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Sunday  ~ 27 Nissan, 5770  ~  April 11, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Attitude Tip of the Day: Addiction & Recovery
  • Q & A of the Day: Why does it get harder just as I start out?
  • Filter Tip of the Day: "Those who comes to be purified are helped"
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Sharing Pain Can Help Others - And Ourselves


Attitude Tip of the Day


Recovery & Addiction


By Yosef



My SA sponsor has been sober for 26 years. He says that if he could be cured of the addiction he probably would decline the offer. That's how much of an opportunity for growth it has been to him. He says that most of the "old timers" in SA and AA say the same thing: It was G-d's will. If G-d created me an addict then so be it.



Recovery is freedom from the bondage of self... from the slavery of obsessive thoughts and actions.

Recovery is being able to finally do nice things for the soul and let the body wait.

Recover is discovering one's buried talents, interests and purpose for living.

Recover is being able to know what is right and what is not.

Recover is being able to see oneself and others - as they really are.

Recovery is being excited about relationships, new and old.

Recovery is about learning and being able to remember and use the new learnings.

Recovery is the ability to feel, enjoy and appreciate what I have.

Recovery is a recognition that there is Divine Justice and that it is unquestionably a good thing.

Recovery is honesty with self, others and above all G-d.

Recovery is the progressive delight of recognizing how G-d is running the world.

Recovery is the pleasure of being less focused on "me".

Recovery is surrendering the materialistic drive to possess, control, and impress.


Recovery is the moral obligation to honor and respect spiritual wisdom and right-living in others.

Recovery is simplicity, purity and quietly influencing others to live spiritual lives.

Recovery is a deep gratitude to G-d for another chance.



Q & A of the Day

Why does it get harder just as I start out?


Someone wrote on the forum how they had taken a number of steps to try and stay clean, but after just 2 days an unexpected test came up and he fell. He asks:


I just can't understand why G-d would add on this test after he sees I'm making the effort and setting up fences?




Often Hashem sends us tests we can't resist precisely when we are putting in effort and because we are putting in effort. (Like when Moshe first approached Pharaoh, he made the work even harder!) Perhaps Hashem does this to help us progress on our journey even faster, when our fall helps us realize a few things:

1) The fences we put up are not adequate. We need to reassess our battle-plan and make even better and stronger fences.


2) It makes us think, "do I really want to change" or am I just "forcing myself" by making lots of fences? (which ultimately won't last).

3) It makes us realize our powerlessness and become more dependant on Hashem.

All three of these recognitions are progress. So ignore the fall, and take the "gift" of this new awareness into your arsenal! :-)



Filter Tip of the Day

"Those who come to be purified are helped"


We got an e-mail a few days ago:


Hi, I'm almost 16. Do you know of any filters I can put on my mom's computer that she won't know about?


The very next day someone sent us an e-mail:


I am using a great product called PC Pandora. It works very good. It costs $70 for 2 licenses and I found a coupon, so I paid only $54.38. I used just one license and I'm ready to donate the other license. It's a very broad and good program.


Visit their site and you will see

It does everything:

- It filters

- It sends reports every 12 hours

- It sends keystrokes

- It runs in stealth mode (hidden in the background) or open

- It captures pictures


We put the two of them in touch... What open Siyatta Dishmaya!



Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.


Sharing Pain Can Help Others - And Ourselves

Dov wrote to "Tried-123":


Don't give up, keep reaching out for help. Oh, and you may find that you will get more recovery by reaching out to help others rather than by mainly helping yourself cope. And one great way to help others is just by sharing your real pain them, strange as it sounds. We're addicts - we lead with our weaknesses!


"Tried-123" responds:


I always thought that people are very uncomfortable with another person's pain... You think it helps people to hear someone else's real pain? How would that work?


Dov answers:


Well, first of all, it only works for people who already have pain of their own, like other addicts, for example. And then, only when they are open to it, like, for example, if they are throwing up their tzoress all over you. Or if they admit they have tzoress but are not willing to go any further and actually open up about it. Or for folks that are so ashamed of themselves, that they think they just need a rock to climb under. 

These types generally feel quite relieved when they hear a real live mirror talking to them, and they see that their lives are not over - by a long shot. They often begin to undergo quite a life change as a result, and they have only you to thank, for sharing your tzoress with them. 

A bit nutty? 


One more thing, and this goes for Torah as much as for recovery: I believe that as long as I am sharing with other what I have actually experienced by using it in my life, they can benefit from it. On the other hand, "teaching" or "saying over" great and true stuff, bounces off their hearts and is relatively useless - except to cause more guilt. Their brains get lifted while their bodies are still in the garbage - and they know it. I have seen this. 

More true ideas and inspiration is not what we really need. We seem to need experience from action - more real,  personal Truth. It's like talking about our relationship with Hashem vs. saying your netilas yodayim or shehakol like you are plainly and simply talking to Someone. 


It's in the action, not in the thinking about action. Gevalt.

So, all your struggles and pain will help someone someday, for certain. 
Your deep hashkafic he'aros? - maybe they will, maybe they won't.

Monday  ~ 28 Nissan, 5770  ~  April 12, 2010

In Today's Issue


Important Announcement/Plea:
Please help us with 2 or 3 names!

Two Big Mazal Tov's:
To "Ovadia" & "Letakein" upon reaching 90 days!



Please Help!




We sent out an e-mail before Pesach about an upcoming fund-raising trip that we are planning for the sake of expanding our work at GYE. I would like to thank all those who responded, for their warm replies. Unfortunately though, we still have very few practical and serious "meetings" scheduled yet as a result of that e-mail.


So here's a recap in short:


Until now I have insisted on maintaining absolute anonymity. However, due to the urgency of the need, our proven success, and the confidence in our ability to help tens of thousands of Jews, I can no longer afford to sit quietly by when so much more can be done. We are at a turning point, and I truly hope that this fund-raising trip will enable us to take our work to a new level, b'Ezras Hashem.


After careful thought and consultation with others, we developed a proposal (or plan) for growth, which outlines what we would like to do in the coming year/s, and how we can expand to reach out and accommodate many more thousands of Jews of all stripes. The plan includes a budget that approximates what this would cost.


Please download a PDF file of our Plan over here

(Right-click and press "Save Target/Link As")


(If you have already seen our "Plan", it was recently updated to include more focus on the area of "Prevention", which I believe is just as important as "Treatment". Also, "Prevention" is something that everyone can relate to - and that no one would feel uncomfortable supporting.)


We estimate that within a year - and with a relatively modest budget, we will be able to increase our reach tenfold, and that we can, bs"d, in subsequent years, halt this epidemic amongst the Jewish People.


As my trip will be short, I plan to only meet with potential donors of 5K and up, and only with people who have seen our "Proposal / Plan" and would like to meet with me. I am turning to you in the hope of getting a few solid meetings of this nature. I would be happy to give in-depth personal presentations of our work, and outline exactly what we need to do to grow, and how much it would cost for the various areas we hope to expand in.


If you could please try to help us with 2 or 3 names of people to whom we can send our "Plan" to, it would be a great help - and a big zechus for you! It may be helpful to search carefully through your phone and e-mail contacts, and try to think of who might be warm to our work and may have the financial means to be a supporter. Once you think of someone, the best would be if you could call them personally with a short intro about our work, send them our plan, and then ask them if they would be willing to meet with me in person. But if you would prefer to stay anonymous, please just share with us their contact info and we'll take care of the rest.


With the Bracha of this past week's Parsha: 

"Vi'hiskadashtem ve'hiyisem Kedoshim, Ki Kadosh Ani Hashem",


Thank you so much,





Two Big Mazal Tov's!


GYE is B"H helping so many people regain control and stop living "double lives". Just yesterday, two people on our forum reached 90 days clean. One of them calls himself "Ovadia" and he wrote the following on the forum:


"I Have Come Home"


Thank you HaShem for bringing me to GYE, and thank you Guard for being a true Shaliach. 


Here are my thoughts at 90 days. As R' Twerski put it in his beautiful article on Pesach, when one is freed spiritually, he is thankful for every second of his freedom. GYE has made me realize that the concept of Kedusha and being part of a holy nation is not just an elusive idea for "holy" people. It is within our grasp. And for this I truly have to thank HaShem for having the Zechus of having my part in His Plan.

What does liberation mean to me?

  • To go to work without constantly worrying (and knowing) am I going to act out today or will I be able to control myself?
  • Leaving work without feeling relieved that I made it through the day without acting out or frustration/guilt because tit happened yet again.
  • That I can go to sleep after my wife without diving for the ..... to act out.
  • I have learned to focus and be happy with what I have, not with what I don't.
  • That I can focus positively on my Avodas HaShem without feeling hypocritical and constant paradox.

Contrast: Sometimes I think back to those grotesque images which I have not seen for 90 days and I think, could this really be what interests me?? What a contrast between what I "gave up", and what I received instead. The contrast is beyond words.


Appreciation: I cannot express my appreciation enough to everyone here at GYE for literally saving my soul. I have received so much from you; so much Insight and understanding. But most of all support and guidance, and the feeling that in the times of darkness there are some very dear people out there who care. Thank you all so much. And of course I look forward to the grand GYE kumsits with all of you, with the Shor HaBor and the Leviasan!

Privilege:It has been the most amazing experience to have contact with so many emotionally and spiritually deep people/Neshomos. It has made me feel emotionally alive. I have had the opportunity to express my emotions and feelings without feeling inhibited or childish. And I also feel spiritually alive. A special type of Avodah different to learning and davening, but what gives more meaning and amplifies to all Ruchniyos.

Yet I feel some disappointment. Here at GYE we see that everyone has their own struggles. I might be wrong but it seems that there are different levels of addicts. I feel that my own addiction was just a bad habit I could not get out of and needed to be broken. What did it take? Openness and frank confrontation with my feelings and weaknesses; getting out of isolation and realizing that there is an effective way of breaking the habit. And more than anything, a framework within which to do this and the support which I received. And that is the tragedy. Why did it have to take so long to discover something so simple? I am sure that there are so many low level addicts out there like me, that don't need therapy or SA groups, just a healthy perspective and attitude, support and communication, realization that you are not alone or the only one, and to be given the opportunity to talk from their heart. Why is the frum community continuing to deny this to themselves? 

The main lesson that I learned over the last few months has been to appreciate and be happy with what I have, and not be constantly looking at what I do not. All the lust and fantasizing comes from wanting just that little bit which is out of your grasp. I learnt to stop "looking" away from myself.  Yes, guarding your eyes begins in the eye of your mind. If something does not interest you, then you do not lust for it. 


About a month into the journey, I would come to Mincha Erev Shabbos, the end of a week of being at my office and not acting out, and my heart was bursting with joy. I remember saying Aleinu and feeling how privileged I am to be part of Klal Yisroel. Today I feel less of that original excitement, but my main feeling is that I have come home. I was in a sewer unable to pull myself out. Now I am back home after all the years. I feel - relief, and also a big feeling of responsibility - never again will I be able to feel and say that something is beyond my control!


Finally, no words will suffice to thank R' Guard enough for being HaShem's Shliach in saving my soul. HaShem should give you the Koach to continue in you holy work, and there is no doubt that you will be in the front lines to greet Mashiach Tzidkainu! 




The second person to reach 90 days was a woman who calls herself "Letakein". She became clean through our site, found a wonderful Shidduch in the meantime, got married, and yesterday she wrote on the Women's Forum:


"Not Just Clean"


90 days. I'm not really sure what the appropriate thing to say or do right now is. I'm sitting here on my couch with real tears rolling down my cheeks; tears of truth, tears of accomplishment, tears of pride, and tears of immense gratitude to Hashem and to all my "family" at GYE. A few short months ago I was drowning in a sea of wave after wave of lust and acting out. GYE pulled me up, threw me a life jacket, and I grabbed at it desperately. I thought you would just help me be clean and abstinent. Instead, you helped me build true relationships in a place where I could trust, feel, talk, and hope. You helped me be content with the life that I have and to see all the good that Hashem has bestowed upon me. You taught me to smile, to pray, to reach out to others, and to hope to Hashem for help. 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. May we all be zoche to see Geula in all of our personal journeys and to see the ultimate Geula soon!

Tuesday  ~ 29 Nissan, 5770  ~  April 13, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Torah Thought of the Day: Failure is Part & Parcel of Success
  • Attitude Tip of the Day: Walk Into the Sea
  • Q & A of the Day: G-d's Mouthpiece
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Like a Son Talks to His Father


Torah Thought of the Day

Failure is Part & Parcel of Success


This morning I was reading some chizuk from Rav Tzvi Meyer and he writes how the days of Seffira are a time to make new Kabbalos... But often people say to themselves, "what's the use of new Kabbalos? I've been Mekabel this thing a thousand times and never succeeded. Why should this time be different?" Says Rav Tzvi Meyer, we don't realize that every time we tried, we DID succeed. Each time we tried, we shook the heavens! And it is ONLY through failure again - and again - and again - that a person can ever succeed. As Chaza"l say, the Torah can only be upheld by one who falls in it. "Seven times the Tzadik falls and gets up" - not because he is a Tzadik, but rather that is what MAKES him into a Tzadik. There can be no light without darkness. "Vayehi Erev, Vayehi Boker" - First night, then morning... So to say that there's no use in trying again because of past failures is childish and silly. Because it is DAVKA BECAUSE we fell so many times before that we will be able to succeed now. The previous failures were PART and PARCEL of our ultimate success!!


Attitude Tip of the Day

 Walk Into the Sea


By "Tried123"

It's all about the struggle my friends.

My life has had so many times where I knew that everything was hopeless. I knew that I was hopeless....

I saw absolutely no way out... Nothing... I was totally totally stuck.....

But here is the thing:
No matter What, Where, How or When, there is always a tiny winy step available that leads nowhere... but it's still a centimeter further than where you are now...

I heard a great Vort:

When Klal Yisrael reached the Yam Suf, they panicked.... They were running and just hit the Yam - a brick wall...

Moshe Prayed to Hashem...

What did Hashem answer?

Why are you crying out to me? Enter the Yam and it will split!

Why did Hashem say "Why are you crying out to me?"
What did he expect? That Moshe shouldn't Daven?

The answer is:

There was no reason to Daven because if they wouldn't have given up and instead would've continued into the water until the water was getting into their mouths... then the water would've split on it's own, because they did their fullest....

The lesson is, that even if you are stuck... Take whatever step there still is to take, even if it leads nowhere....

because the Yeshua is davka in those steps.....

I've seen this happen with my very own eyes in my own life...
Numerous times....



Q & A of the Day

G-d's Mouthpiece

Someone asked on the forum:


Is there a scientific link between acting-out and Shalom Bayis?


DovInIsrael responds:


I don't know about scientific, but I have found that Rabbi Arush's book, The Garden of Peace, is absolutely right when he says that the wife is the spiritual mirror of her husband. 

I can come home and be the nicest, most wonderful husband... and even take out the trash, wash the dishes, fix the broken light sockets, etc... but if I was acting out or ogling other women that day,my wife will usually start an argument with something like "why don't you do what you are supposed to be doing?"

The voice of Hashem! All she has to do is move her lips. 

Think about this and tell me if you notice it too: The way our wives act toward us is the way we are acting toward Hashem. 



Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

Like a Son Talks to His Father


I know a guy who got better just by saying the words when he really needed to. It went something like this:

"G-d, if You are listening, please take away my lust/resentment/fear/(whatever) - because I have plenty of it, and that is the problem here - not this or that person, nor my circumstances.... G-d, if You love me, then please help me know that You love me.... G-d, help me actually have the gratitude I can have to You. I don't want to work hard on anything, I just want You to give all these things to me with the smallest amount of work possible, by me."

Nu. What do you have to lose? Do you think it's chuzpadik to talk to Hashem this way? 

If so, I propose to you that he sees our hearts, not just our words. And our hearts do just this all the time! When we are impatient, we are saying to Hashem: "Well? What's taking You so long?!" When our stomachs hurt we tend to get very upset about it - we don't accept it with love (meaning full acceptance that it's Hashem's best plan for us). Our rage is always a nasty way to say to Hashem (in our feelings) something like: "What the h--l are You doing?! Do You have any idea how much this hurts!!". Why else doe we ever get angry about anything?

Nu. That's what I think. Maybe I'm totally off.

So, why keep lying to Hashem if you are already saying it to Him and he knows it?

Let it out, as a son talks to his father. If you feel you can't do that yet, then you can at least ask Him to help you out so that one day you willtalk to Him like a son talks to a father.

Anyway, who says we need the whole package, or nothing? Trying is surely worth something.

Wednesday  ~ 30 Nissan, 5770  ~  April 14, 2010
Rosh Chodesh Iyar

In Today's Issue
  • Attitude Tip of the Day: "How to do a real fall"
  • Daily Doses of Dov: Three Pearls


Attitude Tip of the Day


"How to do a real fall"

Posted by "1dayatatime"


This post is for those who are thinking about falling. It will explain how to do a full, complete, genuine fall. Now make sure you read all the directions before you have your fall. Don't cut corners!

The first thing to do, is to notify those in your life that are going to be affected by your fall. If you have a special someone in your life, such as a spouse or fiancé, you must tell them before you fall that you are going to do so. This will save time after the fall and allow them to start feeling bad sooner. It will also save all that silly time wasted in the "cat and mouse" of uncovering your fall. Now if you really want to go the extra mile, you might punch them in the gut or spit in their face, just to make sure they understand where you are coming from. For those of you with children though, you should not tell them ahead of time. Kids much prefer to be "surprised" when their world is shattered. Besides, their crying and whining might kill the buzz of your fall. It's a matter of setting priorities, right? You must also be sure to tell your friends. Traditionally, this isn't done directly. Let them find out you are a schmuck one by one surreptitiously. That will make the agony drawn out for everyone. How much more fun could that be? How and when your boss and coworkers are informed is a matter of some debate. Some think the loss of respect should start as soon as possible. Others think it should come as a bolt out of the blue. I won't take a position but leave that for each to decide for himself. However, sooner or later your employer and colleagues must be allowed to know. Otherwise you are selling your fall short. Last, and certainly least, you must let the P-rn providers know that you are in the market for more poison. They would find out soon enough. But just to make it obvious, you might put a "sucker" button on or a "kick me" sign on your backside.

Now that all the notifications to your loved ones and acquaintances are done, you must take care of the fiscal matters. Go to the ATM and withdraw all the money you can. Now burn it. I know you might be thinking, "that's meshuga!" But your fall will cost you plenty of money and you need the practice of wasting the money. There is no such thing as "free P-rn". Sooner or later P-rn will cost you a ton of money. Sometimes the costs aren't direct. Sometimes it takes the form of divorce costs, alimony and child support, therapy, etc. But falls will cost you money. Those that have a problem with making a fire can use the garbage disposal or a toilet as an alternative method for the money destruction. The important thing is that the money must be totally wasted and destroyed. If the cash withdrawal caused your checks to start bouncing you earn "extra points." If your rent or mortgage payment bounces you are really making a statement!

Ok, the people and fiscal aspects are set, next we need to discuss the logistics. If you use your computer as your P-rn delivery mechanism of choice, you must prepare it. Secure a sledgehammer. Immediately after your fall, take the sledgehammer and destroy your computer. This is to ensure that your computer becomes useless. Often P-rn introduces computer viruses and other junk to make it useless. But sometimes this doesn't happen soon enough. That's where the sledgehammer comes in as the backup. Speaking of backups, do NOT make any backup of your computer disks before destroying it. That will make the loss of your files an added "bonus". If you don't think you are physically strong enough to destroy your computer with a sledgehammer, pouring a can of soft drink or a cup of coffee into the computer has been used as an alternative method. If you use magazines or printed materials instead of the computer, leave them out in the open afterward for everyone to see them. Don't hide them, you should be proud of them. Extra points if you write your name on them in big bold letters and indicate whose they are "property of".

Last we should take care of the physiological aspects. Get a blunt object. If you used a sledgehammer to destroy your computer, it is possible to use that as the blunt object. Now right after your fall whack yourself in the genitals.  I know that seems harsh and extreme. But it is necessary to get the full effect. After all, P-rn usage and falls should eventually lead to erectile dysfunction
. The whack should be done to try to simulate that. Right now some of you are shaking your head saying to yourself, "I'm not doing that." I understand your point of view. You might be thinking, hurting others, wasting money and destroying my computer you can handle, but you are drawing the line at a shot to the gonads. All I can say is if you really, really want to have all that a fall entails, it has to be done.

By now, some of you are wondering if you can "cut corners". Perhaps have a fall without some of these "benefits". Others have tried that, but until you have done a full-on fall you haven't done a complete one. That means you really have only two choices. Either you keep practicing falls until you get it done fully and completely, or you stop falling. Others of you are now reconsidering whether a fall is worth it at all. I can't argue against that, because that's actually right. So now the choice should be clearer.


So what's it going to be: keep falling until you get it all, or quit falling?

GYE - Helping people hit bottom while still on top :-)


Daily Doses of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

Don't Argue

Someone wrote on the forum:


It's been 12 days and I don't even have a desire to sin.

I just decided to stop arguing with people, including my wife, my family, my friends.

If someone disagrees, I smile and stay silent.  If I get criticized, I smile, stay silent, and thank Hashem for the beautiful, wonderful, instant Kappara (atonement). For if someone insults you, and you don't respond, all of your sins are forgiven.

Why? Because, you had every right to defend yourself, but you chose to forgo your rights. So too, Midah Kineged Midah, Hashem has every right to punish you for your sins, but Hashem will "follow your example" (kaveyachol) and forgo His rights.

Just get passed the need to control everything, be happy always, and Hashem will make miracles for you!  


(For an amazing piece on how this is an atonement, see here from Rav Avraham Galanti - as quoted in the Beis Ahron of Karlin).


Dov responds:


I have no idea whether this will interest you, but you may like to read a selection in the back of "Alcoholics Anonymous" in the Member Stories", called "Dr., Alcoholic, Addict" (in the 4th edition it may be renamed, "Dr., Heal Thyself!"), as it hits on this man's experience with exactly how not arguing with people and with G-d is an indispensable part of his ongoing recovery. He even describes it as part of the recovery itself.

Hatzlocha and thanks so much for what you posted!




 The Only Thing That Matters


Where you are going is much more important than where you are coming from.

You may be in some dismay about where you are coming from right now, your track record, your lack of this and of that... but if your reaching out for help and trying, your direction is just fantastic!

