Freedom from Temptation = Dead Man
Someone asked Dov:
If our addiction is a result of a void we feel, then theoretically, someone who has filled the void should not at all be affected by triggers, right? So why is this a daily struggle still, even for those in recovery? Why does it seem that even you, Dov, are still struggling with the same issues somewhat, after so many years in recovery?
What evidence do you have that any addict ever got cured? The way AA puts it is this (I paraphrase): "we get a daily reprieve as a gift from our Higher Power, as long as we take steps to maintain our spiritual condition (meaning, 'as long as we stay honest with Him')."
That is not 'cured', in my book.
Now, some AAs say they have, in fact, been cured! But I suggest that this occurs because alcoholism is so much easier to remain free of than lustaholism. A number of men who are both sober alcoholics and sober sex/lust addicts have told me that this was true for them. None have ever told me otherwise.
Drinking alcohol is not a natural part of a human, while sex and desire for sex and lust is. Alcohol is not naturally attached to your mouth, but we all carry fantasy memories in our minds and have actual body parts that are part of that whole game.
Now the compulsive pursuit of lust itself, and the silly and sick making of sex as the backdrop of my entire conscious existence - that is what I am free of, thank-G-d, today.
Freedom from any temptation at all, is what I call: "being a dead man", not sobriety.
Today, when a crazy idea occurs to me, instead of getting worked up that "How could such disgusting tum'ah be in my heligeh brain?! It's Ossur!", I just see it as part of my mental illness called sexaholism, and I turn to Hashem to help me let go of it and give Him all the credit when I do. Does that mean that I am "still struggling with the same issues"?
I am free today. I used to be in bondage. It ruled my life. Now recovery allows Hashem into my life all the time. I feel a big difference. As the years go by, so does my wife, and everybody around me. Even the people who do not know about my disease recognize a change in me. Especially after a year or two sober.
I am not in Recovery in order to finally be "holy", I am in it in order not to flush my life down the toilet, that's all. By reaching for that humble goal, I have discovered I am in the stars most of the time. For me, this is the way to go, so far.