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We are really fighting ourselves

GYE Corp. Sunday, 25 March 2012
Part 1/3 (to see other parts of the article, click on the pages at the bottom)

There is nothing in the world as beautiful, precious and insightful as the experience of old-time strugglers like Dov, who have seen the truly ugly side of the addiction, hit bottom, and yet come all the way back as heroes in shining armor! And when we can learn from their hard-earned experience, we ultimately save ourselves the need to have to experience it all ourselves, G-d forbid.

Dov posts:

It is true that Hashem does not put us in a nisayon that we cannot get out of. However, the timeline and success is not always as we expect it to be.

It seems to me that you are concerned with having the ability to withstand the taavoh and not do the aveiros. Now, if we had diabetes or a mental disease and a doctor would recommend immediate medical treatment, most of us would do it. No?

Well, in my case (as in the case of many addicts), it was not so simple. Rabbi/Dr Twersky told me I needed a 12-step fellowship already years before I actually ended up joining one. The reason I didn't listen to him back then, was because it seemed too outrageous to make such major changes in my schedule and lifestyle. Also, compromising my secrecy (mainly from my wife) was too scary to risk. Unfortunately, I needed to get much, much worse, until joining a 12-Step group seemed like - OUCH - a fair deal.

I have been sober in SA since then.

The point I am trying to pass on, is that just because this problem involves aveiros, and just because it is a major nisayon of our time (as many tzaddikim have told us), and just because it may have started out as a rather common teenage problem, does not mean that it is not a true sickness.

If we slipped and broke a leg for example, would we think: "Hey, I don't have the kochos to overcome this! I can't even walk! How could Hashem have done this to me!"? Probably not. We'd get treatment, and then use our kochos hanefesh to push ourselves to heal and strengthen the leg. And we would also deal with the behavioral issues and nisyonos that having a broken leg might have brought up for us (such as: patience with others, not whining, over-seclusion and over-dependence on others, etc.).

Well in our case, it is a sickness too. And the sickness causes us to do aveiros. And we often do not have the power to beat our diseased thinking and engrained behavioral patterns.

I needed a fellowship, meetings, phone calls, 12 steps, and lots of stepwork in writing. And I continue to need all those after many years. I have never beaten my Yetzer Hara in any way, as far as I am aware. Instead, Hashem has given me a "free pass". But it's not really free though, because the price I need to "pay" is being his servant to the best of my ability.

As soon as I start to compromise on my integrity with my wife, children and fellow man, I start to become aware that I am not living in an honest relationship with Hashem anymore, and I need to take steps to correct that immediately.

But it is only Hashem that deals with my Yetzer Hara, as far as I am concerned.


If I understand what Dov is saying here correctly, he is saying that instead of dealing with the Yetzer Hara, he leaves that completely to Hashem to deal with, and instead focuses only on being an eved Hashem and living a life of complete integrity. And when he does that, Hashem gives him a "free pass" and takes away the Yetzer Hara from him. This is so profound!!

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