It's so easy to sit back and criticize another for not doing this or that, or not holding by whatever good thing.... But by the same token, it is also so natural and easy for us to bitterly criticise ourselves for what we are lacking! We are often quite damning of ourselves. Most folks destroy themselves this way, and permanently.
So, I say you are definitely one lucky guy. Staying on the upward path is the only thing that matters. The only thing.




Give it to Him, Get it Back


B"H for recovery... I remember well how, when lust was pretty much in charge of my life, my kids were basically just another pain in the behind! I would not have admitted that at the time, of course, but some stuff drove me crazy and I wondered why... only to discover my dirty secret in recovery years later.

In recovery I started to see them as Hashem's kids, rather than mine. It made it easier to accept the burden...

And within a short time, I found that I had naturally accepted them as my own!

When we give our stuff away to Him, it seems that He tends to give it all back to us, and rather quickly! Then it's finally really ours - and we act like it!

BTW, this is the Gemora's explanation the Pasuk "Hashamayim Shamayim LaHashem, Ve'Ha'aretz Nasan Livnei Adam", that before the bracha it belongs to Hashem, and after the Bracha to us.

Thursday  ~ 1 Iyar, 5770  ~  April 15, 2010
Rosh Chodesh Iyar

In Today's Issue
  • Announcement: The Newly Updated GYE Handbook
  • Torah Thought of the Day - Rosh Chodesh: From Darkness Back to Light
  • Testimonial of the Day: "With all your help, I know we'll make it"
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Being "Good" or Being with Hashem?




We are happy to announce the release of the newly updated "GuardYourEyes Handbook" - containing 18 tools in progressive order, to breaking free of lust addiction.
Download it here
(Right Click and press "Save Link/Target As")
Note: The new version is dated April 15, 2010 - Rosh Chodesh Iyar 5770. If you download it now and the handbook's first page does not have that date on it, it means that the old one is still in the cache of your browser, and your computer is assuming it's the same one, since it has the same name. You will have to clear the cache (or use a different browser) in order for your system to allow you to download the REAL new one from the site.
The first edition was released about a year ago, on Pesach Sheini. There were some minor updates over the past year, but this edition is our first major update, and it has been overhauled in a number of ways:

1) Two Haskamos in the beginning
2) A number of testimonials from users about the handbook
3) Many grammar and spelling errors were fixed
4) A number of important additions were made to the various chapters
5) Outdated info was updated to be current.
6) New GYE features that weren't available last year were included.

The GYE handbook lays down the cornerstone of all our work at GuardYourEyes. Before the handbook people would often get "lost" when coming to our website, not knowing what tips and techniques to try. For example, someone with a low level addiction wouldn't jump straight into therapy or 12-Step groups, while someone whose addiction was more advanced wouldn't be helped by the standard tips of "making fences", putting in "filters" etc... For the first time ever, this handbook details all the techniques and tools dealing with this addiction in progressive order. Now, anyone can read it through and see what steps they've tried already, and if those steps haven't worked, they can continue on through the handbook to the next tools, as the suggestions become progressively more "addiction-oriented".
We suggest printing out the handbook and reading it through at least once. Then, we suggest going back and reading it again slowly on the computer, and this time pressing on the many links that are found in the different articles.
The GYE Handbook Daily E-mails
For those who don't have time to read through the handbook - or if you simply want to review a little bit each day, we are restarting the "The GYE Handbook" daily e-mail list next week be"h, which will bring an excerpt from the handbook each day.

For those who haven't signed up to this list yet, you can update your profile to include this new list. Click "Update Profile/E-Mail Address" at the bottom of this e-mail, and select the 3rd daily e-mail option called "The GYE Handbook".


Torah Thought of the Day: Rosh Chodesh

"From Darkness Back to Light"

Posted by "Eye.nonymous"

Yesterday I was on the verge of acting-out. Everything was going wrong at once. I posted my frustration on the forum and I decided to check my E-mail one last time before shutting down.

And there was the Chizuk e-mail with the article, "How to do a real fall".

I read it. I thought it was very funny. It was great to put a humorous perspective on acting out.

It made me feel how absurd it would be to act out.

This morning during Hallel I stopped to think, "Hey, what's the big deal about a new month? What are we singing praises about?"

After a few moments, I came up with a couple of answers.

1. The moon was just gone, and now it came back. We celebrate the idea that even from total darkness, we can come back into the light.

2. Renewal. Each month is a chance to start over. Really, each day is a chance to start over.  "One day at a time," everyone knows means don't think too much about the future. Looking ahead at a seemingly overwhelming task can make you give up hope. BUT ALSO, it means TODAY IS A NEW DAY. You don't have to carry your baggage and ill-feelings over from yesterday. You can clear the emotional slate and have a fresh, calm start.

3. Also, we can to Teshuva and have a fresh start, all our sins forgiven. Lots of people even daven special "Yom Kippur Katan" services the day before Rosh Chodesh.

I'm starting to see, over and over again, that after these really hard days, the Tomorrow can turn out much different. Even better.


Testimonial of the Day

"With all your help, I know we'll make it"

Posted by "StrugglingYid" today

Two days ago, after a night spent feeding my sickness, I stumbled across an ad for this site and suddenly my eyes began to open. There was hope and a way to deal with this. I told myself that Hashem sent me here for a reason, and that reason is to get better. I realized that for me, I would have to come clean with my wife. I could not go on living a lie. I told myself, I have a good relationship with my wife, telling her this may hurt or destroy that relationship, but I cannot live with this being a secret from her. I need her love, help and support to get through this. I thought to myself that "I am putting this in your hands Hashem. I will tell her the truth and you help my wife reach the right decision as to how to respond to this, and I accept your judgment."  That morning I finally confessed to my wife that I have this addiction. To say the least, she was shocked! She was upset as well. We spoke for a while and she began to express her love, support, and belief in me. To say the least, it was as if a huge load was taken off my shoulders.  


I realize that I may still fall again, but I am committed to accepting that I have a problem and I need to do what I can to fix it. Every person that is here is a tremendous chizuk to the next person. Without seeing the forums, I do not know if I would have found the strength to take these first steps. Today will be my second day clean. It is a baby step and I have a lot to learn, but with all your help, I know we will make it.



Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

Being "Good" or Being with Hashem?


Someone writes on the forum:


It has been almost 7 weeks now, & I just don't have any more strength, desire or interest to stay clean. I just want to give it all up. Can you please stop me? Please reply only if you have something wise to say.


Dov replies:


Are you asking for something wise, or something helpful? 

This may not sound very wise to you, but I'm not as stupid as I used to be, so here goes:


You say "it has been 7 weeks now". May I ask, 7 weeks of what?

Of freedom from being a slave to your lust?


Or seven weeks of being "good"?

If it's been a bit of freedom, why wouldn't it be at least somewhat enjoyable?

Wherefore all the misery?

If it's the second (and that's my guess) then I don't blame you at all for being sick of it, but also have little sympathy. Been there, done that. 

Admitted, I do not know you and whether or not your life is basically being screwed up by the lust that you do not successfully control, but here's my pitch:


For an addict, trying to avoid or overpower their drug in order to "be good"- is just another silly recipe for disaster. What gives us the idea that we can beat it now?


Usually, I maintained the struggle just to keep lust in my life. Because when actually faced with the option to give it up, I found myself absolutely terrified! Besides, struggling with "evil" is exactly how we became as screwed up as we are! An addict does not win, and the struggle invariably becomes a dance. We are not supposed to dance with arayos, are we? The way the AA's put it was this: "My very best thinking is what brought me here". Uh oh

So, if you make up your own mind that you are tired of failing at being "good" and are ready to give-up beating your head into a wall and feeling sorry for yourself about the severe headache, we may then have something to talk about. It may even be wise. For in my experience, Recovery is about Freedom and being with Hashem, not about our own strength and our own goodness. For an addict, that's just more foolishness.

And that's where the steps begin.



Saying of the Day

(From Dov Above)

"Recovery is about Freedom and being with Hashem, not about our own strength and our own goodness."

Friday  ~ 2 Iyar, 5770  ~  April 16, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Announcement Repeat: The GYE Handbook e-mails starting next week
  • Parsha Talk - Tazriya Metzorah: Four Divrei Torah from our members
  • Daily Dose of Dov: The "Cake" is Self Honesty, Period.


Announcement Repeat

We are happy to announce the release of the newly updated "GuardYourEyes Handbook" - containing 18 tools in progressive order, to breaking free of lust addiction.
Download it here
(Right Click and press "Save Link/Target As")
The GYE Handbook Daily E-mails
For those who don't have time to read through the handbook - or if you simply want to review a little bit each day, we are restarting the "The GYE Handbook" daily e-mail list next week be"h, which will bring an excerpt from the handbook each day.

For those who haven't signed up to this list yet, you can update your profile to include this new list. Click "Update Profile/E-Mail Address" at the bottom of this e-mail, and select the 3rd daily e-mail option called "The GYE Handbook".


Parsha Talk: Tazriya - Metzorah

Super Natural

"And on the 8th day, he should circumcise his Orlah"

"Commando" wrote to someone who was talking about gradually cutting down, rather than stopping cold-turkey:

Some people claim that masturbation is just a natural desire, just like eating and sleeping. I agree that it's very natural. But a natural lifestyle would be NOT to be shomer bris at all. The whole concept of the bris is to go beyond natural and become part of the supernatural. The bris on the 8th day symbolizes the number 8 which is beyond nature, as the Maharal explains. So changing ourselves to keep the bris isn't going to work if we treat this the same as eating foods with less cholesterol. It will require supernatural effort which by definition will require the help of Hashem.

The problem with discussing cold turkey vs. gradual slowdown is that in both cases you're looking at the future instead of the present. And you can't predict your circumstances or feelings in the future. How do you know you can hold out another day/week/month/year? Also, if you look at the future, that can stress you out because you see the tall mountain instead of the hair. Try the "one day at a time" approach, then the whole discussion becomes irrelevant. On any given day we're either capable of being shomer the bris or we're not. If we're capable, that means we have Hashem's help to succeed, and that help will probably come in the form of the ability to use the tools listed in the GYE handbook. If we're truly incapable and fall, hopefully we'll be considered an oneis like Reb Tzadok Hakohen says (see my posting here).

Who, me??

By bardichev

In this weeks Parsha, we find the dinim of nega'im in all their details.

In the process of the Tahara for a mitzorah, we find that the person must bring two doves, a piece of cedar wood and some 'ezov' grass.

We are all familiar with the concept that the haughty person who is like a tall cedar, must lower himself to be humble as the 'Ezov' grass

Reb Henoch of Alexander Ztl gives it a little twist and says that the cedar and ezov also symbolize how sometimes, the falsely humble person MUST RAISE HIMSELF LIKE A CEDAR!!

How profound!!

In our struggle, the Yetzer Hara's weapon is to break a person and make him feel that his actions are meaningless.

So raise yourself. Pride yourself that you are a prince and a princess!

I would like to add that that is why Shabbos has the power to transform NEGA into ONEG (the same letters).

All week we are busy with our little pursuits, we don't have the time, patience and clarity to see the big picture.

On Shabbos, we break from the mundane. We can raise ourselves and use the very Nega and turn it into Oneg. Physical pleasures which normally pull us down, are uplifted on Shabbos into a true Oneg!

So the next time the Yetzer Hara comes knocking tell him, "who, me??" Nah. You got the wrong address. I have too much pride to lower my standards to you!!

Oyoyoy Shabbos koidesh!

With all the love in the world,

Get Back Up & Smile!

By Yosef Hatzadik

"V'ish ki seitzei mimeno shichvas zerah veruochatz besoro bemayim v'tamei ad ha'erev.(15:16) - And a man who has a seinal emission should wash his flesh in water and he will be impure until the evening (erev)."

After someone falls, he must get out of the depressed mode. As long as he is not besimcha, he is guaranteed to fall into the Yetzer Harah's net again.

As the Pasuk says: Even after he will purify himself from his emission, HE IS STILL guaranteed to be TAMEI again UNTIL his outlook becomes SWEET (Erev = Arev = sweet).


Finding the Treasures Inside Us

By Yosef Hatzadik


"V'nasati negah tzora'as b'veis eretz achizaschem. (14:34) - And I will place a Nega Tzara'as in a house in the land of your inheritance."


Rashi says that this is good news, because the Emori'im hid golden treasures in the walls of their houses prior to Bnei Yisroel's conquering Eretz Yisroel, and through the demolition that the negah the obligates the new owners to, they find those treasures.

The discomfort, difficulties, and suffering that a person has to endure, may, at times, be the key to his success. It may be that only after going through his predetermined portion of affliction that can he find the buried treasure.

Furthermore, the residents of the home may have been living there for many many years completely oblivious to their potential wealth. It is only after they are actively engaged in eradicating the tumah that they found on their wall, that they merit finding the cache.

We, the Holy members of the holy GYE Kehilla, were going on our merry way down our individual journeys through life. We answered Rabbeinu Guard's call to arms, rerouted our direction toward a better goal, set ourselves some way-points to periodically adjust our bearings, and we now are headed for the GOLD!!!

Through the addiction, pain - and ERADICATING THE TUMAH, we will find the treasures that are buried deep inside ourselves!



Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

The "Cake" is Self Honesty, Period.

Someone wrote on the forum:


"The spiritual approach is not for me. I just want to get back control of my life"


Dov replies:


I must tell you that that the spiritual approach isn't for me, either.

That's precisely why I turn off some folks by posting my take on their struggle for the sake of halachic goodness and spirituality as "romanticizing" - and hence perpetuating - their losing battle. (Of course, I only tell them that after they clearly rant and rave about how they are always losing, and whine about it themselves!)


It seems to me that all some folks want to hear is that if they only tried harder to be good, went to the mikva one more time daily, or said just one more brocha with adequate or better kavonoh, they'd finally deserve to get the "key" to this thing, and be free. Anything else - like considering that their problem is not a religious one - sounds like apikorsus to them. And indeed it is apikorsus to their own "torah", which mandates that even the insane be successful. I feel that such a perspective, held with tenacity while the house is in flames all around them, is nothing short of apikorsus and believe it comes from Pride rather than from true dedication to Hashem. They have the wrong G-d, it seems. 

I do not doubt their intent, but for me, had G-d given me the key on basis of being "good enough", that freedom surely would have been quickly abused and twisted by me as yet further license to pervert myself. "More power" would have only convinced me that I can "handle it", and therefore can get away with using lust even more.

Do you understand what I mean so far?

To me, if there is anything spiritual in the problem, it is ultimately my Pride - a lie, that allowed me to keep serving my "g-d": the power of Lust to pleasure myself. And if there is anything spiritual about the answer, it is Humility - i.e. the truth. Anything else in my personal spiritual growth was my own choice - icing on the cake, as far as recovery is concerned. The "cake" is self-honesty, period.

And it had to almost kill me to help me finally give up my self-reliance, start going to meetings in unlikely places and with unlikely persons, learn about how to stop serving my own Self, and eventually grow into a man happy to serve his true G-d, Hashem.

What approach works for you?

Sunday  ~ 4 Iyar, 5770  ~  April 18, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • A Big Mazal Tov: To Noorah on ONE YEAR CLEAN!
  • 12-Step Attitude: "If these guys can do it..."
  • Quote of the Day: From "Hoping4Change"
  • Daily Dose of Dov: The Real Balm


A Big Mazal Tov to 'Noorah B'Amram' on


"Noorah" writes on his thread:
One year for me. I hesitated to post this for I firmly believe that ONLY the Almighty in His infinite kindness protected me every day and every second of the day, and no kudos are due to me nor are any bravos in order  - rather a seudas hodah shall I make.

The only reason I post this, is out of a tremendous debt of gratitude- a debt that can never ever  be repaid - to Rabeinu Guard and all the holy chevrah on the forum, who intentionally and unintentionally, knowingly and unknowingly have brought me to this point.

I pray that I do not fall prey to any illusions or fantasies of security and complacency , for I have been here before and have spectacularly descended to the deepest regions of HELL!!!


With the utmost of humility,

Noorah from the house of Amram
To understand why he calls himself "Noorah B'Amram" and to read his beautiful story, see Chizuk e-mail #523 on this page from when he reached his first 90 days clean.

May Hashem bless him to continue to climb upwards and continue helping and inspiring so many others in the GYE community.


12-Step Attitude

"If these guys can do it..."

"Rage" writes about his first SA meetings:


There are moments when I feel that God is trying to snap his fingers at me (perhaps impatiently)... Like the day I went to my first SA meeting. That morning I was like, "am I gonna go? Am I not? How much of a flake will I be if I go?" And as I was really struggling with whether I'm too tough to go to SA, I was listening to my favorite radio guy and he is one tough sonovabitch, the last person you would think of as flakey... And he had this guest on, a celebrity chef who was telling over her life story... and amazingly enough, she started talking about her recovery through the 12 steps. And she started talking about the serenity prayer and the radio jock - Mr. toughie - says "of course I know the serenity prayer. I recovered from drugs and alcohol through the 12 steps and AA". And I was like "Woah, that was pretty cool"...



Okay, so I went to my first SA meeting and I learned some interesting things... Basically, none of my fears were realized and I am looking forward to tomorrow's meeting.


If nothing else I feel good that I am at least taking some sort of action to address this disease instead of just sitting back and letting the disease eat away at me and kill me...

So I am a newbie again... I got a token that commits me to come back to meetings or something... Looks like a poker chip and it has the serenity prayer etched on it... Hashem, please help me get right cuz if this fails I'm really screwed...



So I went to meeting two today... so far so good... Since I've been going I've had no slips or falls, and none wanted and none needed... I feel re-energized and revitalized and hoping that this course of action can bring me back some serenity....

I still don't know how to work the 12 steps and I am hoping the meetings may be a step into learning what to do...But one instant reward is, that at the meetings you meet people that have been through so much worse situations than you and (1) you become grateful for what you have and (2) you see that, "hey, if these guys can do it, there's no reason why you can't do it too".



Quote of the Day

"Hoping4Change" writes:


I was able to "break free" during Pesach - thank G-d.  I installed a filter and made the messages of Chizuk my homepage. I am forcing myself to read ten Chizuk messages before going on to check email, or what ever else I planned to do online. It has helped very much.



Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

The Real Balm


A teenage boy wrote on the forum:


"I am proud to say that with the help of Hashem I am TWENTY DAYS CLEAN!!! But let me tell you, I am definitely feeling the heat. My body is saying to me, "GO VIEW PORN. IT FEELS GOOD. ESCAPE WITH ME INTO THE LAND OF FAKE PLEASURE AND UNINHIBITED FREEDOM". Of course I know that this pleasure is only temporary and afterward I will feel absolutely miserable and only so much more far away from "real life". My problem is that never in my life have I ever stood up to my real problems and issues. I have always covered them over with this balm of lust. I read through both handbooks yesterday and I need to implement more tools. Also, I am still having a problem of getting my brain to understand that this is not a fight. How do I explain to my logical mind that I am powerless and that I must let G-d deal with my problem and just do my thing?"


Dov replies:


Please remember to take it easy. Years and years of relative nuttiness can't change a lot overnight, and certainly not by our (sorry) puny efforts. But we do change and grow more than we'd ever have imagined, over time.

Hashem will really help you (a lot), especially if you ask Him to (a lot).

Reading through the handbooks is great, but look out. It's filled with so many tools... perhaps picking one to try today is a good strategy. Tomorrow you can use it some more or take thought then to picking and trying out a different one. Too much planning just makes most folks crazy. Remember: If the way you and I naturally go about dealing with problems is so effective, how did we end up in this mess to begin with!? We really need an open mind here... so I'm just posting some suggestions. 

The other thing I'd like to share with you is that there is something way more important than cleaning up all our garbage and letting go of all the lust balm we used to cover it all up with. And that is learning what our alternative is. And it's not a matter of hashkofa at all - it's purely and only  experience. We need to start building the "alternative balm", which is the "RealBalm": a relationship with Hashem that really works.

It is built slowly, and on His schedule. Addicts like me start out by bringing Him right into our temptations and giving up our temptations and lust to Him to take care of, for us. It is further built by calling on safe friends to open up to, as you are in these posts (though a phone call or text is better cuz of the real-time aspect). And by using the tools and thanking Him for your successes rather than taking the credit. If I take the credit, I retake the struggle along with it! That's just the way it works, it seems. Our relationship with Hashem is built further when we are patient with ourselves and forgiving to others.

All these things build up the Alternative.

Water it and tend it - till one day, after a few months or maybe even a year or so (everyone is different), we get a temptation and discover that we are truly motivated to quickly get help - because we cherish our relationship with our very own G-d, and our own integrity! They become so precious to us that we rush to protect them at all costs!

Now, that's a nice place to be.

But you must take it easy to get there. As my mother used to tell me: "Crakow wasn't built in a day, they say.";-)
Monday  ~ 5 Iyar, 5770  ~  April 19, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Parsha Talk - Metzorah: Wear a Crown!
  • Joke of the Day: Let Go & Let G-d
  • Battle Communication: Run away; you won't lose anything!
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Recovery in Action - a Miracle


Parsha Talk: Metzorah


Wear a Crown!

By "Yosef Hatzadik"


"V'hizhartem es Bnei Yisroel mitumasam v'lo yamusu b'timasam. (15:31) And you shall warn the Bnei Yisroel about their impurities, that they should not die in their impurities."

I heard from Harav Naftalie Jeager Shlita, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Sho'or Yoshuv: V'hizartem can be derived from the root Nezer, a crown, It is a glorious thing for Klal Yisroel to separate themselves from all tumah. A Nazir separates himself. He wears a Crown of "separation".

In our personal struggles, we separate ourselves from our Yetzer Horah. The crowns that we wear are symbolized by those found on the 90 Day Chart & the Wall of Honor.

We joined this group when we reached the realization that otherwise we will die from the tumah - a living death. Externally we would still be walking & talking, but inside ourselves we would be dead. 
V'lo yamisu b'timasam!


Joke of the Day

Let Go & Let G-d

From Jewlarious at

A man was walking in the mountains just enjoying the scenery when he stepped too close to the edge of the mountain and started to fall. In desperation he reached out and grabbed a limb of a gnarly old tree hanging onto the side of the cliff.

Full of fear he assessed his situation. He was about 100 feet down a shear cliff and about 900 feet from the floor of the canyon below. If he should slip again he'd plummet to his death.

Full of fear, he cries out, "Help me!" But there was no answer. Again and again he cried out but to no avail. Finally he yelled, "Is anybody up there?"

A deep voice replied, "Yes, I'm up here."

"Who is it?"

"It's the Lord"

"Can you help me?"

"Yes, I can help."

"Help me!"

"Let go."

