Having Confidence in G-d as much as in the Schmutz
I am in the throes of a major lust attack which started some time around Tuesday and has continued through today (Friday). I have spent lots of time making calls, I have spoken to my sponsor, I attended a GYE kumzitz, I have been posting on the GYE forum, and in the course of my daily interactions with people I think I inspired a new fellow to start attending SA meetings, I attended a live SA meeting, I have been praying repeatedly for G-d to remove this lust from me, and I have done an inventory of my character defects and shared them with another person. Still, I feel I am merely keeping lust at bay but not having much of a victory over it. I have had some dangerous slips and came very close to falling and re-setting my sobriety date which is now more than six months (for the third time in the past 2 years).
At first, I thought maybe I'm just thinking about recovery and about this lust problem too much. Perhaps I should put it out of my mind for a little while and get on with life. On second thought, I felt that something is festering inside me right now and if I ignore it, it's only going to get worse.
I saw that my efforts, my attempts to work the program, weren't making much of a difference. So, before I gave up, I thought I would review each step-starting from step 1, and see if I am lacking something.
Step 1. Admitted I am powerless over lust and that my life has become unmanageable.
Especially in light of a definition I heard from the "Sandy B" recordings (available for free download from Silkworth.net): The problem isn't that once we start we can't stop. The problem is really when we're sober; we feel so miserable that we can't help but take that first drink.
Yes, I have reached that point. The reminder is helpful. But, I think my weak point right now is with something else. So I continued...
Step 2. Came to believe that a power greater than myself could restore me to my sanity.
Here I had a problem. I was thinking now-isn't it my Higher Power that is causing all these problems in my life which is causing me to get all stressed out and which is compelling me to act out? HE broke my washing machine, HE broke the hot-water system in our building which knocked out our hot water since 2 days ago, HE cause my children to get sick which is keeping our children and us up late at night (which is putting a damper on the marital intimacy department), HE is the one who isn't coming through with the miracles to provide me with an easy livelihood so I can just keep on sitting in kollel and learning for the rest of my life (instead, I am now about to quit kollel and look for full-time employment), etc, etc.
YES, this was my weak point. My step 2 was faulty. All the moral inventories etc (step 4 and onward) only work upon a firm foundation of steps 1-3. Otherwise, they merely are empty, superficial, self-help and self-improvement tricks.
How can I rely on a higher power for help which was responsible for all my problems?
This was a tough question to answer. Then, also borrowing an idea from the "Sandy B" AA recordings: Here I am, about to look at p*rn and about to m*sturbate. I am convinced, 100%, that if I do this, I will feel better-all my problems will go away (at least temporarily).
Despite my hard feelings towards G-d right now, shouldn't I be able to have at least as much confidence in Him as I do in pictures of scantily-clad women? And, perhaps my problems are a result of my failing to truly put my trust in Him all along. I was willing to give this another try.
With that I was able to move along to step 3 etc., and I feel I have now gained a full reprieve from lust, just for today.