Guard Your Eyes

A website for Jews struggling to maintain their moral purity in today's world
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A Cry for Help
From a Married Father

I hope all is well.  I tried to contact you through the website but not sure if it worked.  I am 30's married father in Israel who has been struggling with this since my teens.  I have tried to get help a few times but either was afraid to go through with it further or it didnt help.  I was thrilled to see your site and would love to have a sponsor or partner to share my issues with and to help me get through it.  This has controlled much of my life for years and I want to be free.

Dear Yid,

The first thing you need to know is that the phenomenon you are dealing with is not because you have huge desires and can't seem to be able to deal with them. Rather, you are simply dealing with a strong "addiction". It is important to understand this because, as an addiction, it can be dealt with in many tried and proven ways and methods.

There are two prerequisites to being helped.
1) You must truly believe you can be helped (reading the recovery stories on our site can help you with this)
2) you must truly want to be helped (your own suffering and distance from G-d, along with reading the stories of people suffering from the other 3 stages can help you with this).
Just the fact that you are seeking help means you already mainly have these two conditions - but they must be strong and finely tuned., Take heart. Haba Le'taher, Mesayin Lo. Be ready to give your addiction and disease over to the care of G-d. Be ready to trust G-d that he will care for you, as you heal.

Know, that the first few weeks are the hardest. Once you have put some distance between yourself and the addiction, it gets a lot easier. See here for more on this.

For someone starting out on their journey, I highly suggest the following 4 steps.

1) It's too hard to have all the garbage within a mouse-click's reach. Install a good reliable internet filter that you can't get around. Let someone you trust hold the password. If you must have open internet access for your work, at least install "Accountability Software". When you know that someone you respect will see every site you visited, it will help you control the urge to stray.
2) I will add you to the daily Chizuk e-mail list. Like drops of water on Rabbi Akiva's rock, over time, the e-mails can make a serious impression.
3) Read one or two of the tips on the website every day and try to implement them if possible. (Don't read too many at once; bite too much and you won't be able to swallow anything).
4) Join the weekly hotline or an SLA group near you. Group support is very important, and this hotline is the first time that religious people can get the benefit of group support and trained therapists in an anonymous way! The counselors on the phone are trained, (religious) and they "get it". And you can probably also find a "sponsor" in the group for accountability and help when you're feeling weak.
5) Search for underlying issues. Have you had issues in the past with depression, low-self-esteem, anxiety, OCD? Or did you have a difficult childhood, lack of positive-reinforcement, trauma, or were you abused or molested as a child? If the answer to any of these is yes, you will need to deal with these issues as well to make it easier for you to heal. But there is hope! Sometimes with a simple medication with virtually no side-effects, you can be helped a lot. Or for trauma as a child, sometimes a simple treatment like EMDR can really make a big difference.

You can also Speak Confidentially & Anonymously with an experienced addiction sponsor, live to learn more about how to begin to truly heal and what the underlying issues might be....

If you are determined to change and believe you can change, you have come to the right place. We will do our very best to help you through the recovery process.
May Hashem be with you and give you a great new year in the merit of taking this important first step of seeking help!