I Can Do It Alone... or Can I?
 
 
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1350  
 
 
In Today's Issue
   
Announcements: New Sunday Call for Spouses
Image of the Day
Chizuk: Together, we stand!
12 Step Attitude: Our Excuses List
Q & A: Are Live Groups Necessary to Learn the 12-Steps?
Torah: Avraham Avinu's Filter
 
 
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Announcements
 
New Sunday Call for Spouses
 

Miriam will be doing a call for spouses (of addicts) every Sunday at 2pm EST and 9pm Israel time.

This is to enable women in Israel to join as well (since Malka's calls are too late for people living in Israel).

For more information, see this page or contact Miriam at: miriamgye@gmail.com

Image of the Day
 
Chizuk
 
Together, we stand!
 
By Hillel Hazukyn

Don't just lie there alone, come on out - join the group,

We're all fightin' a battle and we need every single troop,

We're all in this together, here's my hand, hold on tight,

I can't afford to lose you, so I'll pull with all my might.

There's no time for depression, when you're fighting a war,

If you fall, get up, quick, 'cause you know there'll be more.

And here's another reason, why we need you standing tall

'cause there are other soliders that get hit and also fall,

but when they see you stand up straight and shake off the dirt,

It gives them strength to do the same and not lie down with self hurt.

p.s.

That other solider who got hit, was little old me,

I was trying to fight back with my own army,

but that never works, and I was going to fall,

then I remembered what Steve always says on the call.

If you're lusting then you taking, yes, you're feeling greedy,

So the only way out is to help the needy.

12 Step Attitude
 
Our Excuses List
 
By Momo

In a conference call with Duvid Chaim, we discussed the realization that we usually come up with some lame excuse as to why we should take our first "lust hit", and we rationalize why we can start act out. And once we start, we can't stop!

Read more
Q & A
 
Are Live Groups Necessary to Learn the 12-Steps?
 
Part 1/2
 
Is it necessary to attend meetings to follow the 12 steps?
 
By GYE

A member called "Yaakov" posted a reply to "eme" (edited):

I have done the 12 steps without the groups, so I can testify that it is possible to grow from the 12 steps without the groups. However, those who went to the groups will tell that you will gain a lot by going to the groups. There are definitely advantages of doing it with the groups over doing it alone. But whether I did it the proper way or not, makes no difference. It gave me a framework for growth. So even if you decide that groups are not for you - for whatever reason (practical or other), the 12 steps can still be your address. I would advise though, to look at the Jewish version of the 12 steps on the Guardureyes website (over here). It is more direct for a yid trying to reconnect.

I would like to address both eme's question AND Yaakov's reply. As usual, we turn again to Boruch - our "12-Step" expert - for some guidance.

A few weeks ago, Boruch sent me a very important article called "Gersham's Law" to read. I will try to summarize the article very briefly as follows:

The article outlines how, since the inception of the 12-Step system in the 1930s, there have evolved a few strains of 12-Step approach today; The Strong Way, The Medium Way and The Weak Way. Over the years, the 12-Steps have been watered down and have come to rely more on the power of the group's "social structure" as opposed to relying on the actual program - which was meant to be a powerful and life-altering spiritual experience. The article also charts a profound drop in the statistical effectiveness and overall recovery rate of the 12-Step groups, over the years. As the article states towards the end:

"AA worked in the first place because its Twelve Steps were a workable set of guidelines to spiritual experience. Growth of the movement made possible for a time a kind of parasitism in which partial practitioners and non-practitioners of the spiritual principles were able to feed off the strength of those who had undergone real spiritual experiences. But at this point in time, the parasites have already drained the host organism of a considerable portion of its life force".

After I had read the article, Boruch wrote me as follows:

Unfortunately, the basic problem - as described in that article - of "watering down the steps" has spread to us too. Let me explain.

Our instant-gratification society has ignored the original prescription of AA which was ALL about Group, sponsor and working the steps and has just taken the steps in isolation. Who needs a Group and sponsor if I can just read a list of steps on my own? Why, we can find lists of the steps all over the web and many think that there is some value in the steps on their own.

That is a fatal error. Not just because you need a group to implement the steps. But because trying to understand the steps in just a few sentences as it appears on the site (over here) is no less than trying to figure out the contents of the Mesilas Yeshorim without ever reading the sefer, just by looking at the 10 steps of R' Pinchos Ben Ya'ir (upon which the Mesilas Yesharim is based). Or like learning Hilchos Shchitah without ever having seen a real Shchitah. Can you become a Shochet this way? Of course not. That's why "Shimush" is vital for any Rav before he can pasken Halacha.

In the old days, it did not matter whether an alcoholic read the Big Book, or even whether he could read. He heard the Big Book in meetings, and his sponsor and many of his fellow members had read the book. He got the system that way. Today, many groups skimp on the readings, the sponsors themselves have not read the literature and so many groups have lost their way. Especially those who content themselves with just reading a list of the steps!

We need to go back to encouraging the old AA system of group, sponsor and working the steps. And for those who are not ready for that yet, we need to encourage them to read the Big Book.

But we have not done that yet on Guardureyes, and we are paying the price without even realizing it. I can give you one excellent, well intended example of where we have totally lost our way.

On our site we have The 12 Torah Steps (copied from www.jewishsexuality.com). What could be better than that? Torah and the Steps wrapped in one!!! The best of Bill W. and Breslov. It seems like the perfect combination. Self-help, spirituality and kedusha all rolled into one. And all in an easy, step by step guide.

To be continued...
Torah
 

If you couldn't access the full article via a link in our last issue, we apologize!

Here is the article in full.

 
Avraham Avinu's Filter
 
By Kivi

As Avraham Avinu approached Mitzrayim the Torah writes he noticed Sarah's beauty. Until now, Rashi says, he never noticed her beauty, but as a result of an incident (Avraham saw her reflection in the water, as Medrash writes) he saw her. Was this because Sarah was a Tzanua? Rashi says it's not. Rather, it's because of the Tznius of BOTH OF THEM.

עד עכשיו לא הכיר בהמתוך צניעות שבשניהם"

(רש''י, בראשית יב :יא)

How many times did I tell myself if only women would dress more Tznius I wouldn't be drawn to look at them? If only I had the right filter on my computer, I wouldn't have a problem. Well, Sarah was absolutely Tzanuah, according to all standards, but that wasn't enough for Avraham to respect that Tznius. Avraham himself had to be Tzanuah too. A filter on Sarah was not enough; Avraham needed a filter on Avraham too. He knew that one cannot rely on everything around him changing and protecting him. Protection meant protecting himself from within.

Avraham's filter was on Avraham, in his mind and heart. As the recovery literature says, we need a "Psychic Change." That filter on the mind is a constant connection with HKB"H. He's the only reliable filter, and that filter is installed within us.

I've used every filter on my computer, and hoped for every filter on my surroundings. I've broken through them all. If I want to lust, there's nothing that can stop me. The only answer is to decide to be a Tzanuah myself, to install a filters on my hearts and mind, and that only HKB"H can do for me. May He give us all that gift soon!

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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