Miracles abound
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1304  
In Today's Issue
Image of the Day: Don't give up before the miracle happens!
Testimonials: 1 year sober!
Personal Victories: What is Teshuva Shleima?
Daily Dose of Dov: Getting Hashem to Step Into the Ring
Link of the Day: Step 8 - Part II
90 Day Journey
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Still Clean Had a fall
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Image of the Day
Don't give up before the miracle happens!
Don't give up before the miracle happens!
1 year sober!
By Aryeh

Dear GYE,
The 9th of Av was my one year anniversary of not spilling z"l. And that is the same day I came to GYE. So I am happy about that milestone, because I lived it every single day, one day at a time. And because I don't remember such a long span of time being clean in my life.
It is true that I reset my count on the chart to start again, because I saw once undesirable material knowingly, and according to GYE it is considered a fall (but that very day I picked myself up). And I am half way to 90 days for the second time because of that one and only fall. But honesty is another gift I got here on GYE.
It is very true that I owe to Hashem the place where I am standing today (and the road is still long, but with His Help all is possible), but, in truth, without GYE it would not have been possible. I am full of gratitude, and I pray that together we shall witness the re-building of the Mikdash with coming of the Moshiach, Amen.

Personal Victories
What is Teshuva Shleima?
By Obormottel

This is a forum post from a while back.

Member Machshova Tova did, in fact, find a source for it in the sforim hakdoishim:

"The source is Gemara Yoma 86b:

היכי דמי בעל תשובה אמר רב יהודה כגון שבאת לידו דבר עבירה פעם ראשונה ושניה וניצל הימנה מחוי רב יהודה באותה אשה באותו פרק באותו מקום

It is also in Rambam Hilchos Teshuva 2:1."

I think somewhere in the holy books (maybe Rambam) it says that you know that you actually have done tshuvo is when the same situation arises, you withstand the temptation this time. I'm sure Machshova Tova can find the chapter and verse and the exact loshoin, in fact I would be grateful if you did...

But here is a personal story from today.

I was in a check out line, and when my turn came, this pretty black girl behind the counter said: "Wow, you have beautiful eyes!"
Many, many years ago, I was in a check out line in a different store, in a different city.
When it was my turn to pay, a young and pretty girl behind the cash register said:"Wow, you have beautiful eyes!".
Both times, I said "Thank you" and modestly lowered my gaze. The difference was, however, that in that old story, my mind immediately started racing and spew out mad thoughts like "She's into me, she's making a move on me, I should ask her out, I gotta find out when her shift is over, and take her to a movie, and then have sex with her".
Why, with me being away from wife and kids in a strange town and having the whole evening to myself, it seemed like a really sound idea.
I paid and left the store, but the fantasy stayed with me for a very long time (so much so that I remember it today) and for the longest time I was beating myself up for not asking her out and missing out on an opportunity. I would often fantasize and act out with myself with the above scenario playing in my head.
Today, after acknowledging the compliment, I turned my head away, without further contemplation. When the de'javu became apparent to me, I prayed for that woman to have a peaceful day, free of either emotional or physical injury. And I asked Hashem to help me find in Him whatever I was looking for in her.
And then I remembered the Rambam....

I surrendered my thoughts this time and followed through on my willingness to not fantasize, and I think I redeemed those demons I created when I have been obsessing over an innocent compliment many years ago.

Daily Dose of Dov
Getting Hashem to Step Into the Ring
By Dov

Dov had written once on the forum:

"I started getting better because I really reached out for my G-d and kept using His help, from that point forward."

Someone asked Dov to clarify:

Please help me understand this. How do I do this??? When I am caught in overwhelming lust, what do I do? "Hashem, help me out of this"? I have not found that very effective. I have instead found myself alone with the yetzer hara in a battle that I have virtually no chance of winning. How do I get G-d to step into the ring???

Dov Replies:

What I was told was: Instead of getting Hashem to step into the ring, you need to learn how to step out of the ring. And it worked.

But to step out of the ring, I cannot be going-it alone, I need to bring other sober people into my struggle, and as often as possible in the heat of the moment. Because if I am doing it alone, I am most likely saying inside: "I can beat this! I have the trick now!". There are no tricks and no easy ways out.

It doesn't seem to ever work if I am really saying to Hashem: "Take it away G-d, so I don't have to give it up"! (as the White-Book puts it so well).

And we cannot assume that our faith in Hashem is so real that when we talk to Him it has the same emotional value to us as talking to another person does. If that were so, we'd never hide from people when acting out - would we? So we must really have a disconnect there. Face it.

And the answer, for me, was to establish real connections with people, and only then with my G-d. And as I have posted before to someone (see Chizuk e-mail #553 on this page), this is the way Hashem made us. We were created to establish human relations (parents, then friends, then a spouse, then children) all to model and develop our relationship with Hashem.

Trouble is, addicts get short-circuited somewhere, and they remain eleven-year-olds in their own head, still fighting their parents. Hashem becomes a ritual, to some extent. If you were G-d, you would not want to be a ritual, would you? And the relationship with G-d doesn't work either.

So How to do it? The 12 Steps spelled it out simply and clearly for me, and I worked them with my sponsor and continue to work them today, with Hashem's help. And if I can, anyone can. Trust me. You may not know how screwed up I was, and how grandiose, self-centered and fearful I am, by nature. ANYONE can do this.

The trick is to stop thinking about it. Just stop. Work the steps, in order, and with another person who already did it and for whom it is still working. No deep meforshim and cheshboinos need apply.

Link of the Day

Audio shiur by Rabbi Yisrael Pinson. Published by chabad.org

Step 8 - Part II


Rabbi Yisrael Pinson is the Director of the Daniel B. Sobel Friendship House in West Bloomfield, MI. Since joining the Friendship House he has helped create a local Jewish Recovery Community where recovering addicts are helped through support, guidance, friendship and community.


More from Yisrael Pinson


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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