Steps to safeguard yourself bein hazmanim
  Breaking Free Chizuk # 1287  
In Today's Issue
Image of the Day: Keep at it, one day at a time!
Attitude & Perspective: The Jack
Daily Dose of Dov: Changing myself and the way I think
Practical Tips: Tool 7: Making Fences
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Image of the Day
Keep at it, one day at a time!
Keep at it, one day at a time!
Attitude & Perspective
The Jack
By Yiddle

The jack is a simple machine. It allows you to lift or move something that otherwise would be too heavy. However, this ability doesn't come from nowhere. You have to move the lever much farther, so you are exerting a smaller force but over a larger distance. When someone is depressed, tired, lonely, feels like his life is futile and then gets the urge to act out, that can be a heavyweight nisayon. It would be the equivalent of trying to lift a car. It has been done in very rare cases, but there is a better way. Use a jack. But it'll take time, so you need to start well in advance.

Check if you have filters for all your devices. Make sure they're up to date. Write up a list of things to do when feeling down. Put it in your wallet. The list is long, but that's the point. You see, you are still doing the work, only you have traded a short high intensity nisayon into a long term more manageable nisayon. The bottom line is that the actions we take to guard ourselves from falling is really the exact same nisayon as the overpowering urges, only we are using the tools Hashem gives us, to turn them into a form that is more manageable. And that is precisely our job. Because if you saw a man trying to lift a car with his hands instead of using the jack, you would consider him a fool, and rightly so. The RSh"O gave us strengths, intelligence and tools. Therefore we are responsible to use all of them to overcome the nisyonos he sends us.

Daily Dose of Dov
Changing myself and the way I think
By Dov

The program (12-Step) way of looking at the whole business, is actually different than what we are used to. It is even different from what normal people without these problems are used to.

The program is not about answering questions of how to beat the desire. It is not an answer to the problem at all. It does not make one "stronger" at all. It is about changing myself and the way I think, so that I do not have the problem in the first place.

This is done by the steps, and by being part of a group of other people with the same problem, who are getting better the same way. It would not work at all if it was done under the instruction of a teacher, Rav, or shrink, because it is about being together with folks who know you because they are the same as you are, in this respect.

Looking at it as "a struggle", I find useless and poisonous for me. To struggle, for me, implies that I can beat it if I only try hard enough, and that is how I got so messed up in the first place.

I got messed up my way. Now it is time to do things a different way. Because I finally became ready for things to be different.

And yes, the solution is not "long term", but neither is your kabolas ol malchus shomayim (accepting the Yoke of Heaven in Kriyas Shema) each day. You can only be mekabel it for today, right? Can you eat for tomorrow? Can you go to the bathroom extra today, so that you will not need to go tomorrow? No. In the same way, a person can "commit" himself to keeping the Torah/"mekabel the ol" forever, but his commitment is actually nonsense. You cannot guarantee that you will keep it tomorrow. It says "asher anochi metzavecha hayom - which I have commanded you TODAY" in the Kriyas sh'ma, no? It's really, really new, each day.

This is how the program's solution works, for me. This is all it means when we say, "One day at a time".

When we get honest about our limitations - like when we say, "we are sober only for today", it's not because it is too hard to do a week or a year. It is not about willpower at all! It's because it is simply the truth: we are only sober one day at a time, and that is our only business. Not tomorrow. Focusing on tomorrow's sobriety is just more silliness.

We get honest with ourselves and with others like us, to make it all more real to us. And that is the first step.

If you want to know a lot about the 12 steps, I suggest reading the books called "the SA white book", and the book called "Alcoholics Anonymous".

But what worked for me was not reading or studying. It was attending SA meetings, spending time with other people who have my type of problem and who were getting better, and actually following the directions of the steps to the letter.

Thank-you for your patience with me. It takes me a long time to say things, sorry.


Practical Tips
Tool 7: Making Fences
Part 2/2

Bein Hazmanim

Vacations and Bein Hazmanim are situations that can be bigger tests for us, since there is more free time available and less structure. Such situations may require a more detailed set of fences and safeguards than usual. We can try to draw up a "Battle Plan" in advance, to plan for some structure in our days - as much as possible. We can set specific times for particular activities, such as learning with a chavrusah or other things that can keep us busy. It is very important not to stay in isolation, but to spend time socializing with family and friends. We can even draw up emergency plans of various activities that we can do, for times when we might start feeling bored or vulnerable, (examples might be to "read a book", "ride my bicycle", play basketball, etc...)

We can also draft a special "Bein Hazmanim" list of fences in advance, to help us avoid having to fight the Yetzer Hara head-on. Some of the fences could include:

  • Setting up a filter on our home computers. (For help on how to approach this with your parents, show them this page).
  • Not using the computer when alone in the room (or at least if no one is home).
  • Setting ourselves time-limits on the computer (at least for non-work related activity).
  • Making a list of websites that we are allowed to visit - and not visiting any other sites (at least when alone).
  • Avoiding certain triggering places that we used to "hang out" at.
  • Avoiding movies.

  • Use the TaPHSiC method to put up a strong fence for yourself. Read about it here. Listen to a 10 minute recording that explains it here.

The secret to success in this area is learning where we are vulnerable and preparing fences in advance. We all need to learn our Yetzer Hara well, as it says in Mishlei (12:10): "Yode'ah Tzadik nefesh be'hemto - The Tzadik knows the nature of his animal.”

Do you think you may have a porn addiction?

Do you have a problem with obsessive and compulsive porn use? Have you seriously tried the tools on GYE and feel that you are not getting better? Maybe it’s time to consider joining a 12-Step program.

Porn Anonymous (PA)
If you’re compulsively acting-out with pornography and masturbation we suggest you explore joining Porn Anonymous (PA). If you need help deciding whether to join PA, call Michael at 347-699-2368, or email to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit (Hebrew: / Yiddish:

Sexaholics Anonymous (SA)
If your compulsive acting-out has progressed beyond the screen (with other people, paid sexual services, etc.) we suggest you explore joining Sexaholics Anonymous (SA). To figure out if SA is for you, call Dov at 917-414-8205, or email Dov at to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit

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