Looking around the man became full of panic. "What?!?!"

"Let go. I will catch you."

"Uh... Is there anybody else up there?"


Besides for being a good joke, this holds a deep lesson. "Let go and Let G-d" is the foundation of recovery. When Hashem puts us in a desperate situation, He is trying to get our attention (as Rav Noach Weinberg from Aish used to say). He wants to catch us and save us, He's just waiting for us to let go and let Him. Unfortunately, all to often we look for "another" god/answer, rather than admit defeat and give over our lives to Him.



Battle Communication

Run away; you won't lose anything!

"Steve" writes:


When it comes to Shemiras Ainayim outside in the street, we have to realize that EVEN WHEN WE LOOK, the pretty girl is gone in a moment, AND WHAT DID WE GAIN? NOTHING!!! Adarabah, what we LOST was tremendous, cuz we wired our brain at that moment, we conditioned ourselves to want to look, to give into our taivos all the more. Next time will be harder to avoid, not easier, and maybe a bigger slip, or it might be the straw that breaks our resolve for good, chas v'shalom!!

And remember something else, guys - you know you've felt this: Even after you look, five seconds later she's gone from view, you've forgotten about her anyway, she means nothing to you anymore. So instead of looking, you can keep from looking until she's past and it's no longer possible, and then you realize YOU LOST NOTHING. BUT YOU GAINED ETERNITY!!


Now, take it up a notch and apply the same method to viewing porn & acting out. If the urge comes, GET AWAY FROM THE SCREEN and the opportunity to peak easily. RUN AWAY!! Get involved in something else, get your head out of it. Call a friend or a sponsor! AND SCREAM OUT TO HASHEM RIGHT THEN - "SAVE ME!!" - You'll see that after a few moments the urge should lessen, if not disappear completely for the time being.

And then you'll realize, by NOT looking, by NOT doing, you didn't really miss or lose anything. Cuz then you see that it means nothing to you anyway. And you'll realize WHAT YOU GAINED!!



Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

Recovery in Action - a Miracle.


Someone who is clean for 5 months wrote on the forum:


"I'M GOING NUTS!!! I wish all these nisyonos would stop already.

I haven't had a decent income to speak of in at least a year. I'm really getting worried.

My wife, under normal circumstances, spends half her time bringing our children to different doctors appointments.

Now she's in the hospital for hopefully no more than another day or two, but worst-case-scenerio could be six weeks.

I might as well add:  I did teshuva and pretty much lost the rest of my family--they all stayed behind. Can barely relate to them anymore. It's been like that since at least 15 years ago.

My learning hopes and aspirations have totally fallen apart.

I don't want to hide these feelings. I don't want to pretend like I made it to 90 days and, presto, suddenly became a superhuman or angel or something.     

I don't feel like acting out, but I feel totally crushed. Paralyzed.

Right now my children just came home. They are playing downstairs, and I am ignoring them upstairs to write this. I've been running around like crazy all morning taking care of different things. Pretty soon I'll log out, go downstairs and make lunch, and spend the rest of the day taking care of them."


Dov replies:


Apparently, nisyonos always do stop at some point, but they will be replaced by other ones that may (or may not) be easier in many respects... We just have to grow, I guess.


We just need to all do the best we can under the circumstances - and see the good in that. If I don't, I'll end up acting out c"v, and that may actually kill me. The things that I wish  - no matter how objectively "good" they are - just can't be allowed to take front row any more emotionally... that's recovery in action. A real miracle. Otherwise, the next step for me will be trying to "fix it all up" using my magic (lust) toolbox... it has only one tool in it, and it's a, ummm, errr... let's just call it "fantasy". 


As far as not being able to relate anymore to your family (I assume by "family" you mean your parent(s) and siblings) after becoming a baal Teshuvah, Youch, that hurts. In recovery, I have discovered that I can maintain my mental and spiritual distance from these people while relating to them more and more. Your serenity will fill you and protect you. Just don't give it up for their sake - or for anybody's! Looking down on others in any way, does just that to me, and soon I start to slip. 


You have come a very long way and Hashem is helping you in spades. Please consider using this pain. By working my 4th-9th steps from within the pains of life I have found freedom and growth, and lots of nechama in hard times. Countless others have, as well. Keep up the good work. You are worth it, and so are your wife and kiddies.    

You may not be perfect at anything, may not be the talmid chochom you wish, may not have the money for the comfort and normalcy you want for your family yet, and may not be as happy a person right now as you wish you'd be, but at the very least, you are trying to be a responsible person and a decent father and faithful husband. I believe that your kids will forgive you for all the insufficiencies you have. Every child needs a decent, loving father and every wife needs a decent, loving husband - like you are. Not a great, wise, nor wealthy one. 

Gevalt! We all hope that things get easier quickly for you and yours!

Tuesday  ~ 6 Iyar, 5770  ~  April 20, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Battle Communication: Changing from the Inside
  • Daily Dose of Dov: The Failure of Self-Centeredness in Making Life Work


Battle Communication

Changing from the Inside

"Me" posted to a newbie on the forum:

As I am approaching close to 2 years on this forum, I would like to somehow save you much time.

Can you do the following?

1) Admit that you are an addict to internet "P".

2) Do some soul searching, and see that somewhere in your life you are not feeling fulfilled. You have doubts about yourself, your relationship with Hashem etc. etc. You're hurting somewhere?

3) Know that as long as you have access to internet you will continue to  view interent "P", and will not change. A strong filter without having the password is a MUST.

4) Understand that it is point #2 above, (your discontentment in life on some level, that will continue to "need" the big "P" outlet as a means of distraction.

5) Believe, and understand that until you work on the root, i.e. point #2, (to change the middos, that bring on this discontentment that Hashem has given to you personally, in order to get closer to him, then your need for "P" will disappear.

6) The quickest way to do this, is to join one of the phone groups TODAY.

Even when you are experiencing those so called "good" days, what you really are feeling is that "things" have gone well for you today... And on the "bad" days, you feel that things have not gone well today. BUT, on a deeper level, let's remove the days, and looks at ourselves. The days change each and every day, but we stay the same. We are the same miserable person (on some level), whether it is a good day or bad day. We cannot run and hide from ourselves. "The real you" will always surface on some level, and not necessarily a conscious one.

So, we here on this forum have all experienced waking up to a "good" day, feeling positive, having had a good night's sleep, etc, looking forward to the great day ahead, and then a few hours later... BAM! ... WHAT HAPPENED?

The answer is, it is not the day that must change, but rather Hashem is urging us to make the "real" change... deep down. By doing this, on a deep level we will no longer have a need for these things, nor an interest to go back to the "P".

Duvid Chaim's group is just now starting today the 12 step part of the Big-Book and you can join. This is the part where we addicts begin to change internally. Not the days or the circumstances around us, but ourselves.



Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

This piece from Dov is long, but very deep and beautiful. Definitely worth your time!

The Failure of Self-Centeredness in Making Life Work


Dov replies to someone who claims the 'religious approach' is not for him:


What got me into trouble with lust was not that I was violating the halacha. It's also why I have been quoted as saying: "I don't really care exactly which lav suicide is - I'm not interested in it for other reasons!". True, violating the halacha was horrifying and devastating to me. But that didn't stop me from getting worse. That's just a fact.

What eventually stopped me was that I saw I was really going to lose the life I chose for myself: a life that included having a conscience, integrity, some kind of 'good'-ness (Torah, etc.), and in which I'd be a part of something - like a marriage, community, and a family of my very own, for example. Those were not religious choices, per se. It was just me. The fact that any normal religion includes all these things in it's description of healthy living, is just a side-issue for me. I chose them for myself. Perhaps yiddishkeit helped create those desires within me, perhaps other things did. I think it's irrelevant.

Now within me, there was also a childish expectation that all people would adore and revere me and therefore do my will. For example, my wife would please me in every way whenever I wanted, my kids would be cooperative, and any people I was beholden to in the working world would give me the respect (and the leeway when I deserved no respect) that I felt I was entitled to. I also expected to become a Gadol b'Torah - and recognized as such. Instead... well, it was beginning to become clear that I was just a regular guy among regular people. Unacceptable! If I wasn't going to be recognized as a gadol b'Torah and tzaddik, could I at least be recognized as a porn star? Sounds really crazy... it is really crazy... but that's where I was in my desires, for a time. Life wasn't supposed to be like this. 

When life was obviously not happening the way I expected it to - mainly cuz every real person actually has their own will - I needed some pretty powerful coping tools. The best and most reliable one I could find was associated with a part of my body that I could control using lust and gave me tremendous pleasure. To hell with everyone else - I had it made for those moments! Problem solved, sort of....

OK. So then Lust - my secret best friend and god - turned on me. And here is where I guess the real G-d finally begins to come into the picture. See, I was accustomed to years of secret self-pleasuring and self-saving via manipulation of others. My wife couldn't find out about the things that (I rationalized) my dissatisfaction with her was making me do. It'd ruin it all, cuz she wouldn't understand - though in my heart I expected her to understand fully! Of course she had no chance competing against the schmutz already in my head - those women appear to have no will of their own, no babies, no aging, nor any real life either, of course! They'd always be mine! Wow. Now that was a 'higher power' I could really hang onto!

While I was busy keeping my self comfortable and managing everything around me to serve that holy end, I was unconsciously building myself up as the center of my universe... and things got screwier and screwier in my life! To be honest, I was shocked about this! After all, I was such a nice guy to everyone and did real great favors for some people, seemed quite selfless at times, learned quite a bit, and was very religious - but it was still all about the experience (even Torah/serving Hashem). It was about "the feeling". The "d'veikus". I was at the center of it all! Not G-d, nor His Will. Sorry that I can't explain it any better. 

Now, I could have gone on that way forever, I guess. Perhaps many do. Maybe it's really OK for them. It's not that  it was wrong, immoral, or whatever. But as it turned out, Self-Preservation, as I saw it, steamrolled all those nice considerations - no more! Here's how:

I was turning to my drug in progressive ways, and lying like crazy to cover it up. I knew I was not the man my wife, children, co-workers or friends saw, at all. If you suggest that it was all just religious guilt, I say no way. The things I had to do were in no way compatible with a faithful lifestyle as a husband and father. I'd never do any of those things with real people I knew watching. I discovered the hard way that porn, unbridled self-pleasuring with lust and animal-like sexuality are simply not compatible with any kind of normal life at all. 

Now if you propose that it's all society's fault, I say maybe you could go off to a place where they live that way and see how it goes. Really. The communes of the 60's tried it; many societies tried it. The biggest problem - and this is what "ruined it all" for me - is that it's all based on self-centeredness. Wills were eventually again at war... the "acceptance" and "free love" of others that they tried to use as a defense to the self-will problem eventually gave way. There is no escape from that fact that every real person has their own, differing will. Disunity breeds strife, and there is apparently no fascism for sex... I tried it. The petite dictator himself! It turned out that you really do get more with honey (giving) than you do with vinegar (demanding), and no addict I know has real honey. Cash is a poor honey substitute, if you know what I mean. We all went through this failure process, in some small way. That's what brings many people to recovery. Looking for a life that works. And that is precisely why the focus on G-d and on people other  than myself is the answer to me and to so many other addicts of all kinds. It has much less to do with religion, and more to do with the abject failure of self-centeredness in making life work. Without working the steps in my real life, there is no ego deflation for me, just more quiet desperation. I ain't goin back there, ever.

If you want your life to be yet another experiment in getting the self-centered approach to work, I say: go for it. But if it has been working pretty well till now, then why are you here? Why are you displeased? Were you really happy before, and came to Recovery just for more kicks? If your angst is really about "staying clean" for the sake of "staying clean", I have no answers for you. I tried that approach and got nowhere but deeper into hell.

Wednesday  ~ 7 Iyar, 5770  ~  April 21, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Announcement: Updated 'Attitude Handbook'
  • Two Mazal Tov's Today! To "Yosef Hatzadik" and "Briut"
  • GYE is changing lives: Please Help us with names
  • Daily Dose of Dov: "It Will Pass"


Updated 'Attitude Handbook'

In light of the recent update to the GYE Handbook, a member of our forum who calls himself "Kedusha" decided to help with updating the "Attitude Handbook" as well. He spent many hours reviewing it twice, from beginning to end, and in addition to correcting grammar and spelling, he helped improved the wording in quite a number of places.
Thank you 'Kedusha'!

So although there have been no substantive changes, the new version contains a significant number of corrections and revisions.

The updated version is now available for downloading here.
(Right Click and press "Save Link/Target As")
Note: The new version is dated April 21, 2010 - 7 Iyar 5770. If you download it now and the handbook's first page does not have that date on it, it means that the old one is still in the cache of your browser, and your computer is assuming it's the same one, since it has the same name. You will have to clear the cache (or use a different browser) in order for your system to allow you to download the REAL new one from the site.


Two Mazal Tov's Today!

1. A Big Mazal Tov to "Yosef Hatzadik"

upon reaching 90 days!


Yosef Hatzadik shared with me some of his story yesterday, upon reaching 90 days clean:


Rabbi Binyamen Eisenberger Shlita demands that even those that just come to his shul for some shiurim must sign up to the Covenanteyes program with him getting the reports - at his expense! And he saw that I had a problem and confronted me. Even with his warnings, I couldn't stop. He pointed out to me that I am ....   ....   .... yes, that word, "addicted". He sent me to GYE.....  & the rest is history!!!!

Before GYE, I had a Yahoo account with all my 'passwords' saved... I also had a DVD with over 900 images saved on it. Since I started posting on the GYE forum, I didn't go through them again, but I didn't have the guts to get rid of them either. I was hoping behind the scenes that this GYE thingy will pass & I will still make use of them. After all, in the past years I did 'Teshuvah' countless times. Sometimes I even threw away DVDS that I bought without even watching them. But I kept the Yahoo account (talk about contradictions!)

After a few weeks in GYE, & speaking to my Rav/(friend), I gathered the courage to make the cut-off complete. I deleted the Yahoo account & broke the DVD into two. I saved the broken disk because I wanted to burn it with the Chometz on Erev Pesach.

The second & third weeks of GYE and abstaining from looking at shmutz were the hardest for me. I doubted that I will be able to keep it up long term.


Afterwards, it seemed almost like the Yetzer Harah forgot my address, Boruch Hashem. (I am nervous that he is just lying low & preparing a surprise attack. I hope to stay vigilant, thereby eliminating the element of surprise!)

To give an example of how far I've come, my wife wants to go to the Catskills for the summer months this year. She consulted with a Great Rav in Yerushalayim and he didn't want to give an answer without speaking to me first. He asked me what will be with my "inyanei kedusha" for those two months? (He knows all about my nisyonos already). I told him that I am at day 82 (which is where I was holding on the day I spoke to him), and that I was not afraid of being home alone! THANKS TO GYE!!!




2. Mazal Tov to "Briut" upon reaching 100 days!


"Briut" posted the following today on the forum:


I think it's time for a 100 DAY CELEBRATION!

100 days into this journey and I'm now seeing that THIS IS NOT BEYOND ME. Cleaning up my act is within my field of vision. Hashem hears my prayers and is saying 'yes.'


Thank you, Father!

I feel as if I've crossed over some huge mental divide, to a place where I see a different way of going through my sex life, my love life and even my parenting life. I'm not there yet, but I now see the next round of work that'll make it happen. I hope to keep working on the following two areas: 

1) "Shmiras einayim": Very tricky. I'm seeing how much I've enjoyed the 'buzz' from someone good-looking, and even filing the image away for a more private moment. I've got to find a replacement buzz to succeed in this area for the long term.

2) "More Love, Less Lust":  In the past, I've approached intimate relationships with some "mutual objectification by consent" (i.e., pure lust) rather than true love. If I can focus on increasing the amount of love I give others, perhaps I can reduce the amount of lust I use to keep myself going.

I saw a beautiful sunrise this morning and started humming an upbeat tune, "It's been a long cold lonely winter; ... it feels like years since it's been clear; Here comes the sun, here comes the sun; and I say it's all right."

Thanks to Guard for long hours of holy work and for taking a personal interest when I wasn't sure I was cut out to be here. Thanks to everyone who read through long rambling posts and took the trouble to respond.


And to the Ribono Shel Olam: I don't know why you let me feel for so many years that Your laws seemed incompatible with my body, but I know it's only now that I can show such gratitude for Your bringing me right to Your door. Thanks.




Rabbosai, every day lives are being turned around on GYE. As you may know, we are planning a major fund-raising trip in the coming weeks be"h, to help take our work to a new level. Please help us by sharing 1 or 2 names of wealthy Jews who may be warm to helping support our work. We will not tell them who sent us their name (we will simply say that "because of the nature of our work, the person doesn't want to be identified"). We will then send our proposal to them, and ask if they would be willing to meet with us on our trip. To save precious time, we will only be meeting with people who have read our proposal and want to meet with us.
To download our proposal, please click here.

If you are comfortable enough, please feel free to show it/send it yourself to anyone who may be warm to helping us grow, either by e-mail or by printing it out and mailing it. If you're not comfortable doing this, please share with us their names and we'll send it to them.

Thank you and Tizke Lemitzvos!


Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

"It Will Pass"

Someone posts an S.O.S on the "I'm About to Fall!!" thread on the forum:


"I don't know what  to do anymore. I have a huge headache, my scrotum is in pain. I feel like I will die if I don't give in!"

Dov replies:

If you want sympathy, I can't help you that much from so far away, but if you were here, I'd cry with you and give you a real hug. You are an amazing person.


If you want advice, I'd just accept that the pain you describe will actually pass completely. And if your body knows otherwise it'll make what needs to happen, happen on it's own, and with no help from you or lust. You just keep your eyes on the prize: your sanity and sobriety. Everything will get easier if you ride this one out with help.

One more thing: I don't waste my time trying to stay clean because it's ossur. Rachel and Leyah gave all the reasons for leaving their jerky-father's house before they added, "and that's what Hashem wants you to do, so let's go!".


So, why are you really here? Is it because something just woke up in you to suddenly start keeping halacha? Or was there something more that drove you to take the step of joining GYE? I am assuming you started to accept what your lust problem does to your life?


What does it do to your life? 

In my case, I hit a point that it became clear that it was ruining my life and would destroy me if I just gave in... but I still had to give in! That's when I finally went to any lengths to really get the help I needed. I found SA and went to meetings, and I bared the entire truth about me to addicts in recovery. "Virtual" (back then it was phones) wasn't enough for me, by a long-shot. I needed real meetings with real people. It had to be as real as possible for me to get the most real results.


I was able to say: "Hashem, I give myself to You and please take my lust away from me now. Please don't help me "overcome" this - take it away from me, please. I want no awards, no s'char, no revenge on the Yetzer Hara nor anybody, and I'm not trying to 'prove' anything. I ask you to free me from this lust in order to be healthy and useful to your people. After all, I'm Yours! Thank you for helping me so much in the past!"


I follow this up with a calm gratitude list, while I lay on my bed and try to sleep.

Nu. Life is really weird sometimes....

And should the urge return 2 minutes later, I say the same prayer again. And again.

I can pray longer than lust can do it's job. 

Hang in there, buddy!

With much love and admiration to you, 


Thursday  ~ 8 Iyar, 5770  ~  April 22, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • 12 Step Attitude: "Do I have to live my whole life in pain?"
  • Daily Dose of Dov: "It's what goes on in our minds that's the issue"


12 Step Attitude


"Do I have to live my whole life in pain?"


 "Yearning" wrote me the following e-mail:


"SA is going very well, we reviewed the 4th step tonight. But one thing is bothering me: Do I have to live in pain my whole life as an addict??"

I replied to "Yearning" as follows:


Please note what the Alcoholics wrote back in 1939 in the AA Big Book (p. 101) about how they felt after recovering through the 12 Steps:


"Assuming we are spiritually fit, we can do all sorts of things alcoholics are not supposed to do. People have said we must not go where liquor is served; we must not have it in our homes; we must shun friends who drink; we must avoid moving pictures which show drinking scenes; we must not go into bars; our friends must hide their bottles if we go to their houses; we mustn't think or be reminded about alcohol at all.


We meet these conditions every day. An alcoholic who cannot meet them, still has an alcoholic mind; there is something the matter with his spiritual status. His only chance for sobriety would be some place like the Greenland Ice Cap, and even there an Eskimo might turn up with a bottle of scotch and ruin everything! Ask any woman who has sent her husband to distant places on the theory he would escape the alcohol problem.


In our belief, any scheme of combating alcoholism which proposes to shield the sick man from temptation is doomed to failure. If the alcoholic tries to shield himself he may succeed for a time, but usually winds up with a bigger explosion than ever. We have tried these methods. These attempts to do the impossible have always failed."


"Yearning"  replies:


"Wow. But I know that even old-timers in SA still try to avoid triggers, so I don't really understand the balance."


I replied to "Yearning":


That's actually a very good question. I would like to pass it on to our 12-Step experts, Duvid Chaim and Dov, to hear their take on this.


I wrote an e-mail to them as follows:


Dear Duvid Chaim & Dov,


Can we apply what it says in AA (above) to lust addiction? After all, the "first sip" for alcoholics is only with an actual drink, so it makes sense that they can be in the vicinity of alcohol and still stay sane - assuming they are "spiritually fit". However in the case of lust addiction, the first sip happens with "sight" alone. So can we be surrounded by triggers and still stay sane? For us, "seeing" is like "sipping" for an alkie... Can we also find the peace described (above) when surrounded by triggers?


Duvid Chaim replies:


This is an often asked question. 


And the answer is found right in the first sentence, as you quoted... "Assuming we are spiritually fit".


Accordingly, a person in Recovery is a lot like a high performance sport car's fuel injected engine. It's performance is being constantly monitored by a sensitive on board computer system that monitors the fuel flow, firing of the spark plugs, timing, vibrations, etc.


And when anything is slightly off, it quickly makes an adjustment so it runs smoothly. 


If things get unmanageable, the car goes back to the shop and stays off the streets!


So too, the addict in Recovery - must constantly monitor himself - in all three of the areas where our addiction lies: physical, mental and spiritual. 


For example - Physical: If we are hungry, we get cranky - we want soothing... If we are around triggers... we act out.


Mental: If we are angry/resentful, we want to take back control... If we are around triggers... we act out.


Spiritual: If we are "blocked" from seeing G-d's presence in our life at each and every moment... We create our own Golden Calf - called SELF... If we are around triggers... we act out.


But if we are physically, mentally and spiritually fit - the triggers are like little pebbles on the road, and our sports car's highly tuned suspension system doesn't even feel them. 


