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701.


Thursday  ~ 20 Shvat, 5770  ~  February 4, 2010


In Today's Issue

  • Two Announcements: Dr. Naftali Fish / Rav Feldman's Letter
  • 12 Step Attitude: Letting Go of Pride
  • Poem of the Day: Goodbye to Addiction
  • Daily Dose of Dov: "The problem is not with life, it's with US."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 Two Announcements

Announcement 1

We will be having a free conference call with Rabbi Dr. Naftali Fish of Yerushalayim (see www.nachatruach.com website) on Elya's phone group this Sunday, February 7, at 12 noon Central Time, 1 p.m. Eastern Time in the US. (That's 8 p.m. in Israel). 

Everyone is invited. This is a unique opportunity!

Rabbi Fish will speak about his Nachat Ruach program - the link between the 12 steps and Torah. He will show how the two are complimentary and will give us actual meditation techniques and strategies that we can use to incorporate his ideas into our recovery process. He will show us how we should not just say "I'm an addict" (although it may be true), but also a precious child of Hashem - and believe it, so we can grow spiritually.

Torah based meditation and hypnosis can help heal the "inner wounded child" and have a positive influence on the unconscious mind, which is often the root of addictions.

Find out how the 12 steps work within a Torah Framework - from the creator of this revolutionary system.

The phone number for the free conference call is 1-712-429-0690. The PIN is 225356 (as indicated on Elya's Group's Page here).

He will take questions at the end. (Elya K will moderate).

Thank you Elya - for arranging this, and thank you R/Dr. Fish, for agreeing!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Announcement 2

 

We tried to have Rav Feldman's letter printed in the Mishpacha magazine, to boost awareness of the dangers of the internet and to spread the word about our work for those who may have fallen in. However, the Rabbinical advisory board of Mishpacha magazine contacted Rav Feldman and explained that there was a concern that people who did not struggle with these issues would check out our websites and forum just out of curiosity, and they may see things there that could bring them to "hirurim". The Rosh Yeshiva agreed with this concern and has instead signed a second letter that is more neutral. The new letter does not mention the word "pornography", nor does it mention our website. It just mentions "the materials and handbooks of the 'Guard Your Eyes' program" for men who have fallen into an addiction of viewing "inappropriate material". At the bottom of the letter, we posted an e-mail address where people can write in to "find out more about our program". This new letter makes it a lot easier to publish in the mainstream religious newspapers and magazines, and it also makes it much easier for ALL OF YOU WHO ARE READING THIS to print it out and hang it up (when no one sees) in your local shuls, shtiblach and Batei Medrashim. The letter can be downloaded here (right-click and press "Save Target/Link As"). PLEASE help us save hundreds of Yiddishe Neshamos! Print out a bunch of copies and spread it around your community!

 

Someone wrote me today:

 

With the help of God, in middle of the night I hung up 3 copies of the letter from Rav Feldman outside one of the main Batei medreshim of Beth Medrash Gavoha in Lakewood NJ (with thousands of talmidim). I do not know how long it will be left hanging, but we can only try. I also sent out letters to Rav Mattisyahu Salomon, two Rabbis, and a Rosh Yeshiva for guys at risk. (I know that he is very vocal about the web).

 

And another guy recently wrote:

 

I did it guys. I went to the post office and mailed large envelopes to the Rabbanim in my town, with no return address. They each contained a personal anonymous letter from me, R' Aharon Feldman's letter, Rabbi Twerski's letter, and the GYE flyer. I said a silent tefillah while I waited in line. Feels really good. It will be surreal if I actually see the fliers up in any of the shuls next week!

 

(For an example letter to send to your Rabbanim, see here.)

 

Rabosai, do you realize the tremendous zechusim you could be getting? Diamonds are rolling in the dust; who will bend down to pick them up? Hundreds of holy Yiddishe Neshamos, marriages and families can possibly be saved only because you took a few moments to print out this letter and spread it around!

 

Note: In areas where internet usage is basically universal - such as in the more modern Orthodox venues, the Rosh Yeshiva Rav Feldman agrees that the letter that does mention our website should be publicized. Click here to download the original version, and click here to download a version that avoids use of the word "Pornography").

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

12-Step Attitude

 

Letting Go of Pride

By Yosef


B"H, today is day number 76. But as Dov says, I need to always ask myself, "how can I make the days count, and not just count the days?"


Well, the way that I hope to make today count is to go easier on myself and not punish myself with thoughts about all the things that I usually harass myself with. For example, this week I was suddenly triggered, and within seconds the predator within me wanted to act out. At the time, I imagine it goes like this in my unconscious mind: "You stupid idiot, what's wrong with you?! How dare you lust after that girl. You must still be that low person that you have always been. You are a hypocrite for attending SA meetings - how could this be happening again?!" 


Dov suggested using 12-step principles (taking a 4th step inventory) to help me understand what was beneath the harsh way that I was treating myself after these type of incidents. Because if I would continue to berate myself after every such incident, I would probably not be able to stay sober and I certainly could never be happy. The inventory revealed that Pride, more than anything else, was the culprit. "How could this be happening to me, again?" was the thought that revealed my over-inflated pride at work. In other words, "I am better" or "should be better" than this behavior and deserve to be punished for it.


My thinking that I "should" be better than this behavior is a very subtle but dangerous emotional trap for me. It is actually a very clever trick from the Yetzer Hara, who would like me to think that punishing myself for lusting makes me more of a frum guy. The reason that this type of thinking is deadly for me is because it is a denial of who I am: an addict. That means that no matter what "I think", my body is still sick, and when it sees something and gets triggered, it just wants to do its thing. That's just the way it is. I need to accept this before I can "fight" my way out of it. It needs to become "Ok" for me to be who I am in order to sympathize with myself. So, for me, if this C"V happens again, a better approach would be to think "Ok, there's that silly illness of mine rearing his head again. Thank you G-d for reminding me that I cannot go through this alone. At that point, I would need to make some calls and get the support that I need to stay sober for another day. My pride, that tells me that I'm not as good as the "regular" guy who is not addicted, needs to be surrendered to the truth, which is: I'm not a regular guy. If I can accept that, then I have a chance at a good life.

 

I heard a Magid Shiur say a similar thing last night at an SA meeting. He said that he used to beat himself constantly for being a sex addict.. But now he feels that it is almost a good thing, because it keeps him working on himself to become a better person - something, he said, he was not doing until he found the program and started to come to meetings. Reb Pinchas Koritzer was know to say the following words more than 100 times per day, if necessary (and I have started to use it myself): Ribono Shel Oylam,  [please] "Nachaini b'derech ha'emes - Please lead/guide me along (your) path of Truth".

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 Poem of the Day

 

Goodbye to Addiction

by Elya

You protected me from conflict
And soothed my shattered self, 
You were my friend when I was lonely, 
And when boredom came to rest. 

You were my friend when lovers refused me, 
You always pleased me, 
At first I blamed you on pure curiosity, 
then you got the better of me. 
I couldn't get enough of you, 
Now I'm getting rid of you!

Goodbye addiction, you meant so much to me, 
when I escaped into my fantasy world to escape
my fears and insecurities. 
Being anonymous made me feel powerful, sly and invisible, 
But deep inside, you ended up making me feel miserable. 

I latched on to you to pass the time, 
When I started new projects or just out of town, 
I longed to connect to my fantasies and dreams, 
And you always obliged by creating the scenes. 

Even in success you enveloped my life, 
How could I be successful, it just didn't feel right.
With you at my side, I could feel powerful and in charge, 
an excuse to procrastinate, to escape my wounded scars. 

Now, as I think of all the time I've wasted, 
All the real hopes and dreams that could and should have been, 
I realize now that in a way you are a blessing in disguise, 
Because in my desire to get rid of you, 
I've come to appreciate my true self, 
And know that Hashem is really in charge, 
And all I have to do is give HIM the power to destroy you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Daily Dose of Dov
Dov is sober in SA for over 10 years. See his story here.

"The Problem is not with life, it's with US"

They say that our addiction is just a symptom of our problem, not the problem itself - it just happens to be the "problem" that gets us into treatment for our real problem, which is that life itself is unbearable to us. In recovery we discover that the problem was not with "life", but with us. And thank Goodness for that! It's the greatest gift of the program, as far as I am concerned. At least "us" is something we can have some control over, unlike the outcomes of "life". AA writes about this illusion of control thing. Lack of real faith and humility, coupled with character defects such as fear, pride, dejection (which is actually pride - we grandiosely expect things to go our way or that we should be nearly perfect tzaddikim), and/or other character defects that separate us from G-d and people were our destruction. Our insides make normal life unbearable. Some of us intuit that at an early age (hence the guys who describe compulsive masturbation and schmutz-interest at age 6 or so) while others perceive their desperate need for an escape from life at a later age. Some just commit suicide. Thankfully that's rare (though the wife of one friend of mine has told me she wishes her post-arrest husband had committed/would commit suicide).

 

702.


Friday  ~ 21 Shvat, 5770  ~  February 5, 2010
Erev Shabbos Parshas Yisro - Kabbalas HaTorah


In Today's Issue

  • Parsha Talk- Yisro: It's A Package Deal
  • 12 Step Attitude: The First Guy I Couldn't Con
  • Testimonial of the Day: "I'll always be a GYE member"
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Small Pearls From Dov

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Parsha Talk: Yisro

 

IT'S A PACKAGE DEAL

 

By "bardichev"


In this week's Parsha we have the Aseres Hadibros: the Corner Stone of Yiddishkeit.

There is so much to be said.

I would like to focus on the last commandment: "LO SACHMOD - You (what's with the whole 'thou' thing?) should not be envious of all that is your friends".... of you friend's wife, his house, his donkey, etc...


Ok, so what's so wrong with a little envy and jealousy? What's the big deal?

And also, why does the Hashem command us not to be jealous of certain specifics, and then He sums it all up and says: "V'chol asher Li'raei'echa - and all that is your friend's"?

 

The answer is: Jealousy is a lack of Emunah - and Emunah is the basis of the whole Torah.

 

Our spouses, our houses, our cars, kids and even vacations, are all pre-destined from Hashem.


Oh, but we are still jealous...

Ok, well look at the rest of the baggage your friend carries.

You want her, her house, her jewels, her lavish wedding?

Well then take her parents, her crazy brother, her phobias, etc.. too!

V'chol asher Li'raei'echa...

It's a package deal!

Oy yoy yoy Shabbod Koidesh!!!

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

For a beautiful answer on the question as to how Hashem can expect us not to desire what we see (after all, isn't this out of our control?), see Chizuk e-mail #417 on this page called "The Daughter of the King (Part 2)" or see day #17 in the translations of Reb Shraga Shlachter's book called "The First Day of the Rest of My Life" which can be downloaded here).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

12-Step Attitude

 

The First Guy I Couldn't Con

 

Yosef Shares:

 

One of the SA guys here on GYE, schlepped me out of the sewer and sent me to the first person I've ever known that I couldn't con. I had the merit to talk on the phone with Harvey, one of the founding fathers of SA (he's an old guy today). Talking to Harvey was seeing myself for the first time. He forced me to realize the truth about my condition and how my own thinking about how to get out of it was bound to destroy me. He saw through my soft spoken arrogance, denial, and self-will. I could not see it myself because the poison had already reached too deep into my way of thinking. He exposed years of my self-delusional thinking for what it is. He needed to beat me down mercilessly, turning all my "lumdish" thinking back against me. And after he knocked me out and I  couldn't do anything except lie there praying to be spared, He lifted me up with more love and encouragement than I ever felt in my life. I have now attended seven SA meetings - I cannot describe his joy. His joy (for me) is teaching me how I can feel joy for me. It's the human element for which there is just no substitute.

 

My heart goes out to a guy who shared tonight in the SA group. He just lost a great job because they caught him having phone-sex at work; his wife left him; he is losing his house; he is still be investigated for something else (unspecified). He has also just started meetings and feels so grateful to have meetings to come to. He is also grateful for his new job as a security guard (even though it is far less than what he used to have).  He was so thankful for the little heater they gave him, that kept him warm in his booth all night long. He is about as alone in the world as a person can be. He has hit bottom. Most of the guys in tonight's group have hit bottom. We all felt his pain, his loneliness - and our own. Something special, magical and indescribable was shared between all of us tonight. I don't think I'll see these guys again because I am moving soon, but I hope I never forget the experience.

 

I just want to say to Dov who posts here on the forum a lot (comment: see "Daily Dose of Dov" below), you should know that your posts belong in an intensive care unit. They are intravenous lines for those that use them!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Testimonial of the Day

 

"I'll always be a GYE member"

 

"Kollel Guy" posts a goodbye:

 

Hey everybody,


In case you're wondering where I was, I recently decided that the computer is lately the main and central obstacle in my life right now. I have decided to cut the computer out of my life completely (my wife is typing this for me). I haven't touched the computer for a few days already, and today was my second day in Kollel, learning normal sedarim (I hadn't been going to Kollel for months).

 

When I get my printer working again, maybe I will get my wife to print out the white-book of SA and the big book of AA, so I can read it without the computer. I still have a phone sponsor, so I am out of isolation, and I'll have my wife open up GYE here and there for me to see what's been going on recently.


I'll really miss you guys. You got me to places which I never thought I would get to. Both with your advice and suggestions - when trying to help me and others, as well as with your questions and calls for help, which helped remind me that I am normal and struggling with a very common problem, and not just a mess which "me the loser" ended up with.


The truth is, I am not leaving GYE. I can never do that, even if I never post again. I'll always be a GYE member, and I'll always take pride in that. 

 

Hatzlacha Rabba with your own goals, and Hatzlacha with your avodas hakodesh of helping other Yidden with their goals. 


Kol Tuv,

Kollel Guy

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 Daily Dose of Dov
Dov is sober in SA for over 10 years. See his story here.

Small Pearls From Dov

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Hashem Healed the Yidden Before Kabalas Hatorah

 

I just want to bring something that Dov once mentioned. Chazal tell us that before Matan Torah, the Yidden were all miraculously healed by Hashem. Says Dov, this teaches us that before we can be Zoche to true Matan Torah, we need to be healed first! To quote Dov in response to "why the Torah learning of an addict doesn't seem to save him":

  • The answer is surely in the Torah, but I can't see it nor use it as long as lust is in ME".
  • Our problem is not in our "Torah" per-se, but rather in how we approach our "Torah".
  • So consider quitting banging your head against the Torah and look into yourself for the answer, first.
     

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Na'aseh Ve'Nishma

 

Let's declare a moratorium on "thinking" now, and just Do.

Do for Hashem, simply and humbly! Yippee.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Hashem Loves Us

 

Hashem loves each one of us so much more than we can ever love Him, so much so, that we practically hate Him compared to how much He loves us. Oy vei. 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Hated it & Loved It

 

I started recovery with a clear feeling that I cannot afford to cross certain boundaries again - that I had to grow up. It was painful and I hated it but loved it, and can't explain better. It felt different, and that was what told me I might be on the right track. "Any track but the old one" was my motto, and still is. 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

I'll Daven For You

 

Dov tells someone on the forum:

 

Having no z'chus of any kind, still full of myself, and totally useless/powerless over lust, I will daven for you. Every bit of teshuvah and simcha in avodas Hashem that I have ever come in contact with, whether I came to it "b'ratzon" or "b'oness", "b'shogeg" or "b'meizid", was and is, all a free gift from Hashem. So I am sure He's got enough in store to help you out with, too.  

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Dov's Teffilah Against "Keri"

 

Before I go to sleep, I make sure to smile, take a deep breath, and say to my Best Friend something like this:

 

"Elo-h-ai, You helped me before through so many nights that I didn't deserve to get through. Please do it again tonight and help me wake up with at least a little bit of joy and honestly serve You at least a little bit - no matter what happens tonight. I love You so much! Thank You, Hashem".


Then I go to sleep.


It's nice, actually. Try it!

 

703.


Sunday  ~ 23 Shvat, 5770  ~  February 7, 2010


In Today's Issue

  • Announcement: Big things are happening - but we need YOUR advice!
  • Torah Thoughts: The Diametric Opposite
  • 12-Step Attitude / Testimonial: Forever Vulnerable
  • Testimonials of the Day: From Two Warriors
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Dealing with Fantasies
  • Announcement: Don't Miss TODAY'S Call with Dr. Naftali Fish!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Announcement

 

Big things are happening on GYE B"H

- but we need YOUR advice!

 

Big things are happening lately. More and more Rabbanim, therapists and organizations are hearing about our work, especially in light of the warm endorsements that we received from Rabbi Feldman and Rabbi Twerski. The possibility of raising a few hundred thousand dollars to expand our life-saving work is no longer a distant dream. Be"h it's just a matter of time and some well-placed connections... (If anyone can offer a good possible connection, please help us out here!)

 

And the reason we believe that we can raise these amounts is simple: This is perhaps the biggest Nisayon of our generation, and more than anything else, it is destroying  the very fabric of our community; lives, marriages and families. On the other hand, no one else is doing what we are doing today on GYE. We are already helping hundreds - if not thousands - of Yidden through our daily chizuk e-mails, phone conferences, forums, handbooks and of-course, the two websites. But many thousands more can still be reached, and our network can still be made so much more useful - with many new life-saving features!

 

One of the prerequisites to raising these kind of amounts, is to put down on paper what exactly we feel we could do at GYE - if only we had enough funds. In other words, we need a business plan: clear cut strategies, costs and goals, both short-term and long term.

 

I would like to hear everyone's ideas on how you think we could reach more Yidden and help more Yidden around the world. We have already written up a list of many ideas over here that we could hopefully do - if we had the funds. But we want to hear YOUR ideas too!

 

Is there anything you have always wished would exist on GYE?

 

Some examples:

 

  • Monitored (anonymous) chat-rooms,
  • 24 hour (anonymous) hot-lines to call in when feeling weak or needing direction,
  • A website in Hebrew,
  • A Gemach for people who can't afford therapy,
  • "The best of GYE" weekly pamphlets, handed out in shuls around the U.S
  • Published books, offering clear, step by step guidance
  • Indexes of all the daily e-mails and articles on our web-sites where people could easily find answers to commonly asked questions by just typing in key-words
  • A Prevention department (with books and seminars) to guide Rabbanim and Mechanchim on the tools of prevention and treatment.

 

etc. etc.

 

We are in the process of drawing up a business plan/proposal - and we need your help. Either post your ideas on the thread here on our forum, or send us an e-mail with your ideas on how to make GYE better and more useful, and how to reach many more Yidden. (And if anyone has experience in drawing up business plans/proposals, please let us know if you can help us out).

 

Thank you & Tizke Lemitzvos!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Torah Thoughts

 

 The Diametric Opposite

By "7Up" (GYE Rebbetzin)

 

The Zohar on Parshas Balak talks about Matan Torah and says that before Hashem gave the Torah to Am Yisrael, He first offered it to all the goyim of the world. And he also gave them Bilaam, a Navi as great as Moshe Rabbeinu, so they couldn't say they didn't have a fair chance.


In order for a person to really understand the worth of something, introduce them to the opposite concept first, so they can personally appreciate the difference. Want to sell a perfect diamond? First show the buyer the difference between glass, inferior diamonds, and then finally your perfect stone. Want to introduce someone to the intricacies of fine wine? Start with $1 wine "special" and end with a vintage Bordeaux. 

I think the same idea is very connected to our generation, which is Iy"H the final one before the geulah, and the hardest accordingly:


The holiest period in history is about to be revealed to the whole world. 


In order for us - and the whole world - to fully appreciate it when it is finally revealed, we must first examine its diametric opposite: 

 

Absolute Kedusha vs. Absolute Tuma.


We are currently steeped in the Tumah, and if anyone knows just how repulsive it is, it's those of us on GYE.


AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT HASHEM WANTS!


Imagine this:


Moshiach comes tomorrow. The Goyim approach HKB"H with their complaints. "Hashem; The world is buried in absolute filth and Tuma. How were we, mere humans, supposed to have fought it? You created us with a natural desire for sexual pleasure. The pull was so strong, that no-one could have resisted the urges, and no one was even trying."


AND IN WALKS GYE: Hashem's final answer to the Goyim!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

12-Step Attitude / Testimonial

 

Forever Vulnerable

 

Mazal Tov to Eye.Nonymous on reaching 100 days clean!

 

Eye.Nonymous wrote on the forum recently:


I was thinking that this AA attitude that an addict is "allergic" to their addiction and is forever vulnerable, seems to be very much in line with Chazal, as they say:


"The Yetzer Hara is misgaber on a person every day, and without Hashem's help, we can't withstand it."


I don't mean "vulnerable" like "paranoid vulnerable".  I mean "vulnerable" in a sobering sort of way.  Like, if you know that you'll get electrocuted by touching the socket with wet hands, you're afraid to do it - AND you won't do it.  You're not paranoid about electric sockets all day long. 

 

I've uncovered a lot of triggers for what they are - electric sockets.  I'm done playing games like, "If I only do this, it won't be a problem" or "If I stop at this point, I'll be okay". STARTING ANYTHING even distantly related to lust, is a trigger.


On another point, I see a great benefit in this "vulnerable" feeling.  I am turning to Hashem informally, and much more often than I used to.  I feel my Emunah is growing in a very real way, though slowly. I have never felt before so tangibly that Hashem is actually a part of my life. And, if this is the result of vulnerability, I'd gladly keep it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Testimonials of the Day

 

"Giboir" writes:

 

I was away from home and spent three nights alone in a hotel room. B'H, with the help of this website I managed to stay totally clean. I'm aiming for the full 90 days and more!

Sol R. Writes:


I get tremendous chizuk from the daily emails. I have chosen to eliminate internet access completely from my life, including at work. It's better than any filter. Nonetheless, I read the daily e-mails. I had someone else download the handbook and the GYE attitude. They are great works. Thanks.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Daily Dose of Dov
Dov is sober in SA for over 10 years. See his story here.

 Dealing with Fantasies

There is an old chassidishe story about a bal teshuvah who asked his Rebbe about dealing with inappropriate thoughts (particularly regarding distractions during davening). He told him to go to such-and-such a yid's house that night. The chosid traveled there immediately, got there kind of late at night, knocked on the door, and was ignored. He looked around the house and saw a yid in there! He knocked again and banged a few times....nothing. 

 

Nu. So he sat there and fell asleep for the night. In the morning, the door opens wide and a smiling yid welcomes him into his home, sits him down and gives him something to drink.


The guest asks, "what's up with last night"?! and he is told something like this:


"I am the ba'al habos here. It's my home, nobody else's. I decide who I let in and who I don't. Just because you or anybody knocks on the door, does not mean I need to open the door or even check who it is. I don't have to, right?" 


Can you hear this? It's not a mussar lesson to me, nor philosophy. It's just a fact.

 

One caveat: I, an addict, use this method every day now. But before recovery it was completely impossible for me to even relate to it. It was basically just another silly (but attractive) sounding idea for me to feel guilty about failing at. In recovery, I learned what I can tolerate and what I cannot tolerate; that I am a precious person who doesn't deserve to suffer with lust thoughts. It took me a long time to accept that I just deserved better. They are just torture, nothing more. 


So now I let go of them and Hashem helps dispose of them. I openly and calmly talk to Him about them as humbly as I can; I call any guy who understands my illness and tell him about it in a clear but safe way; and I share about it at recovery meetings. 


One day at a time, with Hashem's assistance, I'm as free as I want to be.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Don't Miss Today's Call with Dr. Fish!

 

We will be having a free conference call with Rabbi Dr. Naftali Fish of Yerushalayim (see www.nachatruach.com website) on Elya's phone group TODAY, February 7, at 12 noon Central Time, 1 p.m. Eastern Time in the US. (That's 8 p.m. in Israel). 

Everyone is invited. This is a unique opportunity!

Rabbi Fish will speak about his Nachat Ruach program - the link between the 12 steps and Torah. He will show how the two are complimentary and will give us actual meditation techniques and strategies that we can use to incorporate his ideas into our recovery process. He will show us how we should not just say "I'm an addict" (although it may be true), but also a precious child of Hashem - and believe it, so we can grow spiritually.

Torah based meditation and hypnosis can help heal the "inner wounded child" and have a positive influence on the unconscious mind, which is often the root of addictions.

Find out how the 12 steps work within a Torah Framework - from the creator of this revolutionary system.

The phone number for the free conference call is 1-712-429-0690. The PIN is 225356 (as indicated on Elya's Group's Page here).

He will take questions at the end. (Elya K will moderate).

Thank you Elya - for arranging this, and thank you R/Dr. Fish, for agreeing!

 

704.

Monday  ~ 24 Shvat, 5770  ~  February 8, 2010

 


In Today's Issue

  • Therapy Tips: The Call with Dr. Naftali Fish
  • Personal Victory: "The last fall was not really part of me"
  • Practical Tip of the Day: A Filter for I-Phones
  • Daily Dose of Dov 1: "It's time I stopped playing House"
  • Daily Dose of Dov 2: Taking the Actions of Love

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Therapy Tips

 

The Call With Therapist Rabbi/Dr. Fish

 

We had about 16 guys on conference call with Rabbi Dr. Naftali Fish of Yerushalayim (see www.nachatruach.com website) on Elya's phone group this past Sunday (see our Israeli Therapist Page for more about him). It was a good crowd and a lot of good questions were discussed. There was a meditation at the end.

 

For those who couldn't make it, a recording of the call can be downloaded at

this link

(There are some minor interruptions in the recording, but I think basically everything was recorded).

 

Here is a short recap of the call, as written up by Elya who moderated the call:

 

The "Nachat Ruach program" is an adjunct to the 12 steps programs developed by Dr. Naftali Fish.

 

Nachat Ruach, which means Serenity, is a result of the self esteem we develop as children by the age of 5 or 6.  By this age, the model of how we function has been "programmed" within us. 

 

The majority of addicts have a wounded inner child (this is backed up by solid APA research). The inner child was emotionally abused or experienced some trauma, even slight trauma, which has caused shame and a sense of failure. This exhibits itself in a feeling of not being loved, and it feels like a "hole" in the person's soul. Addiction attempts to fill this hole. 

