The "Cake" is Self Honesty, Period.
Someone wrote on the forum:
"The spiritual approach is not for me. I just want to get back control of my life"
I must tell you that that the spiritual approach isn't for me, either.
That's precisely why I turn off some folks by posting my take on their struggle for the sake of halachic goodness and spirituality as "romanticizing" - and hence perpetuating - their losing battle. (Of course, I only tell them that after they clearly rant and rave about how they are always losing, and whine about it themselves!)
It seems to me that all some folks want to hear is that if they only tried harder to be good, went to the mikva one more time daily, or said just one more brocha with adequate or better kavonoh, they'd finally deserve to get the "key" to this thing, and be free. Anything else - like considering that their problem is not a religious one - sounds like apikorsus to them. And indeed it is apikorsus to their own "torah", which mandates that even the insane be successful. I feel that such a perspective, held with tenacity while the house is in flames all around them, is nothing short of apikorsus and believe it comes from Pride rather than from true dedication to Hashem. They have the wrong G-d, it seems.
I do not doubt their intent, but for me, had G-d given me the key on basis of being "good enough", that freedom surely would have been quickly abused and twisted by me as yet further license to pervert myself. "More power" would have only convinced me that I can "handle it", and therefore can get away with using lust even more.
Do you understand what I mean so far?
To me, if there is anything spiritual in the problem, it is ultimately my Pride - a lie, that allowed me to keep serving my "g-d": the power of Lust to pleasure myself. And if there is anything spiritual about the answer, it is Humility - i.e. the truth. Anything else in my personal spiritual growth was my own choice - icing on the cake, as far as recovery is concerned. The "cake" is self-honesty, period.
And it had to almost kill me to help me finally give up my self-reliance, start going to meetings in unlikely places and with unlikely persons, learn about how to stop serving my own Self, and eventually grow into a man happy to serve his true G-d, Hashem.
What approach works for you?