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A Cry for Help Before Rosh Hashana
Taken from Our Forum by MW
For the full "inspiring" thread on our forum click here.
Scroll to the bottom of the page to see how the replies on the forum helped MW have an inspiring Rosh Hashana!
« on: September 25, 2008, 01:26:20 PM »
It is only few days to Rosh Hashana and since the beginning of the summer my short term goal has been to get just a little bit better and closer to hashem by Rosh Hashana, I have not only failed in this mission but gone considerably worse, this week I uninstalled the filter on my computer (they don’t really help anyway) out of sheer despair. I have been struggling with masturbation for 13 years (I’m 30) and am at the end of the rope. I have seen five separate therapists over the past three years (5th just started).
At this point in Elul and at the stage I am in, I cannot face Rosh Hashana in the eye this year, I cannot daven and say selichos (said it once this week) knowing that the minute I walk into my office the temptations start bugging so bad and eventually I will fall. I don’t know what I’m going to do about Rosh Hashono and Yom Kippur this year, if not for my wife and kids I would seriously consider running to Atlantic City for yom tov. Don’t get me wrong, my Emunah is extremely strong and I will go to shul but I find my ruchnius situation impossible to deal with and cannot work on my yiddishkeit the way I am behaving.
I need a reason to go to shul, daven hard and learn during yomim tovin (as I enjoy doing), I need a reason to be able to face yom hadin with a little optimism and be able to dance motzei yom kippur feeling good about the holy days. This is impossible for me to do knowing that the day, week or month after yom kippur I am going to be in exactly the same situation I am in now, probably worse. I know every yid comes to hashem every single year with the same story as the year before promising once again that he will do teshuva but at least when he is doing teshuva, he kind of believes himself and he does try to be a better person and while climbing and falling over the year he gradually climbs the ladder. I cannot console myself this way because I’ve been doing this for too many years and the only result is falling deeper and deeper into my self made bottomless pit.
Please don’t get me wrong, by giving up I don’t mean giving up completely, I am still going to see a therapist and am a little optimistic that one day I will climb out of it, but I feel that my optimism is only an excuse for me to continue masturbating and my tears, teffilos and sadness is only a symptom of øùòéí îìàéí çøèä. I wanna skip the yomim tovim this year and hope that maybe next year I could go to shul with some pride.
I read the posts on this forum and notice that mine is the only one that does not have a happy ending but I hope there will be a happy ending to tell. Well at least over the last hour and a half as I was reading the forum and drafting this post I was porn free, yaa!
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2008, 02:25:48 PM »
Dear hopeless MW:
These other people on the forum have happy endings because they've either been on this forum for awhile or been on the Tuesday night calls. Miracles are happening every day.
There is no ending this addiction. It will always be there. But once you're sober it gets much easier. Only by asking Hashem for help can you get better. BUT before you do that, you must become a pure KLI (vessel) that can accept the help. You've taken the first step here by telling your story. The next step is to admit (which you have) that you are powerless over this and your life has become unmanegable. Then ask Hashem to help you. Unlocking your filter is not going to get you brownie points with G-D
Therapists will not be able to help you UNLESS they are certified and trained sex addiction therapists. For a complete list in your area go to: http://sash.net.
There is no reason to be hopeless. Ask your therapist if you need depression medication - seriously.
Next: Get to an SLAA group or SA group tonight - right away - before RH and get someone to be a temporary sponsor. even someone on this forum. Someone to actually talk to, to educate you on what is really going on.
Rabbi Abraham Twersky, the renowned alcohol and drug addiction specialist recommends 12 step groups. Even if they are with women, in a church or on the moon. It is vital. I can tell you from 9 years of experience with goyish 12 step groups (even some in churches) that you'll be surprised at how accepting people will be of you.
You are now among a select group of people who share an illness. If you had cancer, G-d forbid, would you skip RH and YK? I don't think so. You'd pour your heart out and sincerely do Teshuva. No it's not going to be easy. We in some respects are all on a higher level than your typical jew out there. Even frum jew. The Torah says, " Don't pat yourself on the back for your successes and say, now that I'm successful I will walk the path I want." most people have this attitude and don't take any of this seriously. But we are searching for help and sincerely want to stop - and that's what Hashem wants - SINCERITY. Rachmana Liba Boi.