"Is that a hairpin twist and turn up ahead? - No Problem. I can handle that."


No matter how long the road-trip, thanks to my Ricarro calf leather seats, I step out of my car still relaxed and refreshed!


On the other hand, if my car is sluggish and out of alignment, I'd better stay off the "streets" - otherwise I might crash and burn. 


I hope I didn't belabor the parable. 


But from the very first day on our conference Call - and almost everyday till the end, I tell the Chevra that if I just helped them to BUILD THEIR AWARENESS OF THEIR PERCEPTIONS AND MOTIVES - it would be "Dayeinu" for me.


This constant "monitoring and checking in with ourselves" is what allows us to go out on the streets and run smoothly in spite of the many obstacles and triggers out there. 


For Dov's insightful reply, see the "Daily Dose of Dov" below.


Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

"It's what goes on in our minds that's the issue"

In response to the question discussed above, Dov writes:


We need to ask ourselves, "what are we really looking for, in recovery?" Do we want the ability to fantasize about schmutz whenever we want and yet still remain sober?


What I'm getting at is this: Of course there are different types of alkies. But for most alkies who have been sober for a few months, you are right that being around drinking people or near alcohol is not a true "trigger" for them.


While "sight", as you wrote above, is a trigger for us, I believe it's really not the whole story. This is important to me: It's not really looking, reading, etc. that are "sipping" (or slipping) - it's what goes on in our minds that's the issue. Lust is not exactly like alcohol, where it needs to be taken into the body to mess us up. A lust addict uses schmutz to get the lust woken up - it's about the desire and excitement. I (and every other addict I have ever met in SA) can get high on lust and crazy without taking any look at all. By the same token we can get good and drunk (really, not symbolically as in the "dry drunk" of AA) on last month's schmutz or sexual encounter. That cannot happen in AA or NA. They need their drug, while our drug is also in our mind. Now, to say that this means "I can look all I want, as long as "in my mind I'm not fantasizing!"... well, we have found that this attitude just doesn't work.


Again, the real question is "what do we want?"


The answer to the question of,  "Am I condemned to a lifetime of pain as an addict?" depends on what the person's goals are. Is their goal to be able to control acting out - meaning: to be free enough of it's tyranny that they'll be able to lust their brains out with their wife or husband whenever they want to (what we call "being able to lust like a Gentleman/Lady), then I'd indeed suggest that this would condemn an addict to lifetime of pain. If you are an addict, you cannot successfully use your drug. Per AA experience, that's exactly what being an addict means. It's the first step. The goal in AA is not to be able to use and control alcohol, is it? So in SA, the issue is not sex, but lust. To clarify a bit more, I'll ask a question: If I stay away from triggers, then how does a married SA ever get involved with sex? Sex is surely a bigger trigger than seeing a jogger! No?


In my experience, the answer is that it is lust that is the issue, even in the trigger


So the first sip doesn't necessarily happen with sight, or even with sex itself. A lustaholic in recovery can have sex without getting lost in lust, can be a doctor and work with female/male patients without losing their sobriety, can drive through the street and actually see joggers scantily clad (like an alkie in the bar in the piece from AA that you quoted above)... It all depends on whether they turn it over to Hashem and do what they need to do so that they don't take it in and use it. Lust is 'used' and is always about 'taking'.


I guess that there are some lustaholics who never get there, and cannot do some or any of these normal things. But I know very few people in SA like that. I believe that they are impaired by their desire not to let go of lust, at all. Perhaps they keep thinking they are addicted to sex itself, not to lust. Now that may be true, but I doubt it. Call me bold, stupid, or whatever. I have just met too many guys who are totally powerless over lust, and yet they stay sober and are still able to function in situations that newbies equate with acting out!

Recovery means getting back to what you lost - to what is natural and normal.... at least in some respects.


Finally, I'd say that worrying about my future as an addict is just plain silly. "Let Go and Let G-d" is something we all need to learn how to do, usually by hanging around with recovering addicts.

Friday  ~ 9 Iyar, 5770  ~  April 23, 2010
Erev Shabbos Acharei Mos - Kedoshim

In Today's Issue
  • Parsha Talk - Kedoshim: "Holy You!" - By Bardichev
  • Parsha Talk - Kedoshim: Two short Divrei Torah from "Yosef Hatzadik"
  • Testimonial of the Day: Focusing on Living Right
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Lust vs. Love (Don't miss if you're married!)


Parsha Talk - Kedoshim


"Daber el kol adas bnei yisroel v'amarta aleihem kedoshim tiyhu ki Kadosh ani Hashem Elokeichem"


"Speak to the entire gathering of Bnei Yisroel and tell them to be holy, for I Hashem your G-d, am Holy."




By "bardichev"

This week's parsha really addresses the issues we struggle with.
The Parsha begins with a commandment "
Kedoshim Tiyu - you shall be holy"
Says the Chiddushai Harim:
Kedoshim Tihiyu" is a promise:


You will be holy!

It's a gevaldiger chizuk.

And the seforim add:

How do we know that we can attain holiness?
And if we may add:

 In the environment that we live in, HOW is it at all POSSIBLE to attain holiness?
The answer lies in the pasuk: "
Hashem says, "I am holy, and I have enough kedusha to share in ANY situation..."

And listen to this:

Chazal say:


 "Hamikadesh atzmo me-at,
Mikadshin oso harbeh"

 "One who is Mekadesh himself a little,

they are mekadesh him a LOT"


 As much as previous generations had less opportunities to sin,

that is how much holier we can be!
So let us be Mechazek ourselves and say:

 "Wow, we have so many opportunities to be mekadaish
ourselves a little bit!"

May we all find our place in Torah and realize that HKB"H gave us the ONLY WAY that a person can live as a HUMAN.


Yes, we are Yidden.

We can do it!


Good Shabbos!!

P.S. Say over this vort to someone you love





Kedoshim Tiyhu - Be Holy!


By Yosef Hatzadik


Rashi: Kol makom she'ata motzei geder ervah, sham ata motzei kedusha. The Viener Rav Shlita explains: Every place that a person sets for himself a boundary & a fence before the ervah, That is where he will find kedusha. It is the small steps that a person takes to keep himself pure and holy that make Hashem proud.

Every time we perform a mitzva we say: asher kideshanu b'mitzvosav, who sanctified us with his mitzvos... Installing a filter on a computer, signing up with an accountability software bring upon the person a MUCH GREATER level of kedusha!!! Even before it restrains him from an aveira, the installation itself is an act of placing a "geder ervah", a fence for aveiros. This is where YOU WILL FIND KEDUSHA!!!!!!!

The greatest fence may quite likely be joining GuardYourEyes and using the many tools and fences they suggest (see the handbook)!!



Kol adas Bnei Yisroel - The Entire Gathering of Israel


By Yosef Hatzadik


"Daber el kol adas bnei yisroel v'amarta aleihem kedoshim tiyhu - Speak to the entire gathering of bnei yisroel and tell them to be holy." (19:2)

The Pasuk in Mishlei says: "Leta'aveh yevakesh nifrad", or as I recently heard, this can be paraphrased as L'nifrad yevakesh ta'aveh. Lust and aloneness are partners. Wherever there is one, there is the other. By banishing one of them, the other disappears too.

It is only when Bnei Yisroel gather that it is possible to command them to be holy. When we are alone in a room, the Yetzer Harah makes his way over to join us very quickly. [How many times were we 'saved' in the last minute by someone walking into the room?]

Another benefit from gathering is the strength that is in numbers. Here at GYE we all help each other, we are in it together! We do not attempt to go it alone!


So post on the Forum, get a friend who you can call when feeling weak, get an accountability partner who you stay in touch with, and join our conference calls throughout the week - to connect with others in this struggle!


(For more info on all these features, see our handbook and websites).



Testimonial of the Day

Focusing on Living Right

Ahron, clean for over a year, wrote me today:

I just read yesterday's Chizuk e-mail and I can relate to every subtle point in both Duvid Chaim's and Dov's responses. They really "get it". Since I think I do too, I'm really part of this family - whether I go to SA meetings or not. I've become aware of the slightest spark in my internal lust sensor. That awareness is how I apply Duvid Chaim's lessons in "becoming aware of our perceptions and motivations". And Dov's points too, are right on target, as usual.  We need nothing but our minds to act out. The ONLY solution is not to lose spiritual connectivity: Keep that car in shape. For me, it's working but it's slow going...

This morning I was thinking about "once an addict, always an addict". Although I believe it to be true in the sense that lust is poison and an addict cannot drink "a little" and "responsibly", I also think that ideally, at some point, an addict does not have to think about the addiction every day, even in the context of making sure not to drink. No matter what the angle is, the more you think about lust the worse off you are. Rather, the focus should be on living right - all day, every day.  The more you do that, the more you reduce your sensitivity to lust.  

I have to live right and gradually reduce my sensitivity to triggers. It takes a long time, but when I compare where I am today to where I was... I've made a lot of progress (to Hashem's credit, not mine).

I noticed too that my feelings about davening and learning have become genuine! I used to "miss" Minchah a lot. Of course it was "unavoidable" because I was in the middle of a meeting, etc, etc.  And when I did go, it was a chore. However now, even if I don't have a lot of kavanah while davening, I am truly happy to go. I look forward to it. I did not set any goals, yet I found that I almost never miss it these days.

It's very slow going - but today I'm a happy man. The pain is not fully gone, but there you have it. Life's work goes on...


Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

Lust vs. Love


This is a profound post from Dov. If you're married, I suggest printing it out and reading it slowly, at least twice.


Dov-In-Israel writes:


Let's assume a guy marries a VERY attractive wife - the top, model quality! How long will she remain attractive to him?  (should we ask Tiger Woods?)

The Torah teaches us, that which a person lusts after, he comes to hate. (See the story of Amnon and Tamar).

Rabbi Arush in "The Garden of Peace" points out: Treat your wife like a queen, and she will become as beautiful as a queen to you. 


Dov-Not-Yet-In-Israel replies:


Yow, I hear all of that! 


My lust is simply about putting me and my inner experience of pleasure at the center of the relationship I have with my wife. (And at the center of everything else, ultimately.) 

By definition, an inner experience of pleasure can't actually be shared. I can describe it to you, but we can't ever feel my feelings together. (Our personal experiences are always going to be a bit different, besides.) 

Therefore, lust has no shaychus to true Connection, or to true Giving. It therefore has nothing to do with the real middah of Yesod, at all. (The Middah of Yesod - which represents sexuality, is all about "connection" and "giving"). Lust is about taking. It's like a virus that takes from it's "donor" and throws it a bone to keep the pipeline open. 

So when I use lust in my marriage, r"l, I am saying to my wife:

"Once I am 'done', my dear overused and bewildered wife, you are useful only inasmuch as you may help me keep getting more of what I want. So, I'll work hard for that. But if you 'catch on' to my self-centeredness and immaturity, you are worse than irrelevant... So please ignore my behavior, or else it'll be so much harder for me to get that 'sholom bayis' (= cooperation from you) that I need so much! After all, how much manipulation can one man do? Give me a break." 

If I see my wife this way, it won't be pretty. And that's exactly how I saw and treated my wife in one way or another for 11 years of marriage. I didn't make it appear that way - even to me - but that's what was going on inside, and she knew it. It's a miracle she could take it, at all.

Amnon was disgusted with Tamar - not just because she was his lust-object - but because she was not happy being a lust object. She had a vision for life of kedusha, and she couldn't have had that with him, her half-brother! She couldn't fulfill his needs - because lust needs bittul from the subject in order to work... hence Amnon's intense hatred. Bittul to me and you is where schmutz-women excel, of course! Real relationships are a quite different matter.

Love is about giving, and finds it's fulfillment through Yesod: Connection. But true Connection requires individual Freedom. Freedom to be myself - even to leave, if I wish (i.e. not to be dependant on the other). Addicts don't like that freedom very much. They become dependent and demand dependence so their lust can last.

When love fills my heart, I am saying to my wife:

"What can I, a free and valuable person with gifts, do for you? If you like what I can give, perhaps we can stay together and accomplish something useful! I like your gifts and they can help me to feel good and to be good. Just remember that I am here for you more than anyone else in this world, forever!"


Now, that's a marriage! And if I screw up sometimes, why hide it? From my life-partner?! Shtuyot! We support each other... It can be hard sometimes and there are bumps on the road, but that's the general idea.

When my wife loves me and I know it, she is pretty in my eyes by definition. Looks are not relevant when I feel true love and devotion coming from her. There is nothing more attractive to me than the eyes of the person who truly loves me: for who I am, and who wants to be connected to me more than anyone else in this world. And that connection is forever, not just in this world.


I believe that it's natural to react that way.


Why do you think Hashem's response (through the neviim) to our horrible backsliding was most often: "But I love you!, Ahavas Olam ahavtich. Yechezkel (and others) are packed with this cry from Hashem. He knows that once we actually know and accept that He looks at us with such a true love - truer than any other love ever - and that He wants us to be with Him forever, not just in this world... then nothing will stop us from running after Him as hard as we can, for that Connection.

I'm not denying the power of "Isha y'fas mar'eh" as a positive thing in a marriage relationship. But do you hear me? It's a subset of love, not a cause for love. And all the looks in the world are a far, far cry from love itself.

Sunday  ~ 11 Iyar, 5770  ~  April 25, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Announcement 1: New cycle of Zeva's conference
  • Announcement 2: "Windows of the Soul" cycle starting
  • Tips from the Warriors: From "TrueRatzon" & Ovadia
  • Link of the Day: Da'as Torah on Current Events - MP3 Shiur
  • Daily Dose of Dov: My Emotions are My Problem

Announcement 1

Real Clinical Therapy - almost for free!

Announcing a new cycle of Zeva's Phone Conference

Suri R., the devoted wife of Chaim R. for 20 years, is in a quandary. Chaim is a great husband and a very big Talmid Chochom. Their dining room table is constantly covered with Seforim and Torah writings. Their computer is full of Chiddushim and Parsha sheets.  

However, today Suri came across a startling discovery. Not being very computer savvy, she tended to shy away from the computer. But today, by the request of her husband to print out an important document for him, she inadvertently opened the wrong folder. The contents of this folder shocked her beyond belief.  

Thinking somehow this must have been some mistake or a virus; she opened some other folders at random. At this point, she had to acknowledge that there was a problem here. 

Facing an addiction is hard. It's harder to do it alone. Being a Frum addict makes it even harder. Joining a support join should be the easy answer. But sometimes it's just not. Many issues can prevent one from joining such a group which can help them overcome their addictive behaviors and enhance their lives. Sometimes it's a question of geographical location or simply demographics. Sometimes it's finding just the right match. 

In the words of Rabbi Dr. Abraham J Twerski M.D. founder of the Gateway Rehabilitation Center and Shaar Hatikvah rehabilitation center: 

"Addicts cannot be treated by any mental health professional. Only a specialist in addiction can undertake the task of guiding the Internet addict to reform."

However, certified Frum addictions specialists who are sensitive to the religious and cultural sensitivities, are limited. Yet GYE has the answer for you, with our Tuesday night group, run by Zeva Citronenbaum L.C.S.W.R, C.S.A.T 

That's where "A.C.O.A.C.H. Service Recovery Group" comes to play. In this special individualized group, participants can join from anywhere in the world (past participants have been from Boro Park, Flatbush, Williamsburg, Monsey, Monroe, Lakewood, Teaneck, Passaic, Toronto, Montreal, Mississippi, Georgia, Australia, and even Israel, amongst others) and share their struggles and successes without shame or fear, all while gaining the important skill-set to be able to move past their addictions. Using the group process, each participant gains the tools and skills to ease and enhance their journey towards their own personal recovery. 

Separating emotions from logic and then reconnecting them, social skills and response processes, priorities and judgment concepts, integrated with the skills needed to focus on what works rather than "WHAT WE FEEL LIKE DOING AT THE TIME" gives the participants the ability to face the realities they were avoiding or trying to escape from. Learning to create chains to track onset and vulnerabilities of  situations: such as feeling angry, lonely, tired, frustrated, hurt, shameful, upset,  sad, overextended, frustrated... etc.

There are circles to promote and maintain abstinence, and indexes to track recovery progress, these are just some of the concepts taught to the group. The circles are a means to develop a Sobriety Definition and Plan. The circles include an Abstinence List, A Boundaries List and a Future Healthy Plan for your behaviors. The circles are developed by each individual as a means to reflect on, to look back to this as a working plan.

The group is led by a Frum licensed Clinical Social Worker, Zeva Citronenbaum L.C.S.W/R ,C.S.A.T, who is certified in addictions, teaches DBT-Mindful skills as well as practical skills which offers the support needed to help each individual succeed with their intended goals. Private individual follow-ups & fill-ins are available. 

The group meets by teleconference every week for ten weeks, to both learn the skills, and gain support from one another. The group participants are kept strictly confidential and no personal information is ever released.

This group has been praised many times by various clinicians in many different specialties, and has the Haskamah of leading Gedolim. 

For more information, please contact Zeva:

Zeva Citronenbaum
Confidential Hotline

For more info on this group, see here



Announcement 2


"Windows of the Soul" cycle starting


Starting tomorrow be"h, from Shemiras Ainayim Chizuk Chizuk e-mail #401 and on, we will be quoting daily excerpts from the new book called "Windows of the Soul" by Rabbi Zvi Miller of the Salant Foundation. If you are not signed up to this e-mail list and would like to join the new cycle, please click "Update profile/address" at the bottom of this e-mail and select the second e-mail list".


This Shemiras Ainayim Chizuk List originally started back in December of 2008 with this book, but that was an older version, taken from a PDF pre-draft of the book before it came out. The newly released book is much more elaborate, and has been enhanced with great parables and real-life situations.


Just today, two people mentioned the book on our forum:



Tips from the Warriors

"TrueRatzon" wrote:


I can sum up a few things that I have learned recently in this struggle:

1) A person should never despair and feel that his past aveiros will hinder his opportunity to come back to Hashem. Hashem wants every person to do teshuvah no matter how many times he's fallen in the past.  

2) Carnal desires are 97% lust and 3% pleasure. Once the pleasure comes, it only lasts a very short time and then you feel empty and defeated when it's over. The key to success is to always have an awareness of the test and realize the emptiness of giving into the desire vs. the fulfillment of saying no!


3) Each time you are Holy, you are fulfilling a mitzvah that Hashem directly commanded each Jew to keep, i.e. be Kadosh (this past week's Parsha). This is a great motivating factor because the Creator of the entire universe wants me and you to be Kadosh!  

4) It's so important to keep this fight a battle of the mind, and not the heart. We need to limit our exposure to things that get our hearts and emotions aroused. Because once it becomes a battle of the heart, it is much harder to win!

5) I am mature adult who can say 'no' to the child within me.

6) Our neshamos are a brightly burning flame. If we pour water on them - by seeing improper things, we can chas v'shalom lessen our flame.


7) Consistency is so important in life and in this battle. I truly believe that keeping something up every day can really help me go a long way.

8) Last night after Shabbos, I learned in day six of "Windows of the Soul" that it's important to stay motivated to learn Torah on a daily basis and set some time to focus on learning mussar to quell the yetzer harah.



Ovadia wrote:


I am writing this on my way to work on a bus full of Pritzus. I have worked out various practical techniques to help me. One thing is to be prepared. I always take with me for my journey a variety of activities to occupy me. If possible a Sefer, but otherwise general reading that will keep me interested and focused. Another thing is my dignity. I try to be aware of my status as  a frum Jew, and that to "gaze" at pritzus "pas nisht".

As I write, from the corner of my eye a certain sight is visible. Hashem! I really do not want to see it, but it is there. Is it possible to live a normal life in a way that I do not transgress Velo Sosuru? I think that Bli Neder I am going to try and work through the book "Windows to the Soul" and post my progress here on the forum.


Thank you everyone for "listening" and being supportive.



Link of the Day

Daas Torah on Current Events

A Shiur From the Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Aharon Feldman Shlit"a

Download here a powerful Shmooze from the Rosh Yeshiva Rav Feldman (who is a warm supporter of our work at GYE - see his Haskama here). The entire talk is just over 24 minutes, but the key point (that Internet, movies, etc. can make us forget our entire purpose in life and can take away our entire Cheishek to Shteig in learning and Avodas Hashem) begins at about 13:25.


The entire Shmooze is highly recommended. The Rosh Yeshiva talks about current / contemporary events, such as the volcanic eruptions, which have disrupted air flight overseas; the huge upheaval in Polish government due to an air crash; September 11; and diseases such as AIDS.  Although we would need a Navi or a Baal Ruach HaKodesh to tell us the reasons for these events, there is much that can be learned from a Pasuk in Yeshaya regarding Acharis HaYamim.


For just a one minute excerpt from the shiur which emphasizes the terrible damage that the internet and media is causing, click here.



Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

My Emotions are My Problem

To someone full of anger at the addiction and the world, Dov writes:


If nothing else works, dear yid, and you ever decide to turn to the Steps for help, you may discover that under all your pain and rage, your real problem is your own resentment. Nobody else has the power to give you rage. My emotions are my own problem, and getting freedom requires me to let go of the right to hate the hell out of someone. Actually, out of anyone. I believe that very few people really want to "do bad" - we all do what has a payoff for us, whether it's really good for us or not. I acted out for 25 years (even though it was clearly screwing me up) because my heart told me it was in my very best interest to get that nice, warm, and loving feeling that porn gives me. You couldn't have convinced me otherwise at the time. The people we resent (evil jerks) are almost always people who have a very screwed-up sense of what is in their best interest. 

They, of course, learned that somewhere... probably from their sick parents who carried around their own immense pain and resentment and just wouldn't let it go either.

So, I say keep reading this forum and see how out of control you are. You may then say, "Holy (cow)! I am ruled by character defects that I can't fight!" Then you might read the book, "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions", by AA, on steps 4-7. If you work those steps your life will be changed drastically and probably forever. And your wife and children will be very grateful to you. 

Maybe I am a fool... Correction: I am a fool. But I am a fool who loves you, and all addicts.

Monday  ~ 12 Iyar, 5770  ~  April 26, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Personal Victory of the Day: Attack at 15 Months
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Doing what you need to do, today
  • Repeat Announcement: New cycle of Zeva's conference


Personal Victory of the Day

Attack at 15 Months


By Yaakov Shwartz

Many of you in this site probably don't even know me. I am a GYE old timer, who has been sober for close to  FIFTEEN  months through GYE, and still going, B"H.  My commitment to sanity and sobriety is strong. If you want to get to know me better, you can read my journal that I posted on google docs or you could read my thread: 15+ years of battle.

