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Without real change, we'll fall again.

Dov responds to someone who posted about his shift in attitude as well as some eitzos that worked for him.

GYE Corp. Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Heiligeh yid,

The very fact that you are reaching out as you are, is evidence of a total shift in your attitude. For how long were you essentially struggling with this alone and in secret? So you have changed. You are making slow but very significant and meaningful progress. In my opinion, you are one of the luckiest people alive on this planet.

As far as the eitzos you mentioned, yes - every addict I know needs a multi-pronged approach to this. One minute it may be enough to make a brief call to admit the truth about what I am struggling with in order to let go of the struggle - at other times, it may be necessary to honestly ask my Best Friend to take away my lust right now - at other times it may be necessary for me to say to my Best Friend, "RS"O, whatever it is that I am looking for in that image or fantasy or crazy idea, let me find it in You, instead (when You are ready to give it to me. I trust You now.) - at other times it may be necessary for me to use a meeting to get it out of my system - sometimes I simply need to get the heck out of dodge and then make the call or prayer... it all depends. Some days I am so screwed up in the head that it isn't a lust thing I need to face, it's my insanity over a resentment, fear, or entitlement... that needs surrender, and the work of the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th steps. There is no other way I know to get free of that - and the method of the steps always works for me. But all these things are just eitzos - they are not touching on the core of what I need, and they are all doomed to failure, in my opinion. If you hear me so far, read on.

But by "a multi-pronged approach" I do not mean a really long list of tricks. Please understand me here. If I am not living - or learning how to live - my life differently - for a different motivation and in a different way - then I am doomed to be the same guy and have the same troubles. Sure it takes time, but the tricks are just temporary measures, and if inside I really have not started to seriously give myself to Hashem, then what I will be left with after "resisting" 553 temptations, is essentially a tremendous resentment to G-d for withholding ALL THAT PLEASURE from me. Tell me, why else do people fall after a month, two weeks, or whatever, over and over? What's really building up? Aren't they fighting with all their might AND asking Hashem to help them with the fight?

The problem is that they are fighting at all! Even WITH Hashem's help! It's like a guy in a rehab lock-down. Take away the drink for long enough and he goes crazy. Even if Hashem Himself helps keep the drink from him - it doesn't matter who's doing that. Without a real change, he will eventually have to drink again. He'll have to. So, fighting this is not the answer. But neither is giving into it - that we found out and it's why we are here, of course. If you are truly a lust addict, I would bet that at your core, whether you realize it or not, you honestly believe that you need this lust stuff. That means that you believe that it is good for you. No matter how bad it is for you also. I do not buy the typical Yetzer Hara model that many here use, that a simple self-destructive stupid thing in us that wants the lust for some evil reason. Nu, maybe it's semantics to many, but I really believe that my very heart - for whatever reason - really believes that the warm, sweet feeling from porn and masturbation is absolutely needed. I am innocent for my perceived needs - they are my perceived needs! It is a horrible mistake, but they are what part of me really believes. Rav Noach zt"l would tell you that even an Arab terrorist y"s really believes in his heart that what he is doing is not evil. He believes that it is in his best interest. Same with me, the pervert, who wants to look at that pretty lady in the subway. It's the way I am wired and not a matter of guilt, at all. It's just the truth - I am screwed up and feel that it's good for me. But Hashem IS all powerful and can overcome my wiring. He can fix me to be free of the need to do that stuff. And He is today, so far. I am alone now in my parent's house - the house with all the dirty books I grew up with reading in my masturbation and lust "training years", and have no fear that I will look at any of them. They were the most major compulsion in my life for ten hormonal years, but I am free today - just today. Am I "strong"? ABSOLUTELY NOT! It is 100% a gift, period. And it took time to get open enough to receive it. Do I deserve credit? For what? For getting the help I need so that I do not shoot myself in the head by looking in one of those books? For that I deserve credit?