 

We, as Yidden, have a divine soul.  Our essence is always healthy.  The way out of addiction is to tap into this divine soul, which is our inner child - pure and uninjured. 

 

Addiction and the 12 steps teaches us HOW to get out of our addiction... The TORAH teaches us WHY we should get out of our addiction and cling to this Divine Soul. The 12-Steps speak of a higher power. The Torah teaches us about the higher purpose that this higher power has for us.

 

Dr. Fish explained his process as complementing the 12 steps, and involving meditation and hypnosis. During this relaxed state, clients meditate on words from Tehillim such as, "Tamu U're'u Ki Tov Hashem - Taste and see that G-d is good" and "Serve Hashem with Simcha", which is achieved through Dveykus (attachment) to Hashem. Our mission is to channel our passions to love Hashem.  

Thank you Elya - for arranging this call, and thank you R/Dr. Fish, for agreeing!

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Personal Victory

 

 "The last fall was not really part of me"

By "Ovadia"

 

Today is about a month since my last fall, but over two months since I began counting. 

I think that I can honestly say now, four weeks after the last fall, that even my fall was an exception to the rule, and was not really part of me, like it would have been before I started my journey.


I feel that the fall itself was part of the journey, and was ultimately constructive and not destructive. The main lesson from it was... yes, how to handle a fall. In fact, I discovered an interesting paradox. It seems that once I got the fear of falling out of my system, only then was I able to relax and become the new me. Like a child who is learning to ride a bicycle. As long as he keeps on looking down, concentrating on "not falling", he will continue to fall. Only by focusing on his journey, will he learn to keep his balance.

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Practical Tip of the Day

 

A Filter For I-Phones

 

If you have an I-Phone and you need a filter, please see this page for information (sent to us by "aryehtahor").

 

"aryehtahor" writes:

 

In the final analysis, you can't "filter" your lust away. Filters are there as a line of defense, but they are no substitute for sincere Teshuva and battling the Y"H. When I started trying to make this go away, I put up filters and said "OK, that's all I have to do" and it didn't help at all because I just broke through everything. Now, I know I can get shmutz if I try hard enough, but thanks to GYE, I feel distanced enough from lust that I don't feel compelled to do it (long may it last!).

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Daily Dose of Dov
Dov is sober in SA for over 10 years. See his story here.

 Two Great Posts from Dov on Marriage

 

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"It's time I stopped playing House"

 

Dov's brutal honesty with himself:

 

I had an amazing realization B"H this morning during my quiet time, and I want to share it with you.


I am a husband and a father, but in some ways do not always act like either. I often come home late from work and miss dinner, sometimes miss bedtime with the kids, and also often "forget" to call my wife to communicate. I slip and put my marriage too far behind my recovery, or even behind time with my friends or entertainments, hobbies. 

 

While I'm much better in these things than before, it's still an issue, especially if you ask my little lady.


It's becoming very frustrating for me, so I gave it some quiet time to think about it, and here is what I got:


Am I committed to being a real husband and a real father, or, am I committed to putting in just enough effort to be perceived as one by others? If I ignore my brain and just look at the facts on the ground - my behavior as a father and husband (not a moral 'report card', mind you, just the facts) I see that I am in a rut. I occasionally keep enough of the identifying behaviors going to maintain the category (or ID) of "father" and "husband", but I put no 'meat on the bones', as it were. I have not really grown up yet. In some respects I am still a bochur deeply committed to playing house. And then feeling sorry for myself when the grown-up perks ;-) don't come my way....

 

Nu. It's time I grew up a bit.


While this may be no shock to anyone, for some reason it is hitting me hard, and I feel a new motivation today to grow up and really live the life I have chosen for myself. To accept it. To take hold of it. 

 

It will not all happen in a day, and guilt will probably kill the whole d-mn thing, and I'll need help. But that what (F)friends are for! (big F for Hashem, our very best Friend :-)

 

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Taking the Actions of Love

 

Whenever I get grumpy and sad about my disappointments in "shalom bayis", I whine, feel sorry for myself, whine some more, eat some cheese with my whine, and then get sick of it and finally slap myself out of the trance only to discover that love is all I can really give! I can't do any more for my wife than love her.


And the program taught me that the truest definition of love is not a feeling, but an action. Loving my wife means telling her that I love her and will do anything I can for her, put her needs first for me above those of anyone else's (including GYE!), listening to her, being where I say I will be for her and the kids when I say I'll be there, letting go of my complaints about her, and supporting her.


It doesn't mean becoming the gadol hador, always being "right", being more of the handsome, strong and silent type, being romantic, nor does it mean "helping" her to finally fulfill all my fantasies and needs so that I'll finally be happier with her... nope.(Ouch that hurt me.)

 

This "growing up" did not come easily to me. Maybe whoever is reading this harbors some of these grandiose expectations......"naw, not me!" I say: think again. (What do you have to lose? More disappointments?)


Though my gut told me those things were exactly what we needed me to do in order to make things work out in the end, in the end it was complete hogwash. 

The only stuff that matters is the only stuff I can really do: Take the Actions of Love. I do not have, and will never have, power over how my wife reacts to me. All I can do is love her. All those years of hiding, lying (for shalom bayis, of course! ) and manipulating her, were garbage.


And it is working out 1000 times better this way (don't tell anyone!). Throwing the outcomes to Hashem (or at least just not hanging onto them!!!) is the only way for me.

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Battle Communication

 

Call To Arms

 

By "Rage" (RATM)

 

We need all hands on deck... We're fighting back and the revolution is growing. Instead of watching men fall, one by one to the wayside, the opposite is happening... Men are joining the ranks of GYE and reversing the tide. They're telling the lust machine that we will not conform. We will not obey. We will regain our sanity. But we need everyone, because the movement to push everyone towards lust is GARGANTUAN.

 
705.


Tuesday  ~ 25 Shvat, 5770  ~  February 9, 2010


In Today's Issue

  • Article Quote of the Day: How to Deal with Destructive Emotions
  • Q & A of the Day: "Might not our Nisyonos be a result of our bad choices?"
  • Quote of the Day: "I want to be a different person!"
  • Battle Communication: Knocking Down Walls
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Free Time on My Hands

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Article Quote of the Day

 

How to Deal with Destructive Emotions

 

From an article on Matzav.com over here

In the Kabbalistic literature, our faculties of cognition are commonly referred to as "parents," while our faculties of emotions are described as "children (4)." The significance of this metaphor is vital: The relationship between the mind and the heart, it suggests, must reflect a healthy relationship between parents and children.

When your child begins to holler, you must acknowledge his or her predicament, and examine the cause for their outburst. Yet you cannot run to call the ambulance based on the screams of a child alone without examining it on your own first. A clear distinction must be made between de-legitimizing your child's tears, which is cruel, to allowing these tears to dictate your home and life.

A similar relationship must exist between the mind and the heart. Emotions, instincts, moods and feelings are children. They are cute, spontaneous, vibrant, immature and wild. Sometimes they are on to something very real and serious, other times they exaggerate or distort reality. We ought not to de-legitimize, suppress or deny them. We must be keenly aware of their existence within us. Just like children, we must attempt to educate and refine them. Yet we ought not to worship them and allow them the exclusive right to define our life. As voluble as emotions are, the moral sense of right and wrong must be given precedence over "I do not feel up to it."

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As Dov wrote on the forum today:

My sponsor used to say to me, "feelings are just: feelings. Not reality at all. Just feelings, not the way things are." (Oh, how I hated when he said that! :-)

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Q & A of the Day

 

"Might not our Nisyonos be a result of our bad choices?"

 

"Rashkebehag" asked on the forum:

 

How can a person know what his job really is? If the garbage collector had gotten a better education, he might have become the King's minister, but he was lazy and ended up being just a garbage collector. How can he walk with his head held high? Might not one's position in life (and one's nisyonos) be a result of the bad choices he made??

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Imtrying" replies:

 

It is said over from many Tzadikim including the GR"A, that the way a person can know what is his mission in life, is by seeing what he struggles with the most. (Need more be said??)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Dov replies:

 

All I can believe (and remain sane at the same time), is that the place I find myself right now is exactly the job Hashem has for me. The very best job, in fact. 


Then as time goes on, I need to trust that He'll schlep me off to wherever He prefers me to be. K'heref ayin a king can raise me from a garbage man to his personal toothbrusher! Then to be his dentist, and then his viceroy! Who knows? 


Kal v'chomer with HKB"H.

Hayad Hashem tikztor? 


Just do what's in from of you and stop thinking so d*** much. (I'm talking to myself).

 

In response to someone who asked him whether he talks to himself a lot :-) Dov replied:

 

Well, first Reb Tzvi-Meyer spoke this Yesod to me, then I "heard" it, and ever since, I have been speaking it to myself and others in order to remember it! :-)

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Quote of the Day

 

By "SilentBattle"

 

I want to be a different person; the real me!

 

I don't want to keep swerving to avoid obstacles, I want to be on a different highway!

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Battle Communication

 

Knocking Down the Walls

 

"EsaEinai" writes:

 

I touched on this before, but I need to say it again to reinforce it to myself. In the past I have made it 30 days or more. But I can't say that I felt as good about it as I feel now at just 20 days clean. Why? Because it felt like a struggle that was holding me down, and I didn't really feel like I was myself - it felt like I was trying to be someone else. But this is starting to change now. I know that I have big challenges ahead, and I know there will be days that seem harder than others. But I am loosing that fear and the fear of falling because I am starting to be myself. I feel good now, not because I made it to 20 days, because it's not really about the days, it's about knocking down these walls I have built for myself and being the true me and being real with Hashem. And accepting His help is part of that. I think I am seeing it this way because by trusting Hashem for his help when I am weak, I am no longer beating myself up about my flaws, which allows me to be "me" and build myself up with - not just my strengths; but far greater - with the Strength of Hakadosh Baruch Hu! Am I just crazy?

 

Dov replies:

 

Yeah, yeah, you are crazy...but how does it feel so far? Not so bad, huh? If this is "crazy", I'll take it!

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Daily Dose of Dov
Dov is sober in SA for over 10 years. See his story here.

Free Time on My Hands

 

Lest I get my hands into trouble, I need to be busy.

 

The more sober I get, the more I can tolerate "free time". Earlier on, I couldn't really tolerate it very well, so I made less free time for myself. I took time in the woods and read up on what I saw there, made calls to other program guys, journaled my feelings, found a chavrusa, started becoming part of a shul for a change, found a great book to read while in the bathroom (there are awesome classic novels out there and all kinds of safe things to read in bed and at potty time!) and of course in my case, I got active in SA with meetings. Soon I was not acting out at all, lusting a whole lot less, and before I knew it, real life crept up on me and bit me in the behind, as it where. I was shocked to find that I HAD A LIFE! I never would have dreamed of anything such as a "real life" without the ubiquitous lust/porn/fantasy/chasing thing filling the background. 


But here I am.


I'd rather die than go back to the old blind and numb life I had, and I mean it.

 
706.


Wednesday  ~ 26 Shvat, 5770  ~  February 10, 2010


In Today's Issue

  • Article Quote of the Day: A Little Light Can Banish a Lot of Darkness
  • Announcement: GuardYourEyes is mentioned in this week's Mishpacha!
  • Practical Tip of the Day > Filters: Keylogger Software
  • Quote of the Day: No Koach?
  • Attitude Tip of the Day: But it's So Accessible!
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Snowed Under?

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Article Quote of the Day

 

A Little Light Can Banish a Lot of Darkness

 

 

From a great an article on Vosizneias.com by Rabbi/Dr. Abraham Twerski.

One day I attended a meeting of recovering alcoholics. The speaker was a young woman of thirty-five. She had started drinking at twelve and drugging at fifteen. This led to delinquent, decadent behavior. In spite of suffering the consequences of living on the street, she was a slave to her drug addiction.

 

At twenty-six she found her way into Alcoholics Anonymous and, and at the present was nine years clean and sober. I had heard similar stories countless times, and this one did little for me. But I have never been to a meeting that I didn't take away something of help. What I took away from this meeting has served me well, because toward the end of her talk, the woman said, "I must tell you something else before I finish.

 

"I am a football fan, a rabid Jets fan. I'll never miss watching a Jets game. One weekend I had to be away, so I asked a friend to record the game on her VCR. When I returned, she handed me the tape and said, 'By the way, the Jets won.'

 

"I started watching the tape, and it was just horrible! The Jets were being mauled. At half-time they were behind by twenty points. Under other circumstances, I would have been a nervous wreck. I would have been pacing the floor and hitting the refrigerator. But I was perfectly calm, because I knew they were going to win.

 

"Ever since I turned my life over to God, I no longer get uptight when things don't go my way. I may be twenty points behind at half-time, but I know it's going to turn out o.k. in the end." This woman may not have qualified as a tzaddik, and I envied her emunah.

 

Click here for the rest of this great article!

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Announcement

 

The GuardYourEyes Network is "mentioned" in this week's Mishpacha Magazine, 26 Shvat 5770, in an article about Dr. Phillip Rosenthal.

Make sure to buy a copy!

 

The Mishpacha has been very reluctant to mention our work in the past, ostensibly - lest it bring those who do not suffer from this problem to visit our websites out of curiosity and perhaps read things there that might cause them "hirhurim".

 

Perhaps this "mention" is a sign of the first cracks appearing in the "culture of denial" that exists in our communities in regard to these issues. (See the file called 'The GYE Lighthouse' for more on the "Culture of Denial")

 

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 Practical Tip of the day > Internet Filters

 

KeyLogger Software

 

A quote from the Mishpacha Article (on Dr. Phillip Rosenthal):

 

Install a keylogger (like eBlaster). This invisible program lurks unseen on your computer, sending reports of every keystroke, including passwords, to an e-mail of your choice for your review. "Your kids can't defeat it - they don't know it's there," says Rosenthal.

 

We asked Dr. Phillip Rosenthal:

 

"Can eBlaster be used by someone if he wants to protect himself, or is it only for parents to use to monitor their kids?"

 

Dr. Rosenthal replied:

 

Yes, eBlaster is great for self-protection too, because it sends the reports to any two (at least) email addresses that you want. Also, if you have someone else input the password on the install, then there is ABSOLUTELY no way to disable it.

 

Then Phillip shared with us a tip - special for GYE readers! :-)

 

BTW, eBlaster costs $100 but tell your people that they call them at 888-598-2788 and give the code 1926, and they will receive a $20 discount.

 

Important Notes:

 

1) A Keylogger program should be installed on TOP of a good filter like K9. See this page for more info on K9, and on how to install it safely and reliably.

 

2) Contact our filter Gabai at filter.gye@gmail.com to have him hold the password for you, both for eBlaster AND for K9. If you ever need changes or adjustments on your filter/Keylogger, he can do it remotely for you using special remote-accessing software. Yes it is finally possible to feel really FREE!

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Quote of the Day

 

By "BeHoly"

 

 No Koach? You don't need Koach; Hashem's got the Koach. You only need Hashem.

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Attitude Tip of the Day

 

But It's So Accessible!!

 

Sometimes it just seems so hard to resist. After all, it's so easy to access the pleasures. They just seem to be everywhere! And we ask ourselves, "how can Hashem expect us to hold back when it's so easy to get it all?"

 

There are two things we can tell ourselves when these kind of thoughts strike.

 

1) When we pass some delicious looking pork chops or cold-cuts in the super-market isles, it's also very accessible to us. No one sees, we can pay for it and just gobble it up in no time. So why do we not feel such a strong pull? The answer is, because in our minds, it's just not "Shayach" to us at all! We have been raised to know that non-Kosher food is completely out of our pleasure experience spectrum, so we don't even think twice about it!...

 

We need to use that same frame-of-mind when the urge for illicit sexual pleasures strikes us as well, whether it means turning away from looking/following that pretty girl, or holding back from looking at Shmutz on the computer. We have to tell ourselves that it is completely not Shayach to our P.E.S (pleasure experience spectrum) - in the same way that pork is not Shayach!

 

2) If we would be standing on the edge of a roof, would we think to ourselves, "hey, the ability to jump off is so "accessible" to me, it's so easy - how can I hold back"? Of-course not! We'd back away from the edge and be careful, 'cuz no one wants to harm themselves!

 

Well, we need to develop this same frame-of-mind for the shmutz as well. As tempting and "accessible" as it may seem to be, will we jump off the roof??

 

As "Penitent" wrote on the forum recently:

 

I used to get thoughts while I was driving, "what would it be like to swerve my car into a truck?" Rav Avigdor Miller himself said, "Did you ever get the urge to kill yourself? That's the Yetzer Hara entering your mind". Same thing over here. I just felt myself slipping 10 minutes ago, had to stop, came onto the GYE forum, started writing (which is tiring and time consuming) and B'H , I feel better already. When the urge hits, just don't sit idle and move on!

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Daily Dose of Dov
Dov is sober in SA for over 10 years. See his story here.

SNOWED UNDER

 

Someone wrote to Dov:

 

Today I had a rather rough day... I attended a Sheva Brochos where Men and women sat separately, but there was no mechitza and it was a small room so we weren't very far from each other.  It was Yeshivish and all were dressed properly... but as you know, that doesn't stop an addict's mind...

 

Dov Responds:

 

Dear chaver! No need to explain at all. Why, just today I woke up feeling horrible. Just plain horrible. Achy from snow-shoveling, late, sleepy, feeling unsatisfied with everything and grateful for nothing... you know. Rare for me for some time now, but - there I was. The only things that pulled me out of it was (believe it or not) Shacharis... even though it was kinda horrible, too. Weak, weak, weak. And at home alone yet.... but still Shacharis! And a call from a sexaholic friend in Texas. We talked a while and that lifted me from the postmortem fog into being entirely willing to live real life. No angels or horns, just calm, OK, "real life" as me.

 

Mazel tov to the chosson and kallah. Yeah, the presence of women is definitely a frequent challenge, but hey - they're here!

 

Well, it gets easier after the habit of scanning a room for the most attractive female in it, is broken a bit; and davening for the women in the room helps alter my relationship with them "nearer" to reality; and being willing to make a call once in a while during a break in the sheva brochos/wedding/class/shopping activity to another person who understands - and just share the facts... getting the 'light on' makes the mold wither. All these help.

 

But the real answer is having a relationship with Hashem and letting it fill me so that there is no room for anything else - everything else is filtered through those glasses. It may not be truly achievable, but we definitely grow in that direction. And I do not have to be a tzaddik.... As the Pasuk says "Habotea'ch Ba'Hashem, Chesed Yisovivenu - He who trusts in Hashem, kindness will surround him"... And Chazal say, "afilu rosho u'boteyach baHaShem, chesed yisovevenhu- even if he is a Rasha but he trusts in Hashem, kindness will surround him".

 
707.


Thursday  ~ 27 Shvat, 5770  ~  February 11, 2010


In Today's Issue

  • Attitude Tip of the Day: Dis-abled or Abled?
  • Practical Tip of the Day: Google "Buzz"
  • Testimonial/Tip of the Day: Patrolling the Perimeters of My Thinking
  • Personal Victory of the Day: Pre-Empting the Yetzer Hara
  • Link of the Day: The Countdown to Moshiach
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Torah Thoughts on "Letting Go of Self-Will"

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Attitude Tip of the Day

 

Dis-abled OR Abled?

 

Yes it's true. A lust addict has a disability. His mind has been warped to objectify people. He suffers from neediness and vulnerability, and is sometimes prone to depression. He is also limited the range of his activities if he wants to stay sober. He can't just "lust a little" and stay safe like everyone else. He has difficulties at family Simchos and outings, even when just taking his kids to the Zoo. He can't browse the internet without filters. He can't use YouTube or FaceBook, it's just too dangerous. And he can't watch today's movies, no matter how much his friends are all talking about them. Some people might call this "disabled"... But let's stop and think for a second.

 

Does this addict still have eyes?

 

Well this guy doesn't.

 

Click the link and watch the clip from Aish.com. We can all learn from Patrick the power to "see" the good in everything (as he says "I don't have disabilities, I have abilities"). And we can all learn from him the power to reach our full potential with whatever tools we WERE given, instead of focusing on what we CAN'T do.

 

And if we learn to use what we DO have to the best of our ability, we might be surprised one day to look back and see that what we thought we were "disabled" with, has turned out to be our greatest blessing.

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Practical Tip of the Day

 

Google "Buzz"

 

The Satan keeps getting his hands into new places!

 

Until yesterday, Google's Gmail was the safest free e-mail service for addicts, since there were no ads like in Yahoo or Hotmail. However, Google introduced a new social network feature yesterday, which they call "Buzz". This feature is similar to Facebook, which we all know is very dangerous for addicts.

 

If you have a Gmail account, you'll find a "Buzz" link right under where it says "Inbox". We highly suggest everyone turn off their "Buzz" feature. It is simple to do. Just scroll to the bottom of the page (when logged in) and press "turn off Buzz" at the very bottom. (See this screen shot). 

 

See also here for other information as well, on how to disable Buzz.


And see this thread on the forum, which talks more about this issue and what to do about it.

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Testimonial/Tip of the Day

 

"Help me patrol the perimeters of my thinking"

 

D.S. writes:

 

Since discovering this site--a lifesaver if you want to be saved--I read the daily e-mails and the inspirational stories and I am often moved. Recently, I davened for help to "patrol the perimeters of my thinking". Since that moment, this phrase has stuck in my mind, where it should be. I feel this simple formula helping incredibly: several times it has kicked in pretty much automatically, just the word "patrol"--(as an imperative! in the grammatical sense)--on the street, it has completely stopped whatever was unwanted in its tracks, and almost instantly dissolved it. It's a formula I've long been praying for.

 

(Other ideas, such as making the thought a korban etc, work too, but this is instant and complete... so far.)

 

Your work is a real kiddush Hashem. Yasher koach.

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Personal Victory of the Day

 

Pre-Empting the Yetzer Hara

 

"Eye.nonymous" posted on day 102 clean:

 

I just had an internet slip. I was looking up something totally safe - on a site which was supposed to be perfectly safe, and I came across some really weird indecent drawings. It was so weird that I had trouble overcoming the curiosity. BUT, I did leave the page fairly quickly--without scrolling for more drawings. The thought entered my mind, "Hey, imagine what you'll find if you do a full web search," which I quickly rejected.

 

I wanted to post, because the accountability for these things helped me to overcome it in the past.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

We responded:

 

Dear Eye.nonymous,

 

This is so precious... It is small things like this that distinguish the successes from the failures. This may sound small, but we all know that turning away after getting a "taste", especially when caught off guard, takes some real messiras nefesh. Eye, you are shaking the upper worlds!

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

The next day he wrote:

 

So my slip yesterday on the internet was on a site that I previously thought was harmless, and I use it all the time for actual work purposes (not even pseudo-work).


I didn't think to do anything about it at first, because this was such a weird slip.  But I can feel the yeitzer tugging at me to slip again. I realize it's negligent not to take action.

So my wife and I just modified the K9 settings--and now it's ENTIRELY BLOCKED.  If I ever need this site I'm going to have to bug my wife to sit here with me while I use it.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

We responded:

 

WOW. This is the attitude of success in this battle. Whenever we find a loop-hole or feel the Yetzer hara bringing us a new idea, we need to pre-empt him and put up new safe-guards!! Kol Hakavod!

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Link of the Day

 

The Countdown to Moshiach

 

The night is always the darkest before the light. Those who struggle with these issues are Hashem's front-line soldiers in today's generation, fighting against all odds. If Moshiach would come today, would you be ready?

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Daily Dose of Dov
Dov is sober in SA for over 10 years. See his story here.

Dov discusses some Torah thoughts on:

"Letting Go of SELF WILL"

 

The pivotal recovery point for me in the outside/giving-centeredness called for in AA (as opposed to self-centeredness), is that I slowly get used to living in accordance with the Will of my Higher Power rather that my will. To me, Orthodoxy and Halacha are great tools for this  - sounds like "asei retzono kirtzonecha - make His will like your will"... 

 

It's basically all about the surrender of our greatest enemy in addiction: self-directed will - in the will especially - and less to do with the type of behavior itself. In some respect, we confuse ourselves with G-d, exemplified by the manipulation of others and our environment, self-pleasuring, and our typically hidden (but gargantuan) pride and fear. By the same token, the relevant/most important factor in my hiring of a sponsor is that he is not me. My sponsor taught me this based on the "12&12" (mainly spelled out in it's chapter on the 3rd and 4th steps) and I see the attitude in "AA" as well, over and over in the member stories (in the back of the Big Book).

 

A few Torah thoughts on this:

 

1) Why does Hashem give us lo sa-asei's? Shouldn't asei's be good enough? It's about the Solution, right? Not the Problem, for sure! To make matters worse, the first and only mitzvoh given to Adam and his wife was - a lo sa'asei! What the heck?!

 

It seems to me that negation of our will (the idea of a lo sa'asei, to me) is the ikkar of what Hashem wants, and all He really 'needed' from us to get the job done... It plants the seed for all good - His good. He would have made it all peachy for us humans (or whatever we really looked like back then) and we would have grown into whatever G-d-connected beings we "should" have become, it seems. And Shabbos is still mainly about shmirah (not doing, rather than doing)....hmmm...just an idea. Go with it wherever you like...

 

2) I firmly believe that the program ends where religion begins. Unfortunately, our recovery might end there, as well. That's why I stay in the program and try not to confuse the two. One makes me a man, the other makes me a Jew. Both a man and a Jew are servants of Hashem, whether they realize it or not. He has the right plan for me, in every respect. This idea does not make any sense to some people, and even upsets them, but nu, what can I do? I may not understand it, either! :)

 

3) "Hachno'oh". That is the Torah-word for exactly what the program talks about. I believe my program is about hachno'oh for hachno'oh's sake - while the Torah puts it somewhere and directs it. But no matter how you slice it, the ikkar (by far) for an addict is the hachno'oh. If he's got that, the odds are in his favor, for a change. And whenever it appears in davening (sfard elokai n'tzor, for example), I latch onto it as the ikkar of that entire piece, cuz I feel that it is what I need most. (Kind of like how refa'einu takes on 'new meaning' for someone who's got a disease, r"l).