I wanted to share with everyone a very scary encounter I had today with the yetzer hara. Today was my first major nisayon since the start of my journey  FIFTEEN months ago. Today was the first time I actually had a real thought to sin. B"H, with the help of Hashem, I emerged victorious. Before I tell you what happened, I would like to share with you what I believe was part of the cause of this situation.  Firstly, I have been lax in my davening for protection. I used to daven constantly to Hashem for help. But, as time went on, and my sense of security got stronger, I mellowed out. The second thing was that my shemiras eynayim was not as strong as it used to be.  

So here is what happened. I created a web page for a client to collect data for registrants. Today, I was looking at the data and noticed a lot of indecent material. There were lots of urls for p**n. My heart began racing. There was a small voice inside me that said, "What a shame to miss out on such an OPPORTUNITY. You won't have to feel guilty because You were not looking for it. And of course you can take just ONE PEEK. And then that would be it. You can go back to work. And after all, you have been so strong, what could one peek do to you? No one would know. And besides, aren't you so CURIOUS to see what kind of pictures they are? Don't worry, this is is not a lust attack, it is just a curiosity attack. That's not so harmful. Go for it, yaakov. Go for it."

And so there I was, actually considering to commit spiritual/mental suicide.  

But... Morai v'rabosai, for the past FIFTEEN months I prepared myself for this moment. I davened to Hashem the day should never come. But I asked that if it ever comes, I should have the strength and wisdom and pull myself out of it. I spoke to myself constantly to always remember the future implications of my actions. Never be fooled by the conniving ways of the yetzer hara. I had to remind myself over and over again that if it is wrong and bad to look at porn and mas**bate; G-d despises it being and done, and that's it.  I refrain because I was told so. Not because it gives me emotional stability. Period. There is no room for debate with myself. This I told over and over to myself. And now the moment of truth arrived. Here I was contemplating the most horrific act, and I said NO NO NO!!!  But he did not let up. He kept popping into my head and urging me to peek. The impulses were strong. He kept reminding me that it is just a peek. That's all. Just to satisfy the curiosity.  

Finally, I felt strong and said "I will not". But I knew I could not just sit there. I quickly ran out and called my wife on the cell and told her what happened. She knows about my past addiction (though not to its fullest extent). She was pleased that I felt comfortable speaking to her about it. I told her that by speaking it out, it helps cool the fire.  

Later on that day, I went to the kosel to daven my hear out. Firstly, I thanked Hashem for saving me from death, and then asked for further protection.  

Tomorrow is the last day of Beha"b. May Hashem grant us all full kapara and continued shemira from the yetzer hara. To be granted that shemira, we need to daven for it and constantly set up better and better gedarim.



Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

Doing what you need to do, today

Someone writes to Dov a question:


Hi Dov,

I have accepted on myself that I will follow the program to the best of my abilities regardless if I understand everything in it. After all, as you say, it is my best thinking that got me into this mess. But occasionally I do have a question I would like to ask and hope to get understanding and chizuk from it. So here goes.

Let me introduce you to a fellow named Yechiel. This Yechiel is an extremely self-centered, ego-centric, selfish, always looking out for number one type of guy. It is in his very bones. Even when he does for others it is in one of three ways. (1) give to take (2) give what must be given due to circumstance (father, husband etc.) but get it over, done with and out of the way ASAP (3) give but constantly live for and anticipate the next upcoming "me-time/pleasure moment".

Now due to a chain of events, Yechiel is being told that he must completely change his life, in effect create Yechiel 2.0. This new Yechiel will be the complete opposite of the old one. While unhappy with 1.0, he contemplates what 2.0 requires and a feeling of tremendous withdrawal arises. "Can I do this?", he wonders. "Do I even WANT to do this?". "But what's the alternative, more of the same?" "Can't do that either". So he is scared and wonders, "Are there people out there of the Yechiel 1.0 type, who have successfully made the journey from self-service to God/Others service and are living a new, fundamentally improved life? Of course there are recovering addicts, but have they come from such a selfish place as he has?

Dov, what would you say to Yechiel?

