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Finally On the Way Up
Taken from Our Forum
Let's be honest, what is the root of this terrible disease? Our computers. How can anyone sit opposite a computer with the entire world at their fingertips, and not stray away.
I personally fell into this about 12-13 years ago. In fact, when I found out what was available in 'the privacy of my home', I ran out and bought a computer (I didn't even have money for it). I was able to vent my yetzer hara in the privacy of my home. I tried stopping year after year. The truth is, many times I did avoid the computer for 4-6 weeks at a time, and even a few times I went a few months at a time, but I do not need anyone to pat me on my back. Why? It wasn't due to my tzidkus. It wasn't due to my struggling and overpowering my yetzer. NO, there were just times that I actually overdosed with porn, until I couldn't stand looking at it any more. I was exhausted with staying up until the wee hours of the morning and feeling terrible the next day. So, I did stop......until the next time when the desire would return. This went on over and over again for years.
I installed a very good computer filter, but I was only playing games. I knew that it really wouldn't help when I was the one with the secret code. How many times I put that code in and went full steam ahead until 3-4 in the morning.
I knew that if I had the code for my porn filter, I would have NO chance of success. Yet, I was scared to death that if I did not have the code, (like giving it to my wife), then when the urge came, and I would not have that outlet that I had for the past 13 years, what would I do? The urge and temptation was so strong that I thought about it, and I came to the conclusion that I might even die without this outlet. Or, I was afraid I might do something even more severe and lose control and do something irresponsible outside. I knew that this was an addiction as strong as drugs, and we all know that drug addicts who can't get their fix, they will do almost anything.
So, I was really frightened that if I cut off my access to my computer, in the end it would be even more damaging. I was afraid of this unknown.
I spoke to the one above several times about this, and I came to the conclusion that I cannot continue like this. Even if I have to die, I cannot expect to get out of this filthy hole while still providing myself with access to porn. I also knew that Hashem did not want me to die, and this was a step that he was waiting for me to take.
So......I did it. A few weeks ago my wife put in the code. Then I went into the internet and began looking for all types of loopholes that the filter did not take out. For example yahoo groups (which are not considered sex by the filter, but there is plenty of it there if you look). There were a lot of sex groups there with plenty of pictures etc that I had to add to the delete list. I continued to add more sites, and then I could feel my self over the weeks to start my eventual downfall, I knew that if I didn't put in all of the xtra sites, then in my state of eventual weakness, I would surely go there and indulge.
The bottom line: There is still so much filth on the internet that even the best filter cannot remove. But, B"H at least all of the porn sites are not accessible. As far as the sexually suggestive sites, we do still need to fight to go up. This is what Hashem wants from us.
I am definitely not free yet. But, I can at least say that after removing my access to porn, I have at least after so many years, finally begun to go upwards.
I have read many times in chazal, that these chitzonim (these klipot), are the tumah of Amalek. That is why it says we must fight amalek miDor Dor, in every generation. And, they say, that when one gets depressed, sad, etc, this is the first things that allows these klipot to cling to a person. I myself experience this. When I am experiencing anxiety due to lifes trials, this is when I begun to feel the tumah to start going into my mind.
Thank you for this awesome post. Your story is the story of SO many people, but you have already made great progress! Haba Le'taher, Mesayin Lo....
There are a few things you need to know as you start out on your journey to recovery, sobriety and new found freedom in your life.
The first thing you need to know is that the phenomenon you are dealing with is not necessarily because you were born with larger desires than other people and can't seem to be able to deal with them. Rather, you are dealing with a strong "addiction" which was built up over the years. It is important to understand this because once it is recognized as an addiction; it can be dealt with in many tried and proven ways and methods.
There are two prerequisites to learning to truly break free.
1) You must truly believe you can be helped (reading the recovery stories on our site may help you with this)
2) You must truly want to be helped.
The fact that you have taken the first steps means you mainly have already these two conditions - but they must be strong and finely tuned.
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.
We commend you on your progress on sharing your story so honestly. However, never trust yourself. Here are some more steps that will help you achieve full sobriety:
1) Better Internet Filter. Once you have made this extremely important decision to give your wife the code, you really should have a stronger filter than one that can be opened with a code. That would also solve your problem of finding loopholes the whole time. Often, the yetzer hara will tell you that you are looking for loopholes to block them, when in reality he just wants you to see bad stuff again... We suggest for people in this situation to get a white-list filter, not a black-list type. And it should be server based, not just client based. And on top of all that, only your wife should have the password (to be able to make changes at the server level - by phone). To understand the terms better (blacklist, server based etc...), see here. To learn more about what is available for the Jewish community today - see here. If you MUST have black-list filters because you need open internet 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) Join the daily Chizuk e-mail list on our site. 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 on www.guardureyes.com. 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! And you can probably also find a "sponsor" in the group for accountability and help when you're feeling weak.
May G-d be with you, and never stop praying!