Dealing with Shame

Shame is a part of all addictions. Shame is that deep sense of unworthiness we all feel sometimes. But as a woman in recovery from sexual addiction, my shame is sometimes overwhelming. After all, there are people who believe my addiction is a “man’s problem,” which makes me feel even more alone–isolated from those around me. If I believe this shame message, not only do I have to deal with having an unhealthy relationship with sex, but I also have to deal with being so different than “normal” women that my problem is seen as being something that only men deal with. It’s double isolating. When I let it, shame drives me into hiding. It keeps me from being connected to people I love, and who care about me.  I have to put up walls so people don’t get too close. I’m afraid that if they get close, they’ll see how broken I am and that they won’t love me anymore. When I was younger, I didn’t know what shame was. I had never heard of it. So every time I felt shame, I just believed that it was me. I believed whatever I felt. When I was a little girl, I learned to just be quiet. I didn’t have permission to share my feelings or to speak up. I didn’t realize I could actually argue or disagree with shame,...

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