Staying sane just for today
 
 
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1316  
 
 
In Today's Issue
   
Editor’s Note
Image of the Day: What are you working on?
Torah: My Take on Elul
Daily Dose of Dov: The Powerlessness of an Addict
Attitude & Perspective: Principle 6: One day at a time
 
 
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Editor’s Note

I ask that You might help me work through all my problems, to Your Glory and Honor.
--Alcoholics Anonymous

Many of us lived in situations where it wasn't okay to identify, have, or talk about problems.  

Denial became a way of life - our way of dealing with problems.

In recovery, many of us still fear problems. We may spend more time reacting to a problem than we do to solving it. 

We miss the point; we miss the lesson; we miss the gift. Problems are a part of life. So are solutions.

In recovery, we learn to focus on solving our problems. First, we make certain the problem is our problem. If it isn't, our problem is establishing boundaries. Then we seek the best solution. This may mean setting a goal, asking for help, gathering more information, taking an action, or letting go.

Face and solve today's problems. Don't worry needlessly about tomorrow's problems, because when they appear, we'll have the resources necessary to solve them.

God, help me face and solve my problems today. Help me do my part and let the rest go. I can learn to be a problem-solver.

Image of the Day
 

In our lives, and especially in our recovery, there can be no stagnation...

What are you working on?
 
What are you working on?
Torah
 
My Take on Elul
 
By Me3

This is my take on this Elul / Yomim Noraim, and I think many of us here can relate:

For several years I've come before the Ribono Shel Olam before Rosh Hashana with one kabalah.

"Ribono Shel Olam, this year I plan on being better with my Shmiras Anayim.
Both in the street & on the computer.
No Internet surfing
No image searches
No blog searches
No inappropriate blog reading
etc...

And Ribono Shel Olam, although You and I know that I made this same kabalah last year and I have nothing to show for it; and I am not worthy of your mercy or of being kept alive this year; it was not because I wanted to go against Your will, it's because of this terrible addiction that plagues me. So, Ribono Shel Olam, please forgive me for my aveiros of last year, and grant me another year of life and give me the strength to do Your will this year."

This year I will be making almost the same kabalah and much of the same statements, with one important difference.

Ribono Shel Olam, during this past year, and especially recently...

I WAS BETTER!
I MADE IMPROVEMENTS!
I FOUND GYE!
I GUARDED MY EYES!
I INSTALLED AN INTERNET FILTER!
I GAVE AWAY THE PASSWORD!
I EVEN HELPED INSPIRE OTHERS!

Now You and I know that I was far, far, far from perfect, and I still have worlds to improve in this area, but please grant me a new year of life and allow me to continue to grow and improve.

Daily Dose of Dov
 
The Powerlessness of an Addict
 
Part 2/6
 
By Dov

Someone posted on the forum the following:

Rav Pam writes in Atara Lamelach that today we cannot do teshuva by focusing on how bad sin is. That would only hurt us and drag us down more. Rather we should focus on our maiylos and how special we are as the descendants of the Avos and as the bearers of Yiddishkeit, and strive to improve ourselves.


Dov replies:

Dear yidden who are on many different paths,

Yes, we are special. Sha'arei Kedusha basically opens with this fact and posits that the lack of recognition of how wonderful it is to be a yid and carry such a high, ancient, and beautiful neshoma, is at the root of falling into sin. Yes, it's true.

And yes, thinking of ourselves as "sinners" carries great risks. We carry so much baggage regarding that label. It may mean to us that "it's all over" and become depressed; we may give up and do worse things; we may lose emunah in Hashem's Power, Love for us, and in His Wisdom; and as a result, our chances of growing/fulfilling our potential may become quite poor, etc, etc.

But it seems to me that some people, especially frum yidden, tend to throw the baby out with the bathwater on this one. Here is what I mean:

I am sick. I have a progressive, fatal disease. It is also chronic. It does not have to kill me, as I am in remission because of my medication (the 12-Steps). But I need to take it correctly for it to work. We know of many people who have this disease and successfully live full lives nonetheless. My life has been full since getting my treatment, and as my wife told me just yesterday, life is getting better every year. It'll probably stay that way as long as I don't take the credit, 'cuz taking the credit would mean that I have stopped taking the meds.

You know what I'm talking about. It's sexaholism, lustaholism, call it what you like. Surviving it isn't a "challenge" for me, it's not about being on a "higher madreiga", and it isn't very pretty, really. But it's the truth.

Did Hashem love me fifteen years ago? You'll say "YES!". Was I "special"? You'd say "YES!". And I agree. And by the way, while I was special, I was also teaching a shiur and then leaving right afterwards to the red-light district to act out. While I was "special" I was also hooked on a seven year long telephone relationship with someone I wasn't married to, and while Hashem loved me, I made many secret rendezvous to see people who definitely didn't love me at all, but looked like they did - to me. I was just plain nuts...

And if you asked me to stop, as my neshoma did, I'd have told you (as I told my neshama) "You know, I will tomorrow, I HAVE TO quit!!". It was the same torture that many of you on this site know only too well. I would ask myself, "what am I doing??" I figured that I just really sucked at serving Hashem and was a first-rate "sinner". In actuality, I was truly serving myself in the temple of lust, carefully using the instructions the p**n industry had taught me. To me, this is not just a cute moshol, it's the truth.

To be continued...
Attitude & Perspective
 
Principle 6: One day at a time
 
By GYE

Take the struggle only “one day at a time.” Try never to focus on the future or wonder how we will manage. We must learn to live in the present only, focusing on staying "clean" or "sober" right NOW. When we focus on the future, we can easily fall. It’s like someone walking a tightrope; if he looks down, it becomes so much harder not to fall. Therefore, when feeling weak we can tell ourselves, “just for today, I will stay clean.” “Just for this moment, I will stay clean.” The past and the future are out of our hands and belong only to Hashem. When we feel that we are about to fall, we may even tell ourselves that we reserve the right to act out tomorrow. We are not making a decision now for life. However, just for today we will do whatever we can to stay clean.

Read more
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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