The Real Balm
A teenage boy wrote on the forum:
"I am proud to say that with the help of Hashem I am TWENTY DAYS CLEAN!!! But let me tell you, I am definitely feeling the heat. My body is saying to me, "GO VIEW PORN. IT FEELS GOOD. ESCAPE WITH ME INTO THE LAND OF FAKE PLEASURE AND UNINHIBITED FREEDOM". Of course I know that this pleasure is only temporary and afterward I will feel absolutely miserable and only so much more far away from "real life". My problem is that never in my life have I ever stood up to my real problems and issues. I have always covered them over with this balm of lust. I read through both handbooks yesterday and I need to implement more tools. Also, I am still having a problem of getting my brain to understand that this is not a fight. How do I explain to my logical mind that I am powerless and that I must let G-d deal with my problem and just do my thing?"
Please remember to take it easy. Years and years of relative nuttiness can't change a lot overnight, and certainly not by our (sorry) puny efforts. But we do change and grow more than we'd ever have imagined, over time.
Hashem will really help you (a lot), especially if you ask Him to (a lot).
Reading through the handbooks is great, but look out. It's filled with so many tools... perhaps picking one to try today is a good strategy. Tomorrow you can use it some more or take thought then to picking and trying out a different one. Too much planning just makes most folks crazy. Remember: If the way you and I naturally go about dealing with problems is so effective, how did we end up in this mess to begin with!? We really need an open mind here... so I'm just posting some suggestions.
The other thing I'd like to share with you is that there is something way more important than cleaning up all our garbage and letting go of all the lust balm we used to cover it all up with. And that is learning what our alternative is. And it's not a matter of hashkofa at all - it's purely and only experience. We need to start building the "alternative balm", which is the "RealBalm": a relationship with Hashem that really works.
It is built slowly, and on His schedule. Addicts like me start out by bringing Him right into our temptations and giving up our temptations and lust to Him to take care of, for us. It is further built by calling on safe friends to open up to, as you are in these posts (though a phone call or text is better cuz of the real-time aspect). And by using the tools and thanking Him for your successes rather than taking the credit. If I take the credit, I retake the struggle along with it! That's just the way it works, it seems. Our relationship with Hashem is built further when we are patient with ourselves and forgiving to others.
All these things build up the Alternative.
Water it and tend it - till one day, after a few months or maybe even a year or so (everyone is different), we get a temptation and discover that we are truly motivated to quickly get help - because we cherish our relationship with our very own G-d, and our own integrity! They become so precious to us that we rush to protect them at all costs!
Now, that's a nice place to be.
But you must take it easy to get there. As my mother used to tell me: "Crakow wasn't built in a day, they say.";-)