I cried the day I broke down and typed “Someone help me stop looking at porn” into the Google search bar. Curled up on my bed in the darkness of my dorm room, I felt alone.
I wanted so desperately to have someone comfort me, but halfway through reaching for my phone, I pulled my hand back. No one would understand. I cried out to God but didn’t hear anything back, so I stopped praying. He won’t do anything. I wanted to sprint far away from where I was. Move, and maybe in moving I would forget what I was moving from. Or do, and maybe in doing I would outdo what I couldn’t undo.
But whatever I could do or wherever I could go, I could only imagine being alone. No one else knows what it’s like to not be able to stop looking at porn when other people are in the room. They don’t know, and I would rather them not know than be rejected. I already feel alone enough as it is. And God doesn’t do anything I ask Him to. I tried. Believe me, I tried. But I almost feel more alone talking and not hearing anything back than not talking at all.
It’s scarier to find out that I’m actually alone than it is to just imagine it.
So I just accepted that I was.
Maybe someone’s done something to you, and no one else knows about it. Maybe you’ve done something to someone else you couldn’t possibly speak. Maybe you’ve thought things, seen things, taken things, ingested things you can’t tell anyone. And maybe you came to the same conclusion I did…that it’s better to just keep it that way than to find out something worse…that you’re alone.
And to be honest, it’s safer and easier to think that. I know because for a long time I thought that.
My girlfriend was perfect and didn’t struggle with anything. The guys in my small group didn’t have problems with porn or lust. My best friend didn’t understand why I struggled with it, and outside of him, I didn’t really have any other friends. My family never talked about it. Anytime my church did, they told me I needed to figure it out, that I wasn’t good enough, and that I was wrong. And God just didn’t talk back to me.
For six months, I wanted to keep my mouth shut securely around the secret I didn’t want to spill, and I wanted to keep my hands clenched tightly around my bootstraps I was supposed to pull.
And then one day, I met someone who was just as messed up as me, who had gone through stuff that sucked like I had experienced, who struggled with the same stuff I did. And he introduced me to a group of people who were the same way. And they had friends who were too.
There was something about knowing that other people were messed up too that comforted me. I wasn’t behind the curve, crawling dead last in a race everyone else had finished. I wasn’t a monster, a degenerate that just didn’t quite ‘get it’. I wasn’t alone. In fact, I really wasn’t. Turned out, there were a LOT of other people just like me.
When I realized that, I found out that my imagination was actually scarier than the reality. Because the reality is,
you’re not alone.
And let me be the person that tells you: I’m just as messed up as you are; I go through some stuff that sucks too; I struggle with a lot of similar things to you. I’m a porn addict. I cut other people down to make myself look good. I’ve manipulated people and done things I can’t take back. When I get sad, I try to hurt other people so I feel better. And I pretend that I’m not any of these things because I want you to think I’m good enough.
I’m HUMAN. And take this as permission to be human too–a human that is NOT alone. One that hurts and suffers and struggles like every other human you see. And even the ones you don’t, they hurt and suffer and struggle just like you.
Oh, and let me introduce you to a group of people who are the same way:
welcome to Heart Support.
We’re all here for the same reason because at one point we felt alone. But today, here, right now, we’re not. Because you have me. And I have you. And we…well…we have each other.
So I invite you…EXACTLY THE WAY YOU ARE because you’re good enough RIGHT NOW…to not be alone.
Email me: [email protected].
Chat with people on the prayer wall.
Contact other Heart Support members you connect with.
Ask us a question.
Whatever you do, I invite you to be surprised. Surprised because your imagination is far worse than your reality. Surprised because you are not alone in your struggle. Surprised because when you reach out here, you will find someone reaching back.
So REACH. And be surprised.