 
708.


Friday  ~ 28 Shvat, 5770  ~  February 12, 2010
Erev Shabbos Parshas Mishpatim


In Today's Issue

  • Parsha Talk- Mishpatim: Do you really want to be free?
  • Quotes of the Day: Two Great Posts By "Bardichev"
  • Personal Victory of the Day: A GEVALDIG Hug
  • Link of the Day: For Men Only
  • Daily Dose of Dov: When do we finally get 'healed' and let go of Self-Will?"
  • Practical Tip of the Day: Google "Buzz" (Part 2)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Parsha Talk: Mishpatim

 

Do you really want to be Free?

 

"PowerOfNow", a new member on our forum, wrote:

 

I was reading on Aish.com an article about the parsha Mishpatim, and some words moved me.

 

"God instructs every Jew that if he has a Jewish slave working for him, then after six years he is to be set free. On the surface, it seems like when the seventh year arrives the slave would eagerly, happily, and enthusiastically run from his master's house into his new found freedom. But this just isn't how a slave feels. The reason for this is that the longer a person is under the "rule" of someone or something else, the less belief he has that he can actually make it on his own..... And although the enslavement is hard, frustrating, and painful, we don't leave because we doubt our ability to make it in un-chartered waters." 

 

I could really relate to that.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Quotes of the Day:

 

Two Great Posts from "Bardichev"

 

Triggers

 

 If you see something and feel triggered,

 

Realize it's a TRIGGER TO A LOADED GUN.

The gun is cocked -

And guess who is staring into the barrel?

YOU!!!

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Snow Bank

 

A HUGE LESSON I LEARNED WHEN MY TRUCK GOT STUCK IN A SNOW BANK / MUD SITUATION.

 

IF YOU TRY IT ON YOUR OWN, YOU MAY JUST GET STUCK DEEPER AND DEEPER.

 

SO I CALLED A TOW TRUCK.

 

LESSON:

 

IF YOU FEEL 'STUCK'

 

DON'T TRY TO WHITE-KNUCKLE IT ALONE.

 

IT WILL GET YOU NOWHERE.

 

CALL A FRIEND / TOW TRUCK!

 

GEVALDIGGG!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 

Personal Victory of the Day

 

A GEVALDIG HUG

 

A member of our forum recently wrote me the following story of an amazing HUG from Hashem!

 

A couple weeks ago I flew in from California to NY for a wedding. It was difficult for me because I didn't really know anyone, and I had a really empty feeling in my stomach; you know, that feeling that I am "missing something" that leads to bad things. So I called a friend from the forum by phone. I was standing outside the wedding hall, pacing up and down the street, talking to him on the phone about all sorts of things. He started talking to me about "Bardichev" (from the forum) and told me that he had spoken with him on the phone, and that he was really a serious guy with good ideas and whatnot. I realized that I had been standing still while he talked to me about Bardichev. Then I glanced at the license plate of the car that I had been standing right next to while we discussed Bardichev. It read: GVALDIG. I almost fainted... (GEVALDIG is Bardichev's Trade Mark comment!). I took a picture of the plate with my cell phone, finished my conversation, and went back into the hall. Once I was back in the hall, I looked at the picture on my phone (which I've attached to this email; I'm not making this stuff up) and I noticed that the State on the plate was not NY or NJ, as you might expect (considering that I was in Flatbush). It was... CALIFORNIA... where I had just flown in from that morning (3000 miles away)!

 

A personal GEVALDIG HUG from Hashem!

 

Crazy story, no?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Link of the Day

 

For Men Only

 

Keys to a Happy Home

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 Daily Dose of Dov
Dov is sober in SA for over 10 years. See his story here.

When do we finally get 'healed' and let go of Self-Will?

 

In my case, I can't really do the jumping for joy till I am basically dead, I guess, but as a friend once told me, "any addict who is sober should get up and dance every day at least once!" So, I often do - but just for the privilege, not with any expectations for my future (as if to imply that "whew! I've made it!") as far as lust or sanity is concerned. But yes, as far as life in general is concerned, I definitely expect to hang onto the acceptance that everything will be 'OK' in the end, no matter what, 'cuz Hashem's in charge. 

 

In a practical sense, I buy the line from AA-ers that we (most likely) can/will never let go of our own will completely; that we will always be walking up these stairs.

 

It seems to me that during certain times I did/do really let go of my will completely, but there were times like that before sobriety too, like during a really good davening, in the middle of a nice niggun on a yomtov, or right after acting out (really - you may know what I mean)... and I soon took my will right back. So maybe the 'surrender' back then was not actually surrender at all, but just getting in touch with what's inside me: a real live desire to be totally attached and basically botul (nullified) to Hashem. In other words, it was a 'feeling' of surrender, without the surrender itself, at all. Presumably we all possess that. But it was like Shabbos vs the week - it just can't last. (As the Pasuk says "Va'yinafash - and Chazal explain it to mean on Motzai Shabbos - "Vai ovdoh nefesh - Woe that I have lost my [extra] soul!").

 

So for me it seems to be like the 3rd step says: "We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of...", decided perhaps,but the doing is just starting. It never really ends, and that's OK. In fact, it beats the living daylights out of the way I lived before imperfectly being machniyah (subjugated) to the Ribono shel Olam!

 

If it is hard for me to accept imperfection, my choice remains: I could always just go back to the way it was before! Heck No, this imperfection is like "perfection" compared to the way life was before!! And that realization took a couple of years to dawn on me.

 

The real faith has been (and will hopefully continue to be) a slow development, in my case, borne out of many little pieces of what feels like mesiras nefesh at the time ("this is gonna kill me, it's crazy, I'm gonna die if I don't follow that lady over to the next isle in the supermarket a few more times!", or "it's not that I really think the road belongs to me really, it's just that that guy who sped by me is a jerk... a real jerk!", and "What?! You mean I can't get the internet without a filter?! I've been sober for 785 freaking years!"). The acceptance is there to continue to be open to letting go of self-will, but my e.g.o. (edging G-d out) is still there... Hopefully it's slowly leaking out of me, b"H.

 

'nuff said.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 

Practical Tip of the Day
 

Google "Buzz"

(Part 2)

 

Yesterday we discussed the dangers of the new Google feature "Buzz" and showed how to turn it off. Unfortunately though, turning it off only turns it off for you. Your profile is still viewable to others.

 

Someone sent us the following e-mail:

 

Please let everyone know that they should edit their Google profiles so that it doesn't display their followers. Especially the ones using their different email accounts. I just checked it out and realized that all my friends were able to see that I follow Guard, 7Up and others that I emailed from that Gmail account. We can all lose our anonymity in a second. Please post this as soon as possible. People may not realize and it can be too late. Thanks.

 

Buzz basically uses the Facebook concept, that if you can see one person's profile  - you can see the profile of all his friends. Once you see their profiles, you can see the profiles of their friends, etc..


Many people have their real names in their profiles. All it takes is to connect to one GYE profile, and this can be potentially revealing of another GYE member (who hasn't yet protected his identity on Buzz).


Since Google has introduced Buzz and automatically set you up to "follow" people on your chat list, in ensuring your privacy as well the privacy of others, you are asked to please "un-follow" anyone who's account is associated with their real name. 

 

If you've already turned it off, temporarily turn Buzz back on, click on your name to go to your profile page, and on the profile page, click the option to hide those following you. Then, manually, un-follow all accounts you're presently following.

 

If you need more help in doing this, please contact tomim2b@gmail.com who has offered to help people with this.

 

If your real name is associated with your Buzz account and you need help changing that too, please contact the email address above for assistance.

 

709.


Sunday  ~ 30 Shvat, 5770  ~  February 14, 2010
Rosh Chodesh Adar


In Today's Issue

  • Two Announcements: Duvid Chaim's Group / New Flyer for Women
  • Battle Communication: Some good quotes from "Briut"
  • Q & A of the Day: Watching a Movie for Shalom Bayit?
  • Daily Dose of Dov: "Live to Give"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Two Announcements

  

(1) Duvid Chaim's Group Restarting!


Duvid Chaim's phone conference will IY"H be starting a new cycle of the "Big-Book" study group on Wednesday, Feb 24! See this page for more info on the group. This is a unique opportunity to learn the secrets of the 12-Steps anonymously - in your own home or office, with an experienced SA sponsor!

(2) A Great New Flyer Geared To Women

There will be a gathering on Wenesday in Jerusalem for religious women who use the internet for business or personal reasons. One of the speakers there will be Rabbi Berkowitz who leads the Jerusalem Kollel and is a well known Halachic authority and Kiruv force in the English speaking community in Israel. I asked him if we can put flyers about our work at the event. He agreed, so I designed a special flyer geared towards religious women who have internet at home. It contains some sharp warnings about "if your husband or teenager lock themselves into their room/office". When I sent it to Rabbi Berkowitz and asked him if he approved the strong wording of the flyer, he responded: "Very powerful! I definitely approve".

 

Download the flyer here

 

Print out the flyer and make photocopies. Give them to your wife to put out or hang up - at women's gatherings, shiurim and local events in your city. You could be saving many families, marriages and lives!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Battle Communication

 

La-Briut!

 

A new warrior joined us on the forum this past month. He calls himself "Briut" and he's very inspiring. He is quickly becoming a powerful force for good on our site. I would like to bring a few posts of his, in honor of his (approx) 30 days clean with us:

 

In response to Friday's link about "The Garden of Peace" by Rav Shalom Arush, "Briut" wrote:

 

This book has changed my life. It changed my marriage and changed my attitude toward others. All for the better.

 

I think this stuff is crazy and magical. I want to take it to the next level. I'd like to find a chabura for going through some of these lessons and sharing the results. (Some folks from this forum would be nice.) If not a group chabura, then maybe a 1:1 chavrusa. Anyone interested in trying this with me? Whether PMs on this site or e-mails on the side? RSVP. (If you want to join 'briut', send me an e-mail at eyes.guard@gmail.com)

 

'Briut' writes:

 

I read something on this Forum that hit me hard. Someone said to another newbie something like, "wouldn't you like to spend the rest of your life LIVING as a mentsch, rather than as a pretender who's walking around with a dirty little secret?"

 

I'm afraid there's only one answer to that question. (The only question is how to get there?)

 

Two tips from Briut in this struggle:

 

1) Pull in kedusha, don't push out sin.

 

The goal to "banish sin" might be a set-up: better to fill its place with enough good that sin has no more home. Fighting 'evil' alone just exhausts me while energizing sin into some 500 pound gorilla. Better to simply turn to good. (Besides, say "I won't think about elephants" for 20 days, and what will you think about?!)

 

2) Imperfection is just perfect.

 

This insight dissolves my fears: I'm not obligated to have a perfect plan, or to do it all, or perfectly, or forever, or sweat. Perfectionism and self-flagellation are not Jewish values. He only wants us growing in the right direction "One day at a time."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Q & A of the Day

 

Watching a Movie For Shalom Bayit?

 

Question:

 

I can't believe I keep falling for the Y"H's tricks. A couple of days ago my wife insisted we see a movie. No nudity, but of course it had an attractive actress. Of course I couldn't get her out of my head. And that was a slippery slope downwards for me.


Yes, my wife knows about my struggles, but she really, really wanted to watch a movie with me. Also, I'm pretty sure she doesn't know that dressed women can trigger me. I really don't want to disappoint her by telling her that even dressed women who are attractive are atrigger for me.


Until I have more will power to watch a movie and not take it further the next day, I guess I should just explain to her that I can't watch any more movies, right? I don't know. What about our shalom bayit - if she really, really wants to watch a movie and says "there's no nudity in it, so it's OK"?

 

We Replied:

 

It's tough being an addict, but hey, if we're allergic to peanuts, we just gotta avoid those peanuts.


If your wife wants to watch a movie, have her go through it slowly first (by moving the play-bar slowly over each minute or so) and checking if there are any women in it that have tight clothing or skirts above the knees - and to make sure that there are no "love" scenes. In most cases, she will not be able to confirm this, and you'll be able to get out of it by claiming that these things are triggers for you. I believe she'll respect you for your integrity. After all, even a non-addict has to "guard his eyes" according to Halacha, and looking at attractive women for an hour straight is not exactly shmiras ainayim, is it? This is plain and simple Halacha, which applies even when the women are fully dressed. I'm sure she can respect Halacha, no?


Also, have her read this cute article by Tzvi Fishman (Arutz Sheva Blogger).

 

~ See the "Daily Dose of Dov" below for Dov's reply to this question ~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 Daily Dose of Dov
Dov is sober in SA for over 10 years. See his story here.

"Live To Give"

 

Dov Responds to the question above about watching a movie:

 

Funny! A close friend of mine in the program called me last night and asked about the very same thing - his wife wanted to watch a movie with him, too! 


The last thing you want to do (though it's better than nothing!) is to just point out to her how clueless she is. It is better for both of us if I take a minute to remind my wife how much I love her and how I see being honest with her as the best way to stay extra-close. (She appreciates closeness).


I let her know that I just have limitations. Not because I am better than other folks, or because I am frummer or trying to live at a higher standard than others. Rather, it is because I am sick. I am oversensitive - actually allergic - to frivolous lust-peddling. (Not to be being intimate with her though, cuz that's real.)


Loving her, loving yourself, even loving Hashem - anyone can sympathize with that!

 

We try to explain Dov's last line:

 

What I think Dov means to say, is that she can surely sympathize with a guy who loves Hashem and loves her (and loves himself enough to not want to put up walls between himself and her/Hashem)... So if you say it over in the RIGHT WAY, she hopefully won't take it in the wrong way.

 

Dov responds:

 

Actually, I just meant: "live to give" as often as possible, especially with your wife. It's not "how you say it to her that I care about first, (though it certainly is good practice to say things in a loving way) ... but sometimes we don't need to say anything at all. It's what motivates me that matters the most in the relationship - the good will eventually overtake it all, if I do my part. Importantly, that does not mean to look back on whether I did a good job at it, or to assess my progress. Let's face it: I am selfish and probably hopelessly in love with 'me'. But I don't care! Every time I remember that what I am doing - usually something self-centered - is not working (as evidenced by my unhappiness), I turn my thoughts to how can I take the actions of love right then. 


To heck with assessing myself - that has nothing to do with anything, especially in the first year or two of recovery. I can be the most selfish and self-absorbed person - and remain that way..  even die that way... it may even be on my tombstone... but I do not care at all. It's actually none of my business. The only thing that I care about is what I am doing right now. I am totally powerless over the past and over the actual outcomes of the future. How can I love my wife, my children, my Jewish people, and my G-d right now? That is what matters, as far as I am concerned. I need to snub my nose at pretty much everything else, sometimes.


"Thinking" (especially about myself) is usually poison, and stupid. Not always, but usually. Especially in early recovery. At least for me, and many other addicts I know.

 
710.


Monday  ~ 1 Adar, 5770  ~  February 15, 2010
Rosh Chodesh Adar


In Today's Issue

  • Announcements: Duvid Chaim's Group / Two Great Speeches
  • Quote of the Day: The Allergy
  • Q & A of the Day: "How do I prevent myself from becoming an addict?"
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Wishful Thinking

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Announcements

 

Duvid Chaim's Group Restarting!

 

Do you feel like you've tried your hardest to stop the addiction?  Have you been mostly successful fighting off the urge and have even had periods of sobriety - only to somehow slip and fall?  Maybe you're not sure that you even have an addiction - but you'd like to find out.

 

Well, then it's time to try a new approach.  Not just any new approach.  But an approach that's been successful since 1939.

 

Are you concerned about privacy and anonymity, but you know that you would benefit by working a 12 Step Program?

 

GuardYourEyes is proud to offer an In-depth B'Iyun 12 Step Big Book Study Lunch & Learn.

 

Led by Duvid Chaim, an experienced religious 12 Step Program Sponsor, for those who are unable or unwilling to make it to face to face meetings.

 

The Big Book Study Lunch & Learn (BBSL&L) uses the traditional and proven format used by millions of 12 Step sponsors and sponsees who have, with G-d's help, found recovery and freedom from their addiction.

 

The BBSL&L is starting a new cycle IY"H on Wednesday February 24, and will meet in a free conference call - 4 days a week, Monday through Thursday at 12 Noon (Eastern Standard Time). 

 

The BBSL&L is a TEXT STUDY Chabura; based on the AA Big Book

 

We will cover 2 to 3 pages from the Big Book each day and WORK THE STEPS.

 

This program is a proven method of success! 

 

The cycle takes between 3-4 months. This is a Program for men who are willing to make a serious commitment to finally find the freedom from their addiction; as literally promised by the Program.

 

To be added to Duvid Chaim's contact list for updates on the group, or if you have any questions, please contact Duvid Chaim here.

 

Please be prepared with a 12 Step Big Book (you can buy one at any major bookstore or ordering one from Amazon.com over here), (or you can download a copy from here).

 

You'll find more details about the BBL&LSG at this link. See also this page for frequently asked questions about Duvid Chaim's group.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Two Great Speeches.

On September 8, 2009 (20 Elul, 5769), the Baltimore community had a Kinus Hisorarus (communal gathering) for men on the topic of Tznius.  The Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Aharon Feldman, Shlita, was the first speaker, and set the tone for the entire evening. Although the Rosh Yeshiva did not directly address pornography or the Internet, it's not difficult to apply much of what he said to the challenges we face.  


Especially on point is what the Rosh Yeshiva says near the end, about how breaches in Tznius (men being attracted to other women, and women trying to attract other men) have a profound effect on our Shalom Bayis.


The Rosh Yeshiva's speech is just under 20 minutes, and can be downloaded here.  

 

Rav Dovid Heber was the final speaker at the Kinus Hisorarus. His topic was the challenges of technology and immodesty, both in and out of the workplace.

  
Rav Heber's 35-minute speech includes sharply criticizing Facebook (and other social networking services) early on (3:00-4:50), as well as mentioning both GYE (10:05-10:11) and Internet pornography addiction (20:50-20:59).  Rav Heber has strong words about how many of us live double lives, and how contradictions in how we live and what we expect from our children can, c"v, have very negative effects on how they turn out (20:17-29:41). 


Rav Heber's speech is around 35 minutes, and can be downloaded here.  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Quote of the Day

 

The Allergy

 

By "Sci1977":

 

I have been really thinking about the idea of how being an addict is like being allergic (I have very bad allergies.)  I totally agree with that concept more and more.  If I am - let's say - allergic to peanuts, I don't eat them out of knowing what is going to happen if I do eat them. This addiction is the same. I know that if I was to start to slip or fall, it would be the same. It is a wonderful way to describe it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Q & A of the Day

 

"How do I prevent myself from becoming an addict?"

 

I see myself as a not-yet addict but extremely prone to become one (I have all the causative factors that everyone writes about). And I have already began a downward trend, "acting out" twice recently for the first time in my life. How does one prevent a potential addict from becoming one?

 

Answer:

 

Dear Yid. One of the slogans of GYE is "Helping people hit bottom while still on top". Please see Chizuk e-mail #441 on this page for more on this vital concept (scroll down).


To get a feel for the horrors that this addiction can lead to, see this page for some stories from the point of view of the "wives of addicts".

 

And please read also the horror stories here and here.

 

Don't let yourself start sliding down the bottomless pit of addiction. It only gets worse, never better, and it can easily destroy your life in this world and the next - if not nipped in the bud NOW. Hit bottom while still on top!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Daily Dose of Dov
Dov is sober in SA for over 10 years. See his story here.

Wishful Thinking

 

Someone who kept having repeated falls wrote on the forum:

 

Another fall... no time to feel sorry for myself.. I just got to try harder.. maybe one day I'll get it.

 

Dov replies:

 

Hi. I have read through a good bit of your recent posts and see that you are really struggling valiantly. The themes that keep coming up are that you talk to Hashem, love Him, want so much to depend on him, and expect Him to actually help you stay clean. It is clear that you are bothered by the things that you sometimes choose to do.

 

The quote above sounds quite sad. I have said the same thing to myself and to others many times in the past as well, and I do believe that you think you are truly sincere. You are honest, admitting whenever you "fall". Of course, it is relatively easy to be honest in a 'virtual' venue like this - hurts the pride a bit, yes, but still rather easy. No one sees you. 


You seem to feel that although you may be a failing, perhaps poor eved Hashem, you are at least still definitely an eved Hashem and assume that you will one day get better! I relate completely to those feelings.

 
Nevertheless, I have no sympathy for you, even though I love you. Chazal teach me not to have sympathy, it's not my idea... Please allow me to explain why I feel this way about you, and why I hope that sharing this with you may actually be helpful:


I am an addict. I am totally unable to stay clean. I use shmutz and lust, as you do, and have "special interests", as you do. Lust can easily take over my attention and my mind because to me it is a drug - it intoxicates me. With it, I can easily escape for a while into a fantasy world and feel powerful and free. I wake up shell-shocked, dirty and weak, of course, but what other tools for coping with the bothers of life do I possess? Not many, by nature, even though I was (and still am) a frum yid who learned Torah, davened, cared about, learned and even taught mussar, etc. A bit of a fake, no?


Nevertheless, I am sober today for over twelve years. You can look up my story on this site somewhere (see here). How is this possible? Am I showing off? 


Well, the answer is in many of your posts too: it's all due to a relationship with Hashem that recovery is helping me achieve and maintain day by day, even though I'm very imperfect. And at the same time, recovery helps me get a clear view of me. After all, it's hard to get and maintain a useful relationship with a big liar or with a person you can't really see. I was both. I need other people to help me with these things. I need Hashem to help me with them because the work was impossible. 


But I don't get the help just because I want it or ask for it. It requires me to do something. This is "olam ha'asiyah - the world of deeds". Period.


You do not seem to be lacking in emunah. But so far, every time someone posted a suggestion to you - a concrete suggestion - you responded with sweet answers like "Yes, I am putting my hope and trust in Hashem that He will help me with this." Very nice. But is that faith? Is faith about doing nothing but "trying harder", as you mention above? Is that "trusting"? Is trust something you have - or is it something you do?


I think you are describing neither trust, nor hope. I call what you are doing, "wishing". Nothing more than wishing real hard.


Faith - bitachon - is what Hashem wants us to use to gain the courage to do what is necessary to live as Yiddishe mentchen.


Promises and hopes mean nothing to your wife and kids. They want you to be better. I do not mean to insult you at all c"v. I am just sharing with you what was shared with me. And Hashem helped me.


He's powerful. He loves you. And He can do far better for you than help you "hope", if you just start taking the actions necessary to actually stop and get better. My wish for you is progress in the direction you started by joining GYE; to drop the shame, and to take whatever actions needed for you to get better. It all depends on what you want. Do you want to keep looking like you want to get better, or: do you want to actually start getting better?


If you continue wishing and hoping without progressing in taking real action, I would suggest that it just proves that you do not really want to get better.


And I may be the very last person to look down on you for being scared to death of actually quitting and staying quit. Hey - I'm an addict. I haven't forgotten what it's like to be tied to lust. And I also remember mastering the art of acting like I'm moving to recovery while actually running fast in the opposite direction. 


And that is why I love you. 


Wishing you all the chizuk in the world, 


- Dov

 
711.


Tuesday  ~ 2 Adar, 5770  ~  February 16, 2010


In Today's Issue

  • Attitude Tip of the Day: This is MY Movie
  • Testimonial of the Day: You Saved My Life
  • Battle Communication: Moving Targets Are Harder to Hit
  • Link of the Day: Powerful Talk on "Family Security" By Rav Yosef Viener
  • Daily Dose of Dov: The "Program"
  • Pic of the Day: Keep on Truckin'
  • Announcement: Duvid Chaim's Group Starting

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Attitude Tip of the Day

 

This is MY Movie

 

By "Silent Battle"

 

We have this idea in our head - a kind of script, really - that in various situations, our response is supposed to be to act out. It might be "when I'm under stress," or "when I'm lonely," or "when I'm triggered." But somehow, we've accepted that it's sorta-kinda OK to act out. Like it's understandable. 

And then we need to fight against that assumption. 

Instead, perhaps we should go through our minds in our free time; find all those messed-up scripts; and scrap them in favor of new, good ones. This is MY movie, and I think I'm going to call in the best script-writer available - yeah, that would be Hashem. I like his endings the best.

 

"Noorah" Responds:

 

Thanks for sharing this! Very well said!

 

This sounds a bit like the first of Covey's Seven Habits. He writes:

 

We can choose to be reactive to our environment. For example, if the weather is good, we will be happy. If the weather is bad, we will be unhappy. If people treat us well, we will feel well; if they don't, we will feel bad and become defensive. We also can choose to be proactive and not let our situation determine how we will feel. Reactive behavior can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. By accepting that there is nothing we can do about our situation, we in fact become passive and do nothing.

 

The first habit of highly effective people is proactivity. Proactive people are driven by values that are independent of the weather or how people treat them. Gandhi said, "They cannot take away our self respect if we do not give it to them." Our response to what happened to us affects us more than what actually happened. We can choose to use difficult situations to build our character and develop the ability to better handle such situations in the future.

 

Proactive people use their resourcefulness and initiative to find solutions rather than just reporting problems and waiting for other people to solve them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Testimonial of the Day

 

You Saved My Life

 

Josh posted on the forum:

 

Wow, unbelievable.... I had to wait to day 88 to gather enough courage to write here.

I have been looking all my life for something like this website and it wasn't till my work mate forwarded me a link to this site... And as soon as I saw this site I started, and B"H haven't fallen and IY"H won't fall ever again.

I would like to thank my work mate who I guess is also finishing his 90 days now, for if not for him who introduced me to this site who knows how much longer I would have continued?


And if you need any help, just know that you saved my life - and that alone should give you enough strength to continue for many more years....

Thank you administration of GYE for all the E-mails and reminders....


