What Does "Powerless" really mean?

by Dov (See all authors)

"Powerless" has nothing whatsoever to do with 'ilmolei ozro, eino yachol lo' and is not the flipside of 'hakol bidei Shomayim chutz miyir'as Shomayim', at all.

Whether I am in control or not is a simple fact: if I cannot stop having sex with myself (most folks call that 'masturbation') or with anyone other than my wife, or if I am repeatedly drawn to porning out or following women, exposing myself to others, or staring in windows (voyeurism)... then I am not truly in control. As they say in dog training, "if your dog has not yet learned to come to you when called, then you do not yet have a dog (for you will lose him)".

It's simple, very simple. If a guy is 'against' masturbation (cuz it's ossur) and yet is still doing it regularly or semiregularly and thereby taking risks with his family life or job by acting out his lust, then he is not in control.

True, if he has not yet tried to stop, then he may indeed have the power to remain free of the habit - then let him try! Please! I am serious, not poking fun.

But most of us here are frummies and have been trying for years! OK, so some may not have really tried, yet. So then let them!

But in the end, those who keep staying clean for a week, a month, and always plotz...keep finding themselves back in the hole again, needing it so badly that they finally explode and 'give into it' just so they will not have to keep fighting it....are probably unable to stop. It is not a hashkofah issue, but a simple observable fact.

In early recovery we usually discover to our dismay that we really do not want to quit, and that no matter how many times we cried underwater in the mikvah after tikkun Klali, we are actually terrified about the prospect of never using that sweet, warm, loving porn and sex with self ever again. But that is another layer of self-honesty that comes after finally admitting that I have been beaten. Period. And it has nothing whatsoever to do with the YH. It is coincidentally an addiction that uses a natural taivoh.

And the second indispensible admission after our powerlessness, is the admission that tomorrow actually does not exist yet. It is not a hashkofah matter, either! It is just a simple, observable fact. Only today, is actually here. So we cannot give up anything for the rest of our lives, for the rest of the year, or even for the rest of the week! All we really have to deal with is today. Goyim are the same, everyone is the same in this. And 'scheduling' for tomorrow is today's job, so please do not get confused about that trick.

And Hashem (who is very, very smart) asks us only for today's avodah, when he says the word "hayom" many times in the Torah. Not because addiction and recovery have anything to do with being good or frum - they do not. They are before being good, and before being frum - they are Derech Eretz that is Kodmah laTorah. Or, "sanity", as the 12 steps refer to it. Active perverts cannot be ovdei Hashem, period, any more than shoteh's can. Sure, they can pretend to be...lots do - so? But they really only have the 'inner keys', not the 'outer keys'. The P'ri is inaccessible if you do not deal with the Shomer laP'ri first. They are not even in the room yet!