Relapse prevention strategies
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1324  
In Today's Issue
Image of the Day
Practical Tips: Preventing Relapse
Torah: The Edge of the Cliff
12 Step Attitude: Why Aren't They in a Group Yet?
90 Day Journey
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Image of the Day

One of the symptoms of the disease of addiction is self-centerdness and self-reliance. "Ani v'afsi od." 'Kochi v'otzem yodi os'so li es hahayil hazeh."

Coming into recovery, many of us are taken aback by the idea of asking for help.

Print out this permission slip and keep it close. You may need it, if you're serious about getting well.


Practical Tips
Preventing Relapse
By Once-innocent

There is a solution, a way to prevent relapse, and it’s a fairly straightforward one. You need to cram your schedule with activities and interactions that are more helpful to your recovery. One of the best ways to do this is to attend more 12-step meetings. Immerse yourself in them. Attend them more frequently than once or twice a week. Go twice a day, if you find that helpful. Do whatever it takes to find the support you need. Talk with your sponsor. Do things with your group members. Participate in workshops and seminars. Listen to others at the meetings and lend your support as well. Reaching out can benefit you by taking you outside your own concerns as well as helping the other person in need.

Here are some more practical suggestions on how to prevent relapse – and help you get it together again.

  • Stay focused on your recovery. You need time to get yourself together, time to get stronger.

  • Avoid situations where you feel bored. And, definitely avoid isolating yourself at home alone.

  • Make sure you recognize your incremental achievements. Reward for achieving a goal of one week of sobriety, or one month, is a great way of recognizing your achievements and spurring you on to your next goal.

  • Get support and help often. Keep in close contact with those who are most helpful to you. This may be your family members, close friends or co-workers. It should definitely include your 12-step group sponsor and other group members with whom you share similarities or friendship.

  • Change your routine. Switch the way you drive to work, the order in which you do your exercises, the variety of cuisines you eat or prepare. This keeps things from getting stale and creates an aura of excitement, of something different, something new each day to look forward to.

  • Don’t see relapse as failure. Never give up on your goal of recovery. Instead, look at relapse as a brief return to addictive behavior. It doesn’t mean that you’re destined to fail if you’ve had a relapse. You may need to go back into treatment and/or intensive counseling so you can get back on the road to recovery.

  • Get support immediately from a person or group that you trust if you feel in imminent danger of relapse.

  • Make yourself wait at least two hours before acting on a craving or urge. This is often long enough for the urge/craving to dissipate.

  • When you identify or find behaviors that are helpful in curing cravings/urges, modify these to incorporate into new behaviors that can help in other stressful situations. Nothing succeeds like success. If it worked before, make use of it again.

  • Always have new goals to strive for. Look toward the future, the way you want your life to be a year, 5 years, even 10 years down the road. Make plans that you can put into motion to achieve those goals. Remember, the rest of your life begins with the steps you take today. Your recovery begins now.

Remember that preventing relapse requires knowledge and awareness of triggers and cues. Once you’ve identified the risky situations, toxic emotions, worked out all the potential stressors that could catapult you into relapse, the rest is up to you. Ask yourself the following two questions:

Am I willing to do something about it?

What am I willing to do?

Then, do it – making sure that you avail yourself of all the resources and help that are available to you. Will it be easy? No, it probably won’t be. Some days will be more difficult than others. But, over time, you will become stronger, more self-confident, and more capable of addressing the stressors, triggers, issues and problems that come your way. And you’ll be able to do so without triggering a relapse.

The Edge of the Cliff
By Anonymous

Someone posted on the forum today:

I just pulled myself back from the edge of the cliff again, for the second time this week.

I usually fall on Sundays. However, in honor of R"H, I didn't fall Sunday.
I didn't fall Monday.
I didn't fall Tuesday.

But I've been unable to stop myself from surfing on the internet, not p*rn, but photos that stir the coals.

I say to myself, "only for today, don't fall!". But, as you all know, it's very, very hard.

I tell myself, "this time I'll make it through, for the sake of R"H and the aseret yamei teshuva".

I don't know how many days it is since I last fell, because I stopped keeping track (it put too much pressure on me), but I estimate about 15 days.

I want so badly to last and stay clean at least until Y"K.

Can I do it?

I don't know.

Writing it out helps, but chizuk from my friends will help more.

I have to add, this is so crazy. When I was on the edge of the cliff, literally looking down and about to jump off (figuratively of course), I heard Guard's voice (not his real voice which is a secret, but a G-d like voice, kind of like in the movie the 10 commandments but without the echo, quoting Guard) telling me:

"Say to yourself that you will not do it no matter what! Your tuches won't fall off!"

I felt like a lunatic, I was having a conversation back and forth in my mind.

"Just do it, you'll feel better",

"No! I will feel so badly afterward and get depressed. It's almost R"H."

and back and forth...

until I just said "No", and walked away from the cliff.

We answered:

Yes, I admit. That voice was me. I have secret ways of communicating with people I really love :-)

Read article
12 Step Attitude
Why Aren't They in a Group Yet?
By Steve

There are so many people here that could benefit from a 12-Step program. MY HEART GOES OUT TO THEM. All those posts from the men & women on this fantastic forum, yet it seems they're just repeating an endless cycle of attempting 90+ days, Fall, Blog-a-lot, Sobriety, attempt 90+ days, feeling weak, Fall, blog-a-lot, etc.

From the program's "guarantee" (which is what brought me here), I think there could be a lot more permanent yeshuos for everyone if they would join a 12-Step group, or at least a phone conference like Duvid Chaim's call. Why are they not in a group yet? From what I am learning and what I hear, this seems to really be the ONLY WAY for an addict. The rest of the strategies are just trying to keep "on guard", which is not the real solution.

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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