Best regards,

Yechiel 1.0


~~~~  Dov Replies:  ~~~~

Dear Yechiel,


I'll just let you know that I am a self-serving, self-obsessed, egomaniac with a tendency to focus way too much on what other people think of me. It interferes with almost every department of my life. It drives me nuts mainly in shul and at work, and I need to do something about it.


At the same time (you may have read my story), my entire life is vastly different than it was 15 years ago - even than it was 10 years ago - and even very different than it was 5 years ago - all because I am not acting out with lust and also because I am using the steps (very imperfectly) in my daily life.


As of today, I live with my personal G-d (Hashem) much more of the time than I used to; I take my wife and kids' needs much more seriously and sympathetically than I used to; I have grown up a bit and take my responsibilities to others more seriously than I used to... all imperfectly and inconsistently. But it seems that the improvement I have made is all I really need in order to stay sober.


Here's the catch:  It seems that as I go along, the deepness of the connection that I must to have to my G-d and to the people in my life naturally increases.


What was honest yesterday is not honest enough today.


What was G-d-centered yesterday is too self-centered today


It just won't do anymore. If I remain the same I will be disconnected and I just hate that feeling.


I deserve better than that old slop. Besides, if I get uncomfortable enough, I'll eventually act out, right? And that's not an option any more, so I'd better work the steps! It may sound weird, but it's just the way it is. Recovery is an escalator you never really get off of. It may be slow, but you will keep moving up. You'll have to.


There is an Ibn Ezra on the struggles of b'nei Yisroel in the midbar in which he writes that our real problem was that we looked at what we would have to do to "make it" in Eretz Yisroel, and looked at how we were right then (eating the manna and living under the ananei hakavod), and we freaked out. Kind of like a pompous 13 year-old getting behind the wheel of a car or trying to live on his own. He just isn't equipped for the challenges of adult life. B'nei Yisroel didn't stay in today, and trust that by the time they got to Eretz Yisroel, Hashem would give them the growth they'd need to face those huge challenges. He's real smart, you know. But they still had that dependent slave mentality and could not imagine growing up and really being independent. We types do exactly the same thing. Our state in two, five, ten years from now is supposed to be rachok mitziur sichleinu (far from our imagination). So we give up on them - today! Thinking about it is just plain nuts. It's none of our business.


We need to do today's work and trust Hashem. Basically, we need to just get the heck out of His way, that's all.


So, consider quitting the "I've got to change myself into an alien" business and focus on doing what you need to do today to let go of today's fears, resentments and demands that are making you uncomfortable right now. That's what the steps, a sponsor, and recovery buddies are for. And that's what having a G-d is for, too, Hashem li, v'lo ira! He's for you.


Sound selfish? Well, as they say, it's about enlightened self-interest. I want to be useful, and I want to be sober. And the only way for me to do that is to be just a bit less self-centered in my actions, today. G-d (not me) will take care of the rest and will make the changes in my motivations as time goes on. That's it. It takes a little humility every day to let go of the heavy burden of "doing the avoda" and just live as His children. (Most of the fire really comes from shamayim - we just bring a little bit from our own, right?)


Love, (really)



Tuesday  ~ 13 Iyar, 5770  ~  April 27, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Torah Thought 1: Erech Apayim = Yesod = Shemiras Habris
  • Torah Thought 2: Addict Chashuv Ki'meis
  • Therapy Tip of the Day: Candeo Recovery Program
  • Attitude Tip of the Day: Building up love for Hashem
  • Daily Dose of Dov: The Need to Feel Special


Two Beautiful Torah Thoughts


Erech Apayim = Yesod = Shemiras Habris


Posted by "Steve"


Today, our Rebbe Reb Duvid Chaim, was discussing (on the phone conference) the Middos of Rachamim (Attributes of Mercy). The sixth attribute of the thirteen is "Erech Apayim", which refers to God's endless patience with us. It might be possible that Erech Apayim corresponds to the sixth of the Seven Middos through which God runs the world (Chesed, Gevurah, Tiferes etc), which is Yesod. Yesod refers to shmiras habris, moral purity, which is our addiction. This teaches us that Hashem's patience is especially applicable to those of us who are engaged in working on Midas Hayesod, the struggle to establish and solidify the foundations of our lives and our Yiddishkeit. He knows how difficult it is and has all the patience in the world (after all, He created patience!) as he waits for us to get it right by fully turning to Him and "letting go and letting God".




Addict Chashuv Ki'Meis


By "honest mouse"


Rav Chaim Shmulevitz says (in Sichos Mussar) that the reason why a metzora, someone without kids, a poor person and a blind person are choshuv kemais (considered as dead), is because they all have something in common which they are lacking.

Each one, in their own way, is lacking in the ability to give and interact with other people. The people we give most to are our kids, a poor person is obviously less able to give and to help people (monetarily), a metzora is secluded from people, and a blind person can't connect to people on the highest level (he quotes from the possuk where Moshe saw the suffering of the people, that the highest level of connection is through sight). In other words, the whole point of life is being able to give to others, share in their pain, try and help them out and connect with them. If you are unable to do this, you aren't truly alive and are therefore considered as dead.

The message I took from this in relation to our struggle, is that being absorbed in self pleasure and lust gratification is withdrawing from people and taking selfishly, it's the opposite of what life is for, and the whole time we do it, we are adding ourselves to the list of 'chosuv kemais' - we are behaving as if we are dead!


As a side point, I try to have kavonoh in shmoineh esrei when saying 'mechayey maisim' that Hashem should help me act alive instead of dead.

May we all be Zoche to 'chose life'!



Therapy Tip of the Day


Candeo Recovery Program


Posted by "Feedtherightwolf"


I took part in Candeo recovery program when I started early on in my recovery. In and of itself, it was not enough to give me a long term sobriety, because I did not make God the number one authority in my recovery.

Nevertheless, the more I stick around 12 step groups, I see more and more people that I think can benefit from it.


They use a cognitive therapy approach, and it is presented in video format lectures by 2 PH.D's and a recovering porn addict Mark Kestleman, author of "The Drug of New Millennium" - a pretty good book on pornography addiction.

They also have a free mini course that you can sign up for.




From the website:


Candeo Can (sponsored link) is an online program that has contributed a great deal towards my personal recovery. I have learned more from this program in two months, than I have done in a year of one on one counseling. Initially it was hard for me to get myself to pay $197 for an online recovery program, but in the end I must say it was well worth the cost. I am now a year free from compulsive masturbation, 7 month free from compulsive pornography viewing and 85 days free from purposely looking at any form of sexually explicit material. Note: If you can not afford Candeo Can program consider looking into it's free alternative.

Candeo Can (sponsored link) consists of 10 levels, each one taking approximately 1-2 hours to complete. Each level has exercises that you must complete in order to proceed forward, as well as homework assignments that should be performed over an assigned period of time ranging from 1 day to 1 week.

In addition all information is presented in a form of video lectures which makes learning fun and efficient process.


To learn more about the program and to sign up for a free mini course please visit (sponsored link). 



Attitude Tip of the Day

Building Up Love for Hashem


"StrugglingYid" writes:


Doing a big Teshuva might be great --  but when you love someone, it is not only about the big things, but in how you do the small things. Not that I am knocking the big things, they are important, but if you want to really show someone you love them, you have to constantly be doing the little things that matter so much.


"Briut" Replies:


This really spoke to me somehow. What "StrugglingYid" is talking about is doing something small for Hashem, JUST BECAUSE. Le'Chinam. Stam.


Because... it helps me keep my focus on Him, b'chol yom tamid. And maybe even because it gives Him nachas (K'Y) that His children still remember Him lovingly after all these years of golus and tzuris.

So, if I can remember to do little things for my wife and kids "just because," shouldn't it be a kal v'chomer to do this for Him?

So simple, yet so easy for me to forget.

I should try saying, "I'm about to do this 'easy' mitzvah... FOR YOU, Hashem." I'm about to walk away from this aveira opportunity... FOR YOU, Hashem."

Keep Him in mind always and do the SMALL stuff "for Him," and not just the BIG stuff. This is a powerful way to show Him our love, and to help us build up our love for Him each day.



Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

The Need to Feel Special


Someone posted on the forum:


We tell ourselves that we want to feel wanted, needed, special. It's a natural desire; everyone wants that, right? Problem is, I'm not getting it in the rest of my life, so I need to find some area where I can feel that... And that's part of the reason we run to the schmutz...


Dov replies:


Yes, there is tremendous warmth and acceptance that we (sickly) find in schmutz, no question about it. And we tend to crave that so much. But our survival mechanism itself poisons us, in the end, and draws us deeper and deeper into stuff that separates us from everybody else! Lust separates us from others in so many ways, on the inside (in our own hearts) and on the outside (through our behavior). 


Life is supposed to be grand and gorgeous - just not on my terms. I do need to be special and great - for each one of us is! But not necessarily in the things that we expect.

The glory of being a ben Torah, a husband, a tatty, an eved Hashem was definitely not the way I expected it to be, at all. And I tried to control it all and run the show to make it at that game - and when I failed, I usually ran to my schmutz to make things feel right. I could be a King over there...a real stud, in my imagination. Pathetic, really.

Nu. We can all laugh at ourselves sometimes... Hashem loves us anyway, and perhaps He chuckles the way we chuckle (inside) when our kiddies flop on their tooshies trying to walk - how clumsy they are and how persistent! Gevalt! Hashem - save us from ourselves!!

Wednesday  ~ 14 Iyar, 5770  ~  April 28, 2010
Pesach Sheini

In Today's Issue
  • Pesach Sheini: "Lama Ni'garah?!"
  • Q & A of the Day: The G-d Hole
  • Testimonial of the Day: By "Frumfeind"
  • Daily Dose of Dov: His way is getting me well


Pesach Sheini

"Lama Ni'garah?!"


Last year on Pesach Sheini, we announced the launch of the two Handbooks - in Chizuk e-mail #473 on this page (which I remember writing in the early morning hours, after having been up all night finishing the handbooks up :-)

The two handbooks can be downloaded here:

1) The GuardYourEyes Handbook 

18 suggested tools and techniques, in progressive order, to beating lust addiction.

2) The GuardYourEyes Attitude 

30 basic principles to help us maintain the proper attitude and perspective on this struggle.


I would like to share something from that memorable chizuk e-mail last year:

Today is Pesach Sheini - which is all about having a

The Medrash says that it was those who were carrying the bones of Yosef Hatzadik that asked Moshe "Lama Ni'garah - why should we be less worthy to sacrifice the Korban of Hashem in its proper time?" And in the merit of their sincere desire, Hashem gave them the special Mitzvah of Pesach Sheini, which turned out to be not only a second chance for them, but for anyone who was impure or was "out of town", for all generations to come!

We here on GuardYourEyes, were also "impure" at one time or another. We were "out of town" on a journey that Hashem was leading us on, and we often didn't understand what it was that Hashem wanted from us. We thought Hashem had abandoned us and we cried out: "Lama Ni'garah?!"

But in the merit of our cries, and in the merit that we tried to uphold "the bones" of Yosef Hatzadik- who symbolizes Yesod - in striving for purity in these areas even though we kept falling time and time again (which is like holding bones; there seems to be no life in what we are doing), Hashem in His great mercy gave us all a second chance and led us here, to the GuardYourEyes community.

And today, my dear brothers, with the launch of these two new handbooks, EVERY SINGLE JEW WHO WANTS TO BE PURIFIED will have HIS second chance as well. In the merit of our cries of
"Lama Nigarah?", the community of GYE was built. And as a result, not only were we given a second chance, but now, every single Jew who struggles with these issues, will be given a second chance as well.

Help us spread the handbooks on to others!

These handbooks lay down a foundation that will hopefully last until Moshiach's time, and will BE"H help pull thousands of Yidden out of the 50th level of impurity. (We also hope that these two handbooks will eventually evolve into a published book).

Ever since the advent of the internet some 15 years ago, the Yetzer Hara has been granted free reign, wreaking havoc in thousands of Jewish homes, destroying lives and marriages, and cutting Yidden off from the source of life itself. Indeed, the Ohr Hachayim on Parshas Shmos (3:8) writes, that before Moshiach's time the Jewish nation will be subjected to the 50th level of impurity. But he also writes there, that before the Redemption the Jewish people will garner the strength to enter into the very "mouth" of the 50th level of impurity, and pull out that which the Satan had already swallowed.

And that is exactly what the GuardYourEyes community is doing today. The Ohr Hachayim Hakadosh could not have used a more divinely inspired analogy. We are entering into the mouth of the Yetzer Hara himself, and using the very power of the internet to pull out these sparks of Kedusha, these holy souls, that have fallen to the 50th level of impurity!

The free reign of the the Yetzer Hara's terror is coming to an end. Today, on Pesach Sheini, 5769, the Satan is shuddering in fear, for he senses that his end is near indeed. With the launch of these two handbooks, we have just moved the Redemption much closer.



Q & A of the Day


The G-d Hole

"Why is it so hard to turn away? Why is there so much pain? How come I can be such a good Yid and daven and learn, yet the moment I see a pretty woman my heart cries in pain and I want to run after lust? Why am I so messed up inside? What am I - a good person or a total pervert?"

Dear holy Yid,


We humans are made up of a body and soul. The soul craves a deep and sublime connection to G-d, who is the source of all good, beauty and pleasure. Our body "messes up these signals" and tries to fill this "G-d hole" with the bubble and illusion of lust. As long as we are still mostly "physical" people who haven't built up the "soul" part of our nature to be uppermost in importance to us, it will feel very painful to say "no" to the illusion, as it leaves the "G-d hole" feeling empty, with nothing to "cover over the hole", even if the patch is imaginary and comes right off. 

The only way that we can one day truly not feel pain at "saying no" and feel good in our lives without the imaginary "balm of lust", is if we strive to intensify our soul's prominence in our lives. When we feel the pull of lust, we need to tell ourselves that it's our soul's yearning for G-dliness and for G-d's loving embrace that we are really craving. We should use this opportunity to cry out "Father! I know that it's really YOU who is calling me. I just get the signals all mixed up because my body is still in control of me more than my soul is. Help me, Father, to be more spiritual, so I can run to You and to Your ever-loving embrace..."

As the Ba'al Shem Tov says, these feelings of lust are given to us so we can uplift this "fallen love" to the highest heights. If we never yearned for love, connection and pleasure, how would we know that such a thing exists in a spiritual form? It is only because we experience it on this world, that we can imagine what TRUE love and connection must be like. 

So at the end of the day, our deep yearnings and pain are our biggest blessings. They are the hidden signals of our soul, calling us to experience the true subliminal love and connection with the source of all beauty and good, comfort and pleasure, warmth and light.



Testimonial of the Day


"Frumfiend" (a Talmid Chacham and Magid Shiur) wrote today on the forum:

A little cheshbon hanefesh and hakaras hatov likras lel hashloshim that I am clean. It is symbolic that this number which is considered significant in the recovery process, happened to fall out lel pesach sheni. Pesach sheni is the day of a second chance and so is GYE a second chance for me. As I have previously posted, I had totally given up hope of recovering. I hold lifetime memberships in p*n sites. I had thrown out computers and the internet countless times, to no avail. Somehow I stumbled on this site which has given me a second chance.

Thank you to all those that post replies, chizuk and musar to my posts.

Thanks for all the PMs and regards that keep me going.


Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

His way is getting me well

When my wife first found out about my addiction, we used to get into fights every Monday night, either before or after my SA meeting - till about 1.5 years when I did my 4th step and my mood and behavior really began to change. Then things really started getting better - she gave the credit to my sponsor (and to sobriety)! I wanted the credit then (sigh)! But it really goes to Hashem working through SA, I believe. 

Now, my wife can laugh her head off about how stupid my temptations are (as I believe the temptations in all addictions are), and I can actually laugh with her. After all, honestly feeling that "all I need to be happy right now is a rendezvous with some other woman", is so absurd! It's really just plain stupid. So we can laugh. But that's because the pain is so far away by now... Time heals a lot, as my wife often reminds me. 

But inside I know, that as free as I may be today, if I don't take it seriously, there is no doubt that it'll kill me and destroy our family. She probably realizes it too, but it thankfully goes unsaid... Heck, I spent my first couple of years in recovery trying to "get her to see my side", as though it'd really help me a lot. My efforts just drove both of us crazy. With my sponsor's help, I gave that up and accepted total responsibility on myself... B"H for that. 

Every case is different though, and I do see how in some marriages, having the wife "understand" the nature of the addiction can be helpful. Actually, my wife understands quite a bit. She just doesn't understand how smart it can seem to me when I'm messed up! (In other words, - although acting on lust is probably the very stupidest thing I can ever do in any situation and makes life's troubles worse, never better, I remember that whenever I have ever wanted to act out, it seemed like the most important thing for me to do at that moment. I really seem to need it. And if I really feel I need it, then it must mean that at some level I believe it is in my very best interest, no?). If my wife really knew how powerful lust can be in my brain, she'd realize that even she is totally powerless over it and freak out, I guess. If she really understood the risk from the inside of me, she'd probably react out of fear and try to be very sexual with me and "satisfy me"
 to keep me safe... Ha!... (we had been down that horrifying road before!) and that would be the end of me for sure! I'd probably be acting out in a week, c"v. 

Or, she'd react by deciding we need to remain celibate till the end of time... that wouldn't be very nice either...

"Boruch Hashem" is all I can say. He works things out in ways that may seem insane to me at times, but if I stay sober and keep my brain's mouth shut I soon discover that His way is best. In fact, given a choice at many phases, I never would have recovered this way! Yet here I am as of today! My way got me as sick as I got, and His way is getting me well. That's all I need to know.

Thursday  ~ 15 Iyar, 5770  ~  April 29, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Testimonial of the Day: "Eye.nonymous" hits 180 days clean!
  • Attitude Tip of the Day: People, Not Objects
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Training the Good Muscles


Testimonial of the Day

"Eye.nonymous" hits 180 Days Clean!

Eye.nonymous posted on the forum:


Day 180 was rather uneventful.

On day 90 I had this feeling, "Okay, I made it, what now?"

But now I see that there's always deeper levels of dirt to clean off. Higher levels of awareness to reach. Greater levels of freedom to gain.

Every day just keeps getting better.

I was talking with my wife about some of the changes I have undergone recently, especially in being less selfish and understanding her view of intimacy.

Well, after she stopped laughing, she said, "YOU FINALLY UNDERSTAND! HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?"

Of course, I attributed it to GuardYourEyes and to Duvid Chaim's calls.  She said, "You REALLY started changing since you started the phone calls with Duvid Chaim."  And, I think she's right.

I wanted to say this because at first I had serious reservations about joining Duvid Chaim's group.  I asked myself, "AM I REALLY THAT BAD?! I only mast*** every once in a while, and once every so often my Yetzer Hara gets the best of me on the internet." 

But I met Duvid Chaim at one of the GYE kumzitzes in the Holy Land a few months ago, and I could sense from him that THERE'S A LOT MORE TO RECOVERY THAN JUST STAYING CLEAN. He just overflows with joy, every second. I admitted to myself that I DON'T HAVE THAT - AND I WANT IT, TOO!

So, here I am on the calls. And each day just keeps getting better, B"H!



Attitude Tip of the Day

People, Not Objects


We got this e-mail recently from "Shlomo"


I had to speak to my teenage boys recently about the dealing with the challenges of being a teenager. What I shared with them I have tried to take to heart in my own life. It has helped shed clarity on my own perspective and I wanted to share it with the group.


What I explained to my boys was that that there is a fundamental difference between the way the world wants us to look at women and the way Yidishkeit looks at women.


The word at large wants us to look at women as objects of desire. That is why they put a pretty woman on an advertisement for a car for a soft drink or for anything else. Desire the woman and desire the object. Both are there only for our pleasure. Women are OBJECTS to fill our desires. Viewing women or thinking about women in this light de-voids the woman of being a person. She is just an OBJECT to fuel our lust.


Yidishkeit portrays women as role models. The Emahos were real people with incredible depth and insight. The Torah specifically tells us about their personal struggles and challenges and how they reached out to Hashem for their salvation. They were HUMAN BEINGS of enormous potential filled with aspirations and hopes. They were incredible PEOPLE to look up to and to emulate. The Torah tells us that the Emahos were physically beautiful. Why is this relevant? The Torah is ingraining in us that women, even beautiful women, are people, potentially great people. They are not objects. The mother of today is the Ekeres Habais. She is the primary influence on the chinuch of our children. The mother of today struggles to be loved and appreciated as every human being does. Once again, the women role model of today is a person to look up to and respect.


When we train ourselves to look at a woman in general as a person, not an object, it changes our perspective of how we think about that person.


This idea can be applied to us in our daily lives. When you see a pretty co-worker or a pretty woman on the street, you have a choice. You can see another OBJECT of desire. A pretty package that is only there to serve your desire and lust. OR you can see a PERSON just like yourself. A person who is trying to pay her bills. A person who is trying to be conscientious at work. A person who may be a mother or a good friend to somebody. So what that she comes in a pretty package! At the end of the day she is a person just like you, struggling to make it thorough her day. When you take note of a pretty person, turn away before the lust takes hold and blinds you from seeing her as a person. Start training yourself, before the wrong thoughts take hold, to think of her as someone's mother or supportive friend. Think of her as a tax payer, or as someone who has to deal with traffic. Viewing her in that light will hopefully make you aware that the person you saw is just that, A PERSON, not an object for your desire.


I have tried to take this to heart and incorporate this into my own life and have found that it helps.


If you feel that there is value in the above, please feel free to share it. I would appreciate people's feedback or comments.


Thanks for the daily chizuk. It is exactly that. Daily, often needed, Chizuk.  




Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

Training the Good Muscles


"Yiddle" wrote on the forum:


"Hashem: I am talking directly to you. Please, I sit here with tears nearly streaming down my cheeks. Please give me the power and the will I lack to overcome this. Please allow me to live. Please take away the source of the pain. I want to break free of this more than anything in the world. Bli neder, I will not use my computer for a month. I can use other people's computers for no longer than 15 minutes at a time, and no more than 30 minutes a day. I am also making a plan to get rid of my laptop for good. I don't need it. I just make excuses to have it."


Dov responds:


Yiddle, I love you so much! You are pouring out your heart here and saying words that I have cried over, too, and still cry over them. I want to be close to Hashem, instead of to Lust. I want to be His, not Lust's. I want to be free of lust today more than anything in the world - no question! 

Please consider the positive side, too. You speak to Him of "not doing this or that, limiting something, etc." The entire solution includes lots of positives - the positives is where we gain the condolence that we need to remain free of the schmutz! To be OK without it! The positive for me, is talking to Hashem calmly and humbly a few times a day, before and after davening for 5 seconds, 10 seconds, a minute, whatever, and before I leave my house in the morning, go to work, leave my work, come home, etc. When I do anything that in the past may have led to getting distracted by lust, I talk to Him and ask Him calmly to just help me do this right. 

It seems clear that you recognize that the connection you need will not be supplied for you by the schmutz and acting-out behaviors any more. True. That is over, whether you like it or not, I believe (feeling a little terror here is quite normal, by the way...)

But we are not G-d. Only He is One and Alone! We, however, need to be plugged into something greater than ourselves, something we worship, a Higher Power. That is how we are made!


But then where will it come from? Answer: You need to create it - it will not happen by itself. I do not need just "tahara" (i.e. not sinning)! Stopping there will assure my failure. I need to start growing in kedusha and d'veikus! The "freedom from sin" part is a gift! But the connection with Hashem? That I have to fight for!

Not because He makes me fight for it for some cruel reason, nor because I need to "deserve it", chas vesholom. No way! It's a gift I will never deserve! Rather, it's simply because I spent years and years connecting to my lust instead of to Him and to people in a healthy way, whenever I felt empty. See, besides just an addiction it is a trained reaction - so I need to start training the good muscles, with His help. 

I hope this is chizuk to you, my friend.

Much love, 


Friday  ~ 16 Iyar, 5770  ~  April 30, 2010
Erev Shabbos Parshas Emor

In Today's Issue
  • Parsha Talk - Emor / Lag Ba'Omer: Fire Away!
  • Parsha Talk - Emor: Shemiras HaLashon = Shemiras Habris
  • Two Great Links: Intimacy = In To Me See / A Shiur by Rabbi Nissin Kaplan
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Dressing our struggle in the Chaluka d'Rabannon


Parsha Talk: Emor / Lag Ba'Omer


Fire away!!

By "Bardichev"


We are standing at the door of Lag B'Omer.

Many of us will be heading to Meron.

What is the message of this hidden Yom Tov?

How do we, who struggle with the Yetzer Hara, gain chizuk and apply it in a practical way?

My zayde, the Kedushas Levy, has the answer.

It says in this week's Parsha:


"If the daughter of a Kohen begins to sin, she is defiling her father and she shall be burned."

Says the Holy Kedushas Levy:

When a person sins he provides life to the klippos, thereby weakening his connection with Hashem.
The sin has in it heat and passion, which was misplaced and is now giving energy to the forces of evil.

So how do we reconnect??

The Torah Teaches Us:

U'bas ish kohen ki sechel liznos...

The Jewish soul - the princess (bas kohen) - that begins to sin...

How can it be fixed??!!


Burn it up! Fire it up!!

Serve Hashem with fervor, with feeling, with passion!

Sing, Dance, Clap, Cry, Laugh, Be ALLLIIIVE!!

By serving Hashem through hislahavus, we can readjust the passion to what it really was intended for!!


And we can snatch away that which the Satan stole.

Maybe that is the secret of why we light a madurah (bonfire) in honor of Reb Shimon.


To reconnect the fire within us to the highest places!

The fire of Reb Shimon burns in all of us!!


Good Shabbos




Parsha Talk: Emor

Shemiras Halashon = Shemiras Habris

By "Yosef Hatzadik"

Vayikov ben ha'isha ha'yisroelis es Hashem vaykalel..... v'shem imo Shelomis bas Divri l'mateh Dan. (24:11)


It is brought down in various Sefarim that bris Hamaor (shemiras habris) is dependent on Bris Halashon. Maybe a source can be found in this posuk. Rashi says that Shlomis bas Divri was the only Jew that was nichshal in Mitzraim with immorality. The son that was the fruit of this immoral union - this breach in Bris Hamaor, was the one who breached the Bris Haloshon.

And as Rabbi Twerski once sent us:
There are many people who are desperate and say that they would do anything to be free of the compulsion. Here is something that will indeed take much effort, but if one is really ready to do anything, this can help greatly:

WATCH YOUR SPEECH! Be meticulous in avoiding ALL lashon hara (defamatory talk), any untruth, and any coarse language.

In order to know what proper speech is and what is forbidden, avail yourself of the Chafetz Chaim's "Guard Your Tongue."

This may seem simple, but it really takes great effort, because we are in the habit of talking without giving much thought to what we say. To become conscious and watchful of speech is anything but simple, but if one is really interested in being free of sexual compulsions, this can be of great help.



Two Great Links

An article about Lag Ba'Omer and "Leading through our Weaknesses"

By Benyamin Bresinger of Project Pride


A Shiur From Rabbi Nissin Kaplan

We got the following e-mail from someone:


I was listening to a shiur from Rabbi Nissin Kaplan (from on this week's Parshas Emor, and he mentioned a shmuz from Rav Chaim Shmuelevitz ZT"L (5731-13) that is very relevant to our struggle. (think the relevant part is around 1/2 hour into the talk, when he discusses the "Mekoshesh Eitzim").


Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

Dressing our struggle in the Chaluka d'Rabonnon


The reason that I hang on to the idea that the Problem is not a primarily a religious one is partially because that was my experience. So I accept that yours may be very different. 

But that's not the only reason. I have also seen so many people prefer to slog through this mess and (unnecessarily) drag their poor families through it as well, all "for the sake of Hashem". Please bear with me. I do not doubt their holiness and the purity of their intentions, as I made the same mistake for years and remember it all too well. I have come to believe that the overwhelming majority of sweet, frum yidden who do have what you might call the "full-blown addiction" to lust, spend precious years or decades struggling with it painfully, as though they were normal; as though they just need to get "good" enough, and they'll stop! They desperately and innocently apply a chulent of basic Torah concepts, pop-psychology, and mussar to their mental, physical and spiritual problem called 'Addiction'. As a result, many develop deep emunah problems after years of falling flat on their faces. We go on hiding our shame ever more deeply, and eventually even drag our wives, children, and sometimes even our community, through absolute gehenom. 

Based on this, there is no question in my own mind that the normal rules and attitudes of shmiras haBris, sexuality and tzniyus do not do them much use. I applied them to my struggle - and so did most of the well-meaning Rebbis and psychologists that I saw over the years. It didn't work and only gave me more pain to cover up and run from. I got worse as I got more medakdeik in mitzvos and more active in kiruv (of others). 

Who knew there was another, simple option? It all seemed so complex.

When I began accepting the attitudes in "AA": I got sober, my life began to mend and my connection with Hashem became much more relevant and real to me. My yiddishkeit then slowly began to get repaired, and with it, my relations with others began to become more fun and bear fruit. Though I am no tzaddik, the way I learn and keep mitzvos connects me to the Torah that I always knew, better than ever before. Something was missing before sobriety, while I was still engaging in fantasy and sex-with-self (M*). True Bechirah has been increasing in my life, ever since. 