So pick yourself up and stand tall, go into RH with a written essay of this past year of despair. Get it out on paper and resolve in this Cheshbon Hanefesh to do better next year. Sheva Yipol Tzaddick V'Kom (7 times a Tzaddick falls and gets up). A Tzaddik is a person who falls and gets up, not a perfect angel who people think have been geniuses from the womb.
If you want to talk before RH, the hotline will be open all day Sunday. That goes for anyone reading this message.
Moderator of the Jewish Healing Group. A conference call style 12 step group with a certified counselor that meets once a week on the phone for healing and recovery.
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2008, 02:47:54 PM »
Dear Jew, Holy brother.
You have to be besimcha. Being down is exactly what the Yetzer Hara wants. Davka because you feel there is no hope, no one to rely on but Hashem, that is the biggest simcha because you are not living in any delusions anymore that you can still help yourself on your own - you are completely dependant on Hashem, and THAT is what Hashem was waiting for all this time... See Chizuk e-mail #290 on this page, for more on this important idea (scroll down to the bottom). I also want you to read #287 on that page for some good Yesodos to help you get started, from battleworn (taken from the forum).
Run to Hashem and cry "TATTEH!!". Throw yourself on him.... And even if you chas veshalom fall, cry out to him! never let go of him! He is the only one who can help, and ultimately he will. No, your tears are not just Reshaim mela'im Charata. Every Jew who shed tears at one time or another because of this, will one day be worthy to see salvation from this. That is what I have seen in my work in this field, again and again.
You are not worse off than the rest of us here. We were all in your situation at one time. Read the stories of recovery on our site over here, and learn that you are not alone and that yes, there is hope.
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.
The first step is to block access to the porn. I once wrote a whole article that deals with the issue of people who claim they are too computer savvy for filters to work, if this is the case with you, I ask you to please see the article here. You may begin to read the article and say "I know all this stuff, it won't help" - but I ask you to please read until the very end. There is a lot of advice there that can help. But like I wrote in the article, nothing is ever 100% fool-proof. After all, you could also buy a new computer each time you wanted access. The idea here is "out-of-sight-out-of-mind". When you know it's out of reach, you feel free. It's all in the mind.
If you have been to therapists already and it hasn't helped, it doesn't mean that group support won't help. Group support, according to Rabbi Avraham J. Twerski, is the most powerful tool in breaking free from these things. For group support you can do one or all, of these 4 ideas:
1) Keep writing about your struggles here on the forum - you will get a lot of chizuk from fellow strugglers, as well as the fact that writing it out alone is already helpful to break the yetzer hara
2) Sign up on the forum for an accountability partner to keep in touch with
3) Join the Jewish Healing Group Hotline. It's better than having to join a non-religious SLA group. Firstly because everyone there, including the certified addiction counselor - are frum. And secondly, because you have full anonymity.
4) Call Elya, our experienced addiction sponsor, and speak to him live with full confidentiality. He has a lot of experience and is a great person to help you start your journey to recovery.
Also, if you have been to many therapists without success, it could be you are a candidate for medication. Millions of people take SSRI or antidepressants. These things today have virtually no side-effects and can do wonders in taking off the "edge" of the obsession, or the underlying cause of the addiction. You see, addictions are often caused by various underlying issues, such as anxiety, depression, low-self esteem, a difficult child hood, etc... These situations make one a prime candidate for addictions in that the person seeks to medicate their feelings of inadequacy or the dark feelings of their subconscious with various "self-soothing" stimulations. If these problems are not dealt with at the root, it makes it that much harder to recover. See this page for some ideas about possible medications. (Scroll down to the middle).
If you are determined to change, you will also need to do some homework. Set aside some time each day to make a careful reckoning of what things lead you to fall, what situations, in what what ways your mind has become accustomed to think. Then you can start working on changing these things, on making fences. This is the ikkar Teshuvah according to the Chafetz Chaim.
Please take full advantage of all the wonderful tools on our site. Browse through the hundreds of tips on our site, divided into useful categories to help you break free. Read through the FAQ page. Read the Stories. Spend the time you would normally spend on filth, instead on things that will help you begin to live like your heart always wanted to!
Dear Yid. Never give up. We will do our very best to help you through the recovery process. Start by taking one day at a time. Tell yourself each day, "Just for today, I will remain clean". Tomorrow is out of your hands.
