How can I forgive myself?


I am feeling very broken. I made very bad mistakes in the past several years. Fornication, sodomy with the same sex, masturbation, etc.
I recently had surgery to remove HPV-related warts from my an*s. Missed a couple weeks of college.
I’ve been to confession, I’ve started going to Mass again, but the guilt and shame is wearing me down.
The priest I confessed to at the big cathedral in my metro area said he would be able to give me spiritual direction since I seemed “confused”. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take him up on that offer because I had to go back to college for the semester.
Before I knew I had this STD, I had made the decision to stop the homosexual behavior because I knew it was wrong on many levels. Then I discovered these warts and the anxiety, depression, shame and guilt have overcome me.

How can I learn to forgive myself and how can I recognize that God is still with me? I want His love and mercy and I want to be filled with the Spirit, but I feel damaged physically, mentally and spiritually. I feel like I have an expiration date, because there are some HPVs that cause cancer. The wart kind typically don’t, but who knows what other ones are lurking around me. HPV is also the most common STD/STI, with something like 80 million Americans living with it, most unknowingly. Well, I know I’m living with it, and it has taken such a toll on me.


God bless you, it can be difficult to hear God in contemporary culture. You have succeeded in turning things around.

I think you do need to find a Catholic counselor or priest to talk to. Perhaps you should contact Courage ministry since you are dealing with same sex attraction.


How can I love myself after contracting this STI, most likely from a man. The symptoms might go away in a couple of years, but the virus is in me forever.

I went to Catholic school for 12 years. I knew the dangers and wrongs of any sexual behavior outside of marriage. I am so angry at myself. I cannot function with this level of shame and depression. It’s not healthy for me.


You can love yourself because God loves you. Nothing you can ever do changes that. We all make mistakes. Some of them have temporal and physical consequences for us. We learn to live with it. We move on. The intensity of the emotion and self-recrimination fades with time.

You need to get counseling from a holy priest if you currently believe yourself unworthy of God’s love and forgiveness. People come back from more heinous sins-- womenn who have killed their babies through abortion for example. They must overcome similar regret and self imposed guilt and shame. It isn’t easy, but you will come out stronger and filled with grace.

Don’t give up.


It is so difficult. I am only 22. I feel like the life God has given me has been tainted. Regardless of my actions, I have always called on Him to help and guide me, but I still fell countless times.

I feel like my chance of getting to Heaven has been lowered, even though I confessed and truly want God’s grace and guidance. I want to know His presence.

I am seeing a therapist/counselor next week - she’ll probably have me confront my sexuality. It’s not the same as having the Church background. I’ll have to find a Catholic spiritual advisor to supplement this.


Please also reach out to Courage ministry.


I just emailed them. Not sure if they’ll get back to me on the weekend.



Please continue to next post -


The other thing I would mentioned is that I know very little about STI/STD’s, however, if what you have is like HIV (is sexually transmitted and remains with the person for life) than it’s important you don’t have any sexual contact with anyone else (so celibacy) as you would give it to them, and that would deeply and badly harm someone else not to mention also being a serious criminal offense.

I hope this has helped.

I will try and keep you in my poor prayers. :frowning:

God Bless You

Thank you for reading


Not that I will be engaging in any sexual activity, but HPV (what I have) is the most common STI in the US/world. There is no legal obligation to tell anyone about it because it is assumed that every sexually active person has it. Unlike HIV, which you must disclose.

However, not telling anyone about any STI/STD would be morally wrong.

But thanks!


I’m sorry you’re feeling this way, God is so pleased that you are trying to turn your life around!

There are great saints that lived less than perfect lives, I recommend reading about them.

Welcome to CAF :slight_smile:


You have taken the correct steps by humbling yourself and going to confession and amending your life. (These words or similar words are found in the Act of Contrition.)

God is All Good and Merciful. He ALWAYS forgives the sins of those who come before Him with a contrite heart. He has already forgiven you. You only need to learn to forgive yourself and continue to walk with our Lord on the righteous path!