So, even though I agree that religious considerations brought the overwhelming majority of us here to GYE, I prefer to believe that some of us know in our hearts that we cannot dress our struggle in the chaluka d'rabonnon forever. Something is destroying our lives, and we can't seem to dislodge it.

One day I finally admitted to myself that even were I to c"v give in to all my desires completely - I still would not find freedom. It would only destroy. It was all taking, no giving, and it left no room for anyone else's life in mine. I came to see that the lust I had would make living any kind of happy life completely impossible. No more could I lie to myself that "I was a failure only as a Jew - but would be fine as a goy". First of all, I could not "be" a goy, and second, I'd destroy my life as a goy, too! I have met many yidden who harbored deep resentment to yiddishkeit over "trapping" them in this bind "cuz what I want to do is ossur, damn it"! They may not speak this out, but the finger-pointing and the pain is secretly there. Is this what Hashem wants? 

What a relief when they discover that their problem was never yiddishkeit, at all! It was always and only: themselves! Hashem is "off the hook!"

You may disagree completely - but that's how I see it. Not everybody fits this picture, to be sure. But to those who see they fail on a fairly regular basis, break resolution after resolution, and progressively get worse in their dirty mishega'as over time, I suggest to consider that they may be addicts. And if one is an addict, I suggest considering the 12 steps.

And I couldn't do it myself - not enough honesty that way, I guess.

Sunday  ~ 18 Iyar, 5770  ~  May 2, 2010
Lag Ba'Omer

In Today's Issue
  • Lag Ba'Omer: The Final Moments of Rabbi Shimon's Life
  • Personal Victory of the Day: The Smallest Opening


Lag Ba'Omer


The Final Moments of Rabbi Shimon's Life

On the day that Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai passed away, he revealed many great secrets of the Torah which had been hidden in his heart until this day. The secrets he revealed can be found in the "Idra Zuta" in Parshas Ha'azinu. The Idra Zuta discusses the parallels between the human body and the corresponding spiritual worlds. It starts out with the head and moves downwards, discussing the many different limbs of the body - and how they parallel the upper worlds.


In the final moments of Rabbi Shimon's life, he talks about the Yesod - the highest of the high, and how the connection between the male and female body is parallel to the Kohen Gadol going into the Kodesh Hakadoshim once a year.


Here is a rough translation of Rabbi Shimon's final words on this world:


"And all the desire of the male towards the female is here (in the Yesod), and it is called "blessing", because from there goes out blessing to all the worlds, and they are all blessed. This place is called "Kodesh", and all the holiness of the male goes into there, into that level called "Tzion", which is then called "Kodesh Hakodashim".


And all the 'chasadim' (kindnesses) are drawn down from the upper head of the male, from the side of the upper wisdom, and all that blessing travels through all the limbs of the body until the place called "Tziva'os" (parallel to the eggs of the male), and all the 'chasadim' gather there, and therefore they are called "Tziva'os", for all the Neshamos above and below come from there. And those 'chasadim', after they gather there, empty out into the Yesod, all white - therefore it is called chesed, and this chesed (the semen) goes into the Kodesh Hakadoshim, as it says "for there Hashem commanded the blessing and life forever"...


Says Rebbe Abba: The holy flame (Rabbi Shimon) did not finish to say the word "life" and his words became silent. And I wrote, thinking to write more, and I did not hear. And I didn't pick up my head, for the light was very great and we could not gaze. And we shook as we heard a Bas-Kol say "Orech Yomim U'shnos Chaim etc..."


And that whole day, a fire surrounded the house and no one could come close to Rabbi Shimon, for the light and fire surrounded him the whole day. And we fell on the ground and cried.


After the fire had left, we saw that the holy flame, the Kodesh Hakadoshim (Rabbi Shimon) had passed from this world. He was wrapped in a Tallis, lying on his right side, and his face was smiling...


How does this relate to our struggle?


Rabbi Shimon reserved the deepest and holiest of all secrets for the very end... And what were those secrets? The parallel between the intercourse of man and woman to the highest of the high, to the Kohen Gadol going into the Kodesh Hakadoshim on Yom Kippur!


There is nothing in the world that can bring us higher than the Yesod. What we experience on this world is but a shadow of a reflection of the holy parallels in the upper worlds.


By being Mekadesh our Yesod, we can reach the highest levels of Kedusha - like the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur entering the Kodesh Hakodoshim!


May the zechus of the holy flame, Rabbi Shimon, be a Meilitz Yosher for all of us, to help us be Mekadesh ourselves above and below, particularly on this day of Lag Ba'Omer where the Idra Zuta says: "Many Prosecuting (Angels) are silenced on this day in your (Rabbi Shimon's) merit".


The real meaning of Yesod is "connection". As we prepare to enter the week of Yesod (beginning Tuesday night), may we all be zoche to achieve true kedusha and "connection" with Hashem.



Personal Victory of the Day


The Smallest Opening


Posted by "Eye.nonymous" on the forum

I've had this gnawing feeling for a few days now.

I remembered a non-Jewish acquaintance of the opposite gender from the distant past...  Barely an acquaintance.

I started having all these thoughts, justifying a simple little E-mail.

I'll just mention the one thought I had that out-does them all: "If you've got such a strong feeling for this, maybe she's in serious danger!  Maybe she's on the verge of suicide!  A frum yid with a Torah perspective is exactly what she needs right now!  I've got a Divine imperative to find out how she's doing.  Maybe you're the only one in the world right now that can save her life!"

I even started writing a little E-mail.

As I wrote, I realized there was nothing I could write that didn't make me feel stupid for writing it.

Then, I was thinking, "I'm trying to hide this from my wife - it CAN'T be the right thing to do!"  LISTEN TO YOURSELF!

And, "What's the point? What the heck am I expecting to accomplish with this?"

And, "If it's such a mitzvah to reach out to old acquaintances, aren't there plenty of male acquaintances to track down?  How come I never think of writing to them?  This must really be LUST!"

And, "Isn't it really weird if a married religious man is hunting down a shiksa? Won't even SHE think it's weird?!"

And, "Can I face my wife if I go through with this?"  It's not innocent.

Please Hashem, save me from this lust.

Later "Eye.nonymous" writes:


I was thinking about this girl.  WHY do I want to contact her?  There's no chance it would lead to anything anyway, good OR bad!

Then, I was thinking.  Hashem tells us to do Teshuva and to make an opening the size of a needle and He'll make it as big as a palace entrance. I think the Yeitzer hara works the same way.

ANY opening will do!

So the one that looks the most absurd and the most innocent - THAT'S an opening we'll willingly make. It looks so innocent that we'll even think G-d himself is rooting for us!

And, once we've made an opening, NO MATTER WHAT IT IS, it may be just a matter of time before the yeitzer has us doing what we once thought was unthinkable.


Without thinking, we would say, "doesn't seem so bad, might as well."  But the truth is, there's no logic to it, and it ISN'T SO INNOCENT.

It's a tiny opening, an eye of a needle, for the yeitzer. SO BEWARE.

And what's greater, doing aveiras or doing Teshuva?

So by the same token, the tiniest opening for Teshuva, NO MATTER HOW SMALL AND NO MATTER HOW SEEMINGLY ABSURD AND USELESS, is an opening nonetheless.  It just may be a matter of time before we notice a difference, but every little bit of Teshuvah surely makes a big difference!
Monday  ~ 19 Iyar, 5770  ~  May 3, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Announcement 1: Forum down temporarily
  • Announcement 1: Zeva's Group + Testionial
  • Attitude Tip of the Day: Be your own fan!
  • Torah Quote of the Day: Molten G-ds
  • Testimonial of the Day: My wife's change of heart
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Even the most horrible rotten stuff ever!


Announcement 1


Forum Down Temporarily

We apologize that our forum is currently down due to a virus. We are cleaning it out, and while it's down we are also upgrading the forum to a newer and better version of SMF 2.0 with many new features. We thank you for your patience and we hope that the forum will be back up and running shortly.



Announcement 2


Zeva's Group + Testimonial

Zeva's phone conference is beginning a new cycle shortly. For more information, see this page. Sign up today for real clinical treatment!

Yehudah F, a  big Talmid Chacham from a renowned family, sent a testimonial recently about Zeva's phone group:


"I would like to share with those that may be suffering from some form of sexual addiction. One of the main difficulties in dealing with this issue is the problem of not having with whom to share this private information. 


Being part of Zeva's group once a week, has opened up a window of opportunity which would have not been possible otherwise. The chance to be able to share with other men who are struggling with the same issue has been a source of relief for me. In addition, by having a professional like Zeva who has exerted her efforts into sexual addiction with extreme professionalism, patience and broad knowledge of human nature, had made this group into a real learning experience.  


Many skills are taught by Zeva, based on the teachings of Patrick Carnes, along with DBT skills which have taught me such important skills in regards to having better relationships with people. 


I implore those who may be struggling to take this opportunity and maybe you can also find some relief.  The benefits can be big. Zeva charges a nominal fee of $20 per time (commitment of 10 weeks)."



Attitude Tip of the Day


Be your own fan!


"TrueRatzon" posted on the forum recently:


The fear of falling in the future often inhibits us from trying our best. But it occurred to me that the only reason I might fall is if I allow myself to fall.  Nobody else will cause me to fall, nobody else can prove my inner desires futile, except for me.  

So I feel that everyday I need to strongly remind myself that it's all up to me. I need to do an action every single day that will maintain my resolve to fight and keep growing every day because it's been eight years of fighting, and ever since joining GYE, this year has been my most successful fighting year. So I hope I can convince myself to always want to keep being clean and take it one day at a time.

Another point of chizuk is that I am a big baseball fan and I enjoy listening to WFAN sports radio 66. On the station recently, they constantly talk about how the Mets can improve and turn around their season. I thought to myself, just listen to the passion of these people on the radio to want to see their team win and keep improving. If only I could be my own fan and inject myself with good advice and motivation on a daily basis - and want myself to win, just as these fans want their team to win so dearly.  

My plan is to post on this forum everyday and try to maintain my personal chizuk and give chizuk to others as well. 



Torah Quote of the Day


Molten G-d's


Zohar, Vayikra, 84A


"We have learned that it is forbidden for a man to gaze at the beauty of a woman lest evil thoughts be provoked in him and he be incited to something worse. When Rabbi Shimon had to walk through the town, followed by his companions, when he came to a place where beautiful women were apt to be found, he would lower his eyes and say to them, 'Do not stray (after their gods!)' For whoever gazes at the beauty of a woman by day will have sinful thoughts at night. And if these thoughts overcome him, he transgresses the commandment, 'You shall not make for yourselves molten gods.'



Testimonial of the Day


My Wife's Change of Heart


By "Yidster"


I would to give a big thank you to GYE. Last week my wife saw the delete history box open on the computer and she asked me if I have been watching stuff again and I told her point blank about my addiction (P..n) and that it has been going on for years.... She was shocked beyond words. She could not understand how someone like me could be watching this stuff, "I am supposed to be good... everyone knows that"... bla bla bla... And of course, I did not blame her for being mad at me, I tried to explain that I tried stopping many times and that I have been going to SA meetings and that there are other nice frum people who suffer from this....


Well, she did not talk to me for three days. I told her about the GYE website and she went to check it out and she saw my account was logged in so she checked out everything that I posted....  She then told me that she would do whatever she can to help me. When I asked her "what happened? Why the change of heart?", she told me that she read my posts and she now sees where I am coming from. She saw me pouring my heart out for help and she saw that I was sincere and really wanted to change...


This past week we have been extremely close. I am going for 90 meetings in 90 days, and she went to two S-anon (support group for wives) meetings this week. B"H I see a much brighter future coming.

Had I not found GYE and posted my feelings, I don't know if my wife would have believed me or trusted me.

Chevra, keep strong - and as they say in SA, "IT WORKS IF YOU WORK IT". Don't just count the days but work the program (what ever program you feel is working for you) each day, one day at a time.



Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

Even the most horrible rotten stuff ever!

In the very depths of our losing and weakness, Hashem still sees us with love - otherwise, how do any of us ever get His help to get clean? True, some out there fear to say this stuff because to them, admitting this fact sounds like it's really OK to do horrible aveiros. Nothing could be farther from the truth. But nobody would ever get the help to do teshuva if Hashem really hated us for doing rotten stuff. And that has to include even the most horrible rotten stuff ever, or it includes nothing at all.

That's why so many of us shrink from taking that actual step into recovery (or teshuva, if you want to see it that way). We say in our hearts, "yeah, yeah, Hashem forgives and treats sinners nicely - but I'm different." or "...not the stuff that I did because I'm a talmid chochom and should have known better, so it's worse!", or "If they saw what I did, they'd never say He still wants me..." And other lies. 

He desires us and loves us even while we stomp on His Will, on our families, and on ourselves. And He helps us get right, if we only let Him.

Tuesday  ~ 20 Iyar, 5770  ~  May 4, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Announcement 1: Our forum will be back up soon, be"H!
  • Announcement 2: Zeva's Group + Another Great Testimonial
  • Quote of the Day: Feeling Alone?
  • Battle Communication: How to Avoid Freefall
  • Practical Tips of the Day: Humbling Yourself
  • Daily Dose of Dov: How will she ever trust me again?

Announcement 1


Our forum will be back up soon, Be"H, new and improved!

Our forum has been down for almost two days due to a virus, which had to be cleaned out - as well as an upgrade. There were various issues that kept cropping up, but thankfully they were all resolved. We are hopeful that the forum will be back up and running tonight at approximately midnight (EST), in honor of the start of the week of YESOD!

We apologize for the downtime.


If you are experiencing withdrawal, you are probably addicted to GYE and may need to join a GA group (Guardyoureyes Anon :-)



Announcement 2


Zeva's Group + Another Great Testimonial

Zeva's phone conference is beginning a new cycle shortly. For more information, see this page. Sign up today for real clinical treatment!

Ari F. is a big Talmid Chacham from a very prestigious and large family. He started on Zeva's call last year Sukkos time. Besides for being a sex addict, he was also in debt due to his womanizing behaviors, and a very bad alcoholic and a smoker. He spoke about getting "smashed" on Shabbos especially in shul. When he first came on the calls, he boasted in shares how he literally had fist fights with other congregants and saw it as their problem.


In the group, he took a 180 degree change. He stopped the drinking and even the smoking. His relationship with his wife got better, and he stopped his internet addiction and sexual thinking. As the sex addiction went down, his finances improved as well. Here is what Ari wrote recently to us:


"Dear GuardYourEyes,

Before I found your site, I was really struggling with sexual addiction in the form of sexualizing women. Every woman I came into contact with was not a human being in my mind, but a sex object. As I was talking to them, I was imagining being with them in my mind. It was out of control and I was very ashamed to be this way. Hashem heard my prayers and directed me by "chance" to your site. I contacted Elya who told me to come on to a Tuesday night meeting with Zeva. This, I have to tell you, was my biggest blessing ever. I immediately got hooked by being involved in the meeting. Zeva is an expert in a therapy called DBT. By following her, I actually got in touch with the debts of my personality and I was able to not only purge myself of this sexual addiction, but as we progressed, I learned that the reason for the addiction was because of many other glitches in my personality which I picked up just going through life, from early childhood. It was so therapeutic for me to get in touch with my inner child and make amends with things that were bothering me subconsciously. I tried the 12 steps but never really connected with it for some reason. For me, this DBT meeting with Zeva was almost like being born again. I really would encourage everyone with this addiction to give it a try."



Quote of the Day


Feeling Alone?

By "Yosef Hatzadik"


If you are feeling "alone"...

and you don't notice the one that is with you in alone...

... then try to remember that the letters of alone also spell a-loan

Your soul is only yours on loan

One day, you will yet have to return the loan.

And if it is an interest bearing loan...

Remember how the Torah compares interest to a snake bite...

From a bite all the way down at the ankle, the venom enters & begins to spread, carried by the bloodstream throughout the victim's body.

Just a 'little' bit of internet venom will spread quickly & infect the body & soul.



Battle Communication


How to Avoid Freefall


By "Commando"


Sometimes a fall can lead to freefall. Freefall is worse than falling. It's falling fast, out of control. Like falling 3 nights in a row after a long upwards climb. 

Every fighter needs to learn how to fall. Over the years I learned how to prevent a freefall, and here are my tips. Obviously what works for me may not work for you, so make sure never to fall in the first place!

1) After a fall, it's very natural to be super emotional, either sad, depressed, or angry. With all those emotions (and changed brain chemicals resulting from the fall), that's the worse time to think about your fall or what caused your fall. Just chill out and try to get through your day without self-criticism. In a few days you can analyze the fall, be self-critical, and make any additional changes/safeguards in your life. But not now. For the same reason, don't have any critical discussions with a friend/spouse/date, or make any important life decisions. After one or two nights of good sleep you'll be back to your usual self.

2) If you're feeling remorse, spend a little time on heartfelt Teshuva. And Mikva and the Tikkun Haklali, if you do that. But don't spend the whole day on Teshuva, it will drag you down emotionally even more than you already are. You'll have time for complete Teshuva another day.

3) Because you just fell, you're at your most vulnerable stage. The Yetzer Horah will try to make you fall again immediately, convincing you that your fight is hopeless, or to "get in one last cookie before the diet starts again". Tell him that you'll listen to him tomorrow, but not today. (When tomorrow arrives, you'll be feeling better and stronger. And even if you do fall tomorrow, it's still 100 times better than falling today). The Gemorah says, "If I ate Garlic and have a bad smell, should I eat more Garlic and smell for longer?".

4) Congratulate yourself on your past successes. And learning how to fall may be as valuable a skill as learning not to fall, so today you're also making progress. 

5) If you're in freefall already, remember that Hashem is always with you, even in your sins. And don't forget to open your parachute!



Practical Tips of the Day


Humbling Yourself


By "DovInIsrael"


When I am in the midst of a battle, I need simple stuff to humble me and put me back on-track. Try cleaning your toilet (really), or if you're outside, pick up some garbage off the street.

If your Yetzer Hara does not have a strong grip on you (yet), try changing your thoughts. The mind can only think of one thing at a time... Keep a "happy" image in your mind and switch images. 

If you are getting irritated by your kids, let them know you are getting irritated and if they don't stop IT - the funny man with triangle ears will come out and chase them around the house - and turn them into frogs if he catches them (and then squat down and hold onto your ears with elbows sticking out - and chase the kids around the house... making loud funny noises)... It breaks the tension - and lets everyone know you are really CRAZY!!!


Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

How will she ever trust me again?


We often hear wives ask their addict husbands, "how will I ever trust you again?" and the answer is really that the trust may never come, but if it does, it will be her own choice and not because her husband convinced her to trust him. He knows that game of sympathy and proving his 'good-ness' is over. It was all quiet manipulation.


Now the choice of trust will not come from her 'getting the feel' that he is finally a kadosh; nor from seeing that he has become less demanding in the bedroom, nor because he finally really seems to be so careful in avoiding triggers. No way. All that will always fail as a barometer. I know in my heart that I am not ever to be trusted with my own attractions - I am ever more sensitive to lust, not less. This is not guilt nor a madreiga, nor a screwed up shittah: it's just what I experience. Thinking that I am 'stronger' is the single mistake that I have seen guys make that ruins everything - usually leading to greater pain than ever. Because they are not stronger, and they need not aspire to be.


Rather, the trust comes (if she chooses to trust him) from seeing her husband being a reliable father, husband, and worker. He's generally where he says he'll be when he says he'll be there, tells the truth about everything even though it neither makes him look like a tzaddik nor a rasha, and is generally healthy in every department of life other than his addiction. That's the only way.


Having all sorts of fences against lust will never prove a thing at all to anyone - even to the addict himself/herself - because the adage "ein apotropos l'arayos" is talking about normal people! For an addict it's just a silly understatement, and to me it seems the reason is this: For me, an addict, it's not about arayos. At least, not once we are addicted... It's about our survival. When lust enters, I think the addict acts out because of the survival instinct, nothing less. He or she is just doing what their whole heart and mind deems absolutely necessary to survive. And survival trumps everything, and should! Many normals would not think twice about betraying our spouses or neglecting our kids to save our very lives right now. It's not a simple moral choice and shouldn't be looked at that way, in my opinion. That's why most normal thinking is useless to me in addiction (and perhaps even more useless for perverts very early-on in their recovery). And that's why healthy thinking, heartfelt advice, encouragement, mussar and ruchniyus will not work for most addicts I know, in the end. They will fall - to survival. Who wouldn't? Telling them that lust won't help them survive is just plain gibberrish, and in their guts they "know" that! (Ever try arguing with a gut?)


That's how I see it. That's why generally only addicts can help addicts. It's not about sympathy, but about empathy. And with it comes a more realistic view of the absence of trust when it comes to the addiction itself (i.e. not trusting ourselves with lust).


I do not fear to go into a subway, but I'd rather not go. A recovering aklie should probably not fear going into a bar, either. It's never about deciding whether I can trust myself in there yet, but about surrendering and letting G-d take care of me now, wherever I am. If I go into a dangerous situation because I want to, that proves I am not surrendering, period! It's all over, whether I act out now or not. The self-serving will get me in the end, guaranteed, and I'll act out soon. 


If you're in a difficult situation, it's Hashem who put you there. It's not your doing. So just let go and let Him care for you.

Wednesday  ~ 21 Iyar, 5770  ~  May 5, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Announcement: The forum is back - new and improved!
  • Battle Communication: "I refuse to let myself drown"
  • Personal Victory of the Day: The rewiring is REAL
  • Therapy Tip of the Day: Exposure Response Prevention (ERP)
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Wives don't generally understand - and that's good.


In honor of the week of Yesod...

Our Forum

is back up, new and improved!

As you may or may not know, our site has been amongst the hundreds and thousands of sites that got targeted by a virus that was circulating internet forums and Wordpress blogs last week. We thank you all for your patience during the past few days when the forum was offline while we dealt with the issue.
Needing to replace all the files anyway, we took this opportunity to update the site with the latest software, SMF 2.0 RC2, and we hope you enjoy the new look and feel!

To get the forum back up and running with minimum downtime, we decided to temporarily host it on a secondary server. In the meantime though, we continue to do work on our own server, and when things are completely sorted out over there, we'll move the forum over to guardyoureyes.

We hope the forum will soon have a new address

The Hebrew forum is currently at



Battle Communication

"I refuse to let myself drown"


Posted by "Rage" on the forum

While the GYE forum was down this week, I was talking to my GYE friends off-site and I was telling them that I felt it was time for me to go... The repeated falls were making me believe it's hopeless... But certain events have transpired which gave me reason to believe the famous words that "efshar, efshar, efshar letakain".... I refuse to let myself drown, so I am here...


I realized that I was getting seriously depressed after each fall and that the depression and despair that came out of that was defeating me even more than the lust itself. What I needed was some victories... I needed some wins to get the winning streak going... So I've accepted upon myself that no matter what, no matter who, no matter when, I will not look at porn... Porn is my red-line... Even if I act out, it cannot be with external stimulation... My hope is to make progress against lust... And hopefully in a few days or weeks I can up my red-line to no acting out at all... For me, this wasn't an easy thing for me to accept... On one hand, this seems to violate the rule that we are allergic to lust and cannot have any of it.... It violates the principle that half measures avail us nothing... But I think the key that I am focusing on is taking progressive victories over lust, and making each day better than the last - so that the momentum is going in the right direction....

Meanwhile, I will work the 12 steps... A guy from my group gave me a book that is sort of interactive, called "Working the Steps"... I will start working them as I plow ahead, so that I can be in a place real soon where I can see some sobriety that lasts...


Another thought... I realized that for me, getting going in the right direction was only possible through having a support group around me. When I first landed on this forum, I was surrounded by so much support that I was able to catapult into sobriety for over 100 days... But when these old timers slowly left the forum, I lost my support and had a hard time staying sober... Then I started going to SA meetings and the support of the good REAL folks there... man, those guys are REAL... they helped me stay sober. But on days when there were no meetings, I had no support and I couldn't get by... So the most important thing that someone starting up can do, is to get support... Whether it's through making connections here on the forum or getting a good sponsor or going to meetings, you MUST get support early... In that vain, I've taken some phone numbers of people here on the forum and from my SA group, to reach out to and chat with when things are good and when thing are rough...

Viva La Revolucion!!



Personal Victory of the Day

The rewiring is REAL

Posted by "Briut" on the forum

Welcome back everyone. Thanks to Guard & his platoon for the restoration of the forum.

I want to share two events from when the site was down.

The first event: a dream where I was watching a movie, late at night. And in the dream, my hand started to slip down. And while still dreaming, I actually told myself, "NO! You'll mess up all the rewiring taking place. Pull away; walk around for 15 minutes and see." At which point I woke up! AND, I realized I'd pulled my hand back in real life, too.  LESSON: THIS REWIRING IS HITTING MY DREAM STATE, NOT JUST REAL LIFE. Whoa.

The second case was scarier. In real life, I innocently found myself face-to-face with my biggest (lust) fantasy of my life. (I won't even describe it.) Decades in my imagination - and about to happen, I'm convinced. But I won't know, because I BACKED OFF. I THOUGHT TO MYSELF, "THIS MUST BE THE YETZER HARA PULLING OUT ALL THE STOPS. THE TIMING IS JUST TOO WEIRD.  BUT I KNOW HASHEM WANTS SOMETHING DIFFERENT. IT'LL BE BETTER. NOTHING GOOD WILL COME OF THIS." And I backed away. 

So, last week I avoided some inappropriate web pages. This week I avoided acting out in dreams, too. Monday, I said no to a real person. I'm on GYE 4 months, and I'm starting to see that the rewiring in my mind is REAL.



Therapy Tip of the Day


Exposure Response Prevention (ERP)

adopted for Pornography Addiction

  By "Feedtherightwolf"

When I first realized that I had pornography addiction about 3 years ago, I struggled for about a little over a year to overcome it on my own. I was very poor and couldn't afford the treatment, neither was I ready to admit to another human being the nature of my problem.

So I tried to read the free books that I could find in the library, which dealt with other addictions. I picked up a very good book, called "Kill the Craving" and I modified a technique largely taken from this book called Exposure Response Prevention of ERP. This techniques was design to help people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder , but it worked wonders for me, and was very useful in getting over the first 30 days. 

I do not claim this "system" to be the solution. It will not substitute 12 step and other healthy changes in the lifestyle, nevertheless I believe (and I could be wrong) it can be very beneficial for people in early recovery.

I've made a video in which I tried to outline the basics of this "system" in the most efficient manner I could manage. I wanted to share it here.

I do not know if this will be helpful to anybody, and would appreciate the feedback.

If you think it is helpful, and you think somebody can benefit from it, please feel free to pass it on.
The link to download the video is

I've also made 2 checklists to go along with this video:

(This one is for sample motivational statements)





The author of the above is not religious. We had someone check though, and the movie is 100% Kosher. However, be warned that for one of the exercises he advises seeing a triggering image or trigger ourselves mentally in order to measure the physical response our body has, and to learn how to appropriately address it. GYE does not condone this. Please "Skip" this exercise. Thank you :-)



Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

Wives don't generally understand - and that's good.


My wife doesn't understand how smart it can seem to me to chase lust! And she probably can never, either. That's probably a good thing.

Though acting on lust is probably the very stupidest thing I can ever do in any situation - and makes life's troubles
 worse, never better, I remember that whenever I have ever wanted to act out it seems like the most important thing for me to do at that moment. I really seem to need it. If I really feel I need it then it must mean that at some level I believe it is in my very best interest, no? 

I came to see it this way because of what Rav Noach zt"l taught me, that nobody - even the PLO (his example) - intends to be evil and "do bad stuff". They all have some crazy cheshbon as to why their hearts are swayed to do these horrible acts. I guess that I work that way, too.

This is the power of lust in an addict. And I believe it's good that my wife doesn't truly understand how powerful lust can be in my brain, cuz then she'd realize that even she is totally powerless over it and freak out, I guess.


My wife means well, but she is a human being and we all have the right to protect ourselves from pain. She might react to an understanding of how powerless I am over lust by thinking, "hey, this poor guy may run off with another woman if she's pretty enough...I'd better deck myself out real good, lose some weight, wear the right makeup and get a better shaitel, etc. More than that, I'd better play into his every desire in order to keep him happy at home. I owe it to myself and my kids!"

