Non-shame-based solution
  Breaking free email #1337  
In Today's Issue
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Editor’s Note
Daily Dose of Dov: Don't Live in the Problem, Live in the Solution.
Links: Self Compassion Can Ease Shame Associated with Sex Addiction
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Editor’s Note

A gut moed! Moadim l'simcha!

We hope you're staying sane and sober this Sukkos.

To help you, we bring you some more of Dov's inspiration, as well as an article on self-compassion, to help with bouts of shame that often plague us.

Please note that Dov's 12-Step Desperados call is restarting a new cycle be"h on Oct 11, the Sunday after Sukkos.

We also wanted to share with you the good news. Our advertising and fundraising campaign has raised the awareness of the general public about GYE and resulted in 145 new members to the English website in the past week! That is a record for us! 

The annual campaign serves more than just the purpose of raising money. The mass e-mails we send out, the articles and banners on all the websites bring a huge hisorerus of Teshuvah - especially during the Yomim Noraim. 

Last week we had 107 new members sign up, and this week 145! These were both record numbers for us.

You have a big zechus in it! Tizke Lemitzvos!



Daily Dose of Dov
Don't Live in the Problem, Live in the Solution.
Part 2/3
By Dov

I would like to quote some of Dov's posts that expand on this issue in more depth. From Dov we can truly learn how to live in the SOLUTION instead of "fighting" desperately (an often losing battle) - with the PROBLEM.

Dov writes to Uri who - as we can see from the song above - is bravely struggling with the "monster" within:

To my dear friend who writes so beautifully about what's going on inside him, and about issues such as "love vs. lust", and - of course - struggling with fantasies a lot:

One simple answer for all this that anyone can do is: Don't think so much. Especially about yourself.

What??? But how???

This sounds like a very, very tall order for an addict, or for someone who is kinda young, or for someone who is naturally highly self-aware and jam-packed with feelings pretty much all the time. You (and many of us) have all these qualities. Ouch. We are experts at "focus-inward", and typically only focus outward when it's all about what we are getting - or not getting - from the other person.

Shockingly ;-), the typical prescription for this problem (that is working for me and others I know) is to start getting more and more used to thinking about others, for the rest of our lives. "Others" means anyone not attached to my own "desire / feeling / awareness" thing (some call that "thing" the ego). That list includes Hashem (of course), your family, your friends, co-workers, people you walk by in the street, etc; basically anyone with a will of their own (... not yours). So far so good?

Being apart from others - even in / especially in a room full of people - is our typical state. But for sobriety and sanity to grow, it's got to change. In real life, this means doing things that make us a part of, rather than apart from. But how? By being frummer or becoming better? Not really.

Just check these practical applications out and see if you think they would be good daily exercises for your own "focus-outward" muscles:

  • Davening primarily for others in general, rather than for me (except in real emergencies) [Tzadikim do this by focusing strictly on tza'ar haSh'chinah, but we are doing it just for anyone's tza'ar but our own, for now].
  • Actually functioning (even in small ways) as part of a group [a minyan can do this if you find a way].
  • Accomplishing things that are not for me.
  • Not taking that second look at the pretty woman (I just had to not do that myself five minutes ago!) even though it hurts cuz I'm an addict. Looking / lusting about it will just work out my "me-me-me muscle", no?
  • Having a nice, long conversation with anyone and making 99% of the topic them, rather than me.
  • Doing a mitzvah (or two) for G-d's sake, rather than because people will see, or for olam haba. (B"H, I rarely think about olam haba - it's too selfish in practice, though folks who treat hashkafa as reality will tell you s'char mitzvah is not supposed to be a selfish pursuit at all. So what? It is for me! So, till I'm ready for a different attitude towards s'char, out with it!)
  • Keeping a halacha because we don't want to.
  • Being good to ourselves because we don't want to (going to a meeting, exercising, taking a shower, learning some Torah, cleaning up the apt, making a friend, etc.) [in s'forim that's called "mis'chased im atzmo - doing kindness with one's self"].

Get the idea?

The main thing for success in this, is not allowing yourself to get bogged down by anyone (that includes you) in wrestling about philosophy (which may be mislabeled as "Torah"), motivations, the existence of altruism, or whatever else seems to really matter. It's all nice, but an addict can't afford it. Our eye must remain on the prize, which is: Going outward rather than inward. Period.

Yes, we need Hashem's constant help to do this the right way and for it to lead closer to actually being useful to Him and His people. But as the Mesillas Yeshorim writes, there are some midos that lend themselves to knocking down a bazillion bad middos all in one fell swoop. For an addict, this is one of the big ones that do that. The particulars are less important than most think. Besides, He can help just fine if you ask for it, and He will. (Uh, oh, that's praying for yourself! Well, for this we can make exceptions ;-)

To be continued...

A self-compassionate attitude can help offset the influence of shame and rumination that often plague recovering sex addicts, a new study finds.

Self Compassion Can Ease Shame Associated with Sex Addiction

This link will take you to the Recovery Ranch website, where you can find more articles on addiction and recovery, find out about their recovery services, and take their sex addiction test.

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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