A sensitive question about guilt

I struggle with bouts of impurity. Sometimes (almost always) immediately after I have fallen, the gravity of what I have just done kicks in. I suddenly want to roll out to confession as soon as uh…its over. I want to call a priest and schedule a confession asap. My first instinct is to say an Act Of Contrition right away as well. To beg God for mercy and thank Him that I still feel His call to repentance. Here is the question. Ive heard alcoholics describe “not feeling normal unless I am drunk”. Now a sexual act releases into the body endorphins and oxytocin, chemicals that to the sex addict are addictive (wow that sounds redundant) . I have battled this addiction for years. Often once I am in “my cycle” repentanting after each fall and having another craving only a few hours later at which point I fall again each time, the guilt kicks in afterwards. Eventually, sometimes weeks later I feel its out of my system, I make a confession and finally have a period of sobriety before it starts back up again. During sobriety I am a fortress against lust. I have near perfect custody of eyes. Its like I’m two different people.When I am in my cycle, and before each fall, I dont want to repent but certainly want to want to repent. And of course the whole time I am begging God for His assistance but not really trying to accept it. Is it possible I only think correctly after the aforementioned chemicals are released into my body? Does this make any guilt I feel cheap? I want to confess but wonder if I should wait till I know Im back in sobriety.

Edit: please be gentle in your responses, this is already humiliating.

Have you ever started a devotion to the Divine Mercy? Jesus said the more we sin the more we are entitled to His mercy. Maybe if you try immersing yourself in that ocean of mercy and then ask the spirit to guide you about confession. I think you will have a more natural approach to this rather than rigidly figuring out when to confess etc

First of all, a lot of people have this problem, even ones who seem pious and go to religious services often.

Regarding whether or not you are in mortal sin, you will need to discuss that with your confessor. In fact, you may want to consider getting counseling (not from a secularist-minded person who thinks what you have is “normal, healthy attractions”. :rolleyes:) and a spiritual director.

The answers on these kinds of threads tend to vary and I doubt it will help you that much.

It would be prudent to pray daily, especially the rosary, and to open your heart to God. You are, after all, aware of a problem and you are trying to solve it but it won’t “just happen”. It will take effort on your part.

You have my prayers and full support, but again, direct specific questions about what is and isn’t a mortal sin to a confessor or spiritual director. There’s too many opinions on-line from people who just don’t know you.

I am not implying that this may or may not be an issue but you may want to look into the Heart of the Father Ministries. Father Michael Scanlan, TOR, former head of Franciscan University of Steubenville, recommends the book written by Neal Lozano. It is Catholic and priests often attend their conferences. They have CDs of their conference which I found to be very well done. It may help and can be listened to over and over. Please pray for me–a sinner. Pax Christi.

heartofthefather.com/product-category/digital-download/

You should not wait until it dies down before going to confession. You should constantly be going to confession. If there is one thing I have learned, its that even if you have been clean for a very long time, if you mortally sin from something else and stay in mortal sin for an extended period of time, it will come back to haunt you. So God’s graces after confession are really important to help keep you away from it.
So there are a number of things you can try. If you aren’t already praying the rosary, you should begin to make a habit of it. Next, after you go to confession, spend large amounts of time with God. I’m talking holy hours, reading the bible, making time for a lot of prayer, going to mass more often.The closer you are to him, the less open to temptation you are. Other than that, never try to out reason the temptation. If the thought starts creeping into your mind, busy yourself. Where prayer fails, distraction will save you. After all “an idle mind is the devils workshop.” Next, buy a book about a saints life with God. This will help you really feel the guilt and try even harder to come back to God. This was like an anchor that kept me coming back from the numbness you feel after “your impurity.”
The temptation doesn’t go away even after a month or two, you kind of have to learn how to look at women properly, and when you see tempting things in life it’s best not to even look at it, cuz if you don’t see it then it won’t pop into your head later tempting you.
It also doesn’t hurt to have a good ol’ fashion guilt session with Jesus when temptation is about to overpower you, I mean like watching The Passion and really feelin’ the guilt.
Sorry I wrote so much, I just know how it feels. Good luck!

Yeah, you should be going to confession at least every two weeks. ( I do that anyways most of the time, even if I’m doing ‘ok’ with everything) Confession isn’t just for after you commit a mortal sin. Confession keeps you from sinning again too. It gives you grace to not fall.

As for not thinking right: Sin distorts your thinking. That’s one of the reasons it’s so dangerous. You don’t have to think about brain chemicals and all that stuff to know that.

I would be cultivating a devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary especially. There is a tradition of saying 3 hail marys when you get up and when you go to bed for purity, or at least just one or the other (at bedtime or morning time or whatever). Brown Scapular would be good, or other sacramentals.

You’re not alone in that.

Sometimes (almost always) immediately after I have fallen, the gravity of what I have just done kicks in. I suddenly want to roll out to confession as soon as uh…its over. I want to call a priest and schedule a confession asap. My first instinct is to say an Act Of Contrition right away as well. To beg God for mercy and thank Him that I still feel His call to repentance.

I don’t think you really appreciate just how fantastic that is. Everything that follows be damned, ^^this^^…this is sublime. I wish I could turn to God on a…reflex, as it were.

Here is the question. Ive heard alcoholics describe “not feeling normal unless I am drunk”.

Aye, sin becomes us. Or rather, we become it, and less and less ourselves.

…I have battled this addiction for years. Often once I am in “my cycle” repentanting after each fall and having another craving only a few hours later at which point I fall again each time, the guilt kicks in afterwards.

A viscous cycle, eh? Have you figured out what triggers it? Why you’re using this particular drug, what you’re looking to get out of it? Lust isn’t always about sex. In fact, I daresay it rarely ever is, really.

…I dont want to repent but certainly want to want to repent. And of course the whole time I am begging God for His assistance but not really trying to accept it.

*“Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet.” - St. Augustine
*

Is it possible I only think correctly after the aforementioned chemicals are released into my body? Does this make any guilt I feel cheap? I want to confess but wonder if I should wait till I know Im back in sobriety.

Maybe not, probably not, and hell no, respectively. There’s no waiting around with sin. You’ve just been shot. You’re bleeding out. If you do not get that wound tended to you. will. die.

Look, we’re both addicts here. We know that falling on our faces is the first step, that they are deeper and darker places to fall yet, if we don’t get up.

So get up! And get to confession! Do you have a spiritual director? Contact the diocese, see if they have a guy. Have you considered accountability software?

This guilt of yours, it can go two ways. It can be the healthy shame of having done some wickedness, or it can be a tool of the Enemy to stifle you, keep you in shadow, keep you from returning to Him.

Anywhere, always, and at all times be making motions towards Him. It isn’t enough to not-sin. Populate your schedule with good. Lots of good. And sacrifice, and penance, and prayer, and fasting.

And if you struggle after contrition, stick with the Sorrowful Mysteries and a devotion to Our Lady of Sorrow. And remember that contrition is an act of the will, not some…emotional *“feeling” *or somesuch.

this is already humiliating.

That can be a path to humility.

It is kind of scary the way you describe your fight with this sin is exactly the same as mine. I will pray for you

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