The daily emails and reminders, even thought I didn't always have time to read them... Just being in the Inbox reminded me to behave myself and keep away from the bad.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Battle Communication

 

Moving Targets Are Harder to Hit

 

Rage (RATM) posted on the forum:

 

So here I am on my third week of my climb back up... How can I make this one better?... How do I make these clean days get me more return for my buck than the last days did?... I think about something I first learned from Dov and read about later in the SA literature... SA defines recovery as a progressive victory over lust.. I think that is the key, right there.... To try and make each day less lustful than the last day... While ultimately, our goal every day should be getting as close to the zero factor on lust. Each day we need to take an affirmative step that will get us there.... "What can I do today to be less lustful than yesterday?" is the question... And I believe that thinking along those lines can help us defeat the oh-so-dangerous sense of complacency that comes along with each progressive day...

 

But it's not gonna happen every day... I may lust more today than yesterday, but if you can somehow chart the lustfulness, the slope should be on the decline... This is what I need to internalize, and this is what I need to work on... My progressive victory... Moving targets are harder to hit... I can't afford to stand still... (Sorry Walt Clyde Frasier, in this war, the best offense is a good offense).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Link of the Day

 


 

"Family Security" Talk by Rav Yosef Viener

 

We had the honor today of discussing our work at GuardYourEyes with Rav Yosef Viener, a well know Rav from the Agudas Yisrael of Flatbush. Rabbi Yosef Viener has inspired and enlightened thousands of listeners worldwide with his shiurim and lectures on Halachah and Hashkafah. (Click here for some of his Shiurim).

 

In the summer of 2009, Rav Veiner gave a talk called "Family Security" on the dangers of today's technology, with practical advice on how to protect ourselves and our children. After the talk, a man came over to Rav Veiner and told him that he would give any amount of money that Rav Veiner asked for, to make copies of that talk and distribute it. On the spot, he wrote out a $5,000 check and Rav Veiner proceeded to make 4,000 copies of the talk on CDs, which he distributed at later events that he attended. It's a very powerful talk, and well worth listening to!

 

To listen to the "Family Security" talk (MP3 Audio), click here.

(To download it, right click and press "Save Target/Link As")

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Daily Dose of Dov
Dov is sober in SA for over 10 years. See his story here.

The "Program"

 

To someone who claimed he had studied the 12-Steps and found them "insightful":

 

The steps are not like Torah, which (sadly) can just be a book, and just read without being believed in at all, nor incorporating it. The steps are not information - they are a program. Hence the term, "Program". You don't read them and think about them. You put them into action. Only.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Pic of the Day

 

Keep on Truckin'

Sent in by "bardichev"

 



 

 
712.


Wednesday  ~ 3 Adar, 5770  ~  February 17, 2010


In Today's Issue

  • Announcement: Free Phone Calls!
  • Personal Victory of the Day: Mazal Tov to 'Sci1977' on 90 days!
  • Article Quote of the Day: Learning from Martin Gross A"H
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Living as G-d's Boychik

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Announcement: Free Phone Calls!

 

Since Duvid Chaim's conference call will be starting a new cycle IY"H in a week from today (Feb 24), I would like to point out to everyone that we have found a way to get free phone calls! See this page for more info.

 

You'll find more details about Duvid Chaim's group at this link.

See also this page for frequently asked questions about Duvid Chaim's group.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Personal Victory of the Day

 

Mazal Tov to 'Sci1977' on his 90th day clean!

 

Today he is at the top of our 90 day chart here, and tomorrow he will be on our Wall of Honor chart here!

 

'Sci1977' wrote today on the forum:

 

Day 90 of being clean and sober. Thank you G-d, thank you G-d, thank you G-d. 

 

How do you even come close to understanding this momentous - yet still so small of an accomplishment - at the same time?  My gratitude is immense, and I will forever remember these 90 days probably more then any other 90 days of my life. Because it is where I found "living". I feel like a four year old that just got to open up his biggest birthday present. The only difference is, that instead of getting a toy or a video game, I received something better: life. Life was in a huge box with a big bow. My attitude has always been to stay positive. I have laughed, I have cried, I have been forthcoming with my deepest and most honest feelings.


A few things that I want to make sure I mention, because if I don't - as a human - I will kick myself: Be true to yourself and honest to yourself in your recovery process. Think of everyday as day 1. Yes, I have counted, but I feel like the count really doesn't matter. It's how you live that counts. Live the change you want to make.

 

Don't forget your past. Remembering who I was, is certainly a great reminder to continue on this journey. I was an angry little man (a small admission that really needs to be said on this day). I am still far from where I need to be, but I am not where I was.  One day at a time, with courage and determination. On a long trip, you can find yourself.  


I look at where I need to go, and I know I am so far away. G-d, give me the power to be "powerless" the rest of my life. This voyage is for the rest of my life. I will continue to lean on pillars of the strength of G-d and my wife. I look to them for guidance in good and bad. If you look at the addiction like an allergy, it helps.


The one word I would use to describe the last 90 days is, "work".  You have to work on yourself to get somewhere.  That's right, work on yourself.  Introspection of oneself is the best and most positive thing you can do. You can find out what makes you 'tick' as a person. It's introspection that made me understand you can't get far internally without thinking with a calm, cool, and collected head.


A positive attitude is a must. Without it, I know I would not have made it this long. I have tried to figure out how to write an outline of what worked for me. But instead of formally writing it, I am going to make bullet points.

  • Tell your story
  • Thank G-d for everything and understand that He is everything
  • Be positive about your life, but more importantly, about yourself.
  • Say goodbye to your past, but don't forget the past.
  • Say hello to living, and live the change you are trying to make
  • Love yourself
  • Love your family, especially your spouse. 
  • Be honest and work on yourself.
  • Rely on friends or family when things get tough.
  • Find outlets of relaxation (for me its sports).
     

Lastly, I want to thank all those who have responded or wrote something to me on my threads on the forum. Thank you, for you have all given me something, both as individuals and as a team.  


Oy vey, G-d get me through this without so many tears.  My wonderful beautiful wife. You and you alone were the one to put me on this path. Words can do this no justice. I hope you feel I have worked hard and really understand that I am not here without you. This could have been our end, and instead we turned it into a positive. Honestly not easy, but we have. I know that our road is still bumpy. You are everything to me. With every ounce of my being, I thank you.


I am eternally grateful to be where I am, on a good and moral journey. Thank you G-d, thank you my excellent wife, and thank you GYE.

 

No slips or falls, non needed or wanted.


I WILL WIN THE BATTLES AND THE WAR- WITH G-D'S HELP!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Article Quote of the Day

 

Learning from Martin Gross A"H

 

Teshuvah & Ahavas Yisrael are the two highest ideals of the GYE Network. And Martin Gross showed us all that these two ideals are possible even in the abyss of  pain and death.

 

To quote Nochum Kurinsky who was present at the execution (YW NEWS):

The curtain opened and there was Martin in the next room. He was only four or five feet from us, but he was strapped down and covered up until his neck. The only visible part of him was his arm, in which was an IV that would deliver the sam hamoves, the poison, and his face. In the room with him were a police officer and someone who stood with a paper and notebook presumably recording every detail of what transpired. The room also had a large clock behind Martin as well as video cameras and microphones hanging from the ceiling. Otherwise there were freshly painted walls, a sparkling clean floor, and a one way glass leading to a third room behind Martin.

Martin did not look at the crowd nor at the police officer next to him,  he just stared up at the ceiling. There was silence in the room, the tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife. I for one was almost convulsing. The clock read 6:02.

The officer asked "Mr. Grossman do you have any final words?" to which Martin replied "Yes".

Martin began "I completely regret everything that I did on that night, both that which I remember and that which I do not". He then said, "I would like to say a prayer," the officer said okay.

At that point Martin says "Shema Yisroel adon- elokenu adon- echod" in a loud voice and then said something that I will never forget so long as I live.
"Ahavat Yisroel".

At that point I began to weep so loud that the guy behind me asked me if I would like to leave. There are no words to describe the way Martin died. Martin committed a terrible crime, one that will haunt a family as long as they live. But with those two words he showed that, "ein dovor ha'omed bifnei harotzon," nothing stands in the way of a man's will. Martin died proclaiming his affection for Yisroel his brothers and sisters throughout the world, more for G-d and his Torah as well. Martin died a repentant man, but more than that. Martin died a man that accomplished something that we as Jews have been trying to do for nearly 2,000 years. He brought us together with true Jewish unity - Ahavas Yisroel.

Who knew a child born to an abusive father and sick mother, a boy who could not make it through school, a young man who shopped for drugs in his mother's closet, a man who killed someone -  and not just a person, but a young Park Ranger who was just doing her job, while he was high on a cocktail of drugs,  could have such an incredible impact.

Martin died as a true bal Teshuvah Al Kidush Hashem, sanctifying G-ds name in public, the highest level a Jew can reach on this earth.

We can all learn from Martin that Teshuvah is possible under all circumstances, and that the adverse situations that we sometimes find ourselves in, can be used as a springboard to unite Yidden together with true Ahavas Yisrael (as 50,000 yidden did, by sending e-mails and other such attempts to save him). Our addiction and suffering serve also to unite us, as we can see happening on the GYE forum every day. And we must always remember Martin and know that Teshuvah is possible against all odds and under all circumstances.

May his soul rest in peace.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 Daily Dose of Dov
Dov is sober in SA for over 10 years. See his story here.

Living as G-d's Boychik

 

To someone who was discussing how "Hashem must be so happy when we struggle with the Yetzer Hara", Dov writes the following:

 

(Disclaimer: Dov's words are intended for people who have tried struggling with the Yetzer Hara for years and keep losing, not for people who are only slightly addicted and may be able to beat the addiction with 'will-power")

 

A funny thing seems to happen to all the folks I meet in recovery after they are sober for a while: They take on this mindset that they are not in this world to overcome lust. They begin to see their sobriety only as a gateway to real living. See the start of step 4 or 6 in AA's "12&12" for more on this, if you like. (These chapters discuss how our instincts, which are necessary for our existence, often far exceed their proper functions - and how we sometimes use our natural instincts for self-destruction). In fact, freedom from lust is the very last thing I feel is my tachlis in this world. There is this giant thing called "life" waiting for me out there. My wife, kids, the people I come in contact with, the Torah to learn... knowing G-d. These things beat any "struggle" hands-down.


Is my tachlis in this world really to beat lust? And I don't even really beat it anyway - Hashem does.... Is this a goal for a yid? Don't you think you'd want better for your kids?
(After all, we're all Hashem's children). A father of a boy with emotional problems wants his son to eventually see his struggle with depression as 'road-kill' - at least in some respect.... not to stay in it - seeing it as 'the great purpose of his life'! Gevalt! What about living? Is this not poshut? Am I missing something here? OK maybe I am, as some mussar purists might tell me (with a Messilas Yeshorim squarely to the head); but as an addict, this is a totally unacceptable way of life, as far as I am aware. I have not seen the 'tortured strugglers' get better. Frumer - maybe, but rarely sober for very long. I don't personally know of any, as a matter of fact. Nu. Perhaps I need to get out more often! ;-)


Yes, yes, in the beginning of recovery - yes - the struggle to 'stop struggling' and give up completely on my ability to use lust successfully needs to be the prime focus of everything; i.e. the opposite extreme of how I was living before. But over time, it needs to reverse itself to simply living as G-d's boychik (or girlchik); and living with gusto! That's why the rest of the 12 steps
(after the first) don't mention my problem at all. The 'problem' was just a symptom of being screwed up, after all! 


Furthermore, to me, this kind of talk is just more 'romanticism', which is ultimately about me, me, me. Romance with challenges, struggles and madreigos. I know the pull to it is tremendous. It is very attractive, the idea of getting "healed". But I - an addict - need to learn to live as an addict. It is probably fine for normal yidden to make 'the struggle' the entire point of life, and possibly even a great madreiga - difficult as I find it to accept. Yet, I have been there, as have many others, and for me as an addict, it's just useless. 


Just a share, for free, chaver. 


Marbim beSimcha 


- Dov

 
713.


Thursday  ~ 4 Adar, 5770  ~  February 18, 2010


In Today's Issue

  • Personal Victory of the Day: I'm Proud of You
  • Attitude Tip of the Day: Every Day is 'Day 1'
  • Practical Tip of the Day: Wait 15 minutes
  • Testimonial of the Day: Since Before My Bar-Mitzva
  • Daily Dose of Dov: "What's with YOU?"
  • Announcement: Free Phone Calls

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Personal Victory of the Day

I'm Proud of You

Yesterday we wished Mazal Tov to 'Sci1977' on his 90th day clean, which got him onto our Wall of Honor chart here. Today 'Sci1977' wrote on the forum:

 

This morning, I re-read the last page or so of my thread and realized how emotional recovery is. I have closed the door to my office today so I could cry in peace. I want to point out that every single response has made me cry. I sent my wife what I wrote (which appeared in yesterday's e-mail) and I got a response from my wife by e-mail. She wrote:

I'm very proud of you, obviously. I know you didn't feel that you had options, but you did have options, and one was to keep walking forward away from us and the children, and you didn't. You did very much the opposite. I will tell you that you have amazed me. I never thought that we would make it. Whatever you thought was dark, I felt it was completely black. I wanted to put up a wall that you couldn't break down, no matter what. Instead of that, you showed me that you loved me, and little by little I saw that you loved yourself too. 


I feel like your best friend, and I do want to be that person. Spiritually, you showed me that you can be something for me to be proud of, and I am. 

What my wife wrote made me cry more then anyone. My heart is filled with much love.  Thank you all once again.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Attitude Tip of the Day

 

Every Day is 'Day 1'

 

'Sci1977' shares an attitude tip:

 

I want to share today something that I feel is very important to make sure I get out - and off my chest. The 90 days is for sure a must to get where you want to go. However, the first day is more important then the rest of those 90. I look back now and see that at day 1, I knew nothing about myself. I knew I had a problem, but not much else. Day 1 is when you are actually more brave then any other time. It shows you're ready to give in and try. I know that everyday farther away from the dirty past is a good one, but it would not have happened without day 1. In a way, I try to see everyday as day 1. For that is the day I found my life and the many wonderful things that go with it. I found myself more connected to wife, family and friends.  Most important though, is I found myself connected to myself. I also rekindled my love for G-d. This journey continues, and I know now that there is time for family, G-d, friends and relaxation. The road is still bumpy. But life, REAL LIFE, is so precious.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Practical Tip of the Day

 

Wait 15 Minutes

 

"Holy Yid" writes to someone on the forum who wrote he wants to stop these behaviors because he doesn't want to be a sinner:

 

You should want to stop to be able to have a life, NOT to stop 'sinning'.

 

If you don't stop now, you will end up spending your whole day online looking at P***. You will have no life. You will not learn Torah. You will ignore your wife and kids. You will not get a position, nor be able to hold down a job.

 

So how do you stop?

Well that's what this site is for. I was crazy till I found this site. Then I learned to stop trying to "stop" and start living instead!


Let me explain.

 

Step 1: Admit you have a problem that you can't control. Post that here on the forum, post it often, and don't forget it. 

Step 2: Don't resist the urges, cuz that just makes them stronger. Instead, gently put your mind some place else.

If that does not work, tell yourself "I will wait 15 minutes and then I will allow myself to do whatever I want". During that time, do something you enjoy. That might help you. If it does not, you will at least have the merit of those 15 minutes. Keep building your merit, and ultimately you will succeed!

And one last BIG SECRET: Post here on the forum often and tell us about your struggles and victories!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Testimonial of the Day

 

Since Before My Bar Mitzvah

 

By "Yosef Hatzadik"

 

I am a Brooklyn yungerman who has been looking at re'ios assuros even before I knew that I shouldn't be looking at them. I was doing the ma'aseh before I knew that it is an aveira, r"l. I am married now with a few children, Boruch Hashem, and have been struggling with the yetzer horah since then.

B'rov rachamov vechasodov, I was zoche to be directed to this great and holy site by a Rav who knows about my struggles (I am forever indebted to him for this referral!).

 

My Rav insists that every single person davening in his shul or coming to his shiurim must sign up to CovenantEyes.com at his expense, and he gets the accountability reports. (That's how he found out about my problem and referred me to this site).

I told the Rav recently that I have a big t'viyah (complaint) against him for not telling me about this site earlier!

 

With much siyata dishmaya and the chizuk I received from this site, I was zoche to have a higher level of shmiras einayim for the last month that I haven't had since before I was a Bar Mitzvah!

This eida kedosha is a truly holy gathering of people who are Hashem's REAL friends in this lowly world. [Bemokom shebalei teshuva omdim ein tzadikim gemurim yecholim la'amod!] We may not be like the tzadikim of previous generations, but in this dark, dirty, dingy, disgusting, and degrading society we were put into, {in his infinite wisdom... we believe we are lucky to be in this generation, otherwise we wouldn't be here! HE doesn't make mistakes!} we can accomplish even more than the tzadikim of old did! WE CAN BRING THE GEULA! After all, a small 4 watt nightlight bulb will make all the difference between whether you bump into the walls or not - if you put it in a room which is otherwise in total darkness; whereas a million candlepower searchlight does little good when used in bright daylight, as CHAZA"L say: Shraga betihara mai ahanye. (As in the days of old when so many Tzadikim filled the world).


Yasher Ko'ach to all the good Jews who set up this site, to all those that post on this site, to all those that help fund this site, and to all those dear friends of Hakodosh Boruch Hu who value true kosher SIGHT!!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Daily Dose of Dov
Dov is sober in SA for over 10 years. See his story here.

"What's with YOU?"

("How I wish someone had asked me this 20 years ago!")

 

Someone wrote on the forum:

 

Undertaking a genuine Teshuva starts by understanding the mekoros and ikarim of the issurim of these issues. This is not only MY opinion, but many rishonim and baalei hamusar hold like this. You can get rid of an issur and a bad habit by shaping your mind to understand and be aware at all times, of the harm caused by our deeds.

Dov Responds:

 

You are talking about what the sforim and ba'alei mussar say about teshuva. That means you know this already. So then why is the struggle so hard if you know it already? After all, Hashem doesn't want this for you. So don't do it. You are a precious child of His - and His personal project. Right? Each of us is.So why do it?

 

I'm not talking about what's right - I'm asking you about what's with you. (Not what's with the Torah). You is what matters, because we already know that the Torah doesn't hold of looking at porn or masturbating. Get me?


Let's not play games, neither of us.


Teshuvah is b'ikar about what you have done. What does Teshuva have to do with not doing it any more? I know, I know... it's supposed to affect the future... So let it! What's your question?


How about not doing it any more for two months. Then talk about Teshuva.


Not so simple?


I'm not talking about "addiction" here - just about you.


What is the difference in the exact "nature of the prohibition" as far as stopping and staying stopped is concerned, if you agree that it is not what your very best Friend ever (Hashem) wants for you?

I wish I had someone ask me this very question 20 years ago. Oh, how I wish it.


Hatzlocha sweet yid!

 

714.


Friday  ~ 5 Adar, 5770  ~  February 19, 2010
Erev Shabbos Parshas Terumah


In Today's Issue

  • Parsha Talk - Terumah: "And I Shall Dwell In Them"
  • Battle Communication: Take the Ball & Run With it!
  • Attitude Tip of the Day: There is No 'Long Haul'
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Teshuvah Through Experience

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Parsha Talk: Terumah

 

"And they shall make for me a Tabernacle, and I shall dwell in them"

 

The Pasuk doesn't say "I will dwell in it". Rather, it says "I will dwell in them". Every Jew can make his heart like a Tabernacle for the divine presence to dwell inside of him.

 

Ahron (whose story appears here on our site, and here on Aish.com) wrote to me yesterday:

 

For me, at least right now, recovery is a two step approach:

 

Step one is a list I wrote up of the consequences of acting out, which remind me that it will kill me.

 

And step two is to add Kedusha to my life, so that I live right.

 

As R' Viener said in the shiur that you sent out recently called "Family Security", Tznius leads to Kedusha, and Kedusha allows the Shechina in. And when the Shechina is there, lust is not. They do not - and cannot - coexist. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Battle Communication

 

Take the Ball & Run with it!

 

Jack, whose 90-Day time-line appears here on our site, writes to a newcomer:

 

My (user)name is Jack, please read my recovery story. I was addicted for 38+ years until I found this site. Do the 90 days, even one minute at a time, if you have to. Join a phone group - you will find one here that suits you. Don't attempt this by yourself. Would you attempt to climb mount Everest all by yourself? Remember that falling is part of the process. You have started on the road to recovery! Yasher koach. The first step is to admit there is a problem - many people are in denial and don't admit they're addicts. You know the guy who says he can quit anytime? yeah, sure. Well I am clean for almost a year and a half, with only a few slips spaced out over about 6 months each. But basically I'm doing fine. But - once an addict always an addict, and it never totally goes away. But we can control it - IF WE WANT TO. Take the ball and run with it!

 

Oh, and one more thing: Get a sponsor who you can call (almost) anytime when you are weak. I can't emphasize enough how a sponsor helped me through the toughest times, mainly the first 90 days. I spoke to my sponsor every week, and I wrote to Guard ten times a day. He put all his mesiras nefesh into me, just like he does for everybody else on this forum.

 

Hatzlacha Raba,

Jack

 

Comment from the webmaster: Due to time constraints, Guard is no longer available to answer 10 e-mails a day. Please keep your e-mail correspondence to five e-mails or less :-) ... Even better, get yourself a partner to keep you strong. See this page for more info on how to get a partner for e-mailing / chatting on-line / phone calls.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Attitude Tip of the Day

 

There is No 'Long Haul'

 

By "Rage" (RATM)

 

I was having a conversation with someone from the forum and here is how it went: I said, "I believe in you", then he said, "I believe in me in short spurts, but not for the long haul"... It then occurred to me that we are in total agreement... Because there is no long haul... in fact "tomorrow" is a word we use to describe fiction; something that is not real and is not there... Tomorrow is no more real than July 27, 2306 is real... All we have is today and now, and that is all we can work at... And if day 1 is a miracle from Hashem, then so is day 56... And if day 135 is hard, it is no harder than day 2... The only thing we can work on is the only thing we have in our hands: Today... NOW... And if you believe you can work on yourself NOW and stay clean this second and this minute, then you believe in yourself.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 Daily Dose of Dov
Dov is sober in SA for over 10 years. See his story here.

Does Teshuvah stem from knowledge of the Issur, or from knowledge gained through Experience?

 

Yesterday we brought a piece from Dov where he tells the guy how "knowing the intricacies of the issurim" is not what we need to recover. Instead, we need to ask ourselves what is OUR problem is (not what the Torah says the problem is).

 

After some replies on the forum, Dov again clarifies that it is not the "knowledge" of why it's wrong that can stop a real addict, nor is it blind-faith in the truth of the Torah that can stop us. What stopped him, was plain and simply the "knowledge" that he gained through his suffering.

 

Dov writes:

 

If we could actually say that knowing this (the intricacies of the issurim) would necessarily make an iota of difference in getting someone to stop for good, I'd promptly shut up. But I do not believe it is so in many cases. 


Of the following two choices, which is more like "knowledge" and which is more like "blind faith"?


1 - What the p'sukim, shulchan aruch, gemorah or zohar tell me I must not do, (based on my acceptance of Torah misinai, emunas chachomim, [and ruach hakodesh in some cases])...


or,

2 - the experiences - each of which I had: of being so wrapped up in my porn and masturbation (or my heiligeh struggle not to use/do it) that I lived a life where even my ruchnius is all about me; watching my wife cry her heart out when she sees that I have a much closer relationship with my "thing"than I have with her (sorry folks); and getting my face mashed into the shame of my servitude to these embarrassing and pathetic behaviors that I do over and over, without recovery. 


I don't need any faith to suffer. I just need to not recover. 


Furthermore, when the Torah tells us that teshuvah (per RMB"N) is within our reach, it doesn't say it's in a book, at all. It says all we need la'asos is what is in our mouths and in our hearts. Our own experience - if we really see it as it is - unvarnished - will lead us to Teshuva.

 

715.


Sunday  ~ 7 Adar, 5770  ~  February 21, 2010


In Today's Issue

  • Torah Thought of the Day: Amalek = 240 = Safek
  • Battle Communication: 2 Weeks Free from the Computer
  • Practical Tip of the day: Delete your "Buzz"
  • Attitude Tip of the Day: Misinterpreting the Urge
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Purpose vs. Side Affect
  • Help us Save Lives: A Powerful Quote from Rav Yosef Viener

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Torah Thought of the Day

 

Amalek = 240 = Safek

 

Posted by "Efshar Lesaken"

 

I just want to share a thought that I heard from Reb Yitzchak Moishe Erlinger from Yeshivas Me'Oir Einaim in Yerushalaim (a Very Holy Yid) at the shiur that he gave yesterday at Irgun Shurei Torah in Boro Park.


He was talking about how to achieve real Simcha in the month of Adar. And one of the points he made was that "
Ein Simche K'Hatoras Hasfeikus - There's no greater Simcha then resolving one's doubts!"


Often we get stuck in Doubts: "Can I make it? Will I fall again? Will I have to deal with this for the rest of my life?" Etc.. and the list is endless.


Amalek is B'Gematria Safek! All the Satan wants is to put us into doubt & then he has us beat.


When we make up our minds to do something good, Amalek shows up with the Question Marks. "Me?!? Nah! I can do this? I tried so many times before, why should it be different this time? And anyway, is it that bad? ... Hashem Loves me?  Why would He?"

 

And we drop it right there & then & Amalek won.


He added a known saying that "A bad decision is better then no decision at all!" We might end up "eating" this decision we made, but it's still worth it.


We have to make decisions & not let any doubts get in the way, no matter what!


Yes, I am going to do whatever it takes to deal with my addiction! No "Ifs", "Ands" or "Buts"!


And when we get rid of doubts & make solid decisions, then yes! We Will Be Happy!

And when we are Happy, we don't get caught up in Sin.


I bless you all with Happiness for the rest of your lives.


