The First Drink

GYE Corp. Saturday, 25 February 2012

Someone wrote:

When it gets impossibly hard, all it takes is for me to drop my guard for one stupid second, and I'm a gonner. That's what I really need help with.

Dov replies:

I understand the "dropping guard for a second" business, but how do you tolerate living in an "impossibly hard" situation to begin with?

Maybe I'm missing something here, but it really, really is not the last drink that gets us in trouble, it's the first one. Maybe you know this, but - for me - putting it into action means one thing: pain. It just plain hurts to walk the other way and not take the "drink" after noticing something tantalizing, for example. For me, it feels like mourning a real loss, crazy as it may be - to mourn over poison.

But like I always need to remember, surrender and freedom from temptation ultimately has nothing whatever to do with goodness, intelligence, Torah, G-d's Will, my potential, my neshoma, or how I should be / could be, etc. Yes, being truly aware of these things may prove useful tools, but for me - and the addicts I know, they remain "half-measures" in the end.

It eventually comes down to acceptance of my inability to successfully use lust, and learning to live honestly with the implications. This grows out of the 1st step (which is; "admitting powerlessness").

I do not believe that anyone who is not an addict can ever understand that pain without judging it or trying to analyze it (which is just as useless for me!). It's like becoming an expert about all aspects of driving, but without ever getting into a car. Useless, really.

Oops, I got off point again - the question was, "how do things get bad first?" I have almost no will-power, nor any real strength, and I am more powerless today over lust than I ever was! I just can't afford for the fantasies to start, nor to take that "second look", even though I may wish I could, much of the time.

(Admittedly though, my early surrender mechanism took a while to engage)...