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August 26 • Online Angst

Day 779

Today, I attended an online meeting of sex addicts; it was my second visit with this particular group. More than three dozen guys from around the world participated in the readings and sharing. We broke into smaller groups for our check-ins and details. There was a young man there with 'that look' in his eyes. I don't know whether 'that look' is really a thing, but it reminded me of what my look felt like from the inside when I was spiraling toward my rock bottom.

When "Jay" finally shared, his story was uniquely similar to so many others I've heard (and shared) in SAA meetings. He told of the difficulties he's had admitting that his compulsions were an addiction. He talked about his alcohol and marijuana use to ease his pain and pave the way into his sexual acting out. He said he was ready to seek help and...

At that point, the online teleconferencing system automatically disconnected the small groups and put us all back into a group as the whole. Everybody but Jay. His camera never came back on, and he didn't say anything else. I tried reaching out to him in the private chat but received no response.

My reaction to this startled me. I felt almost panicky to have heard this kid that looked to be in his 30s opening up his insides for what he said was the first time and then to see him unceremoniously cut off in the middle of what must have been a difficult reveal. Just before his mic went silent, he was telling us that he couldn't believe he was saying this stuff out loud for the first time. I remember saying that same thing somewhere around month four of the six that it took me to get serious about recovery.

I've reached out to the organizers of today's meeting. When I first signed up for this particular gathering a few weeks ago, I had to get an invitation sent to my email, so I'm hoping they can put me in touch with Jay. I don't mean to fix him or sponsor him or anything else; I want to tell him how the few words I heard from him touched the heart of my memories, and if he ever needs an ear, I'll do my best to be there.

It's not the first time I've made a connection like this, but there was something that broke my heart seeing this young man truncated in mid-share. I hope his heart is not as sensitive as mine seems to be; I hope he'll come back.



How do you hope to heal the hurting

How do you hope to help the ones who've been through hell

How will you heal their hidden heartbreak

Do you think you can make them well

–Josh Murtha, “Messiah”


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