E.L.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Battle Communication

 

2 Weeks Free from the Computer

 

Elya K. (moderator of the phone conference) writes Chizuk to someone struggling:

 

Not isolating yourself and becoming a part of a group is the main way to get sober and recover from this addiction. Ideally, that means a live SA or SLAA group in your city. We also have phone groups that meet 3 nights a week for members of the forum. You - and none of us - can do this alone.

 

You can make it easier on yourself by staying off the computer for 2 weeks. Just don't turn it on. I did it for a month. And I work on the computer. But I had to reprogram my brain, and the only way was to be free of it.  My wife answered my e-mails and we made it. Get a filter, get a sponsor, figure out what it is that is driving you to avoid fear, anger, loneliness, boredom (by medicating yourself with the addiction). 


Never give up.  There is hope and a bright future ahead in recovery and sobriety. 


Keep coming back, one day at a time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Practical Tip of the the Day

 

Delete your "Buzz"

 

Posted by "Holy Yid"

 

Good news for those who have Gmail accounts and do not want to be exposed to the dangers of "Google Buzz" (similar to Facebook): You can now delete your Buzz completely. Here's how:

 

1) Go to your Gmail settings (top right of page).

2) Click the "Buzz" tab (all the way on the right)

3) Press "Disable Google Buzz"

4) Select "Yes, delete my profile and posts"

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Attitude Tip of the Day

 

Misinterpreting the Urge

 

By Eye.Nonymous (Clean almost 4 months)

 

I remember reading once something in the Sefer "B'Nei Machshava Tova": 

 

People think that we can't feel our soul. But in reality we CAN feel it, but we've been conditioned to misinterpret it. For example: Sometimes you feel uneasy. You try to eat something or take a nap to alleviate the discomfort. But afterwards, the snack or the nap didn't help! Because your soul is yearning! It wants something spiritual!


So I thinking that maybe lust is really the same thing. We've been totally conditioned that when we get this powerful urge, "I need to act out!"  But, perhaps this is just our yearning for Hashem--misinterpreted.  We need really D'veikus!

 

When I think I'm lusting I'm experiencing a very powerful desire, but in truth, IT'S NOT A DESIRE FOR LUST!!!  I only think it is because I'm so used to thinking of it in this way.  It's REALLY a desire for a huge "hisbodidus session" or something like that... It's REALLY a desire to connect to Hashem.


I find that thought very liberating...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Daily Dose of Dov
Dov is sober in SA for over 10 years. See his story here.

Purpose vs. Side Effect

 

The pivotal motivation for much of the stuff we all do, is to feel connected to something even greater than us - to others and to Goodness. Not to "be loved", but to Love. The Hope that we all have, is that "maybe, just maybe, there is something worthwhile in me and out there".

 

The love and attention that we get is really just a really nice side-effect. Almost everything has side-effects, right? They are planted there to help people do them more often. Like chesed. Hashem wanted it to feel good, but that's not it's purpose. It's purpose was to give us a chance to realize that we are actually capable of giving, like G-d. And that connection is the best it gets.

 

"Coincidentally", another thing that we naturally crave for the experience of connection past ourselves that it offers, is also accompanied by a pleasant side-effect (sexual relations), and chazal spell out for us that it was added to it in order to encourage folks to keep doing it. When it's power was weakened by chazal (like the desire for avodah zara was), people (and chickens) stopped procreating... right? Again: just a side-effect.

 

A major part of our disease is our innocent but stupid tendency to completely confuse pleasant side-effects with the main objective itself - which is really where the true pleasure lies.

 

To be continued / elaborated on tomorrow IY"H...

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Help us Save Lives!

 

Rabbi Yosef Veiner of Agudas Yisrael, in the talk called "Family Security" here says:

 

"Not a week goes by that I don't have to deal with a Shalom Bayis Problem or a problem in Chinuch Habanim or Banos, or a very fine Bochur who will call me up - or at least what is left of a very fine bochur - calls me up crying, begging for help. In the last week and a half I had three of them... There is nobody that can claim that either they're not affected, or a family member, or a neighbor, or the chaver sitting next to them in shul, or the chavrusah sitting across from them in yeshiva. If you discounted it until now, you're gonna have to take my word for it when I say that there is no single problem facing the yechidim in klal Yisrael and communities at large, there is no bigger problem than this. Nothing even comes close...There's a Chov Kadosh to do something now before there's no semblance of Kedusha left in Klal Yisrael. And I don't say that lightly.... Keep in mind, the people who come to me are so frum and so upset about what's going on, that they're willing to talk to their Rav. That means that there are thousands of people - I hope not in my community - who would never even speak to their Rav. "It's none of my Rabbi's business, I don't talk to my Rabbi unless there's a Levaya going on"... 

 
716.


Monday  ~ 8 Adar, 5770  ~  February 22, 2010


In Today's Issue

  • Announcement: Duvid Chaim's Group Starting in Two Days!
  • Attitude Tip of the Day: What I Learned from My Last Fall
  • Quote of the Day: By "Noorah"
  • Shiur/Link of the Day: Tetzaveh - Not Giving Up After A Fall
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Don't Go For the Pretty Box

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Announcement

 

Duvid Chaim's Group Starting in Two Days!

 

Duvid Chaim writes:

 

Our Cruise Ship to Freedom is embarking on another Journey this coming Wednesday, February 24th at 12 Noon East Coast time, 9am West Coast time and 7pm Israel time.

 

Accordingly, you may want to begin the preparations to come on Board in a few days:

  • Baggage - Other trips usually suggest packing light.  But we suggest you pack "heavy." Heavy, as in preparing your thoughts and your goals so you get the most out of this Journey. While I know we are going to have a lot of fun during this trip, "we are deadly serious" when it comes to the steps we need to take to find freedom (as the Program says). So don't worry. There are no weight limits. There are no excess baggage fees. In fact, the more baggage you bring on board, the better.  We'll show you how to lighten your load as we go.
  • Notebooks - Bring a Journal with lots of blank pages. You'll want to capture many of the awesome moments we'll have together. You'll see lots of new sights both on the horizon, and more importantly as you look inward.
  • The Big Book - Be sure to have your copy of the Big Book.  Everyday, we'll have a different volunteer read a selection from the Big Book.  Don't be shy or bashful. Who knows what kind of treats the Cap'n has for hard working shipmates!
  • Leave behind all cell-phones, beepers and pagers. These will only distract you during our Cruise. You can "run the world" during the remaining 23 hours of the day. Give yourself a treat. Take a break from the demands of the world during your hour on the Ship.
     

When you come on Board, Wednesday, after a basic introduction and "fire drill," we'll begin our reading of the Big Book on Roman Numeral page xiii (13) - "Foreword to First Edition." 

 

While I can't guarantee you smooth sailing during the next 12 or so weeks we're together, I can promise you that together - we can weather any storm!

 

Looking FORWARD,

Duvid Chaim

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

To be added to Duvid Chaim's contact list for updates on the group, or if you have any questions, please contact Duvid Chaim here.

 

Please be prepared with a 12 Step Big Book (you can buy one at any major bookstore or ordering one from Amazon.com over here), (or you can download a copy from here).

 

You'll find more details about Duvid Chaim's group at this link. See also this page for frequently asked questions about Duvid Chaim's group.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Attitude Tip of the Day

 

What I Learned From My Last Fall

 

This was posted by "Noorah" 8 months ago. Today he is clean almost a full year:

 

Dearest Brothers in Arms,

 

Permit me to share what I learned from my last fall. I was clean for months and months at the time. This was prior to having found the GYE network and I was not counting days, nor did I have a sobriety date. Why should I be counting days? A choshver yid such as myself is not an addict! I though that I was permanently cured and that my previous falls were a thing of the past, a bad dream.

 

How wrong I was!!!

 

At the time, I had just completed a major project at work and was on a tremendous HIGH from it, both from a spiritual aspect and a professional aspect.

 

My davenings were with a feeling of real connection with Hashem, all my tefilos were with a minyan, I was keeping my sedorim, etc.. Then all of a sudden WHAM BAM, the baal duver was back with such an awesome ferociousness, I didn't know what hit me. (Each subsequent fall gets worse in intensity and duration). All of a sudden, an ice coldness in my yiddishkiet overtook me, like I just completely and utterly shut down spiritually (akin to a computer virus that completely shuts down the whole system).

 

Of course, I had to go through the motions for the sake of my wife and children, it was sheer torture. Imagine having to conduct a purim seudah or pesach seder or even a shabbos seudah in such a situation, when the wife and kids are looking to me to set the ruach/spirit of the day and I'm just coming off a spectacular month long visit to the Yetzer Hara's finest p**n sites. I wanted to run, but had nowhere to hide.

 

Right before Pesach of this year, the Almight-y in his infinite kindness and love, let me "stumble" on this holy website and the chizuk emails, and things started to get a little better, the ice in my heart began thawing a bit.

 

One of the greatest insights that I had, or shall we say, lessons that I learned from this last fall was as follows: 

 

1) There is no greater danger then complacency, i.e. the thought that battle is won. The menuvel has all the time in this world (pun intended!) just waiting for me, the great tzadik, to think that I licked him. Then out of nowhere it's WHAM BAM and I'm down for the count.  

 

While this may be  elementary to many on this forum, to me this lesson came with a great price tag.

 

2) There is nothing in the world that incites the Yetzer Hara more than arrogance, and underestimating his power. As soon as I think that "I" beat him, or that "I'm" a big tzadik, he will just tear me to pieces. 

 

This secret is from the gemorah in kiddushin where R' Akiva and R' Meir, the holy tanaim would mock those who sinned, with the thinking (according to Rash"i ) that the Yetzer Hara is easy to overcome. Consequently, the Yetzer Hara appeared to them and tempted them with such a strong lust that Reb Akiva began to climb up the tree to satisfy his lust. When R' Akiva was halfway up the tree, the Satan said to him "were it not that in Heaven they proclaim "beware of R' Akiva and his Torah" I would have utterly destroyed you".

 

I too, underestimated the menuvel in the biggest way. I was asleep to the menuvel and he was busy rubbing his hands in glee waiting for me.

 

I don't even remember the precise thing that made me fall anymore, and I'm not even sure how important it is right now to recovery. 

 

The  lesson that I take from this last fall is, I hope and daven never to forget, that until my last breath, the great menuvel will lie in ambush waiting for me to forget that he is ... lying in ambush!!

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Quote of the Day

 

By "Noorah"

 

Complacency + Depression + Stress = Disaster


Remaining vigilant + upbeat + reaching-out to friends = Battle won!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Shiur/Link of the Day - Tetzaveh

 

Not Giving Up After A Fall

 

Sent in by "Yosef Hatzadik"

 

"Rabbi Schachter can be quite humorous and inspiring simultaneously"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Daily Dose of Dov
Dov is sober in SA for over 10 years. See his story here.

Don't Go For the Pretty Box

 

Yesterday, Dov discussed the idea that our lust is really a misplaced need to "love" and "give" to others and to connect to something larger than us, and that the pleasure is just a side-effect that we take out of context in our addiction. Someone asks Dov:

 

"Are you saying that the true nature of addiction to this stuff is just the need to give to others which is just being misplaced? It sounds too simple. If so, let's all join "Tomchei Shabbos" and be free of this!"

 

Dov Responds:

 

First off, it's not me who says this. It was first brought to my attention in the chapter on the 4th step in "12 Steps & 12 Traditions". And, lehavdil, the Gemara in Avodah Zara spells out the reason that the creator added desire into sexuality. And lehavdil again, having to learn how to train a dog, taught me operant conditioning (which is natural): All bodies naturally learn to do the stuff they are "supposed" to do because the behaviors are associated with pleasure. It's not about right or wrong, it's just  the inescapable reality.

 

Of course, it's not the only way to learn what to do, but perhaps it's the easiest. Rav Noach Weinberg zt"l built his whole "5 Levels of Pleasure" thing on this, and also said that we liberally use rituals (like saying thank-you, b'rachos, etc.) in yiddishkeit to encourage learning healthy behavior. And Rav Noach warns us to remember that the ritual is not the purpose, but only a path to become people who live with natural gratitude, humility, etc., otherwise our davening and mitzvos eventually become empty. Our young people sometimes see right through the charade and get sick to their stomachs, of course... And then we wonder why they are "going off the derech"... "what derech?" They'd respond: "the derech to what?"... (but I digress)


Messilas Yeshorim says this in his hakdomah, when he writes that while we were created for pleasure, we are tricked to accept petty and temporary pleasures rather than going for the Big One. 


Now, all that "higher pleasure" stuff was just "the phooey mubo-jumbo, goody-goody stuff that grease-balls were made of" to me, until I got sacked by lust addiction and ended up in the toilet. 


From down here, b"H, the view is a bit different, even being out of the toilet.... 


It ain't so bad, actually, especially going with you, and the rest of the sweet GYE-maniacs.


So, yeah, that's it. Sometimes it just takes a really big ego-breaker like addiction and recovery to really admit that we really are that stupid to go for the pretty box, instead of after what's inside. Ha! :-)

 

717.


Tuesday  ~ 9 Adar, 5770  ~  February 23, 2010


In Today's Issue

  • Announcement: Duvid Chaim's Group Starting TOMORROW!
  • Mazal Tov to 'SilentBattle' on 90 Days: Some Great Posts
  • Attitude Tip of the Day: The Test is Not Always What We Think
  • Spiritual Tip of the Day: Keep Your Heart Occupied
  • Battle Communication: Which way will you get better faster?
  • Torah Thought of the Day: When He Removes His Help, We Fall

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Announcement

 

Duvid Chaim's Group Starting Tomorrow!


You'll find more details about Duvid Chaim's group at this link. See also this page for frequently asked questions about Duvid Chaim's group.

Please be prepared with a 12 Step Big Book (you can buy one at any major bookstore or ordering one from Amazon.com over here), (or you can download a copy from here).

 

To be added to Duvid Chaim's contact list for updates on the group, or if you have any questions, please contact Duvid Chaim here.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Mazal Tov to "SilentBattle" for reaching 90 Days

and getting on to the "Wall of Honor"!

 

SilentBattle is an older Bochur who has been very inspiring to us all over the past three months or so. He spends tons of time each day posting inspiration to help keep others strong. May Hashem bless him to go from strength to strength and continue inspiring us for a long time to come!

 

Here is SilentBattle's first post:

 

Hi. I call myself "SilentBattle" because these are battles that we all fight silently, on some level or another. There is no public honor. The plaques on the wall that declare our victories are in Heaven.

 

For me in particular, I feel like my social network overall is rather limited, let alone people who actually know about this struggle. Often I feel like I'm fighting alone... I need to remember that Hashem is with me, like a silent partner. Also, now that I have this forum I am not really alone anymore!

 

My current battle is on a lower level than a lot of other people here. I've been involved in unhealthy, non-halachically correct relationships. I have set myself certain goals to help avoid this, and with Hashem's help, I've been succeeding. 


My first step was to sign up for the daily chizuk emails, so that every day, I get two emails from GYE. It's a reminder in my inbox of what my goals are. 


I've also started going to a therapist that specializes in addiction. Although my acting out was on a lower level than most of you here, there's no reason that I shouldn't try for the full-fledged WOH commitment. Because that's definitely a good thing, if I can do it. So we'll see how it goes.


I plan on checking out the two handbooks over the next few days, either printing them out, or putting a copy on my private computer.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Some time into his journey, someone asks 'SilentBattle' to what he attributes his current success:

 

Well let's see... I read the chizuk emails and use the forum (posting here forces me to consider what I'm feeling, what's going on, etc.). I go to therapy, stay in touch with my Rebbe about my progress (I've also filled out a release form allowing my therapist to talk to my Rebbe - after all, he's my spiritual adviser, I want him to know where I'm at), and I have a friend that I've opened up to. And, of course, I daven for help.


I've also started reading the handbooks, but haven't finished them yet. (I know, I should... working on it).


For now, all this seems to be helping. Boruch Hashem!

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Two posts from SilentBattle on his journey to 90 days:

 

B"H, Hashem is still helping me be strong, I'm moving forward, going back and saying final goodbyes, even to people that I haven't spoken to in a while, so I know that it's over and done with. Deleting emails by the hundreds (sometimes, by the thousands), as I clear out this part of my life.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

More and more, I'm starting to realize what an honor it is to be part of this brigade of holy warriors!

 

Yesterday I was faced with a difficult nisayon - I got an email saying that I'd received a message from another user on a site I'd signed up for a while back. I went to the site, and for a few seconds, considered replying... and then spent a lot longer than that figuring out how to delete my profile. Thank you Hashem, thank you GYE!

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Attitude Tip of the Day

 

The Test is Not Always What We Think

 

"SilentBattle" encourages someone who had a fall at day 89 and thought he had lost everything:

 

Have you destroyed what you worked for in the last 89 days? Well, the chofetz chaim says about lashon hora that if someone restrains himself from speaking, even for a minute, he gets access to a spiritual light that even the angels cannot fathom. That's even if he can't control himself, and after that moment, says the lashon hora! 

It would seem to me that in our battles, the same would apply - I don't see why not. So even an instant of restraint, of waiting, of beating the yetzer hora, is a huge victory, worthy of celebration. 89 days? No one and nothing can take that away from you.

You fought a long battle, and that's tiring - and now, after having spent so much time and effort, you probably feel drained. But maybe that's your test. Up in heaven, your test wasn't the last 90 days. Maybe Hashem said that you're stronger than that - He knew that you, Reb Yid, can do 90 days. But what if you're pushed down and you fall? That's the test. Will you have enough strength to get up again? 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Spiritual Tip of the Day

Keep Your Heart Occupied

 

By "SilentBattle"

 

R' Leib (Lawrence) Kelemen mentions how at one point, he was forced to plan a trip to Eilat with one of his sons to take care of something there. (He notes that for those unfamiliar with the standards of dress in Eilat, "people there don't walk around wearing winter coats.")


So, he went to his rebbe, R' Volbe, to ask for advice on helping them with shemiras Einayim. R' Volbe responded that "it's a gemara." He elaborated that the gemara in Shabbos classifies an injury to the eye as something we can be mechalel shabbos for, because the eyes are connected to the heart. Therefore, R' Volbe advised, Talk with your son in learning. If your heart is occupied fully, your eyes won't notice.


And I think it's true - to whatever extent we're deep in thought, we don't notice things in the physical world around us.


I think that's good advice for all of us. Thinking in learning while walking in the streets is something we can all do, on our own level. (Review, contemplation, etc.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Battle Communication

 

Which way will you get better faster?

 

SilentBattle writes to someone who wanted to stop doing these "Aveiros":

 

This is a sickness. Yes, it's a sickness that involves an aveirah, but right now, you're limited in what you can do about that, until you treat the sickness. So your goal (as far as your avodas hashem goes) HAS to be to focus on dealing with the addiction (see the handbooks for that). And your growth in terms of avodas hashem MUST be measured in terms of how well you're dealing with the addiction, not how often you've done the actual aveirah. And the reasoning is simple - which way will get you better faster and more effectively, to get you away from this aveirah for good?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Torah Thought of the Day

 

When He Removes His Help, We Fall

 

By "SilentBattle"

 

R' Yeruchum explains a Rashi in parshas Shelach (by the Meraglim). Rashi brings down that Hashem said, "I will give them room to make a mistake ." R' Yeruchum explains that Hashem didn't MAKE them do an aveirah - He just took away the help that he always provides, and once that help was gone, it was inevitable that they would fall. *(see bottom for an explanation of why Hashem took away his support).


The Gemara says, "A person's Yetzer attacks him every day, and wants to kill him... and if not for hashem's help, we wouldn't stand a chance." R' Yeruchum explains that in general, Hashem is constantly helping us out, and without that constant support, we wouldn't be able to succeed. No matter how great we are - remember, the meraglim were among the greatest, holiest people, and yehoshua bin nun was listed 5th - implying that everyone above him was even greater than he was! And yet, without Hashem's help, they fell. Yehoshua and Kalev were both saved by an extra dose of Hashem's help, each in their own way (that's another whole discussion).

R' Yeruchum goes further to point out that when a person wants to purify himself (or herself), Hashem "helps" (misa'ayin lo) - but when a person wants to make himself impure, "poschin lo", Hashem just opens the way. Exactly the same point.


He then brings down that R' Yisroel Salanter used to say that he wouldn't trust himself to be in a room with an uncounted box of money unless there were people constantly going in and out. R' Yeruchum said that with his own self-knowledge, he wouldn't trust himself even with money that HAD been previously counted!


He emphasizes that when we go through a day without doing an aveirah, instead of congratulating ourselves, we should realize that it's a wonderful favor and chesed from Hashem, and if we think it's all because of us, we're mistaken.


Why did Hashem remove His help from the Meraglim? Well according to many, if not most commentaries, when Klal Yisroel decided to send the meraglim, they were making a choice that was a mistake of doing too much hishtadlus (obviously, on their own level, which we can barely understand). Since they wanted to do things on their own, midah k'neged midah, Hashem allowed them to be on their own. 


May we never be alone, and may we always realize that. 

 

PS - the obvious question on all of this is, why did Hashem make us this way, that we need his help constantly? This is even more puzzling in light of the fact that the whole world was created for the purpose of us having be'chira, free will, and being 'self made'. This bothered me for a long time until I saw an explanation from R' Itzele Peterburger (a.k.a. R' Yitzchok Blazer) - the idea that our constant dependence on Him is to enable us to constantly be involved in asking for help and it keeps our kesher with Him strong. And he explains that we can use this idea in all areas of the physical world to help us strengthen our connection with Him. Whenever we ask Hashem to help us in areas of our physical life - health, wealth, happiness, for my car to work well, etc.

 
718.


Wednesday  ~ 10 Adar, 5770  ~  February 24, 2010


In Today's Issue

  • Announcement: Duvid Chaim's Group LAUNCHED!
  • Testimonial of the Day: "I hope this is the kind of clean that lasts"
  • Battle Communication: Some Benefits of Being Clean
  • Link of the Day: Holy Puzzle
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Running 'Away' or Running 'To'?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Announcement

 

Duvid Chaim's Group LAUNCHED!

 

Duvid Chaim'sGroup launched a new cycle today. I hear that almost 40 people called in; a record for sure! It's still not too late to join the call tomorrow.

 

You'll find more details about Duvid Chaim's group at this link. See also this page for frequently asked questions about Duvid Chaim's group.

(To be added to Duvid Chaim's contact list for updates on the group, or if you have any questions, please contact Duvid Chaim here).

 

Duvid Chaim wrote me an e-mail today before launching the calls:

 

You should know that one of my Primary Goals on the Calls is to train the Chevre to be "Aware of their Perceptions and Motives." My experience has shown that a significant character flaw in addicts is their tendency to live life like a robot - on auto pilot - always re-acting to what ever comes their way - never giving a moments thought to what they're doing - that leads to acting out like a blind man walking into a wall. 

 

If I only accomplish one thing in the twelve week cycle with them; to get them to be more aware of their perceptions and motives, then Dayainu.

 

Steve wrote recently:

 

I have to face the fact that I am a lust addict, which means that as much as I may be "clean", I'm still not over the lust and I must avoid that "first drink" at all costs. But you see, not being OVER lust does NOT mean that one day I am bound to be OIVER with lust. I am determined never to fall again. B"H for GYE and Duvid Chaim's Program, where I got - and continue to get, the tools I need to turn away from the Yetzer Hara's offers of lust hits. 

 

Duvid Chaim's Phone conference is the answer to almost everyone's prayers for THE SOLUTION. Be there or Be Square. DO IT. It'll be the best investment you could ever do. 


And if the time doesn't work out for you, Duvid Chaim is putting together some alumni to work with fellow call-mates in the off hours. But try at least to start and get in on the first few days with the whole group. When sharing on the call (which is not mandatory), you can go by your forum alias or a different alias name - it's all anonymous, but still very personable. You get out of isolation, hear the voices and stories of fellow addicts, discuss struggles, and are beautifully guided by Duvid Chaim, who is a master Sponsor. (And his Texas accent alone is reason enough to join!!)

 

Today Steve wrote:

 

The first call was a lot of set up as AT LEAST 37 PEOPLE were signing in! That's so GEVALDIG, and a real testimony to DC's effectiveness and what the program promises. We read today from the Big Book's "Forward" introduction page, and tomorrow we start on the first page of "the Doctor's Opinion" chapter from the introduction. So it is still very easy for you to join in tomorrow, without feeling you missed anything irretrievable. 


So I hope to see you and everybody else there. Have an EASY and MEANINGFUL TAANIS.

We are now entering into our national days of redemption and freedom. This is so appropriate that we begin also our own, personal season of redemption and freedom.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Testimonial of the Day

 

"I hope that this is the type of clean that lasts"

 

By "NewMe"

 

This site is absolutely amazing. Thank you so much whoever you are for starting the site. There are tons of great organizations out there all doing good things, but you are simply changing lives. Without you (and all the people giving encouragement on the forum), so many of us would still be deep, deep down, maybe rising up a little once in a while, but overall stuck very firmly where we wish we weren't.


Anyway B"H, I'm 63 days clean, from p**n or masturbation. I didn't post a thread on the forum right away because I was scared it would last a week - maybe two - if I was lucky, just like many, many other times I decided once and for all THAT'S IT, and there I was a couple days later right back again. But what can I say, B"H I'm already clean probably at least double as long as I ever was before. And the truth is, even those times that I was clean for a month, I wasn't as clean as I am now, because then it was fueled my learning and lack of Internet, and it was only a matter of time until a clean like that ends.


But now I really am clean; I could but I don't, and sometimes I really want to but I still don't. I hope that this is the type of clean that lasts.


BTW, just reading everyone else's posts is very helpful to me, the stories and situations that are so similar to my own makes me feel that I am part of a group working together.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Battle Communication

 

Benefits of Being Clean

 

Jack is clean for close to a year and a half - after being addicted for more than 38 years and acting out almost every day. (See his 90 day time-line here). Jack wrote on the forum:

 

To my fellow yidden, I would like to share with you some of the benefits/rewards that come with being clean in the hope to give you chizuk. This comes from MYSELF, and not 2cd hand evidence:


1 - When you daven, you don't feel like a hypocrite. Davening is SO much more meaningful. (I was baal shachris last Shabbos, and the longer I go clean, the better I daven. I had SOOO much kavana).


