay hidden. Feelings of all kinds become trapped behind your closed lips. Why? “Because if anyone really knew me (and my secrets)… they wouldn’t love me. After all, I have a hard time even liking myself sometimes.” This is ultimately the message that shame creates.
As a consequence of this dynamic, lasting recovery comes with transparency. This means that you learn to open up and start sharing your inner world. Sharing involves disclosing your slips, but also learning to open up about your emotions. This painful experience is not pleasant, but a necessary step in recovery.
I remember a client who came into our LifeSTAR program for pornography addiction in Mesa, AZ. He was insistent that he would simply do his counseling, get over the problem, and return to status quo. Unfortunately, he soon discovered that life would never be the same. He would need to learn transparency as a way of life. It had to become a part of how he interacted with the world. Overcoming pornography with transparency is a step that cannot be skipped. Otherwise, he would only be maintaining sobriety.
Although it might be painful, overcoming pornography addiction with transparency is very important. Finding support programs and loving friends with whom you can share and receive encouragement, will be essential. Your personality will change over time, which brings long-term success.
Stop dabbling with the problem. If you need help overcoming pornography addiction in Mesa, AZ please call us for a free 15-minute consultation with a therapist who specializes in these issues: (480) 668-8301.