Monday, 16 January 2012

The Double Edged Sword of the Disease

To someone who was clean for a while but doesn't understand why he is still so strongly pulled towards falling, Dov writes:

by Dov (See all authors)

I beg of you to avoid the silliness of looking at staying sexually pure as an end in itself. Although it is playing with fire, stupid and deadly, do not fool yourself. Let's have a little humility here, folks. We are recovering perverts. In addiction, we naturally tend toward looking at women and schmutz and taking it all in hungrily, and using it with gusto. We are screwed up, in that respect.

Bearing that in mind, I believe that being clean from porn or masturbation is a wonderful brocha that you do not deserve. Neither do I.

Lechatchila I need to be careful to avoid any lusting at all, because I need to 'respect' my disease and take it dead seriously. But b'dieved, after a slip or fall, I wouldn't ask: "Ach, how can I do such foolish things!?"

I'll tell you how we can do stupid stuff like that: We are addicts, and that's what addicts do! It's a double-edges sword, this disease-thing. It gives us the humility to be more careful without becoming kedoshim when we are granted success, and it gives us the humility to accept defeat when we screw up. 'Falling' is never the chiddush for you and me - sobriety is! Even for an addict who has been sober for twenty years or more!!

And if that's just words, then I pity myself. I want you to know that if I am sober next year, I'll be a bit surprised....but when I remember Who is on my side, and how strong a gift He gave me with SA and Recovery, then I feel more at ease. But that's all a chiddush, not the failure - that's 'par' for the course, as far as I am concerned.

Of course, if you opt to join the "I have not acted out for a year now - so I am obviously (mostly) healed and no longer an 'addict' like I used to be" - chevra...well, then none of this will be yours.

What do you want? The stuff behind curtain #1, or curtain #2?

Go easy on yourself. It's amazing that you (and us) were brought this far, reb yid.