Have you tried turning on the light?
 
 
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1292  
 
 
In Today's Issue
   
Image of the Day
Q & A: Nothing has helped!!!
Links: Hitting Bottom while Still on Top
Image of the Day
Testimonials: How My Life Has Changed with Sobriety
12 Step Attitude: The SA approach to Tish'a b'Av
 
 
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Image of the Day
 
Q & A
 
Nothing has helped!!!
 
Part 1/2
 
How Much Effort do We Need to Put Into Recovery?
 
By GYE

"ShomerAiyin" posted on the forum:

Sorry to burst everyone's pre-Shavuot highs, but I'm having a bit of a crisis. I don't know how to internalize everything written on this site, including the 12 steps.

- I've read the 2 handbooks, both the GYE Handbook and the Attitude Handbook.
- I am trying to be honest with myself, and I post on the forum.
- I've admitted that I have a lust addiction and can't beat this thing myself.
- I've read a lot of material about the 12 steps.
- I've read the GYE tips and even committed (bli neder) to give 200 shekel every time I fall. I've given 200 so far, need to give now another 200 (I see somebody getting rich off my sinning).
- I've tried so far unsuccessfully to attend both SA and SLAA meetings (I've called and emailed representatives of both).
- I've joined a daily accountability group within SLAA.

Nothing has helped!!! I still feel lustful, lonely and bored. I still surf the net. I still act out. I make promises every morning, only to break them way too often.

I've read over and over on the forum and on the website that it can be done, and I've seen all the great stories to this effect, but HOW? How do you take the tefillot and promises made upon waking up and internalize them/carry them out throughout the day?


GYE Responds:

Dear ShomerAyin,

Your case is typical of this insidious addiction. We all went through the same thing that you are going through now. So it's important to clarify a few things, not just for you - but for everyone here.

First of all, the GYE handbook is not supposed to help by simply "reading" through it. It doesn't contain any magic in its words. It simply gives us a framework of tools to guide us through recovery.

Although we do indeed suggest that one reads the handbook from beginning to end at first, this is only so that we learn what tools are available, and, that there is hope - no matter how far the addiction has progressed. However, reading it alone won't give us very much if we don't work the tools discussed therein, slowly but surely, with patience, thought and determination.

So now that you've indeed read it ShomerAyin, and now that you've seen all the tools available and internalized that it is possible to break free no matter how far advanced the addiction may have progressed, let's go back to tool #1 of the handbook and work it though. Then we'll move on to tool #2, etc... In other words, the handbooks only give us a framework to work with, but the tools can't do anything just by "knowing" about them if they are not USED.

We want to help you, ShomerAyin, but let's do it right this time, and let's do it systematically. You can use the power of the forum to tell us what have you done - or are doing - about each tool. Let's start with tool #1. Did it work for you, or it does it not seem to be enough on its own? Ok, so let's move on to tool #2. What can you take out of this tool in a practical sense? What parts have you tried already? What parts have you not tried yet? Do you have doubts, questions, or comments about it? Let's discuss each tool by itself, on the forum, one at a time.

You did mention (above) one aspect of tool #3 ("Making Fences"), i.e. that you tried committing to give 200 Shekel each time you fall. Well, how about the other ideas in tool #3, such as committing to taking a 10 minute walk BEFORE falling, or making a whole list of things that you commit to do BEFORE you let yourself fall? We can discuss this - and many other practical ideas - more in depth on the forum, tool by tool, step by step. And if we find that tool #3 is not enough, we will move on to tool #4...

In other words, YES, it can be done! But it takes time, careful thought, work and determination. There are no "magic" formulas. But this time, ShomerAyin, we will work together with you, and we will use the framework of the handbook to start making steady and systematic progress. Not like all the other times, that we got inspired for a week or two, maybe even a month, but then we lost it all again...

Also, about the 12-Step groups, I am sure that if you are indeed determined to join up with them, you will find a way. They will get back to you eventually. The Yetzer Hara knows that he's a goner once you join these groups, so he's doing everything he can to prevent you from joining. Daven to Hashem for help, and you will see all the barriers crumble away. Be aware that Hashem is often just testing our determination!

To be continued...
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A letter to GYE from a prisoner.

We decided to re-print this important contribution from a Jewish prison inmate. Hitting bottom while still on top is one of the valuable principles in GYE handbook. Unfortunately, many people still prefer to learn from their own mistakes. We hope that this letter will prompt someone to seek help before things escalate out of his or her control. 

In one of his talks, adapted here by Tzvi Freeman, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi M. M. Schneerson, of blessed memory, said the following:

"Turn on the light!

-Fine, blunder around in the dark, carefully avoiding every pit. Grope through the murky haze for the exit, stumbling and falling in the mud, then struggling back to your feet to try again.

But why not just turn on the light?

-Lift yourself up, plug yourself in, immerse yourself in the wisdom of Torah and ignite the love within your heart.

Even if the light is ever so faint, that will be enough. For the smallest flame can push away the darkness of an enormous cavern."

With this letter, its author hopes to shed a bit of light into a cavern of sexual impropriety. 

Hitting Bottom while Still on Top
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Find someone to confide in. Pour out your heart. Shed light on your secrets. Get Help.

Artwork contributed by Maydel.

 
Testimonials
 
How My Life Has Changed with Sobriety
 
By Al Tisyaesh

When I look at myself in the mirror (yes, that's something I can do these days), I no longer feel repulsed by what I see, I no longer see a guy with potential that's just wasting his life, or doing so much damage to his friends and family that he can't bear to feel. I now see a guy that tries his hardest, works on changing himself on a daily basis. For the first time, I look at myself and say, “You may not be perfect BUT you're trying." Even if I fall, it's just so I get up and carry on.

Read more
12 Step Attitude
 
The SA approach to Tish'a b'Av
 
By Duvid Chaim

As we know, we are mourning the destruction of our Temple. And we also know that G-d expressed some level of mercy in destroying the Temple, which is a building and not destroying the Jewish People.

And that it is our mission in this generation, to re-build the Temple through our merits. That our merit is earned by bringing ourselves closer to Hashem and His ways. When we elevate our Neshamos, then we will merit the return of the Temple and the Shechina.

So too, with our SA addiction - we have destroyed our Temple - our bodies. The addiction gives power and a voice to our bodies.

Yet, even in our own wrecked bodies still lives a precious Neshama. And that it is our mission and our struggle: to give our Neshamos a bigger voice than our bodies.

THE 12 STEP Program helps us work on our egos, find humility and Deveikus with Hashem.

And when we "enlarge our Spiritual Life" and give power to our G-dlly Neshamas, then we will truly bring back the Shechina.

Have a easy and meaningful fast,
Duvid Chaim

There are many beautiful threads in the "Beis Medrash" on our forum (like this one) with many inspiring Divrei Torah and perspectives on the lessons of Tisha Be'av and our struggle with addiction. We encourage everyone to visit the Beis Medrash.

For a good historical and Halachic overview of Tisha Be'av, see this page on Matzav.com.

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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