2 - When you shake the rabbi's hand in shul on shabbos or during the week, you don't feel like a hypocrite.


3 - Learning improves 1000 percent! because your mind is clear.


4 - If you're married, when you're finally with your wife it is TRULY special.


5 - You learn discipline - we all need sexual discipline (such as when the wife is a nida or sick).


6 - And last but DEFINITELY not least, you are doing the will of G-d, our Creator and Master.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Link of the Day

 

A great article related to Taanis Esther & Purim by Benyamin Bresinger of Project Pride (who has worked with addicts for twenty years):

 

Holy Puzzle

 

The Darkness Before the Light:

 "All that happened to me was needed to get me to where I am today..."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 10 years. See his story here.

 

Running 'Away' or Running 'To'?

 

"The childlike dependence on Hashem is my greatest treasure"

 

"Rashkebehag" wrote on the forum:

 

I want this thing behind me. Just today I innocently downloaded updates that  were offered for my iPod and there it was - the youTube and safari with all its shmutz. Boy did I feel tempted to go on it. I ran in a panic to my expert and he put on for me the necessary restrictions and I was able to breathe easier (while in my heart I had this crazy feeling of regret that: why couldn't I explore it a little, just a little, before he did that). So I am still an addict and so proud that I was able to stop in time, with Hashem's guidance, of course. But all the years of addictions, oy, they really hurt.

 

Dov Replies:

 

The 12 steps I know of are all about learning how to run. Not away from the addiction, but to run to Hashem instead of the addiction. To keep my focus on running to Hashem and use every circumstance in life for an opportunity to be with Him - to recognize that He is with me. My desperate need for Him is of course trashed every time I act as though I can control and use lust. It's similarly trashed whenever I act like I can withstand lust by my own power - or tzidkus, if you will. It seems to be some peoples' job, but not mine. And, b"H, I have been sober for 13 years now. The childlike dependence on Hashem is my greatest treasure - why would I want to ruin it with "madreigos"?! ("Lo sa'aleh b'ma'alos al mizb'chi asher lo sigaleh ervascha olov" applies to me if it applies to anyone !!)


I guess some people are destined to be more like Noach who had to walk with Hashem's help every step - others are like Avraham, who walked before Him seemingly on his own power. As of today, I choose Noach, at least in this issue... sue me. (just kidding please don't sue me!) The steps (over time) taught me how to do this.

 

719.


Thursday  ~ 11 Adar, 5770  ~  February 25, 2010
Ta'anis Esther


In Today's Issue

  • Torah Thought of the Day: Why We Dress Up
  • Attitude Tip of the Day: Vi'Nahafoch Hu
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Dov Tells More of His Story

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Torah Thought of the Day

 

Why We Dress Up

 

From an article on Vosizneias over here.

 

The Apter Rav - the Ohaiv Yisroel writes that one of the reasons why we dress up in masquerade on Purim is to show that the miracle of Purim came from something that actually would have initially caused us much grief. This, says the Apter Rebbe, stresses that the greatest joy lies in the knowledge that the opposite result might very well have happened. It is a Minhag that brings us ever closer to the true Dveikus Bashem and Simcha that lies at the heart of what Purim is all about.

 

Let us, with this in mind, remember the words of the Nesivus Shalom regarding drinking on Purim. He writes that the word "wine" is absent in the formulation of the Shulchan Aruch. "Chayav adam libsumei bePuraya ad delo yada."

 

The reason is clear. We must become inebriated with the concept of Purim and not with wine. The concept of Purim is that Hashem is very close and that we can achieve remarkable D'vaikus B'Hashem at this time. No matter how distant we are - even if we are "Arur Haman" in terms of our general distance from Hashem- we can become, at this particular time of Purim, as close as Boruch Mordechai.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Attitude Tip of the Day

 

Vi'Nahafoch Hu

 

The tragedy of addiction and powerlessness can turn into the biggest blessing, if we use it the way it was intended by G-d; i.e. as a springboard for inner-change and spiritual growth.

4lashon

 

 

From an article on Aish.com here.

 

"You cannot see My face, for man cannot see My face and live... you will see My back, but My face shall not be seen" (Exodus 33:20). Of course God has no body. It was not His physical appearance that was being discussed. Moses wanted to "see" -- to comprehend -- God's ways and His interaction with His creations. What he was told is that with our finite intelligence we can't understand events as they unfold; it is only retroactively that "You will see My back" and grasp God's infinite wisdom. Kierkegaard expressed the same idea when he said, "The greatest tragedy of life is that it must be lived forward and can only be understood backwards." 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 10 years. See his story here.

 

Dov Tells More of His Story

 

"Ve'Anochi Aster Astir Panai"

- Turns into -

"LeYehudim Haysah Orah ve'Simcha"

 

It seems to me that nobody can really tell anyone else that they are an addict, because it probably will not be accepted to the depth that it needs to be to make any difference at all for the addict. This has been my own experience and what I have seen meeting many people in and out of recovery.


The conclusion that worked for me was the one I had to reach in my own heart.

 

Many hundreds of silent nights with masturbation, screaming nights visiting schmutz sites and establishments, phone use for lust, and other disappointments washed over me. I even got caught and didn't stop. I was repeatedly shocked at my failure, after such sincere regret and Teshuvah.


A great Rav told me that the answer was more spirituality, though he had no clue that my very spirituality was twisted and only contributed to my very problem! See, my yiddishkeit had developed during the very same years that my habitual use of lust and schmutz developed into my preferred, safest, and only really reliable coping mechanism and "medication" for the pains and fears of normal life. It seemed to work for many years, though it sucked the reality out of me, slowly replacing true devotion to other people and Hashem with self-absorption. And the yeshiva experience itself - being so self-absorbed in ruchniyus self-development for our future lives... only land-locked me further. There came a time that there were no answers left.


Another Rav told me I needed to explain to my wife that she wasn't enough fun for me. Let's not even get me started on that one, though I bought it hook-lin-and-sinker at the time.... (Nu, osah r'tzon ba'aloh, right?)


Two shrinks told me that I needed to learn how to get more healthy pleasures out of life.... more self-centeredness. Another told me it was no big deal.... and he was frum. Yet another told me that 12 steps was silly, cuz "you want to get better, not learn how to live with this problem." He put me on meds and did therapy for 10 months while I got progressively worse, to his amazement. They all helped me and hurt me a bit, in different respects. 


Rabbi Twerski told me (over the phone) in 1992-ish that I'd probably not get better unless I did intensive therapy, went to rehab, or joined a 12-step recovery fellowship. I told him "thanks", and knew that there was no way in gehinnom that I'd be able to hide those things from my wife, and I'd better really try harder! Eventually I couldn't even hide my addiction from my wife and even that didn't stop me (though it worked for a few months - If GYE would've been around then, I'd have made it onto the 90-day chart for sure! ;-) It took me five more years to finally rush myself into whatever help I needed, come what may. I saw that I couldn't stop. 


And I came to SA and have been sober since, because Hashem obviously loves me and has the power to help me. But most importantly, I let Him. And I needed a lot of help to learn how to do that, and got it.


So, no. I don't believe anyone can determine for another that they are an addict. In my case the experts were right, but it did no good. As the gemara explains out of the posuk in mishlei, "taychas g'orah b'leiv meivin - meyhakos k'sil meyah". It's gotta come from in my own heart if it'll do any good - a k'sil like me just won't really believe it, until I become a meivin in my own heart.


Besides all that, I find it hard to believe that most of us are smart enough to know if someone is an addict or not. Usually it's trial and error. The only, really sad question we need to ask ourselves is now much evidence do we want? I personally know folks who have been arrested for (blatant) sexual misconduct and still came away from it basically blaming the cops for entrapment, rather than admitting that they have a serious problem.


Along the same vein, I know talmidei chachomim who have been oiver on gilui arayos, schmutz, masturbation, you name it, habitually many times and went for years hiding it (and some still are). And they say they were not hiding it because they want to be able to keep doing it, but because they honestly believe that: "eventually I'll beat this, I know it! Hashem's just got to help me out here! So why rock the boat in the meantime and ruin a great marriage and screw up my children with divorce? I'm trying. I'll do something about it!". 


Gevalt. A great marriage? Screw up the children? "I'll beat this"? Who suffers in the mean time while these and many other hundreds of yidden like them are "trying something"? I wonder who has the right to encourage them to stick with the old-fashioned way and learn mussar harder, while the family crashes and burns? What does it do to a 14 year old yeshiva boy to see his father who taught him how to leig t'fillin last year, carted away by police for soliciting a minor for sex in a chatroom (like more than one father I know), or get divorced because of a destroyed marriage after years of secret porn (and what it leads to) driving the parents apart (like other fathers I know)? What wife deserves this? 


OK my rant is over, and it's too long to read, anyhow. I love you (even if you fell asleep already!) and am just sharing one little guys experience and opinion.

 
720.


Friday  ~ 12 Adar, 5770  ~  February 26, 2010
Erev Shabbos Parshas Titzaveh, Erev (Erev) Purim


In Today's Issue

  • The Lesson of Pruim: Hishtadlus- Is it Us or Him?
  • Attitude Tip of the Day: Seeking the Light in the Darkness
  • Daily Dose of LAUGHTER: "Depressed Person's Chill Spot"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

The Lesson of Purim

 

Hishtadlus: Is it Us or is it Him?

 

By "Battleworn"

 

R' Tzadok Hacohen of Lublin explains (in the beginning of "Machshivos charutz") the deepest secrets of the battle with our evil inclination. He explains that there are two paths in fighting the Yetzer Hara, and that they are both legitimate only when used together, i.e. although some people have more of a connection to one way and some to the other, neither one is enough by itself.


One way, is the way of Yoseph Hatzadik, whose concentration was on constantly building himself up to be an "Adam Hashalem". He therefore concentrated very much on building up his self-control.


The other way is the way of Malchus Yehudah, where the concentration is totally on living with Hashem and relying on Him to save us from the Yetzer.

 

(Chazal say that the way of Yoseph is more dangerous because if you c'v fall, you can loose everything. R' Shimshon Pinkus Zt"l used to talk about this a lot. He kept on saying that what's going to bring the geulah is the "Yehudah way" and he brought many proofs to this.)


R' Tzadok explains that the holy sons of Yaakov Avinu had a very small imperfection. While Yoseph excelled in his way and everyone else excelled in Yehuda's way, each side felt that the other way is a contradiction to his way: How can I fully rely on Hashem, if I am working on my self-control? The shevatim felt that such a focus on self-improvement and self-control is a complete contradiction to their way of bitachon in Hashem!


This - he says - was the root cause of "Michiras Yoseph". 

 

It was also the reason that Klal Yisroel did not fully accept the Torah willingly by Har-Sinai. They had experienced "Yetzias Mitzrayim", which was the greatest manifestation of the Yehudah way. The Jews in Egypt had fallen extremely low and they were so desperately dependent on Hashem, that Hashem broke all the laws of nature for them. At the time of Kabbalas HaTorah, the last thing they wanted was to build themselves up to be a Mamleches Kohanim (a Kingdom of Priests), because that would seem to make them less dependent on Hashem and then they wouldn't be eligible for such Divine intervention.


R' Tzadok goes on to explain that when the Meraglim gave their report about how great and fearful the giants of Eretz Yisroel were, the Jews said: How in the world can we be expected to fight forces that are so much greater than us? "Let us return to Egypt" - let us go back to being totally powerless and desperate, and have Hashem fight our battles!


So the obvious question is: Didn't they have a mighty good point?


The answer is - says R' Tzadok- that if you understand Hashem himself is the heart of Klal Yisrael, then the question doesn't start. Yes of-course we need Hashem, BUT HE'S RIGHT THERE INSIDE OF US! Yes we need to take responsibility, yes we need to build up our self-control, yes we need to turn ourselves in to holier and holier people, yes we need to fight our own battles, but all this is done only through the power of Hashem.


By the great miracle of Purim, Klal Yisroel were finally able to grasp this, and that is why we willingly accepted the Torah completely. This was because we saw that we don't need "Yetzias Mitzrayim" style miracles - we don't need Hashem to break the laws of nature. (In-fact it was all only meant to be a one time occurrence.) We don't need Hashem to "take over". We don't need it because Hashem is with us always, within nature. We don't need to be powerless and passive, we just need to tap in to our inner core. When we realize that everything we do is only with the power that Hashem is constantly giving us, then there is no limit to our power. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Attitude Tip of the Day

 

Seeking the Light in the Darkness

 

By Shlomo

 

I heard some tremendous Chizuk from Rabbi Efriam Wachsman in a shiur titled "Megilas Esther: Discovering the Depths of Our Neshomos":

 

(Note: In general, Rabbi Wachsman's shiurim often give chizuk to those who struggle with the Yetzer Harrah.To hear his Shiurim, call the Yeshiva at 845-426-3488. There is an extension for the tape and CD library.)

 

The Rizhiner explains that in one way, Purim is greater than Yom Kipur (Yom Ki- Purim. A day that is only "like" Purim, but not as great).

 

Yom Kippur atones for the Shavim (Those who return - i.e. repent), while Purim atones for the Shavim and the Aino Shavim (those who return and those who do not return).

 

What does it mean that Purim atones for the Aino Shavim, those who do not return?

 

The Rizhiner explains that Purim is a holy day for those who repent but yet continue to fall. They are labeled "Aino Shavim" because they continually have to face their struggle. Purim is all about seeing the light in an atmosphere of total darkness. It is about seeking out Hashem even if we feel we are in total darkness and may be feeling ashamed or low. Hashem says "Anochi Hastir Astir Panai ("I will utterly hide my face from you"), yet in that same pasuk is the remez (hint) to Esther , our salvation. Hashem rejoices when we reach out to him, and when we rejoice in our effort to seek Hashem out.  

 

GYE is about seeking out the light in the dark world around us. It is about confronting struggles that have plagued us for years. We may have continued to fall many times, yet we - as a family - are seeking out the light to overcome our addictions. We are finding Hashem in the darkness. That is the true holy essence of Purim, and that is why Purim is the happiest day of the year.

 

May we all tap into the holy day of Purim. May we all find Hashem in the darkness. May we all have extra Siatah Dishmayah to overcome our illness and may we all rejoice in re-discovering ourselves.  

 

A Freylicha Purim!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Daily Dose of Laughter

 

Ki Be'Simcha Taitzai'u!

For with Simcha you shall go out (of your struggles)!

 

Print out jokes from close to 50 pages of our "Depressed Person's Chill Spot" to read over at your Purim Se'udah and get everybody ROLLING!

 

Messages heard on people's answering machines

 

1. Hi! John's answering machine is broken. This is his refrigerator. Please speak very slowly, and I'll stick your message to myself with one of these magnets.

2. A is for academics, B is for beer. One of those reasons is why we're not here. So, leave a message.

3. Hi. This is John: If you are the phone company, I already sent the money. If you are my parents, please send money. If you are my financial aid institution, you didn't lend me enough money. If you are my friends, you owe me money. If you are a female, don't worry, I have plenty of money.

4. Hi. Now you say something.

5. Hi, I'm not home right now, but my answering machine is, so you can talk to it instead. Wait for the beep.

6. Hello. I am David's answering machine. What are you?

7. Hi, this is George. I'm sorry I can't answer the phone right now. Leave a message and then wait by your phone until I call you back.

8. Hello, you are talking to a machine. I am capable of receiving messages. My owners do not need siding, windows or a hot tub, and their carpets are clean. They give to charity through their office and do not need their picture taken. If you're still with me, leave your name and number and they will get back to you.

9. This is not an answering machine - this is a telepathic thought recording device. After the tone, think about your name, your number and your reason for calling, and I'll think about returning your call.

10. Hi. I'm probably home, I'm just avoiding someone I don't like. Leave me a message, and if I don't call back, it's you.

11. If you are a burglar, then we're probably at home cleaning our weapons right now and can't come to the phone. Otherwise, we probably aren't home and it's safe to leave a message.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

A truck driver was driving along on the freeway and noticed a sign that read: Low Bridge Ahead. Before he knows it, the bridge is right in front of him and his truck gets wedged under it. Cars are backed up for miles. Finally a police car comes up. The cop gets out of his car and walks to the truck driver, puts his hands on his hips and says, 'Got stuck, huh?' The truck driver says, 'No, I was delivering this bridge and I ran out of gas.'

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Some Good Quotes

 

"I'm in no condition to drive...wait! I shouldn't listen to myself, I'm drunk!" - Homer J. Simpson

"You have to stay in shape. My grandmother, she started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She's 97 today and we don't know where the heck she is."

"The pen is mightier than the sword, and considerably easier to write with."

"If your wife wants to learn to drive, don't stand in her way."

"A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing."

"I am not a vegetarian because I love animals; I am a vegetarian because I hate plants." - A. Whitney Brown

"Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway".

"Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought to myself, where the heck is the ceiling?"

 
721.


Monday  ~ 15 Adar, 5770  ~  March 1, 2010
Shushan Purim


In Today's Issue

  • Marriage Talk: Marital Love is Built Outside the Bedroom
  • Testimonial of the Day: Like Hashem's Hospital
  • Practical Tip of the Day: Treat Movies Like Lust
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Scream for Help

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Marriage Talk

 

Marital Love is Built Outside of the Bedroom

 

To someone who claims his wife is rarely interested or in the "mood", Elya (who moderates this phone conference) writes:

 

I was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. As I face the thought of maybe not ever being with my wife again (at least for a year), I look back at the 20 years before I knew I was an addict and think about all of the times I manipulated my wife into being with me, when she really didn't want to.  Today, after 10 years
knowing of my addiction and doing something about it, we have a very open, trusting and mutual relationship.  I don't get upset when she says no, like I used
to - and then would act out. And the greatest miracle of all, she asks me more than I ask her now!


See, one of the greatest lessons we addicts need to learn is that sex is optional

 

We addicts think, live and breathe sex.  We "sexualize" guilt, anger, loneliness, and pain.  I can tell you that when you can stop resenting your wife when she refuses and work on being intimate with her without sex, you'll have a much more fulfilling life in general - and sex life as well!  Find out what puts your wife in the mood (it could be washing the dishes - believe it or not) or just doing little things around the house or with the kids, BEFORE she tells you to.  


A woman wants to know you love her outside the bedroom and then she'll love you in the bedroom.


Yes it takes work, just like everything we do in recovery, but it don't take much to take out the garbage and wash the dishes without being asked, or to give her flowers when she knows you're not expecting ANYTHING. 

 

Quite simple, yet extremely effective.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Testimonial of the Day

 

Like Hashem's Hospital

 

By G.L

 

I was addicted for twelve years, always looking out and wondering who can help me. On Sunday, December 31, 2009 (approx 60 days ago), while waiting my wife to come out of a store, I was reading the news on VIN when I came across an article called The Roving Eye. As I was reading the comments, someone suggested to go to the guardyoureyes website to get help. Right there and then, I went to your web site. When I started to see all this great information I became glued for hours. I must say since then I did not fall B'H. I now feel greater then ever. You are far more then a organization, to me you are like a Hashem's hospital. Thank you!

 

What worked for me to shred this evil addiction?

 

1) The Attitude Handbook is Great.

2) Knowing that I always have a place to go that specializes in this matter.

3) Seeing other people's struggles, which made it clear to me that it's a distraction from real life for anyone.

4) Of course, the GYE handbook and all your other great tools.

5) And seeing how you really mean Hashem and your love to this great online hospital, makes it all a great place that helped me.

6) The analysis that you give, that this addiction is often a runaway from problems of our youth.

7) Controlling it before it gets to a no-return situation.

8) Having restrictions, i.e. not being in the office alone or not reading certain news sites, etc.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Practical Tip of the Day

 

Treat Movies Like Lust

 

"Steve", who is clean for a few months already (see his inspiring thread here), recently wrote:

 

When the big chill came these past weeks, I paid to join a movie download site so we could get old Hollywood "kosher" movies (that you can't find anymore) so we could distract the kids who were cooped up and asking for them.


I kept a copy of the program on my work comp, and when it went back to the office, I started downloading & watching action flicks I missed all these years, instead of working. See? - Instead of watching P, I was becoming an addict again to this stuff, and work and life was suffering once again.


On Friday I got a phone call from a client whose work is now two months late, and they started telling me how I've ruined my reputation and now have a name as someone who does great work but takes forever to deliver. It's like hitting rock bottom for me.


B"H I decided to be brave and honest with myself (an influence from the great guys on this forum), and on Motzoi Shabbos I went into my office and deleted all the movies I had downloaded and uninstalled the movie program. I am determined to rebuild my reputation, and I'm starting by treating Movies and videos the same way I treated lust - no second looks. And starting today, I'm gonna stay away from anything on-line that distracts me from learning, working and family time, bli neder.


May Hashem give me the strength and ability to put this all into practice.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Note: Besides for movies being addictive in their own right, a huge waste of time and an escape from "real life" (like the addiction was), they are also packed with triggers for lust addicts, and that goes even for old-time movies and children's movies today. Anyone who struggles with lust would be wise to avoid movies like fire! (See this funny article by Arutz Sheva Blogger, Tzvi Fishman).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 

Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 10 years. See his story here.

 

Scream For Help

 

Someone wrote on the forum:

 

I'm trying to defeat this giant, and I have faith that I will... I'm done. I just can't live two different lives anymore. I'm a Jew and I'm so very lucky to have a beautiful wife who adores me.. I better quit while I'm ahead... I'm sorry and embarrassed of my actions. I'm not saying that the Yetzer Hara is going to quit whispering in my ear, but I'm going to "Change the Channel" in my mind when he does... I'm confident that HaShem is doing things in my life right now... I feel like I'm going to be Ok for the first time in a long time... I can't look at filth and look into the face of my beautiful faithful wife that HaShem has given to me any longer.. Please forgive me HaShem..

 

Dov Responds:

 

I love "Change the channel"! Thanks - I hope to use it the next time you-know-what....

 

Now please get your fur-lined, regulation, chassidishe boxing-shtreimel on now, OK?

 

I have heard remonstrations (look it up, it's really a word) just like this from many folks, many times.


Your sincerity is not in question. All I come to say is that I do not know personally of anyone who was able to"defeat this giant", as you called it, on their own. 


If you would be alone c"v in a dark alley and accosted by a few big thugs with knives, would your reaction be, "hmmm, I trust that Hashem will give me the strength to beat this crowd (like Bruce Lee in the movies), and I'll be OK"? I think most of us would assess the situation rather quickly, realize we have no chance, and start screaming for help. Perhaps you believe it's best to at least 'go down swinging'.  


Well, in this problem, there is no 'going down swinging'. It gets ugly in a hurry, and gets uglier still, and remains ugly, spoiling it for those around us, r"l.


So, scream for help. Consider giving up the fight with this giant if you believe that it's really too big for you. SA helped me do just that, and helped me learn how to actually depend on Hashem rather than just talking or acting as though I put it in Hashem's hands, while really depending on myself. Anyone can say they depend on Hashem. But for me, the only way to eventually truly come to do it, was (and still is) through admitting utter personal defeat. It seems I am just too screwed up to help Him take care of me, and I need to get the heck out of His way basically.

 

Nu. It's really a wonderful derech avodah, and life is better for my wife, who likes me a lot, too.  


You may now remove the bumper-shtreimel safety device and get to work in whatever way you see fit. The road is rarely smooth, but Hashem will be with You as long as you don't give up asking for help!

 
722.


Tuesday  ~ 16 Adar, 5770  ~  March 2, 2010


In Today's Issue

  • Torah Thought of the Day: "Yeshno Am Echad" - Being of Service to Others
  • Practical Tip of the Day: The Filter Evolution
  • Attitude Tip of the Day: Misinterpretation (Part 1)
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Misinterpretation (Part 2)

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Torah Thought of the Day

 

"Yeshno Am Echad"

Finding ways to be of service to others is one of the greatest secrets of long-term sobriety

 

By "Steve" (a Talmid of Duvid Chaim)

 

I heard b'shem the Chassam Sofer that when Haman slandered the Jews to Achashveirosh and said "Yeishno Am Echad..." (There is this one nation...) he was saying "YeShanu" (they are sleeping), meaning the One Nation is now sleeping in their achdus, they are spread out all over the globe and have no unity, and now is the time that we can get the upper hand on them. Esther's answer to Mordechai was to "gather the Jews together" and rebuild the achdus, as they all prayed for each other's lives. 


We are weakest and most vulnerable when our connection to each other, to the Torah and to Hashem is broken, but when we rebuild that union, we get Hashem back on our side and through Him become invincible, for He guards us saves us from our enemies.


Achdus, true unity, is not just a warm fuzzy feeling to be hidden away in one's heart. What builds our people's connection to Hashem and the Torah we received through Moshe, is the achdus we build through being "nosei b'ol im chaveiro", putting our own shoulders to the work, to help carry the burden of our friend. 


With all the Tzedakah given out Purim Day, we had a tremendous outpouring of Achdus. Now that we are all out of money, we can still move on to get involved in the lives of struggling families, children, parents, the lonely and the sick. Visit, get involved in tzedakah organizations that pack & deliver food to the needy, be a Big Brother or a Big Sister, offer to tutor a child from a poor family - ease the burden any way one can, there are so many ways that have very little to do with money and have everything to do with time. (And of course, true chesed begins at home, with our wife and kids!)


We addicts suffer from isolation and poor self image. We can get ourselves out of isolation and really understand our self-worth by finding ways to be of service to our fellow Yidden. And even though, at first, we might be doing this for our own needs (i.e. therapeutically), eventually, it will awaken our hearts to be doing it more for their needs and less for my own - Mitoch SheLo L'shma, Ba L'shma.


