I´m often asked if I know this or that program as a designer.
I do. I took my first Photoshop lesson in 1996. Illustrator followed when I faced my vector fears about a year later. I´ve been using them ever since and I love those tools, but I see a lot of horror out there and I´ve been there, done my share.
Despite many easy options to manipulate graphic elements, the computer tools can´t hide the obvious lack of experience. Overused and overly manipulated graphic design is everywhere. Many of those graphic overdoers don´t know that there are even more options that the computer can´t do.
So. Here is the thing that is good for you if you tend to overdo it in Photoshop and if you truly hate and are embarrassed by your stuff (and its a possibility that you should listen to your little inner voice in that respect)
De-Photoshop yourself and focus on it for a while. Find a sheet of paper, print out some nice text on it (in my case I used the text “The Obscene Typographic Machine” by Philp Meggs). Print out few copies and make something with it. Photograph it and then see if you can build it in Photoshop like the photograph. If you can, go your merry way and keep on using your Photoshop skills with dignity. I´ll promise I won´t bitch about it.