Sunday, 15 January 2012

Two Ways to the Good Life

by Dov (See all authors)

If I do whatever it takes to remain sober (like: admit to myself that I want to do something dangerous and stupid, surrender my right to do it, make a call and admit the goofy idea to another [safe] person, ask Hashem to take it away from me, and then let successfully go of it through His personal, direct Chessed to me), and do not act out, then the fact that I got that powerful desire and passed through the really horrible pain of letting it go - all that brings me to a new freedom and love of Hashem that I could not have even imagined, before.

And on the other hand, if I do act out c"v, then it brings me to greater hachno'oh because I suffer the torture of the misery that comes with the insanity and stupidity that lusting brings me to. People become more useless, unworthy, and stupid than ever in my eyes; my family and job become as obstacles to my peace of mind and happiness - it's all everyone else's fault....these are the wages of acting out. And they make me miserable.

When I get fed up with the misery and isolation that my acting out brings me to, then I will start looking for help. And that is great!

So, either path is good for me.

As Chazal say, "Ashrei l'mi sheparnasaso boosmi - oy lo sheparnasaso boors'ki. - Happy is he whose trade is with perfume, woe to him whose trade is with tanning skins" (which smells horrid).

They are both ultimately ways I will come to 'the good life'. But I'd rather choose the nicer way, personally. And going to meetings and being zocheh to see others crash and burn helps me tremendously - they are doing it for me. As long as I do not look down on them at all, but rather feel in my heart, "that could/should have been me!", it will help me. I actually grow from other peoples' mistakes. We are the same - I do not deserve to be sober at all, either!

Same thing when I get a crazy desire. It proves to me how sick I really am, and reminds me that I do need special measures cuz I am indeed not normal. It is a tremendous chizzuk for my need for honesty and closeness with Hashem and people. It gets me serious about recovery again - like a 'bris chadoshoh' that Yirmiyahu hanavi refers to.

Ashrei for the sick person who lives like one and takes care accordingly. Nebach for the sick one who treats himself like any normal person... (of course we all do that at times).