By finding new ways to see ourselves in a positive light, we can combat the negative self-images that feed off of our R.I.D. (Restlessness, Irritability and Discontent) and lead us down the path of acting-out and other self destructive behaviors. When I become valuable to other people, I have more value to myself, and I rebuild the shattered relationship not only between myself and Hashem, but between Hashem and the rest of our people. And I can learn Torah with more excitement and earnest desire, because I feel closer to Hashem and feel his desire for me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Practical Tip of the Day

 

THE FILTER EVOLUTION

By "Eye.nonymous" (clean for 123 days!)


When I first heard about getting a filter, I was very resistant.  It was about a month or two until my wife and I sat down together, looked through the information and installed K9.

 

One catalyst was my involvement in this forum.  Posting messages like, "Woops, just slipped on the computer again.  BTW, I don't have a filter."  The fault--the stupidity even--became obvious.


I just thought I was too "curious" and too "multi-faceted" to do without free internet surfing.

I eventually gave in.


At first it hurt--OH, I CAN'T SEE THIS SITE!  I felt so limited.  After a while, I started to appreciate that it was for my own benefit.  After a while, I REALLY didn't want to see things accidentally that I shouldn't see.


I got used to it.


Then, I started to notice that I'm just wasting lots of time on the computer.  It's an ESCAPE and an ADDICTION, at least equal (if not worse) to this lust addiction.


Stopping to waste time was part of the same recovery process.


I don't have a white-list filter.  (But, I've got K9 set up that it practically does the same thing now - see this page for info).  At first, I never would have been able to accept such a thing.  But now, I see that I REALLY only need a handful of sites.  If I stray from those, I know--I'M WASTING TIME AGAIN!!!  What about my wife?  What about my children?  Maybe I could actually be on time for afternoon seder!


I used to use the computer much longer than I expected and afterwards, I'd leave begrudgingly, "Oh no... I still need to do this, and this, and that..."


Now, I go on to the computer in the first place thinking "I REALLY don't want to use this thing much.  Let's just take care of business and get off as fast as I can."  I have people waiting for me who are more important.


If I didn't have work, I used to turn it on and pretend to be working.

 

Now, If I don't have real work to do, I can go a day or two without turning it on.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Attitude Tip of the Day

 

Misinterpretation

(Part 1)

 

Sometimes when we're out there in the big world surrounded by all the temptations wherever we seem to look, we cry out in our hearts "Dear G-d, where are you? I can't see you, I can't feel you! All I see is a beauty of a different kind, wherever I look!"... 


But then the answer comes to our hearts from G-d, "my son, does there exist any beauty besides me? I am in the beauty you see as well!". 

For G-d is indeed everywhere, and He - and only He - is the source of all beauty. The beauty that we see and crave here on this world is only a mere shadow of a manifestation of G-d's beauty.

We need to train our minds to realize that there are no two types of beauty. There is only one source of beauty in the world. What we see in women is also the beauty of G-d. But, G-d has decreed that in order to merit perceiving His true beauty, we must first learn to turn our eyes away from the physical beauty - that is only his creation, and instead turn our hearts to Him - i.e. to the SOURCE. In His great wisdom, G-d determined that only one who is ready to give up the physical manifestations of G-d's beauty should be worthy of experiencing the true beauty of G-d, in a much more sublime way.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 
Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 10 years. See his story here.

 

Misinterpretation

(Part 2)

 

Dov Responds to the above post:

 

My sponsor once told me (when feeling lust/temptation to lust) to try saying: "Hashem, whatever it is that I am really looking for in that image, let me find it in You!", and meaning it, and trusting Him to eventually do it. It really took the edge off and connected me to Hashem instead of to the the lust object. I use this occasionally. Clearly, going after the lust doesn't even come close to satisfying me, the big hole inside remains - or grows, when lust is used. So it's clearly something else I was killing myself for. Mamesh b'nafsho yovi "lachmo"!

It sounds along the lines of what Guard posted above. It's a free tool. Go ahead, take it!

Incidentally, a while later, he told me he didn't really like that approach cuz it was too selfish for him and he prefers to just give it up to Hashem and ask Him to help him be concerned with His Will, rather than with any of his desires, be they spiritual or otherwise. Nu. For everything it's time.
Harbei drochim laMokom!!

 
723.


Wednesday  ~ 17 Adar, 5770  ~  March 3, 2010


In Today's Issue

  • Battle Communication: The Answer to My Prayers
  • Practical Tip of the Day: One Computer Only
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Misinterpretation (Part 3)

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Battle Communication

 

The Answer to My Prayers

 

"Steve" posted recently on the forum:

 

We all know the old joke about the guy on the roof that drowned in a flood, and complained in heaven that G-d didn't personally save him when he prayed, and G-d answered - "What do you want from Me? I sent you 2 boats and a helicopter...!"


I prayed and prayed for help, for a solution, for guidance to get out of drowning in lust. I didn't even know it was called a Lust Addiction. I never would have imagined that I fit the definition of a Sexaholic. My life was out of control and I couldn't help myself, I didn't know where to turn. All I had left was tefillah, which was its own train wreck. But I must have had at least ONE good tefillah or at least sincere remorse, cuz Hashem answered me. He answered me by sending me to GYE, and ESPECIALLY to Duvid Chaim's Group Call. Its NOT a coincidence that happened to come my way. IT'S THE ANSWER TO MY PRAYERS. It's what I have been waiting for all these years.


But how do I treat this answer? I must grab it like a lifeline. I should be paying attention, focusing on the mussar and chizuk messages and reading along, internalizing my feelings and asking questions, responding to points, sharing my thoughts and "Awe & Wonder" moments, and bask in the peace that there are others like me who understand and go through the same internal battles I do; just knowing I'm not alone in this, that I'm NORMAL. 


My Yezer Hara knows he'll be finished if I succeed with this program, so he's gonna work OVERTIME to save his skin, and throw roadblocks at me every chance he gets. First it's the appointments that keep wanting to schedule themselves davka at noon, the Call Hour. Then he'll entice me to look at my emails to g-chat on the side, to get distracted during the call so I only listen with half an ear. "I could always catch up on the reading later" I say to myself. But then the precious moments of inspiration are lost, I miss a critical comment or revelation by a shipmate or by the Captain, a personal interlude of camaraderie between the guys, and the Yezer Hara jumps out and says "oh, too bad, what's the point if you cant catch everything? Just give this up..."


But this is what I asked for, what I prayed for! I will NOT give up!! I will NOT lose my faith in the promise of recovery just cuz I'm not there yet! It took me YEARS to get to this point, I certainly can't expect myself to change overnight! I must be patient, and give myself the time it takes to grow and change through Duvid Chaim's careful guidance, and through the 12 Steps.


It took me 52 years to get to this point. The program is at most 13 weeks long, 4 days a week, for one hour a day. THAT'S 52 HOURS!! One hour per year of my life! Now if someone told me he could guarantee me a solution to a major problem in my life for one hour a year, OF COURSE I would jump in and stick to it. And those 52 hours vs. my entire future, well, it's a great investment.


So I'm gonna be as careful as I can not to miss, to be there on time or call in as soon as possible each day, and once I'm on, I'm gonna treat it like time in the Beis Medrash and turn off the cell phone and emails. How could I treat this Gift from HKB"H with a laze-faire casualness?


Plus, we have an amazing crew, I am in awe just listening to them, sharing and beginning to open up to each other. These are guys I can trust with my feelings and questions, with my soul. And I have so much to learn from all of them. I look forward to each hour with them so much!

 

If you haven't joined the new cycle of Duvid Chaim's phone conference call yet, it's still not too late to join now!

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Practical Tip of the Day

 

One Computer Only

 

By "Tzamanafshi"

 

Here is one Eitza that has worked for me (In addition to K-9 on my computer without knowing the password). I made a Neder that I would not touch any computer besides my own. Meaning, even if I want to check my e-mail- or a web sight quickly- I will not touch anyone else's computer. Even if this means great inconvenience or lugging around my own laptop everywhere. I found that having all computer's assur no matter what, this psychologically closes the opportunity, as opposed to being plagued by huge Nisyonos every time I chanced upon a computer that didn't have a filter on it (starting by checking something up and then going from there...). Even at a library - I would ask the librarian to look the book up - (by acting as if I'm computer illiterate).


The addiction is so insidious though. One time, my Yetzer Hara managed to get around this by convincing me that the Neder only covered touching the computer - wherein I found myself fingering at keyboard/mouse through a towel!!! For the Short term - I changed the wording of the Neder to even looking at the screen of another computer!!


Note: To make Nedarim safely and effectively, please see the advice on this page and on this page of our website.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 10 years. See his story here.

 

Misinterpretation

(Part 3)

 

Yesterday (in "Misinterpretation" - parts 1 & 2) we brought the idea that what we seek in lust in really a misinterpretation of our desire for G-d. I'd like to continue with this idea today by bringing a beautiful post from Dov in response to someone who posted the following question on the forum:

 

Ok, I fell because I looked at photos. Why did I do that? Because I get a "high" looking at beauty. I appreciate G-d's beauty in the world. Unfortunately, that leads to waste.... I feel that "staring" is a part of me. It's not like not eating kosher. There's something natural about a guy staring at a pretty woman. How can G-d expect us to not do behavior that is natural for us guys?

 

Dov Responds:

 

First of all, whaddayamean it's not natural for a guy to want treif? If he's used to treif, he wants more treif - we all have favorite foods, favorite restaurants, etc. So do the treif guys.


Second, who said that G-d expects us not to appreciate gorgeous women?! But what is pretty, really? Yeah, it implies sexual activity for the "guy", but isn't the beauty in any woman an apportionment of G-d's own beauty? If not, then where does it come from? Have you ever cried listening to Motzart, seeing a child laugh, or feeling true love for your wife, or even a friend? Where do these things come from if not from G-d Himself? The beauty is real. I believe it's G-d's. So why go for the girl if we can go straight for the G-d? She is but a spark, a shadow of His seductive and incredible beauty. This is clear in the s'forim. One who has a relationship with Hashem eventually lusts for closeness and attachment to Him with a constant preoccupation. The RMB"M says this clearly in the beginning of Hilchos Yesodei Hatorah. In the mitzvah of Ahava, He says that the lust for Hashem (one of the six constants!) is like the lust for a woman that can fill the mind of a man all day long! 


It boils down to what you/I really want:


I can keep running after (the joke) of an image of a woman I know, a woman herself, a porn image, a fantasy - what will I get? Think a few scenarios through to the very end: the woman I may want has her own will and life, necessarily, including parents, brothers and sisters, body odor...sorry...and won't always put me first (except as long as it takes to get me interested and devoted to her, perhaps)... As much as that's the fantasy we all crave... the pretty (paid) image on the screen or paper will only grow into more powerful and advanced lusts within me clamoring for enactment - till I cross that next boundary that leads to - what? What end? Will I leave my wife? And if I respond in my heart "hell yes, I will", then where will that get me? To whom? To that true, me-adoring love of my life that will finally satisfy the lust I have forever? Really? 


I have thought this through in years past, always to the bitter end. Do I really want to get old with this shiksa? I will, of course, one day.... so will she. Will we take care of each other as all old people are destined to do? Is that my joy? And if I just want to use her for the day or night, what does that say about my future? What next? Only more desire for someone even prettier, of course. Don't I know this in my very heart? I need nor want anyone to give me a shmuz about it. I am through with mussar about this - I am a recovering sex pervert. I look to sex and lust to answer my every need and it's stupid!


My lusting, the lusting of a man with a shred of conscience, inexorably leads me to shocking disappointment. It always wears off. And every woman comes with her blemishes. The ones without any blemishes on their outsides must have them somewhere, like in bitter selfishness, self-absorption, anger, or demands.... Those thing - when you live with them - become incredibly ugly. They have a horrible stench. And that's what I smell when I think it through. Two real people always means two contending wills - and that's forever.

 

So what is in it for me?

 

724.


Thursday  ~ 18 Adar, 5770  ~  March 4, 2010


In Today's Issue

  • 12-Step Attitude: Walking Into the Inferno Called "Life"
    • "The Yetzer Hara is Pulling out the Stops"
    • Take-Mode or Give-Mode?
  • Attitude Tip of the Day: What Does "Accepting I'm An Addict" Mean?
  • Practical Tip of the Day: Lessons from a Fall
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Dov Talks About Purim

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12-Step Attitude

 

Walking Into the Inferno Called "Life"

 

By Duvid Chaim, moderator of the 12-Step phone conference

(which just began a new cycle).

 

Some people want to know if one cycle through the 12-Steps is enough to be fully healed. This question actually reveals an underlying character defect that all addicts have. We're all looking for that "magic bullet" that will give us the quick fix. "I want to be healed now so I can still enjoy the lusting -but be in control of it!"

 

Therein lies one facet of our problem: by definition (Step 1), we are powerless over our addiction and our lives have become unmanageable.  And therefore, Chevra, we will never be in control of our disease.  Just like someone with allergies can never "conquer" the allergy, neither will we be able to conquer our addiction.

 

But before you decide to give up on the 12-Step program, take comfort in knowing that the goal of our Program is not to heal you from lusting - instead (and here is where it gets so worthwhile) the goal of the Program is to give you the tools to walk into the "inferno" called Life.  As we discussed on the call, the analogy is like a person who walks off the street into a burning building and expects not to get burned. Instead, we call in well trained and well equipped firemen, who rescue the building and the occupants because they've got the special clothing and the tools to handle the heat.

 

By working the Steps, you also will have the tools you need to deal with the stuff of life that leads us into anger, jealousy, resentment, excitability and more, all of which are the underlying reasons that we run to escape into our addiction.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

"The Yetzer Hara is Pulling Out the Stops"

 

"Steve", a Talmid of Duvid Chaim, writes:

 

Just finished day 80, and the Big 90 is only 10 days away!!


The Yetzer Hara is pulling out the stops now, but I'm gonna stand tall. "Just Say No to Drugs-of-choice"!! I gotta remember it's like an allergy, I can't touch a drop of lust. CNN, outa here - I don't need to see the picture icons that I'm never gonna click on. I don't need your ads. Good Bye to humor sites and funny videos. My LIFE is waiting for me. Goodbye distractions and GOOD RIDDANCE!!


Facing life is scary at first, but you know what? IT'S LIFE!! And I'd rather have THAT than the alternative, any day.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Take-Mode or Give-Mode?

 

"Eye.Nonymous" (also on Duvid Chaim's calls) writes:

 

Here's one thing that came to mind recently, inspired by DC's call (but it's my own musings):

 

When I'm outside, why is it so hard to guard my eyes?

 

I think it's because I go on "TAKER" mode as soon as I step outside. "I'm gonna take, I'm gonna look at whoever there is to look at."

 

I'm trying to be more aware of this. As Duvid Chaim says, being a "GIVER" is supposedly the remedy. But, I'm not sure yet exactly how to carry this out practically.

 

One thing I can do, is at least try not to be a TAKER.

 

But, what can I GIVE? One thought that I've started to work on is, that by not looking, I am GIVING these ladies respect, dignity and privacy. Sure they're outside, but that's not a free ticket for everyone to stare at them. (Sort of like if you see a guy on a wheel-chair. We understand that it's a breach of his dignity to treat him like a spectacle.)

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

If you haven't joined the new cycle of Duvid Chaim's phone conference call yet, it's still not too late to join now!

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Attitude Tip of the Day

 

What Does "Accepting I'm an Addict" Mean?

 

By "Rage" (RATM)

 

One of the main principles we learn on GYE is that after a certain point, it's not just a struggle with the Yetzer Hara anymore - it's an addiction. But many of us can easily say "oh, I am an addict" soon after landing here... Maybe we like saying that, because in some ways we feel absolved from responsibility by just saying "oh, I can't help myself, I am an addict"... And it's true that we may be in the grip of something much stronger than we are. But accepting that we are addicts means more than that... It means accepting the things that addicts must do...

 

A guy can say "I accept that I have a cholesterol problem", but if he's still eating double cheese burgers with bacon, he hasn't really accepted that he has a cholesterol problem, has he? Accepting we have an addiction means accepting the rules that addicts live by... And the one most important rule is, that we cannot allow for any lust... If we give lust the slightest foot in the door, it's all over... The key is to avoid lust at all costs... Yes, this is easier said than done, but how many of us call ourselves addicts but continue to dabble here and there with lust and then wonder why we can't seem to make any progress? The tiniest speck of lust in us will explode like the big bang into worlds and worlds of negative behavior and acting out...

 

We must accept the terms by which a lustaholic must live by... Accept that we are not allowed some of the things that the rest of this world enjoys... We must get ready to live a new life; one that is different than what we have been doing up till now, and one that is different from many other members of society.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Practical Tip of the Day

 

Lessons from a Fall

 

By "Haba Letaher"

 

Here is what caused my recent fall after 77 amazing days clean:

 

Sometimes when I work, I listen to non-Jewish music (I know, that is just one more hypocrisy in my life, I prepare Torah classes while listening to non-Jewish music. Welcome to my private little island of hypocrisy...) Chazal were so right about Kol Isha... Sometimes when a song by a lady would pop up on my online streaming music station, I would Google her to check out what she looked like, and from there, I fell like a stone. Chazal are so right. They mamesh understood us. YES, Kol b'isha is an erva (especially when backed up by racy photos you can easily Google).


I will try to stop listening to Kol Isha, and I will also add another layer of protection with Covenant Eyes - which will have someone monitoring what I look at.


You guys helped me get farther than I've ever gotten in a good five years, and I'm sure you will help me rise up again... Things were going so well, my marriage was going awesome, I was sooo appreciative of my wife, and things were sailing smoothly. I must get right back up!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 10 years. See his story here.

 

Dov Talks About Purim

 

Purim was a neis nistar, Hashem was hidden all through the story - all through it. We dress up in disguises or funny costumes, and are hidden too.

 

Well, Hashem saved me from my own hidden life; my own disguise that I wore all the time - oh, it was incredibly draining! And stupid. 


Life was and is so much better without lust - the very thing I was convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that I couldn't live without! Life is real, it's geshmak, it's useful, it's real, it's consumingly interesting and full of surprises, and... did I say that "it's real"?  


Gevalt! What a fool I was! Nu, but that's an addict. A real fool.


And I am still a "fool". It's just that this here fool is a fool for Hashem! Share my mistakes with others? Lead with my weakness? Give up to win? Good for free? Trust in an invisible G-d? What am I nuts!?!  So it seems....


Lets all have a l'chayim and say this foolish thing together: "To heck with me - what can I do for You/you?" 


Kinda silly, huh?

 
725.


Friday  ~ 19 Adar, 5770  ~  March 5, 2010


In Today's Issue

  • Parsha Talk 1 - Practical Tip of the Day: See you Tomorrow!
  • Parsha Talk 2 - Attitude Tip of the Day: The Test Was Getting Back Up
  • Testimonial of the Day: Living with this Avodah
  • Daily Dose of Dov: How Do You Define an "Addict"?

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Parsha Talk (1): Ki-Sisa ~ Practical Tip of the Day

 

See you Tomorrow!

By: "bardichev"

 

This weeks Parsha teaches us about the classic fall: The chet ha-egel - the Golden Calf.

Many lessons can be learned and applied to our struggle. Here is one: (Bards-b-q style of course :-)

We find when the Jews approached Aharon Hakohen to help the with their idol, he announced: "Chag LaHashem Machar - Tomorrow will be a holiday!"

Aharon Hakohen!!?? What's going on?? Was he helping them worship??

Ella Mai?? Aharon Hakohen is teaching all of Klal Yisrael a great and effective tool how to deal with the Yetzer Hara.

Machar! Tomorrow! Manyana!! Not now! Shpeter!

Sometimes when we are so fired up, all logical answers fall on deaf ears.

We can take a lesson from Aharon Hakohen. Yes, you can at least push off the Yetzer Hara till tomorrow!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Parsha Talk (2): Ki Sisa ~ Attitude Tip of the Day

 

Chet Ha'egel: The Test Was Getting Back Up!

 

By "Yosef Hatzadik" on the forum


The gemara says that K'lal Yisroel were not re'uyin le'oso ma'aseh, they were not really on such a low level as to commit a terrible aveiro as idolatry, elo lehoros teshuvah lerabim, to teach everyone that even for such an aveira, they CAN still do teshuvah.


Perhaps this may be understood as follows: They didn't really have bechira whether to do the aveiro or not. The actual aveiro was not the test that Hashem was testing them with. Rather, Hashem wanted to see what they will do after they were nichshal. Will they just become depressed and dwell in their sorrow, or will they move on and move up?


Lehoros teshuva lerabim, every one of us can think about this point AFTER we slipped. (This is not an excuse to set out on the wrong path, chas ve'sholom.) We can think that maybe, in this case, I didn't really have a bechira in deciding not to guard my eyes. I strayed. I saw. I started slipping. I stumbled. I sank. Now what?? I am worthless. I am a hopeless addict. I am a lost case.... I lost my connection to Hashem. I may as well do another aveiro? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!!! Hashem didn't close his eyes. He didn't stop recording. He sees me in my low moments and he sees me as I get up again. Maybe, just maybe, He is the one who pushed me down because he wanted to see me get up. He enjoys seeing me get up from the depths even more than He enjoys it when I coast along at a high altitude without any bumps. So HE PUSHED ME DOWN. Now what? Now I will give him what he wants. I will show him how I get back up!


The above may be alluded to in the gemoro, bemokom she'ba'alei teshuva omdim ein tzadikim gemurim yecholim la'amod. Tzadikim don't give Hashem this specific nachas of getting back up from the depths.


There are times that Hashem takes away our Ruchniyes'dige levels and lowers our gashmius to the depths.... only to see what we will do then!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Testimonial of the Day

 

Living With This Avodah

 

By "DesperateJew"

 

B"H, I have made strides toward changing my life for the better. I joined the 90 day chart, but I don't live for it, I live with it. I enjoy updating the chart but I don't think about what day it is every moment of the day.


I also had the password Gabai change the passwords to several email accounts that I was using to communicate with 'friends' whom I realized were actually just fueling my addiction. Great people, but not great for my life. I felt tremendously empowered when I tried to sign in to those accounts the following day and I was locked out. I actually threw my hands up in triumph.


For me, it has been great to realize that this ordeal will help my entire relationship with Hashem. I am working on not hoping to be 'done' with this avodah, rather living with this avodah. After all, it is not an avodah of 'sur meirah' as I have looked at it until now, but it is primarily one of 'asei tov' - living more for others and for Hashem. And I have seen the past two weeks improve in several ways, as a result of my developing relationship with the Aibishter. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 10 years. See his story here.

How Do You Define an "Addict"?

 

The label "addict" does not have to mean "one who has done really bad stuff" - or at least "stuff worse than I have". It doesn't mean one has to actually voyeur, expose himself, or be oiver (transgress on) gilui arayos (ie. with another person - masturbation doesn't seem to 'count' for some reason ??) in order to really be "an addict".


As a matter of fact, I know of plenty folks who have been oiver on gilui arayos and are most likely not addicts. I doubt that the yidden in the midbar who were oiver with the shiksas at sheettim where addicts. I doubt that most men and women who have affairs are addicts - per some surveys, almost 30% of Americans have, and the idea that all of them are addicts is just plain silly, in my opinion. Of course, it may comfort us to point a finger and say "Oh, he's that horrible? He must be an addict."... but since when is being an addict an insult? Is it, do you think? 


You may feel that, as yidden, we are held to a higher standard and maybe we qualify as "out of control" with less bad behavior than non-Jews. Perhaps masturbation is horrible enough... Rabbi Akiva may even tell us so (though he might feel the exact same shock about 150 other things we do nowadays). But I digress.


My point is, that I do not believe that "badness" is what defines how sick we are.  I believe that it has very little to do with whether we are "addicts". Not being an expert on addiction, of course, all I can suggest is for you to read the First Step of the Big Book of AA. The realizations that brought us here, were:


1- that our formerly trusted and depended upon behavior (using lust, alcohol, gambling, heroin, whatever) actually makes our lives unmanageable - it screws up our lives and the lives of those around us, and...


2- that we came to the conclusion that we cannot successfully stop. We do not have to prove that we cannot stop (how do you prove something that hasn't happened yet?), rather, to me, it is just as Rav Noach zt"l would define beginner's Emunah/Belief in Hashem: "I have enough evidence to honestly accept that there really is a G-d." Then begins the lifelong mitzva of Yidias haBorei, yisborach Sh'mo. 


In the same way, every recovering addict I know, has come to believe that he or she is an addict by weight of the evidence that they are not able to get better by their own power - after all, it was your/my very best thinking and efforts that got us exactly in this deep trouble, right? Wasn't it? If not, I suggest you just "try harder" and then we'll talk again. 


So to sum up, the definition of "addict" is exactly these 2 things, per my own experience. The behavior may have been "mild" like schmutzy magazines or internet, masturbation, or more. It's not the behavior that matters - it's what it does to your life that is the issue, to me. The pivotal point here boils down to pure (enlightened) self-interest, not morality nor even Hashem's Will. This is plain to me, though others twist themselves into a  religiomoralistic pretzel over it.

 

"Can I take it any more?" If I perceive that I can, and perhaps will be able to just stop tomorrow, then I will keep using my drug. Period. And that's what I call an addict. Like me.

 
So, what it all comes down to is either humility....or humiliation.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

To sum up Dov's words: Once we have determined that (1) our former "friend" is making our lives unmanageable and that (2) we cannot stop on our own, we have the humility to admit we're addicts, and only then will we really reach out for the help we need to stop.

 

726.


Sunday  ~ 21 Adar, 5770  ~  March 7, 2010


In Today's Issue

  • Testimonial of the Day: Proudest Moment of Recovery
  • Attitude Tip of the Day: Chasing Illusions
  • A Mention in JPost Today: Haredim declare war on the Internet
  • Link of the Day: A Shiur on Tikkun Habris by Rabbi Eitan Feiner
  • Personal Victory of the Day: Because You Don't Want Me To
  • Daily Dose of Dov 1: You've Surely Gained a Lot
  • Daily Dose of Dov 2: Which Hard Work do you Choose?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Testimonial of the Day

 

PROUDEST MOMENT OF RECOVERY

By "Letakein"

(a woman who is clean on our network for over half a year)


I was doing library with a class of 5th graders.