This year Rosh Hashana you will come before Hashem having made the first steps to Teshuvah!
May Hashem be with you!
« Last Edit: September 25, 2008, 10:38:28 PM by guardureyes »
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2008, 03:23:32 PM »
hi i havnt been here for a while - been too busy thank g-d! and yes - no computer = no porn, for me. now im only on for a short time at a time.
i would like to add one small point, which may sound strange but has helped me a while ago. dont get over-worried. stress itself causes one to want to masturbate, which makes a catch 22:) when i went to my rabbi a long time ago about this he told me this story - a woman once came to a rabbi saying 'my son is crazy - he eats pork and dances with shikses!' to which he replied 'if you had told me the other way round, i would say hes crazy, but that sounds quite normal to me!'. its very normal. don't get down about it. we can deal with it.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2008, 10:35:01 PM by guardureyes »
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2008, 04:03:21 PM »
Besides the other good ideas in the comments, I would like to tell you that you should be happy, very happy, that you CARE !!! You therefore have the right to ask Hashem to translate this into ma'aseh more. And you aint the only one that did not have patience at first, or for a long time, but after trying dilligently instead of giving up, grew in holiness. You should be able to write good things in your sefer at night, and be written in the sefer above leshonoh tovoh umutzlachas.
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2008, 03:47:06 AM »
my dear dear special jew,i wish i had more time to say this but i can't walk away from this post w/out saying please don't give up ! you can really do it.i know what you're feeling b/c i fealt it myself .i was there and now i'm not.it hasn't been long but i am already worlds away from where i was.i have hope and i can look at Rosh Hashana w/ hope and good feelings.what did it for me was this forum! stay here speak out your feelings get support and you can do it.
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2008, 07:01:16 AM »
dear mw, you cant expect to feel better right away - i've felt guilty on rosh hashanah for 38 years! when i did al chayt i knew it was a lie! it would have the same this year if not for this site. give yourself time. you made the first step, it takes more than one step till you feel better. and it may or may not take years, depending on the ONE Above. this is only a first step.daven this rosh hashanah as always, and stay with this site. do whatever you have to, speak to elya, write to guard, you wont do it without the people on this site.i've benn where you are - it took me 38 years! once i found this site, i was finally able to put it all together. i'm already on my 24th day free of....this has been the best elul of my entire life!this is the first time in my married life (24 years) that i am free of that dirty stuff. it requires determination, but you have help.you need Hashem which you will have if you use this site the way it was supposed to be used. we are with you, and we all love you! jack
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2008, 07:49:32 AM »
Guys, thanks a million for your chizuk and kind words. You moderators are giving so much of your precious time to this site and forum and I truly appreciate it. My filter is back on although my hope has yet to fully return. I will do my best this Yom Tov. Elya, the 12 step has always been an absolute NO NO for me but it's something I may have to reconsider, I have some serious reservations about the entire program and will probably contact you about them personally (yeah, I know what your thinking, it's my addictive thinking finding excuses not to go!!). I am going to try this forum and group first and see how it goes. The therapist I am currently seeing is certified through sash.net. Guard, your articles are well written and to the point, thanks again.
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2008, 07:52:21 AM »
I don’t have much to add to the previous posts. All I have to say is that I and most (all) of us here have been at your position. I have had these thoughts every year before Rosh Hashana for the last 10-15 years. Since I started visiting this forum I have gained much chizzuk and strength and so will you. Make sure to take one day or even one hour or even a minute at time. You can now say todays slichos, because for the next hour or even ten or even one minute/s you'll hold yourself back. (If you'll say it without a minyan skip the Shlosh Esrei Midos [or you can say it with the taamim] and the parts that are not Loshon Hakodesh.) I’m writing this only according to what we sometimes think that if we sin we can’t daven. But the truth is that it has nothing to do. Hashem does chesed because He is a oise chesed and as long as we are trying he will help us. We have a good father in shomaim. He knows what we're going through and He's very patient.