For a normal person with strong desires this thinking may be right on, and may work just fine! I wish them all the best. Really.

But it does not work for any lust addict I know. (I know this sounds a bit like "the more you feed it the more you need it" concept, but it isn't necessarily the same, but that's another discussion.) A lust addict cannot be satisfied with lust behavior. In lust, he craves a connection that can't be matched by any wife for more than a little while. She simply cannot compete. When she tries, she becomes addicted to her addict. That's called codependency and leads to hell on earth. (Spouses of addicts have S-Anon for this reason and others.) As he grows ever less satisfied, she twists her brains into a knot to keep her power over him and tries harder to please - chasing her own lie that she has the power to keep her man. Being an addict, he does what addicts do, and acts out anyway. She figures it's partially (or maybe totally) her fault, and sees him as the proof of her failure as a woman, wife, and as a Jewess. It leads her to hate him and still be unable to let go of her burden! Not a pretty picture.

In the meantime, his acting out inevitably gets drawn to a higher level by the unhealthy relationship he feels that he 'won' at home. Finding that his wife didn't work for him after all, he feels he must push the boundaries even further either at home or elsewhere just to feel OK. He also begins to doubt that he will ever get satisfaction at home...

At least one Rav (and one shrink indirectly) told me that the solution was more effort on the part of my wife to please me. They did not know what animal they were dealing with...

In recovery, all these lies get exploded slowly (or quickly). Then things slowly get better, and hopefully satisfaction in the right-sized relationship slowly becomes a reality to both parties.

Thursday  ~ 22 Iyar, 5770  ~  May 6, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Announcement: Our partner system is back up!
  • Personal Victory of the Day: No Choice but to Fall
  • Attitude Tip of the Day: Just worry about today!
  • Daily Dose of Dov: Recovery can't mean just "not acting out"



In honor of the week of Yesod...
Our partner system is back up!

For the last 2 months or so, our "Partner Gabai" was on leave. We apologize to anyone who may have been waiting for a partner and received no response. B"H we found someone new to take over this task.
If you don't have a partner yet, please follow the instructions on this page.
Having a partner to keep in touch with by phone, chat or e-mail, is very important in helping us "get out of isolation" and helps provides accountability and an incentive to stay strong for each others sake.

As the Tzetel Katan of the great Chassidic master, R' Elimelech of Lizentzk states:

One should relate before one's teacher, who instructs him in the way of HaShem, or even before a good friend, all of one's thoughts that are contrary to the Holy Torah that the Yetzer HaRah causes to arise in his mind or heart. [Whether they occur] when he is learning Torah, praying, sitting in his bed, or during the day. And one should not withhold anything because of shame. He will find that by relating these things, he will gain the power to break the strength of the Yetzer HaRah so that it will no longer be able to overcome him other times. This is in addition to the good advice that he will receive from his friend in the ways of Hashem. And this is a wonderful remedy.

We see from the above, that simply relating ones struggles to a friend or mentor has the power to break the strength of the Yetzer Hara.

Aside from the fact that the very act of talking it out already lessens the struggle, the main purpose of a partner is that it introduces the vital element of "accountability" into the equation. As Rav Yochanan Ben Zakai blessed his students, "May your fear of heaven be equal to your fear of man". And his students asked him: "Rebbe, is that all?". And he answered: "Halevai!".

For more on the importance of "Accountability" in this struggle, see tool #9 of the GYE handbook.


Personal Victory of the Day


No Choice but to Fall


Posted by "Truth 11"


Just wanted to share a quick story. Last night I was coming home on the train, it was pretty late and there were all of these drunks coming home from parties and such, and of course everyone was dressed very immodestly. Out of nowhere, I felt mamash trapped in the good ol' desires. I tried shaking it off as hard as possible, and the harder I tried, the more I was falling... fast. I literally was trying everything I could. I even took a longer path home to free my mind a bit. But as addicts, we all know that once the desire comes, you need to have the right tools to deal with it. Anyways, I was panicking, because it's been about 2 weeks clean now and I really felt that I had been on a roll. I was thinking in my head - "ok, why do I need this to feel better, what is this really going to help me for?" Yet, still these thoughts weren't going away. 

Honestly, for the first time in my life, I felt absolutely trapped... It felt as if I had no choice but to fall, zero. Since I recently joined this site, I could only think of one thing to do. Surrender. I closed my eyes, and said, "Hashem, I have absolutely no freedom right now, I hate this and I don't want this at all, get rid of this from me now, because you are the only One that can help me get through this. Please, please don't leave me here, I am trying so hard and I am nothing without you".


To make a short story long, I got out of the subway, my head cleared, and I went to sleep smiling and so happy that Hashem gave me new life. Here I am beginning my 3rd week clean since joining this site, planning to take it one day at a time, progressively trying to surrender myself to Hashem. Thanks for all the great advice.



Attitude Tip of the Day


Just worry about today!


By "StrugglingYid"


I had been able to stop Mast**ing about 5 years ago. I do not remember when, but I think about a year and a half after stopping, I had a fall.  Now here I was on this great streak, and BAM!  My first thought was, "how can I face this and keep this up? Will I be able to go another year and a half again? It seems so long just to match my previous best." Then I realized that I don't really care that much for such thoughts. Why do I have to worry about matching my streak? Just worry about today! What will be tomorrow is unknown. 


And I'm glad to say, that since then I have not fallen again. Each moment and each day is a Simcha, it is a moment of freedom. Don't get down over the fall, it just ain't worth it; not when today and tomorrow can be so much better.



Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

Recovery can't mean just "not acting out"

In the groups we have learned, that professing one has "finally really hit bottom" is silly. The only time it becomes clear to anyone that a person has hit bottom is after they find they have taken real steps at changing the way they live. That is the closest thing to any proof to myself that I am taking my problem seriously. The day I start living life (in every department of my life) exactly as I did before - even without any shred of acting out - will be the day I sign my death certificate. It would mean that recovery for me means "not acting out". That lie was how I never recovered for decades.


The acting out is a symptom of living a sick life inside me and outside me, and I need to change my life, motivation, and behavior, beside the acting out, or else I'm doomed to the same slop. We simply cannot change our clothes while keeping the same exact body. That's why I instinctively slowly changed: including the way I spell my name, my nusach of t'fillah, and other things, to make a new life for myself from now on. Sounds like the Rambam's description of Teshuvah, but I don't care about that Teshuva business - it's not my affair. Whether I did Teshuvah or not is Hashem's business. You see, intentionally doing it for "Teshuvah" would mean that I have succeeded in proving something to myself or others, and that's a lie. I am still on the same exact road as before - nothing has changed. I have not "made it" and I do not consider myself as having done any shred of Teshuva. (How do you do Teshuvah for an illness, anyway?)

Friday  ~ 23 Iyar, 5770  ~  May 7, 2010
Erev Shabbos Parshas Be'chukosai

In Today's Issue
  • Announcement 1: The Forum Has Landed - Baruch Hashem!

  • Announcement 2: Mishpacha Mentions GYE Again

  • Parsha Talk - Be'chukosai: Hashem Loves the Small Steps

  • Attitude Tip of the Day: The Mystery of Missing Things

  • Daily Dose of Dov 1: It's not a Marriage Problem

  • Daily Dose of Dov 2: Don't let it build up!


Announcement 1

On the auspicious day of Tiferes She'bi'Yesod - meaning "The Beauty of Connection"...

The Forum Has Landed - Baruch Hashem!

The GuardYourEyes forum has finally found what we hope will be it's permanent home at

Until now, it was hosted by a friend on, and after the recent virus and upgrade, it was transferred temporarily to But last night while everybody in America slept, it was locked down and successfully transferred to it's real home at

There is no better description for the GYE forum than "The Beauty of Connection" - which is Tiferes She'bi'Yesod. On the GYE forum, hundreds of Yidden learn through the beauty of connection to build trust with the world, feel accountability, build up their self-esteem and courage, help others, connect with others, and most of all - to get out of isolation!

Welcome Home (to the) Forum!


Announcement 2

Mishpacha Mentions GYE Again

We received a warm mention in this week's Mishpacha Magazine's Family First.

Click here
to see the comments from a reader.

(If the words appear too small to read in your browser, click on the image to enlarge it)

We were mentioned in Mishpacha 3 months ago as well. Click here
to see.


Parsha Talk: B'chukosai:

Hashem Loves the Small Steps

"V'im beheimah asher yakrivu mimena korban laShem kol asher yitein mimenu laShem yiyeh kodesh (27:9)

And if an animal which you will bring from it a sacrifice for Hashem, whatever he shall give from it to Hashem will be holy."

If someone who is led by his animalistic desires will decide to come a bit closer to Hashem,
every little bit that he will sacrifice for Hashem from his "animal nature" for Hashem's sake is holy!



Attitude Tip of the Day


The Mystery of Missing Things


When the forum was down, "Commando" continued posting his thoughts on his PC. Once it came back up he shared this with us:


It's been three nights already since the GYE forum has mysteriously vanished. When will it be resurrected? How many people are feeling the loss? It's midnight and my ramblings become weird at this hour. I feel like pondering the mystery of missing things.

Do you know what the first missing thing was in the whole world? The presence of Hashem. Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan in his introduction to Kabbalah "Inner-space" discusses the concept of the Challal Hapanui, the "Vacated Space" which Hashem formed before creating the world. The world at first couldn't be created because Hashem's essence filled the world leaving no room for anything else. So Hashem had to "remove" himself from an area of space before creating the world. This area of empty space was called the Challal Hapanui. Most of this empty space was then filled as Hashem created the world. But parts of this space still remain empty. Rabbi Kaplan explains that a person needs to travel through this empty space when they're moving spiritually from level to level. He says that it's a terrifying experience because it appears that Hashem is not there, and it feels like total abandonment.

I think we can all relate to this, as going from one level to the next in sobriety often is achieved by passing through a dark and empty feeling for a while... 

Hashem tells Avrohom as an introduction to the Milah, "walk in front of me and be Tamim". Maybe Hashem was saying that there will be times when His (Hashem's) presence will appear to be missing, and in those situations Avrohom should "walk in front of Hashem" with Temimus (like when you're walking in front of someone and you can't see them behind you), even though those are the most difficult times to be shomer the bris.


"StrugglingAndStrivingBT" responds:


I read a similar inspirational bit today by Rabbi Dr. Avraham Twerski. It's an old Baal Shem Tov parable:

When a father teaches his son to walk, he first helps the kid stand.  Then they begin to take steps and the father is very close to the child.  As the child masters standing, the father moves back and the child feels further from the father.  The child then starts walking towards him, and as he walks, the father steps further away. While it seems to the child that he is so far from the father, he is actually now mastering the means to get to the father, and simultaneously, the means to walk independently.

Those times that you feel that you feel like you're in an empty space, Hashem is there, but He stepped back a bit farther to show you that you can walk, and He's waiting for you to walk to Him.  Hopefully someday soon, you can start jogging, and eventually running towards Him.



Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

It's Not a Marriage Problem


The first shrink we went to after my wife found out about my acting out (and had decided to divorce me) said to us: "you do not really have a marriage problem here. Well, maybe you do, but overshadowing the entire thing is another problem: Your husband is a very sick man." Boy I didn't like that. But it saved our marriage. And P.S., he didn't believe in the 12 steps at all and told me so when I asked him about them a few months later! I had to find them on my own, after seeing that I was only getting worse and worse under his "care" and finally hit bottom almost a year later.




Don't let it build up!


Someone wrote on the forum:


Today I was in mid town and I don't know how it is possible to go there! Every woman walking down the street is another nisayon. Seriously, it's almost impossible. Help! Thank G-d I have glasses, so I can take them off, but seriously, I almost went down today. I made it out alive and breathing but sheesh, I'm exhausted.


Dov Replies:


There is a fine line between failing at watching your eyes vs. running after it.  If I do what I consider "poorly" one day in the GYE category, I can make calls to admit that, regain at least some humility and sanity, and let the garbage slide off my back so that it does not build up, c"v.

If I don't do that, then the only alternative is for me to hold onto it and guard the memories! Letting it go is much smarter.


On a side note, as an addict, I personally don't like to use the word "nisayon" (test) when it comes to lust. When I find myself in a tough situation, I simply recognize that Hashem obviously wanted me there, and I try to surrender and let Hashem take care of me now, wherever I happen to be.  


Yes, through the steps and especially when He helps me out with lust, my relationship with Hashem grows, no question. But to me, the term 'nisayon' implies that I somehow get better or stronger with respect to lust after "passing" it. That may be true in a respect - I get a chunk more of freedom from the bondage of lust, it seems. I give it less time of day. But my power over lust - that is, my ability to successfully control and use it the way normal people do - that gets weaker, it seems. What I could get away with a year ago, I cannot even come near to, today. The honesty has grown, and with it grows my inability to tolerate my inner liar or playing with fire.

Sunday  ~ 25 Iyar, 5770  ~  May 9, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Prevention: The Real "Prevention"

  • Quote of the Day: Your Train

  • Battle Communication: There's No Happiness Where the Yetzer Hara is

  • Daily Dose of Dov: "We need to reach out from where we really are"




The Real "Prevention"


By "Kutan"


Encouraging people to put in filters and warning them of the dangers of the internet is good, but these are just "patches". The real prevention is something else entirely. After all, even with filters, our kids (and ourselves) can still buy an unlimited internet access cell-phone for just $40 per month (in NY anyway). And the rates keep coming down. 

We can access the raw web in a gazillion places through more and more devices (GPS systems, even!) and its just going to get worse.

The key to REAL prevention is:

1) Working on Middos. That's what 12-Steps do too. They don't have pep talks lambasting lust or alcohol etc. Instead, the 12-Steps help you develop the right attitudes to living life with Hashem.

2) Working on parenting. In my generation, the kids grew up mostly like weeds. Which parents spent time talking to their kids? But today, it is imperative that parents speak daily to their kids, be part of their lives, ask how their day went, etc. 

Resources like R' Brezak's parenting line (Project Kavey... weekly recorded information) and Dina Freidman's 1 year parenting course (by phone) - are essential! (Dina Friedman currently has about 800 mothers per year. My wife is taking it now and it is really beneficial.)


Quote of the Day


Your Train


By "Tried123"


Ever been on a train riding directly parallel to another train?

If your train is going 98mph and the other train is going slightly faster, at 99mph...


In relation to the other train, it will seem as though your train is actually going backwards.

Lesson: Never judge yourself based on the progress of others.


Battle Communication

There's no Happiness Where the Yetzer Hara is

By "Jack" (Clean for 1.5 years. See his 90 day time-line here)

"Ain simcha b'makom sheyetzer hara sholet - there is no happiness in the place that the Yetzer Hara reigns". This is brought by the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch in the halachos of sheva brachos, as a reason for men to sit separate from women.

I am telling you, I feel so empowered by being clean, it's like doing Chigung (Chinese energy creating exercises). And when I get weak and look at a newspaper, or if I don't guard my eyes properly in the streets, I literally feel like I have no strength.

It says by milchemes amalek - 'kaasher yorim moshe es yadav, vigavor yisroel, vi'chaasher yoniach, vigavor amalek'. If we lift up our eyes to the holy ideals in the Torah, we will come out ahead. And if we succumb, chas v'shalom, we will pay dearly, r"l.



Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

"We need to reach out from where we really are"


The Gr"a asks: If we were not "good" in eretz yisroel with a beis hamikdash and with nevi'im, then how in the world are we to ever get better out of eretz yisroel andwithoutany neviim?! A good question, no?

His answer is that there is just no other way to get better when we screw up (my phrase), except by attaching ourselves to a higher level or deeper relationship with Hashem than we had before we went wrong. And the only way to do that is by reaching out of where we really are, spiritually. Staying in Eretz Yisrael with a Beis haMikdosh and nevi'im, would only make us think we are higher than we really are, and that we need Hashem less than we really do!

In the very same way, Adam needed to get sent out of Gan Eden - he was lower and had to reach for Hashem from there. Reality is what we need! There ain't no easy way out, as the song goes. We need to be made to face ourselves, somehow, eventually. At least, that's how I understand his answer. And that's how I understand the 1st step experience, too.

We are a mess. We are basically blind, and have puny brains - a shadow of the real Da'as that is His/Him. Lust overtakes us, as do our fears, pride, and resentments. No blame there - it's just the way it is for many of us. We rarely see farther than our own wishes and 'rights' and even the perspective of another human usually eludes us, let alone that of the Divine. We rarely even care, really... that's what it means to be the average human being. Nu. And He loves us.

I think many of us (me especially) need hachno'oh (a broken heart/broken ga'avoh) more than anything else, for recovery. And through sobriety and recovery with hachno'oh, our relationships with our G-d and with fellow man (and spouses) will become right-sized. Then they will actually begin to work for us. The emunah will begin to actually function the way it is meant to, and the relationships will actually grow and be fun!

Monday  ~ 26 Iyar, 5770  ~  May 10, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • Announcement: Promotional Offer from Zeva

  • Torah Thought of the Day: Yesod she'b'Yesod

  • Testimonial of the Day: Mazal Tov to "JIP" for over 100 days clean!

  • Daily Dose of Dov: Asking for Help





Promotional Offer from Zeva


Anyone signs up for Zeva's Group now, will receive a 200 day free service, letting them take advantage of cutting edge interactive recovery tools through recovery zone. They will be able to complete a "decision table" and get a free daily recovery schedule tailor made for them individually, that will include 4 components: Morning meditation, Daily PCI, Daily/Monitor, and Daily Dialogs. Using these tools, you can check your recovery as you fill out your scales.  It's a great tool to use by yourself and/or share with your sponsor/therapist. The PCI is a Personal 'Craziness' Index; it checks if you are in balance and if your not, it helps you get there.


Last chance for signing up for Zeva's group before it starts!



Torah Thought of the Day

Yesod She'b'Yesod


Today is Yesod Sh'b'Yesod in the Seffirah. The word Yesod means "Connection". Every human has an inborn subconscious need for connection to something "bigger" than themselves. Often this need is misinterpreted and we try to fill it with money, honor and pleasures. See this cute animated clip from

Those of us who fell into this addiction developed a conterfeit replacement for this need by seeking "connection" in lust. We somehow trained our brains to feel connection with the images on the screen, evisioning connection to imaginary fantasies.

Today, Yesod she'b'Yesod, is the ultimate day of "connection". Today we can learn to replace the false and imaginary attempts at connecting to "nothingness" with the everlasting connection that our souls really seek - Hashem.

Hashem is the true source of all beauty, all pleasure, all good and all light. And the "G-d hole" that we were all born with in the very essence of our souls, can only be filled with the one and only G-d.

Make that connection TODAY!


Testimonial of the Day


Mazal Tov To "Jew-In-Pain" for over 100 days clean!

"JIP", as he is known for short, has had a very painful life. It started when he was molested at the age of nine. See his painful story on this page. Here is what "JIP" wrote when he reached 90 days clean:

90 days! I owe a thank you to everyone for helping me get here, but the biggest thank you, of course, goes to Rabbi Guard. I don't know of anyone in our generation who has created anything as powerful as Guardyoureyes.I am totally indebted to you.


I wouldn't have managed without the help of my fellow members, who gave me constant chizuk & advice. A special thanks to those who shared their personal experiences & those who were in touch with me offline. They gave their time and concern for a fellow Jew whom they don't know & most likely never will. That's real chesed shel emes. You didn't let me down in my darkest days - and there were many, days when I wished I'd never been born and was contemplating suicide.


When I first joined this site, I felt like a young child. I was overwhelmed by what was going on here and what was going on in my own world. Everything seemed so far away and foreign. After a while I changed my mind-set and started moving; asking questions, getting answers, arguing about this addiction. At first, I rejected the "addiction" label. Eventually I decided, "who cares what it's called; sickness, struggle, addiction or any other sweet name? Either way,  it's a blockage in a person's mind, holding him back from himself and from growing closer to Hashem".


I would like to share a few things I learned, which might help others: 


1. A strong filter is imperative. There is no way to overcome this with open access to all the dirt on the web.

2. We need a safe group of friends such as on GYE, where one may discuss, vent, ask or share with others who really understand and care.


3. Understand that this addiction is VERY harmful.Get out as soon as possible!


4. Feel yourself at rock bottom, and understand that you can no longer afford to fail. Believe that you can do it!

5. Honestly analyze yourself and realize that this may require outside help such as a therapist, an understanding rabbi, an older friend, etc. In most cases, this behavior stems from some other problem within you that caused this addiction.


Guardyoureyes often mentions that it takes 90 days to break a habit. I am not sure how it works and I really don't care how it works; all I know is that it does. I now have only a very tiny urge to go back to the old bad stuff such as porn and masturbation. I no longer see it as "my problem solver" anymore, and I look back on all the  years I was doing it with disgust.

Does it mean that I am never going to fall back? Not necessarily, but at least I now have the will to succeed. I know that in order not to fall, I need to keep my eyes and mind as clean as possible.


I have also learned over these three months that Hashem is in control. Turn to Him whenever you feel down. He doesn't charge, is within reach anytime and anywhere. All it takes are a few simple words from your heart. I cried to Him many times over this period and always felt much better afterward. Picture Hashem standing next to you, watching everything you do. And know that he is proud of you!



Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

"Asking for Help"

The first order of business when beginning to work the steps, is to get sober and remain sober by getting reasonably comfortable with the practice of asking for help when lust strikes. Asking for help is good a sign that the addict has finally come to believe that he is actually ill and is, for whatever reason, powerless. That is how we live with the first step. If, on the other hand, I hold onto a lust and do not share it with anyone, that means I am trying to control it by my own power. In that, I'd actually be moving away from G-d. It would mean that I have forgotten my track record and deny my limitations. Actually, that usually means I am hiding the lust - actually protecting it - and will eventually use it. To me, the fruit of "struggling" with lust is: eventually using it. "Struggling with it" proves that I have not yet done the First Step - or forgot it. Nu, we all do that occasionally, but it's not a good idea. Ultimately, I must live with an acceptance of the simple facts of my ill-ness. It is the most important door-opener for Recovery, followed closely by honesty and integrity. I will get nowhere without acceptance. Surrender grows out of it. 


Practically speaking, that means making that quick call to my sponsor or to any program buddy and clearly admitting exactly what I am tempted to do at that moment, when lust strikes. If I find that I just can't bring myself to get specific and can only say, "I am having some 'trouble' with lust..." it means I am ashamed of myself. Being ashamed proves to me that I still feel this is about a moral failing of mine, and not an illness. We need to make up our minds about that eventually, otherwise we are not working the Program, but some other nice "Self-Help" regimen. Good luck. The Program that I know is G-d Help, not Self-Help. If you are interested responding to your addiction with the moral-failing/typical teshuvah model, that is certainly your privilege, but then it has nothing whatsoever to do with the 12 Steps. 


If we are calling the right person, the fellow on the other end should know that we need neither speeches nor warnings from them. We have all had enough speeches! They do as much good for me in getting sober as "learning more Torah and mussar" does - in other words, not much good at all. All we are expecting from our listener is the help we need to surrender: to surrender to the fact that we are wonderful people but just sick in the head when it comes to lust; that, as addicts, we are simply not able to successfully control and use lust; and that we truly need help from a Higher Power. Often we end up laughing about it together and quickly get on with real life!

Tuesday  ~ 27 Iyar, 5770  ~  May 11, 2010

In Today's Issue
  • We Need Your Feedback: Prevention for Parents

  • Torah Thought of the Day: The Nisyonos of Each Generation

  • Q & A of the Day: Why is this harder than quitting smoking?

  • Daily Dose of Dov: Don't Count Your Days Like Sheep



We Need Your Feedback

"Prevention For Parents"

A major Jewish U.S. organization asked us recently to prepare a short write-up of advice in the area of "Prevention" that could be used by Rabbanim and Mechanchim throughout America. I put together a preliminary version today. It can be downloaded here. (Right-Click and press "Save Link/Target As").


I'd like to hear feedback from you guys before I send it on to them. Please send your comments to me at Thank you!


On another note: I just found out today that GuardYourEyes was mentioned in the Hamodia supplement for Pesach 5770. See this page. To download the entire article - which warns of the dangers of internet addiction and offers practical advice, click here. (Right-Click and press "Save Link/Target As").


Torah Thought of the Day

The Nisayonos of Each Generation


By "Kedusha"

As we all know, Shemiras Shabbos was THE main Nisayon during the first half of the 20th Century.  The six (or seven) day workweek made keeping Shabbos extremely difficult, and, at the time, there seemed to be no light at the end of the tunnel.  Even those who were able to pass the Nisayon must have wondered whether the next generation would be able to hold out.


The five-day workweek changed everything.  All of a sudden, keeping Shabbos no longer conflicted with earning a living!  Those who had passed the Nisayon of Shabbos now had children who were trained to keep Shabbos, with no great Nisayon to desecrate it.  However, those who did not pass the Nisayon of Shabbos when things were difficult (and we're certainly in no position to judge them) wound up with children and grandchildren who, for the most part, are non-observant, even though the Nisayon is gone.


I mentioned this thought to the Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Aharon Feldman Shlita recently, and he pointed out that women covering their hair used to be a tremendous Nisayon as well.  What happened that the Nisayon went away?  The Ribbono Shel Olam works in amazing ways!  When Kennedy was President, the First Lady once wore a wig. All of a sudden, wigs became in style, and the Nisayon was gone!


The same is true with our Nisayon.  It seems that there's no way out this time! What will be with our children and grandchildren? But it's not true. Every generation has its own Nisyonos. As the Sar shel Eisav asked Yaakov Avinu: "Lama Zeh Tishal Lishmi" - "Why are you asking my name?"  Explains Rav Chaim Dov Keller: The Sar shel Eisav, who represented the yetzer horah, was saying: "You want to know how I operate? There's no set way. It's different in every generation.  In one generation the Nisayon will be Shemiras Shabbos or women covering their hair, and in another generation, the Nisayon will be the Internet."


Let's learn a lesson from the generation that was Moser Nefesh for Shemiras Shabbos. Their children had the Nisayon removed from them, even though it seemed impossible. The same is true if we are, b'Ezras Hashem, successful with our Nisayon, whatever it takes to accomplish that.  We don't want to be in a position, chas v'Shalom, where our children and grandchildren continue to be Nichshal, even when this Nisayon, b'Ezras Hashem, is taken away (perhaps with the help of GYE :-)!



Q & A of the Day


Why is this harder than quitting smoking?


Someone writes on the forum:


My name is Yechiel and I just can't believe it has come to this. I pashut can not believe that I have not been able to break this addiction. I quit smoking, I quit poor eating habits, I am extremely successful in everything that I have done or put my mind to doing in both ruchnius and gashmius... Why can't I break free of this addiction? Why can I quit smoking, but not this? 


"Briut" responds:


You asked why quitting sexual aveiros is harder than quitting smoking. And I'd say, well, DUH. Hashem did not give us tobacco in order to make it easier to love, to mate, to ensure Jewish continuity. He did not give a special flavor of tobacco (on their eighth day) to the Jewish people to elevate Jews (or cigarettes!) to a higher form of free-will and divine service. And he did not give the Yetzer Hara QUITE as much sovereignty over tobacco's addictive features.

Hence, the physical pain of tobacco withdrawal, which I understand is much stronger than most realize, is not going to compare to the pain that a Jew feels in the body and the neshama. And it won't compare to the fight with the Yetzer Hara that must be fought and won regarding an area where Hashem seems to have given him so much control.

And only the guys on this site realize how deep the battlelines run, how much the battle is worth fighting, and how terrific it is to be part of an online army bringing victories to the entire Jewish people. So grab a uniform, buddy, it's gonna be a bumpy night - but we'll do this together!



Daily Dose of Dov

Dov is sober in SA for over 13 years. See his story here.

Don't Count Your Days Like Sheep

Someone wrote on the forum:

Today was a record breaking day for me!  My previous longest streak was 26 days and today my new streak became 27 days and counting.  All I can say is Baruch Hashem for this site and this forum. Before discovering my clean streaks were consistently one week, maybe 10 days if I was lucky.  For years I never had streaks longer than 3 weeks except when I went away to camp for the summer. But now with I feel like a whole and honest person again.
Dov Replies:

Perhaps this is not a chidush to you at all, but please consider paying attention to Today, not tomorrow, and certainly not yesterday. Before you know it, weeks will go by (cuz that's how time is, you know, when you don't watch it all the time), years will go by, and you will look back on a beautiful decade. Eventually, you will be surprised to discover that your en