Seeing the addiction through Dov's crystal clear glasses

GYE Corp. Wednesday, 22 February 2012

I am not an expert on anything, and certainly not on addiction or recovery. (I'm pretty good with wild mushrooms, though!). I am, however, able to share my experience, and I am gifted with the faith that I need to share it in order to remain sober.

I became an addict because my inner life was too painful, and did not work for me. My drug of choice was just the one that fit the bill the best and most conveniently for me, that's all. To recover, I need action, not cheshboinos. Cheshboinos and meforshim never got me sober, just Honesty, Openness, and Acceptance.

I am not teaching Torah here, just sharing my self as honestly as I can. So, I am not focusing on right or wrong, good or bad. That is why I don't say moral stuff, nor tell people what they should be doing. This is also why I never participate in telling (or begging) a member not to act out. Let the Rabbis do that. Addicts like me (and the ones I know), really believe people will do what they feel they need to do, and will come around and "hear" when they feel they need to. All we do is share, daven, and maybe - cry.

I hope this is not a cop-out, but I am convinced that anything else will twist my brain up, grow my pride, and make me useless. And I will soon act out too. And I am not going to act out to save you or anybody (chayecha kodmin, right?). This is far different from kiruv, soul-saving or chizzuk, per se, which are all certainly very worthy endeavors, none of which I am qualified to do. When talking with sexaholics, I am mainly concerned with sanity. My sanity and their sanity. Sanity, so we can each get to (or maintain) a life that we believe is right.

For me, living together with my Creator is the only thing there really is, though I relatively rarely actually live that way... (nu, He's not done with me yet!)

As far as recovery itself is concerned, it has nothing to do with being an eved Hashem. In that respect, it's just like any other terminal, progressive illness. Bladder cancer l"a, is not a Jewish problem. In fact, I feel very sorry for addicted yidden who feel they can only have Jewish or frum recovery mentors, only because I have seen that they often do not get long term sobriety. If it were still about Torah to me, I believe it is doubtful I ever would have grasped the depth of what was going on here. I was/am broken in the very foundations of sanity, not in my yir'as Shomayim, at all.

99% of the successful people I have met in this arena have told the same story that the successful Alcoholics tell: "When I finally accepted the fact that I didn't have what it takes and probably never would; that I was hopelessly powerless to win this fight, I started getting better because I really reached out for my G-d and kept using His help from that point forward."

As your sanity grows, your latent yir'as Shomayim and ahavas Hashem will start to show itself more than you ever dreamed possible. The mussar and Torah that you learned - and which was sterile in the past - will start to bear fruit! It may take some time in sobriety for that to happen, but it is worth the wait.

For me, the only other choice was ultimately a pathetic death. Not a bad deal, huh?