Monday, 13 February 2012

If you feel totally out of control, you may be in luck!

Dov writes to someone who posts how their life and marriage is being destroyed by lust - and that they can't stop acting out in the worst ways:

by Dov (See all authors)

Dear holy person - it sounds like you are reaching out for help.

If you feel that you are not just a sinner, but are actually out of your mind - meaning: out of control - and have come to believe that you are pretty much hopelessly self-destructive, you may be in luck. Most of the folks who actually get helped in serious 12 step work are in that category. It's the ones that don't feel too far gone that have the really bad odds. More head-banging is needed sometimes, but Oy, the wreckage, the wreckage....

If you still feel you are just a really, really terrible person and that you must continue the struggle with your "yetzer hara" for Hashem's sake or whatever, then I have little to say to you. Talk to a rabbi... I am relatively certain you have already... well, is it working?

Per the cumulative track record you describe in the little I was able to read of your story, it seems to me that you are way past anything like moral imperatives or values having any effect. But please don't let that disturb you a bit - you may be very ill. In my case, I started getting better after coming to terms with my illness too. Nu. And my life turned around completely.

Yours can, too. And you will not have to be party to ruining any other peoples' lives any more, either.

If you fear that anything other than a standard religious or moral approach to working on this horrible problem would mean "a heter to just keep getting worse!", I'd ask you the obvious (and usually unanswerable) question: "Well, how well has your religious solution been working for you till now?"...

Coming for help is great, but it does not mean recovery. The moral roller coaster of teshuva, swearing off and then just more acting out, is a pain I wish on no one. It sounds like you know that already, though. Don't just reach out. After all, we don't just reach out to act out, do we? We need to reach out and get the help we need, and stick with it until we get helped, period. Because no matter how many rotten things we have done and no matter how much wreckage we have caused, we are still worth being saved for good use to Hashem and others!

Lust may be the loneliest and most painful way to mis-connect with people, you know.

G-d bless you.

You are not alone... at all.