I agree with the advice to seek counsel from a priest. He will be able to advise you about spiritual issues and walking with Christ. A counselor can help you with depression and anxiety. I also think you are correct in your assumption that your counselor will want you to confront your sexuality. Confronting and acknowledging it is one thing, but IMHO, I would make sure whoever you select as a counselor has views that fall in line with your faith. It is very important that you are not getting conflicting information. And many counselors will try to encourage you to “Be who you are” “Do what makes you happy or feel good” etc. You get my point.

I know this not easy for you, but you have chosen God’s way over the world way. He is lookinfg favourbly upon you! We must realize our time here is temporary. Eternal life is where our focus must be.

I will keep you in my prayers. God bless you and give courage, strength, and peace as you do His will.
Peace and all good. :wink:


My Dear,

Please try not to be so hard on yourself.

I agree with 1ke’s post, and her advice to you.

We all make mistakes in life, and I don’t know anyone who hasn’t made any. All of us fall down. The important thing though in my opinion, is to get up and keep on trying, putting one foot in front of each other, going day by day and taking each day as it comes.

It appears to me that that is what you are trying to do. Just keep hanging in there.

Let the Lord heal you. That is what I personally try and do when I am feeling pretty low. I ask Him to carry my burdens for me, especially if I am hurting emotionally. He is always there for us, if we let Him be there for us.

Prayers said for you, and may God bless you during this stressful time for you.


If your past evil deeds stay in the past, then you don’t have much to worry about. “I will remember their sins no more. I will wipe the tears from their eyes.”


“probably outside”,

Your are not “outside”. The Lord loves you infinitely, receive that Love! Jesus’ love is our healing!


Thank you. I am trying to cope with the stress of this. I am trying out a therapist next week. I’m not sure on her background, but it is worth a shot.

The weight of my past is weighing down. I wish I could go back to 2015 and slap myself.


But will he carry these burdens? I don’t know why I associate sexual sins as being the worst sin, and I have an STI. I went against Him. Yes, I am trying to make amends, but will He accept me? I know the answer is yes, but I am having a tough time believing it.


I wish I was physically outside. The outdoors and nature were where I truly felt God’s presence. I was always in awe of his amazing creation. I remember looking down at mountains flying to Alaska once and thinking how great His work is.

I want to be able to feel that awe again. I want to be able to feel His presence again.


Yes, He will accept you, and already has forgiven you. He has already taken on our sins when He died on the Cross for us, and all that we have to do is just turn to Him and trust in Him.

I think that I understand where you are coming from. I think that we tend to think in terms of human behavior because we think in terms of human rejection, and being rejected by others.

If you are struggling with your faith and with believing that you have been forgiven for your past, then I would pray to the Lord and tell Him what’s in your heart and let Him know what’s on your mind.

I have this booklet that I am posting a link to from Amazon, that you might find helpful to read. The prayers in it were written by St. Alphonsus Ligouri. It is called, “Praying to God as a Friend.” You can get it as a Kindle edition from Amazon, if you are interested in it. :slight_smile:

It has different prayers in it, but it talks about how we can approach God like our friend, and about turning to Him in times of need. I think that it’s a great little booklet.

Here is a link to it:


it is important that you reach out to someone first and foremost. I hope you can get help and begin to overcome these struggles. But I would say that you need to have compassion on yourself and love yourself. I don’t believe it is possible to forgive yourself, but that doesn’t matter too much right now. The deeper you can get in touch with God, he will help you to come to realize your true self, this will help you be compassionate to yourself. God will forgive you and hopefully, you can have the chance to really experience it from him and hear him say “I love you and I forgive you” in your heart.

I’m sure people have told you this but it would be good to find a therapist to talk to about these things. Try and find a good Catholic one, who will be able to help you out. I doubt you would find it helpful if you went to someone who said, “oh homosexual behavior is ok go ahead and act out.” You probably need to find someone who understands the Catholic Teaching well and can help you out. Healing is not easy and never is, but we can be helped by therapists to make the healing easier and quicker. May God bless you.

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