One of the girls starts telling me about the books that her mother reads; "love books", and the title of the current novel that her mother's reading.

 

"But she doesn't let me read them".


And then she looks at me with her big brown eyes wide and asks, "Morah, do you read love books?"


And I looked her in the eye and said the proudest "No" I ever said in my life.


I am so happy and thankful to be able to answer such a question with a true, honest "No".

 

No one noticed, and she just continued her day. It was quiet in the library.


But when she left, I cried.


I cried from relief and from pride and from gratitude that I'm where I am today.


It feels so good to be clean. The days of darkness are behind me. Sometimes they creep up and poke their head out, but to have that girl ask me that, and to be able to give that answer - was a moment I don't think I'm ever going to forget.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Attitude Tip of the Day

 

Chasing Illusions

 

"Trying123" writes chizuk to someone on the forum:

 

When we feel Tension/stress/anxiety/whatever you wana call it, the mind automatically searches for comfort... We automatically reach for our good (read: bad) old comforter...


Thing is, it never delivers on it's promises... It may or may not sooth us for a few minutes, but then it turns you into a wreck... 


The minute of relief that pornography promises is so fleeting, empty, and meaningless.


Will it really make you happier? Will it really deliver the effect it promises?


However, the need may be so overwhelming that rationalizing with it won't work... That's where we come in... We are here for you... We are rooting for you... We want you to be truly happy. The real thing...


Search for real answers...

What will really make you happy?

What will have a true meaningful long lasting soothing effect?

Etc. Etc.

 

Grab on to those...

They do exist, its a matter of finding them...

The real answers are sometimes more difficult to attain...

But the end result makes it so worth it...


We were put here on this world for our own good. Hashem wants us to be happy. His test is to see whether we will muster the strength to go after the real thing, the things that truly bring happiness, instead of chasing illusions...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We Got A Mention in Jpost Today!

Haredim declare war on the Internet

By JONATHAN ROSENBLUM

 

"After the evening minyan on a recent trip to the United States, a 40-something man beseeched me to write about a Web site called GuardYourEyes, which provides tools for those who have become pornography addicts through the Internet. He did not explicitly tell me he was one such addict, but the fervor with which he prayed suggested his personal torment."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Link of the Day

 

A Shiur on Tikun Habris By Rabbi Eitan Feiner

 

"7up" writes:

 

I 'happened' to listen to this shiur today and its all about tikun habris, yesodos haolam, Yosef hatzaddik etc. 


Rabbi Eitan Feiner is an amazing speaker and wonderful person too. So is his wife. Role models for life:-)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Personal Victory of the Day

 

Because You Don't Want Me To

 

By "ShemirasEinayim"

 

Does anyone know what it feels like to sit in-front of a 72'' widescreen at 4am without a soul in sight, and with 10 bookshelves lined with DVDs of every sort, and to tell the ribono shel olam:

 

"Tatte, the only reason I did not turn it on is because you don't want me to."


Ashreinu mah tov chelkainu Uma Naim Goraleinu

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Daily Doses of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 10 years. See his story here.

You've Surely Gained a Lot

 

Dov writes to someone who has been having ups and downs on our forum for already a year, and wants to give up:

 

Many, many folks I know had to go through a long period of time where they had ups and downs and struggled, lost and won. Nu. We are each an olam malei (a complete world) and it feels like everything, inside. It's hard to see how lucky we are even when we are not sober.

 

Having a deeper awareness of:

  • Hashem's presence with you,
  • of your own frailty, 
  • of your own gifts and value, and 
  • of the beauty in other people...

... surely in your time here you have gotten some of all those.

Ashrecha. Don't give up on yourself ever, and the best is yet to be seen.

 

For what it's worth that's a promise, from one addict to another :-)

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Which Hard Work Do You Choose?

 

Someone writes on the forum:

 

The reason I would like to avoid the 'addict' label is because if I am an addict, it involves 10 times more work and a lifelong commitment. I do realize that this requires tremendous work and a lifelong commitment, but I am still in the early stages of self denial etc.... hey its day 6!

 

Dov responds:

 

I hear you loud and clear - and remember the same feelings. But let me tell you that you are making a bit of a funny mistake, chaver. Not facing it and doing the lifelong work is only a guarantee of lifelong work of a different kind: i.e. hiding, lying, and managing two lives while struggling for all the normal stuff (family, job, yiddishkeit, money, friends) that we all expect life owes us...

 

Once you find out that you are hooked, there are only two choices: it's either a program of recovery or a program of garbage for us. We are on a path of lifelong hard work, either way!


No wonder the drinkers drink so much. They want to drown themselves rather than face the fact that there ain't no easy way out.


Really, once we go to meetings, or whatever we become a part of, and begin recovery, we all find out that life isn't that bad... in fact, it's nice... wait, it's interesting and sometimes exciting... hold on there - it's awesome! 

 

Well... everything takes time.


Just don't rush. You'll miss half the fun! :-)

 
727.


Monday  ~ 22 Adar, 5770  ~  March 8, 2010


In Today's Issue

  • Battle Communication: The Contradiction
  • Attitude Tip of the Day: Win by Not Fighting
  • Link of the Day: Another Great Shiur
  • Practical Tip of the Day: Ouch!
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Letting Go of Our Garbage

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Battle Communication

 

The Contradiction

 

"Eye.nonymous" posts chizuk and advice to someone who fell and was feeling down:

 

The Yetzer Hara plays awful tricks on us. He tells us: YOU CAN'T STOP, YOU'RE UNDER MY CONTROL, YOU'RE ALL MINE!


Then, right after we act out, he turns around and gets us to believe: IT'S ALL MY FAULT!  IT'S ALL MY FAULT!  IT'S ALL MY FAULT!


See the contradiction?  We'd never let a maggid shiur or a chavrusa get away with a blatant stirah like that, but we believe everything the Yetzer Hara says!  We let it totally destroy our self-confidence.


For me, I learned a big chiddush from the handbooks--if we don't act out, WE DON'T SUFFER ANY HARMFUL PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS. We won't blow up.


Part of the solution was knowing this. And I thought FOR SURE, without a release of pressure at least once a month that I'd blow up! This, I now see, is totally false.


On the other hand, we are struggling with a powerful addiction, so we should be proud of any signs of progress, and not be angry with ourselves because we're not perfect yet.


And, the second statement of the Yetzer Hara (that it's all our fault) is also false. Did you try to stop yourself?  Usually we do, but yet we stumble. We're not fully equipped yet to stay clean. So, if we tried, though we failed, it could be this battle WAS beyond our capabilities. As far as G-d is concerned, perhaps WE'RE NOT AT FAULT!  Just stick with GYE and read through the handbooks again. Something will click this time that maybe didn't click last time.


I have found it very helpful to analyze each fall--why did I fall? What was I thinking before hand? What was going on in my life? Discover what triggered the fall.


And, absolute honesty is essential. At first it was painful for me to post on the forum "I slipped," or "I fell," again and again.  But, the brutal honesty is what eventually led to my recovery (in-progress). And brutal honesty includes other things as well, like-"I REALLY DO NEED A FILTER!"  Or, "I REALLY SHOULDN'T BE SEARCHING FOR SUCH-AND-SUCH!"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Attitude Tip of the Day

 

Win by Not Fighting

 

By "Steve"

 

An addiction, by definition, is something that controls us. We can not ever dream of controlling it. We are fooling ourselves if we think we can win a battle against it.


If a big bully comes toward me, a guy I know is too big for me, too strong, I'll NEVER overpower this guy, I have two choices aside from fighting a losing battle. I could lower my fists and let him cream me. Or I could lower my fists AND TURN AND WALK AWAY. Surrender doesn't mean I have to get beat up. Surrender means I can CHOOSE NOT TO FIGHT! I can walk away from the confrontation. "No, sorry, not today."


That's how you really WIN. By NOT fighting.


A Mouse-click away is a picture that once you see it, you'll want more and more until you can't help but fall. DON'T FORGET YOUR ADDICTION / DISEASE (allergy to lust) and think you could handle that click and pull away from the battle before it's too late. YOU CAN'T.


JUST SAY NO to Drugs-of-Choice and walk away from engaging the enemy. And then he'll LOSE.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Link of the Day

 

Another Great Shiur

 

"HappyGrowth" writes:

 

This shiur highlights 2 very important points:


1) When it comes to serving Hashem, it is NEVER all or nothing. We must never feel hypocritical or "off the derech"  if we need to grow slowly. I personally used to think "I can't break free from one avaira, this means I'm evil and Hashem hates me, therefore I may as well do even worse aveiros".


2) Hashem loves each of us more then we love ourselves, and He understands our limitations and does not demand the impossible.


I am not, G-d forbid, saying that we don't have to strive for perfection. I am just saying that to achieve real solid growth, one has to be reasonable with oneself.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Practical Tip of the Day

 

Ouch!

 

By ZalmanDovid

 

I have started implementing a practical tip that is helping me. I actually got this tip from the handbook (a pretty useful little booklet). I have begun pinching myself. I know it sounds pretty dumb and ridiculous, but frankly I don't really care, as long as it works. So whenever I walk down the street and my eyes go looking at a woman or any other thing I shouldn't be ogling at, I give myself a good pinch till it hurts. And let me tell you, it hurts to get pinched, especially when you are doing it to yourself. I recognize that I am more conscious of where I am looking. Before I didn't even realize.


Try pinching yourself. It may work for you like it's working for me. It may sound loony but it works. Also, nobody really sees you doing it. To onlookers, it just looks like your scratching yourself  :-)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Daily Doses of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 10 years. See his story here.

 

Letting Go of Our Garbage

 

Eye.nonymous wrote on the forum:

 

I had a disappointing set-back yesterday, even though it wasn't really a fall. But I really got down about it. I managed to pick myself up this morning though. I said to myself, "what happened yesterday is behind you, and there's nothing you can do about it. 'Today' is all you have; try to make the most of it."

 

Dov responds:

 

Thanks for dumping that here rather than carrying "yesterday" around with you today, Reb Eye.

It's funny, but it seems that actually witnessing others letting go of garbage they might otherwise cling to, makes it easier for me to give up my own crapola.


And for giving up my own, I'd like to share that there is a lady at my work who was on leave for about 2 months and today I noticed that she's back. I find her attractive, and she works down the open hallway from me all day long. Her image is all fine and good - for her... but of no use to me whatsoever. She's really none of my business. But in the past, I tended to clear out a little "cubicle" for her in my brain.... I need to let her go completely.

Nu. Completely? OK, I'll accept letting go of the obsession for today and not worry about "completely", or "forever".

All I really need to concern myself with is that she and a bazillion other pretty folks are in my little world for me to help them in some way, rather than to use them. How? It may never become clear to me, but hani kavshi d'Rachmono (the hidden ways of Hashem) are also none of my business.

That's all poshut.


So, with Hashem's help I will daven for her by name today, for her well-being, healthy and successful relationships with husband and children, lack of pain/suffering in this life, and then I'll ask Hashem to help me let go of any obsession I may have about her or her image.

Chances are that it'll be gone by then, anyhow.  Cool

Happy and cheerful that you are not down any more, 

Dov

Note from webmaster: I wonder if Hashem had as much Nachas Ruach from the Ketores in the Beis Hamikdash as he does from guys like Eye.nonymous and Dov being maktir their "garbage" on the mizbeach of their hearts... (As the Gemara in Sanhedrin brings from Rav Yehoshua Ben Levi, "whoever sacrifices his Yetzer, it is considered as if he brought all of the sacrifices!" ... And see here too!)

 

728.


Tuesday  ~ 23 Adar, 5770  ~  March 9, 2010


In Today's Issue

  • 12-Step Attitude: Chronically Avoiding Life
  • Attitude Tip of the Day: Recovery is not just about NOT acting out
  • Link of the Day: Understanding Depression in the Jewish Community
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Madreigos & Hashkafa in Recovery

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

12-Step Attitude

 

With Duvid Chaim, moderator of the Big-Book Phone Conference

 

Chronically Avoiding Life

 

Dear Duvid Chaim,

 

Here's what I understand so far about this great voyage that we're on. Please let me know if I'm getting it right.

 

1. We are not working on the Lust Addiction (we are powerless over the addiction), rather we are working on:

  • Understanding where the Pain and R.I.D. (Restlessness, Irritability & Discontent) that drive us to lust are coming from.
  • Learning how to get rid of that pain and R.I.D.
     

2. This new way of living will help not only overcome my addiction to Lust but will also help me overcome other compulsive behaviors, like chronic procrastination, massive time wasting through movies etc. that I also use to cover my fears, pain and R.I.D.

 

3. The 12 Step Program is for all people and will enhance the Yiddishkeit (i.e. Dveikus B'hashem) of anyone that works the steps. I am "lucky" to be addicted to Lust etc. and feel like my life is completely unmanageable, because I felt so helpless and came here.

 

Question:

 

My Lust addiction (and I am addicted, since I cannot stop) is not what scares me, rather it's the chronic avoidance I have for facing my life, for which I use procrastination, movies, computer games and mast. (It used to be a twice a week, since I joined GYE it's now down to once every 2 weeks, and with this program IY"H it will never happen again).

 

Can this program work for me even if it's not the Lust Addiction per-se that makes me feel my life is unmanageable and I'm not my own master?

 

Duvid Chaim replies:

 

Dear Shipmate,

 

I am truly impressed with your understanding of the Program and the Call as you've seen it so far.  You are demonstrating a real grasp of the issues and have good insight into where we're headed.

 

I love your question and feel your desire and urge for answers.  Please re-read your Point #2.  In it you'll see the answer to your question.

 

You can substitute the words/issues you use like "chronic avoidance", "procrastination", "movies", "computer games" and "mast" instead of the word "lust."

 

These are all just different "pain relievers" that you use to medicate your pain.  As you know, this Program has its origins as an AA recovery program for people that medicate their pain with alcohol.  Since 1939, this Program has proven to be effective for people who medicate with food, drugs, nicotine, work, co-dependency, and more - including lust.

 

So I believe that if you stick with the Program and really work the Steps, you will see what many in recovery see - and that is freedom from the underlying pain (RID), a significant reduction in the dominance of one's EGO and a level of Serenity that you may have never experienced in your life.

 

You will learn a lot more about the 12 Step Promises through our reading.  So stay on Board and join us on our Journey to Freedom.

 

Looking FORWARD

Duvid Chaim

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Attitude Tip of the Day

 

Recovery isn't just about NOT acting-out

 

By "Eye.Nonymous" (clean for 130 days)

 

This past Shabbos afternoon I went out for a nice walk with my wife and children, even though my wife offered to take them by herself and let me rest.


Also, I joked around with my kids to put them to bed instead of just ordering them to go to sleep.  I actually have a good sense of humor, but it's just too easy to forget to use it with your own kids.


Recovery isn't just about not acting out. It's about letting yourself enjoy life. When you get pleasure from the small things in life, when you don't sweat the small stuff, then you don't need to act out.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Link of the Day

 

4lashon

 

 

Understanding Depression in the Jewish Community

 

Depression is a breeding ground for lust addiction. In this article, Rabbi Twerski takes a look at the phenomenon of depression in the Jewish community and offers some practical advice.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Daily Doses of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 10 years. See his story here.

Madreigos & Hashkafa in Recovery

 

Some addicts have the attitude that by beating their lust they will achieve a high Madreiga. Dov writes:

 

Some folks should just get a bumper sticker that says:

"Whoever dies with the most Madreigos wins!"


We are winners if we are with Hashem - period. That's the attitude that I have seen works best for addicts. All the rest (paraphrasing Rebbi Akiva) is commentary. 


Serving Hashem by doing His Will (or anyone else's) rather than my will is the ikkar for me (as described in the 12 steps), and madreigos are tofel. And they always will be, I believe. 


To me, discussions based on "what's right" are nice, but are of very limited - if any - value. Ah, to be young again! To be able to sit back, picking and choosing the best derech for me to be yotzei all the shitos... "does it fit well with a Rav Dessler, a RMB"M, a gemorah in Succah?" Nu. I never had such luxuries. I wonder who does. There was a time when I was far too busy just staying out of hell. Early recovery was the very worst time for me to think about madreigos and worry about hashkofa. And guess what? It seems to be the time when folks are the most consumed with it!! (I was, for about 10 years, as I got worse and worse...)

 

The Chofetz Chayim used to say, "Besides being not doing aveiros, Hashem also doesn't want one to be a fool". Acting out with lust happens to be my own personal "foolishness", cuz it ruins my life. For others, it's drinking... If they worry about "the source" of the lav for drinking alcohol, gambling, heroin, etc, too much, they flush their lives down the toilet, and often die. Plain and poshut, right? So, please tell me: What lav, exactly, is "flushing"? Hah, hah....


So, my most basic hashkofa was this: Hashem doesn't want me to flush five lives down the toilet. And the devil isn't in the details, cuz I don't have to deserve to be with Him - I just have to start to give my life and my will into His care and continue doing just that. Of course, as a frum yid that means halacha, but it's a work in progress. That's a madreigo? Don't believe it! It's just enlightened self-interest! Good enough for me!

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

To sum up the points Dov is making here:

 

The only Hashkafa a recovering addict needs to have is: Don't flush your life - and the life of your family - down the toilet. It's not a madreiga we aim for, it's simply enlightened self-interest.

 

We don't need to deserve to be with Hashem, we just need to progress along the path of giving our life and will over into His care. (And Halacha is one of the ways we do that.)

 

729.


Wednesday  ~ 24 Adar, 5770  ~  March 10, 2010

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

12-Step Attitude

 

Who Needs G-d?

How AA's Twelve Steps Can Help You


From an article at Chabad.org
over here.

A well-known saying asserts that in foxholes there are no atheists.

When we're in a position of pain, danger or need, something within us awakens and reignites a deep connection to our Source. And somehow, with this connection, we find strength we never knew we had and the ability to move forward.

A paradigm for this is the Twelve Step Program from Alcoholics Anonymous. This program is one of the most successful self-help models in existence, so successful, in fact, that it has been modified and adapted by other groups including Narcotics Anonymous, Al Anon for families of alcoholics, CODA for co-dependency, Self-Esteem Anonymous and more.

At the core of the program is the belief in a Higher Being who has the ability to help us overcome our "unmanageable lives."

In the words of the Steps:

Step 1: I admit that my life has become unmanageable and I have become powerless.

Step 2: I acknowledge the belief that a Power greater than I can restore sanity to my life.

Step 3: I turn my life over to this greater Power, however I want to define Him, and ask for His help.

In a nutshell, these three steps are saying: "I can't. G-d, You can. Please help!"

What is it about the Twelve Steps that makes this program so versatile and successful?

And, why does the acknowledgement of a Higher Being--rather than, for example, looking inward and just encouraging one's own efforts--bring healing and solace when we feel overcome with addictions, suffering, stress or despair?

I think the emphasis on a Higher Being is a necessary balm for any broken heart in these three fundamental ways:

1) Recognizing Our Limitations

We live in a world of unprecedented human achievement. We've conquered so many frontiers and overcome limitations on so many levels including technology, medicine, and communication. We've become accustomed to controlling our realities.

Yet, ironically, we also take comfort in becoming aware of our own smallness. Despite our human achievements, despite the cosmic significance of our technological advances, despite the intricate complexities of the machines that we create, or the crushing power of the weapons we manufacture, when all is said and done, when we consider the vastness of our universe, we don't ultimately want to be in charge. We find it strangely comforting to believe in a Power that is much greater than ourselves who takes ultimate responsibility for our world.

We aren't accustomed to accepting limits, yet when we encounter circumstances over which we have no control, we are forced to face our limitations. Recognizing a Higher Power means acknowledging that we need the help of Someone outside of ourselves to overcome our struggle, whether in the arena of health, self-limiting beliefs, addictions or negative self-talk.

And that recognition is the comforting first step to our recovery.

2) We're Not Alone

Wherever we may find ourselves on this planet (and beyond), at all times of day or night, today's technology allows us to instant message, email, voice mail, and video conference with one another. And yet, more and more of us feel disconnected and intensely lonely. We're "in touch" and always just a click away from a whole cyber-community, but we don't feel "connected" on a more meaningful level.

This aloneness becomes all the more acute when we are fighting a formidable battle over an acutely painful situation.

Recognition of a Higher Being means that we are never inherently alone.

The Ultimate Being of compassion and wisdom has a real connection with you and is saying: I am near you. I understand your struggles even when you feel so alone. I am with you even before your predicament, providing you with the fortitude to continue. I will help you tackle unchartered territory. I understand you better than you understand yourself.

G-d understands and is with us through our fears, uncertainties, failures and successes and makes us feel that much less frightened and isolated in taking steps towards our future.

While, to some, belief in G-d means presenting a wish list of what we want or need, it is foremost the experience of being in the company of G-d. At all times. In all struggles.

3) You Matter

And finally, being in G-d's presence brings the recognition that despite my smallness, as G-d's creation, I matter.

Have you ever strolled through a crowded shopping mall, or down a crowded pedestrian walkway, neck to neck with tens of others, sensing that your presence there doesn't matter at all? No one would really notice or care if you weren't exactly where you are, doing what you're doing. Your presence doesn't matter. Not to anyone.

And yet, belief in a Higher Power means you do matter and that your every action is significant.

There is reason for challenge. It is not a random happening, but a planned struggle necessary for our souls. There is a point and a purpose to our successes and our failures. On some level, the chaos of our world is not chaos, but makes perfect sense.

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Whether we are dealing with an addiction to some negative substance, or whether we are struggling with a crisis or challenge, at some point in our lives, we all cry out from the depths of our souls.

Unfortunately, life is too full of moments when we acutely feel, G-d, I just can't.

At those moments, we need to be able to find within ourselves the comforting words: G-d, You can. Please help!

 
730.


Thursday  ~ 25 Adar, 5770  ~  March 11, 2010


In Today's Issue

  • Attitude Tip of the Day: You already are a good person
  • Q & A of the Day: Can I work the 12-Steps alone?
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Keep your eye on the Ikkar

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Attitude Tip of the Day

 

You already are a good person

 

Someone wrote on the forum:

 

I hope I can stop the addiction and become a good Jew!

 

Dov Responds:

 

First of all, you already are a "good Jew". Perfect - no... but good - surely. Hashem certainly loves us even though you and I have weaknesses and may make terrible mistakes at times. As long as a child is honestly - though very imperfectly - trying to get better, any understanding father is proud of this child. And he understands everything. He is obviously so proud of us. And he loves you even while you are screwing up, obviously, cuz He put it in your heart to want better for yourself, and He even helped you get here to find understanding and help! A good start, to be sure. You are quite fortunate... luckier than many.

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Q & A of the Day

 

Can I work the 12-Steps alone?

 

Dov writes:

 

There are many who say "I tried/did/worked the 12 steps", and they mean they read a book, answered the questions, did some writing assignments and followed the program to the end....


But they did it all alone.


Just a little plug for "the program" as I know it: 


Working the steps in the context of daily life was and is absolutely essential for me. Real tools for real daily living (without our mishi'gas) is what we need here, not just 'medicine'.

 

"guump! I swallowed it - it's done!" is a recipe for more disappointment. And we all have had enough of that! It must take time and be real, and it's worth the trouble. We are worth the trouble.

 

To actually do this - for me and others I know who are doing it - requires a real live chevra, or at least: a real live friend who is also doing it. I couldn't work the steps alone (I tried for two years) and I can't seem to successfully use them alone today, either.

Just my experience. Besides, it's really an amazing adventure! Why hog it all to ourselves?

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Daily Doses of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 10 years. See his story here.

Keep Your Eye on the Ikkar

 

Someone wrote on the forum:

 

I don't feel clean and I feel like I need to go to the Mikvah but I don't know how to go by asking without people becoming suspicious. I feel really bad because a few times I have watched porn right before learning. 

 

Dov Responds:

 

I'm for going to the mikvah, in general, as long as you are comfortable with it... but irrespective of that, please consider this: 

 

In the "bad old days", going to the mikvah seemed to help me feel better after acting out. But then, I'd use my drug (porn and masturbation, etc.) again in a couple of days! I was truly shocked. And things just kept getting worse over the years. It was clearly not the solution for me.... so, do you want to get better, or just feel better? A good question, in general, as feeling better is related to the solution and the goal, but is surely neither the solution - nor is it the goal, really. 


Furthermore, in my own case, I went to the mikvah and did lots of other stuff along those lines (cold showers, not looking out of my 4 amos, hiding in a yeshiva, saying tons of tehillim, learning seforim about zera levatoloh [written 150 years ago for 1850's-yidden! ]). Sometimes they gave me a feeling that "what's past is past - it's over! I am now starting fresh!". OK. Now, living in the present is an absolutely essential part of my recovery. Nevertheless, it comes with some real risk for an addict who is not yet in serious recovery. In fact, it can be a devastating handicap at that stage. 


It was for me. 


Thinking in those terms then, made me able to delude myself that there really was no pattern. I was able to remain in denial of the fact that there was really something in me that had to change. Gimmicks allow us to seem as though we are changing while remaining exactly the same inside. "See, I am better!"... not quite. That derech distracted me from the ikkar while I worked really hard on the peripheral. And I see this pattern over an over. All manner of mesiras nefesh-like behaviors abound, while the very thing that got us so screwed up in the first place -i.e. our own very best thinking - remains at the steering wheel!

 

Our motivations have not truly changed. 


Do you get me so far?


Until we face that there is something very screwy with our thinking, we don't seem to start getting better. And this is what the 1st and 2nd steps of AA's 12 principles of recovery are about. Accepting the facts about myself was the essential seed for recovery - whether one is an addict or not.


Mind you, I am not at all implying that you are an addict. But if you are convinced that you use schmutz compulsively, that for you it is like a drug, and if you come to see that you cannot seem to really stop, then I suggest you consider that the problem is no longer the women on the street, your father's computer, nor even what you did yesterday! These are all tofel (secondary)... just triggers - not the problem, at all. Rather, the problem is in