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We can't have true relationships till we're sober

GYE Corp. Monday, 16 January 2012

One cannot come to know anyone else without having da'as himself, first. In other words, for a man to share yediyah with his wife there have to be deyos - tarti mashma. I cannot know her at all - much less connect with her in da'as - unless I bring my own self-acceptance to the equation.

To me, da'as is not knowledge, but awareness - like how a frum person is aware that it is Shabbos, on Shabbos. It is a 'natural', or 'automatic' - knowledge that is part of the person. I think it is awareness that demonstrates the person's full acceptance of the way things are. Where there is da'as there is no doubt, there is no negotiation, no decision to be made.

Addiction ruins da'as completely. Cuz I do not trust or know myself. I could feel sincerely loving and devoted right now, and later tonight be truly desperate to get a better view of the figure of woman in the next isle of the supermarket. Heck, I could be acting out, too.

Until integrity becomes part of us, we do not really rest in any self-knowledge. There can be no da'as. All bets are truly off. And getting to that point takes time.

From my wife's side, the devastating pain and mistrust she had for me took a long time to be diluted enough for da'as to return to the relationship - she knew that she didn't really know me. That is a very sad part of addiction, how it drives people apart - and especially in sexual addiction, where the entire drive of the addict is for Yesod: connection and unity. Ouch.

The good news is that recovery, however we end up going about it, actually returns our da'as to us and enables relationships. For me, I got relationships in the meeting rooms long before I got my relationship with my wife back.

No wonder my wife tells me every few years that the happiest day in our life together was not our wedding, but the day I got sober and started recovery. And I didn't even recover in order to get the relationship back! I only did it in order not to lose myself. All the goodies are freebies.