I also wanted to let you know that my story also doesn’t have a happy ending because it has no ending at all. As long as there is life there is no ending. It may become easier but life is full of nisyonos and that is what we’re here for. No one knows his tafkid - why he came down here. Maybe we came down to fight and fall through fight and fall through. In the end we will prevail.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2008, 07:56:47 AM by snax »
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2008, 10:04:20 AM »
Dear precious yid MW,
Mazel Tov. You have just taken a very major step in the right direction. Now on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur you can tell Hashem "I've made the connection and I vow to hold on to it". And that's all He needs to hear, that you're doing what you could. Just yesterday I read that someone once came to the "Steipler Gaon" to complain about this problem. So the Steipler asked him "Are there times that you're misgaber" so he answered "usually I fail". So the Steipler asked again "And are there times that you're misgaber" so he answered "Yes, but rarely" so the Steipler explained to him that every time you pass the test it's a Kinyan that's yours to keep. The times that you fail are erasable. This the exact opposite of what the devious, sly menuval always tells us: that it's all worthless if we eventually fall. Don't believe him, it's a big lie. Last year I felt very similar to how you feel now. I felt I couldn't even make a resolution to change. Then in middle of Yom Kippur, I finally decided that I can resolve to work on simcha. Because I knew that that's the key. During the next few months I actually got quite depressed, and of course that brought some serious falling. But lemaaseh it was then (R'H and Y'M) that it was decreed in heaven that this year I will be zocheh to one of the greatest gifts: This terrific forum. So CHAZAK VEAMATZ daven your heart out and please daven for all of us. Kesiva Vachasima Tova.
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2008, 10:39:08 AM »
Wow, that's an amazing story from the Steipler. Where did you read that? I think I'll send that as a chizuk e-mail one day... maybe even tomorrow :-)
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2008, 04:21:02 PM »
QuoteI read the posts on this forum and notice that mine is the only one that does not have a happy ending but I hope there will be a happy ending to tell.
Look at it this way: There are thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousand of Jews whose stories have less happy endings than yours, as they arent lucky enough to have found this forum.
Hopefully we wil lget the word out enough and they too will find it and start their road to Hashem.
Meanwhile, the fact that you are here is a pretty good "happy beginning"
Without support and friendship we will fail. With support and friendship,we will prevail!
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2008, 07:06:56 PM »
Do you feel any different now after a few days, and all these replies? I hope so. If Heaven forbid not, please send me a message. I have another idea. If you post it here, I may not see it until after Rosh Hashonoh. However, I think that you got some extremely good responses here. Sometimes pressure just makes things worse.
What I will say here is that you may need a therapist that is trained in addictions but also other things. And, according to what I read, anti-depressants or even other types of meds do help many people and may be worth a try. It may take a while to discover which one or ones work for you and how much you may be willing to put up with slight side-effects such as being sleepy for a couple of weeks. Seroquel and other of the newer atypical a/s come to mind as only one option. However, SSRIs are more likely to help. There is a whole section on this site about chemotheraphy (that is treatment with medications.) But there are even other options. I have read a little about this because I need these things for other reasons, or at least find them useful. Did you see that section of this site?
You have no reason not to go to shule, as explained in my post and many others here.
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2008, 05:43:07 AM »
You probably are aware that there are shots, as listed on this site under medications etc., which completely turn off this desire. It would seem to me that if you want you can use this method for one to twelve months if not medically contraindicated. After that period of time, you may or may not no longer be "addicted" to this desire.
I asked Dr. Krueger if the shots would accomplish making one not "addicted". Here is his answer:
No, one would not loose it; one would gain control over it while they were taking the shot; one might be able to learn other ways of obtaining control while on the shot so that if they stopped they would be able to control themselves. However, there is no guarantee of this, and some might have to stay on the shot forever.
If you are interested I would be happy to evaluate you, but I have a private practice and fee for service.
Sexual Behavior Clinic
New York State Psychiatric Institute
& Columbia University Department of Psychiatry
1051 Riverside Drive, Unit #45
New York, NY 10032-2695
« Last Edit: October 06, 2008, 12:50:09 AM by UTS »
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2008, 07:57:09 AM »
Thanks again for all your kind words of chizuk and for really caring. I had a beautiful yom tov b’h, davened well and cried my heart out.
Since my first post one week ago I have been completely clean which has increased my optimism somewhat, although Mr. negative in my mind is reminding me that the only reason I have been clean was because I’ve had a very busy schedule this week, he is also reminding me that just like old days, I will fall any day. Right now I am aiming to stay clean until after Yom Kippur which will be my first clean òùøú éîé úùåáä in many years!!