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The "Right" Hishtadlus (efforts)

A Ben-Torah on our forum who is struggling to stay clean but keeps experiencing falls, recently wrote that the times he has the most difficulty are when he is lonely. He expressed the hope that through "more Hishtadlus" he will ultimately succeed.

GYE Corp. Thursday, 22 March 2012

Dov writes to him as follows:

My dear fellow,

You are certainly not alone in the inability to bear loneliness! (Actually, that's kind of ironic, no?)

Anyway, as your insight into yourself grows, you certainly will add weapons to your arsenal, but relying on weapons - no matter how powerful - is not always a recipe for success. If you are truly an addict, the testimony of many addicts is that "weapons" are never a recipe for success. It's like learning 'a great new tripping move' to use on Mohammed Ali. Ouch!

Kind of like that friend of a Rebbe of mine who went to the Lubavitcher Rebbe ZT"L before his NYS Regents exams for a brocha, which he got. As he was walking out of the room, the Rebbe said to him: "Wait - don't forget: my brochos only work if you study!"

We need to do the work. The only question is: "what is the work?"

The AA Big Book says (Chapter 5):

"Remember that we deal with Alcohol (lust, for me) - cunning, baffling, powerful. Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power - that One is G-d. May you find Him now! Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked for His protection and care with complete abandon.

Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program for recovery..."

I - and others I know, needed (and still need) to take some occasionally uncomfortable (but simple) steps. We needed to take them along with others who were as serious about them as we were. And we needed to learn how to keep our 'eyes on the ball' all the time. We found that asking for help from Hashem and bringing our crazy ideas out to (safe) people as soon as possible, was the first way to start making that a reality.

You are a very, very good man and certainly always sincerely desired to do only good. Like all of us. But much more than sincere desire is needed (for an addict).

May Hashem send you more and more help to do whatever you must, with open nissim every day!