Tripple dose of Dov
 
 
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1288  
 
 
In Today's Issue
   
Image of the Day: Support Group
Links: Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong
Editor’s Note
Daily Dose of Dov: A Letter from Dov
Daily Dose of Dov: On the subject of congruency and anonymity.
 
 
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Image of the Day
 
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Support Group
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The opposite of addiction is not necessarily sobriety. So what is it?

Watch this fascinating TED TALK to find out.

If you can't view for some reason, see the transcript here

Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong
Editor’s Note

After watching this TED Talk (above), Dov and Guard had the following dialogue:

Dov: "The SA White Book calls Sexaholism a disease of Misconnection, and describes the solution as making the right connection... Consider how condemning it is to those who see GYE's offer of escaping isolation as being accomplished just by using the website. This speaker comes down very hard on virtual friendships, virtual honesty, etc..."

Guard: "I hear that... He is saying that we are actually disconnecting by being connected. And that is true in many cases today with Twitter, whatsup and Facebook where it's all superficial. But it's not always true. On the GYE forums and chat-rooms, you can find like-minded people who really care about you. It's not a lot, but it's a START. And an addict is so isolated, he needs to start SOMEWHERE."

Dov: "Agreed.

"I know that for many people GYE is a good option for opening the door, and that it often works for that. But for the truly sick ones it is the hiddenness and virtualness that attracts them, not the openness or the realness. Your Ted Talk guy passionately and clearly makes the case that until relationships become really real, they do not work for addiction, period. And he says that is ONLY possible "in person, real face-to-face," as he puts it. So the virtual caring on GYE clearly  cannot possibly go far enough.

 

"I keep hearing about the 12 steps and recovery ideas on GYE as though they are mainly a thing to be read about, studied, or 'worked' on your own. And it is davka the culture of 12 step work - the real chevra we work the steps in - that people are being assured they do not need in order to 'make it'! Telling people they can "Break out of the isolation while remaining completely anonymous," is actually rejecting the very point your Ted talk speaker is trying to make.

 

"Of course we need to start somewhere and I never would have opened up in person 20 years ago. I love the GYE guy. And when we are in that stage, GYE is truly the first, childish openness/realness we can know. Baby steps for some - perpetuation of fakeness for others. 

 

Gevalt, gevalt, how sad this is... I just want you to really understand the tension for me here, and why some people are confused and think I hate GYE or am just a jerk or 'in-your-face' to some people. I am only that way when I sense a possibility that the person I am in contact with is on the verge of openness, but balking - or when it seems that the person is denying the value of realness that your Ted talk guy is making. It's churban for some and binyan for others, simultaneously. May Hashem bless our efforts."

 

Daily Dose of Dov
 
A Letter from Dov
 
By Dov

Dov (wequithiding@gmail.com) has about 18 years of sobriety in SA and is the leading moderator on the GYE forums. He also leads a special sexual recovery phone conference. He has been guiding hundreds of GYE members for about 6 years now. Back in 2012, he wrote me this beautiful e-mail, which I wanted to share with you all:

I just want you to know that I just got back from a sexual sobriety shabbaton with ~300 people, at least 100 wives and >200 sexaholics, all going to SA and S-Anon meetings and getting well, be"H. It was incredible. The speakers, the ruach, the simcha, the meetings, the honesty, and the sobriety. Lots of laughing and lots of crying, lots of couples working hard to get life right for themselves and their families. What can I say?

And there were at least 30 guys there who came over to me to thank me for GYE. Many told me that although GYE on its own wasn't enough for them ...but they found friends on GYE, and those friends led them to SA. Now they are sober, their wives have support with their S-Anon sponsors and buddies, and their families are transformed and getting better. After sitting down with the first two or three guys, I took a break to go to the bathroom. As soon as I locked the stall door, I burst into tears. The love between husband and wife that is finally revealed in the patience we have for each other in recovery is far, far more than anything I have ever seen before. I cried while in the middle of talking with a young married guy in my phone group who was at this Shabbaton when I saw so clearly how deeply his innocent and confused wife loves him, asking him, "Can you see now how she loves you? Can you imagine that there is a real G-d in the world who loves you that much too?...But you still hate yourself and hate others, don't you?" He is coming around slowly now.

A great member in the fellowship told me today that he did not see GYE as an appropriate way to save so many families when I first mentioned it to him. But I stuck with it, stayed available to the scared and confused "ba'alei Teshuvah"... and now many families are alive that were previously dead and dying. I know that it is not just me, but Duvid Chayim, Steve, Shlomo and others, too. He admitted that GYE is a conduit that Hashem is using to change the way the frum world gets into recovery and that he is amazed.

GYE is for many yidden, not just addicted ones. But tein li hanefesh - I pray you will allow and help me to keep being there for the yidden who see they need more help than anonymous postings and pretend names can give them. The others (I won't call them "rechush" like that rosho king did!) you can keep... they get what GYE can give them and do well with it! But the budding addicts - keep helping them into 12-step recovery, ad meyah v'esrim!

Thank you for this life-changing opportunity.

- Your buddy for Hashem and His people,

Dov

Daily Dose of Dov
 
On the subject of congruency and anonymity.
 
In a forum conversation with a new comer, Dov made the following, poignant observation:
 
By Dov

You refer to it as 'the Yetzer Hora'. Sounds religious. But the truth may be that you just like it. That the way you are, you just feel you absolutely need it right now. I remember not feeling as though I didn't need it first - yet ended up finding myself back on the hunt, or back in the porn trance and masturbation, or off cruising again. I'd like to suggest that calling it 'the Yetzer Hora' is just a tool to prevent you from accepting that these are your own choices you are making every other month or whatever. Yes, there may be yetzer hora involved here - but let's set the hocus-pocus aside for a minute here: However you slice it, you are not a well man. It is not mentally and psychologically congruent for a frum man (as you believe you are) to be making these choices!

And as an addict myself, I implore you: Please do not hide behind addiction, as though it were yet another magical force 'making you do it'. Enough with the excuses, religious or otherwise! You are clearly not well. Please get real help.

Posting on an anonymous forum behind a fake name is something, but not enough. When I finally was ready to admit to myself I had serious problems, I went to a good therapist (and admitted everything in all the details to her) even though my wife would find out about it...

Going to SA meetings is actually far safer than walking into your bar. You will not be announcing to the world what your problems are by going to meetings with other addicts like myself.

Where are the SA meetings in your community? I bet you do not even know.
Do you know who goes to them and what their problems are? I assume you do not.

Yet you say that if you show up, the world will know. You sure about that now?..

If frum SA guys in Lakewood, Chicago, Baltimore, Borough Park, Monsey, or Yerushalayim actually told their wives 'who came to the meeting tonight', SA would not survive another month. Yet here we are over 20 years with tons of frummies going to meetings and more every day.

I've been in SA meetings and conventions with hundreds of people frum and not frum, goyimg and Jews for years, in frum neighborhoods and not... how is it that my kids are getting fine shiduchim? How is it that no one has ostracized me and my wife and family? Obviously SA is anonymous.

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 help@pornanonymous.org to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit pornanonymous.org (Hebrew: p-a.org.il / Yiddish: pa-yid.org).

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 dov@guardyoureyes.org to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit www.sa.org.

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