Going to Meetings vs. Going it Alone
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1352  
In Today's Issue
Testimonials: Hakoras Hatov
Sayings: The God I serve is bigger than the problems I encounter.
Image of the Day: Integrating our Experience
Q & A: Are Live Groups Necessary to Learn the 12-Steps?
Daily Dose of Dov: GYE Isn't Always Enough
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Hakoras Hatov
By Anonymous

Dear Guard,
I want to let you know that, B"H, I am 159 days clean on the internet, and I owe you and everyone involved with this great organization a tremendous hakaras hatov for helping me get started.

Read article
The God I serve is bigger than the problems I encounter. I focus on HIM, and not my struggles!
Image of the Day

The wisdom of sharing our story in 12 step groups is summarized quite well in this image. What better way to OWN our story than to coherently and honestly tell it?

Integrating our Experience
Integrating our Experience
Q & A

Continued from issue #1350

Are Live Groups Necessary to Learn the 12-Steps?
Part 2/2
Is it necessary to attend meetings to follow the 12 steps?

I am going to say something that will sound extreme, but once you see it, it will be as clear as day.

In producing the Torah Steps we have totally lost our way. We have shown that we never had the first idea of what the Steps are. We have turned the Steps into something they were never intended to be, into something that cannot work for the majority of Frum addicts. All because we did not read the Big Book.

When you read the Big Book you will see that the steps are all about Foundations. Foundations that are common to almost all religions.
They are not protim (details). None of them.
They are not even klolim (general rules). None of them.
They are yesodos (foundations). All of them.
They are Yesodos so basic, that most religions - with all their stupidities - recognize their universal truths. They are equal and applicable to every human being.

The alcoholic and addict needs to begin life anew. He needs to build new foundations for a new existence. He has to start his entire building over again. And for this, he needs yesodos - foundations, like Cinder Blocks. You don't use decorative ceramics for foundations, you don't even use regular bricks. You need Foundation Stones. You don't use klolim (general rules) for foundations, and you certainly don't use protim (details) for foundations.

"Abandoning Lust" is a foundation stone. That belongs in the steps of the sexaholic. That is clear and simple. It is equal and relevant to everyone.

How about saying tikkunim and mikva (as mentioned in the Torah steps)? As much as they are an integral part of the path to holiness, are these foundations that are so basic that all rational religions agree on them? Do they apply equally to all human beings?

Of course not. Even for those who practice them, they are not foundations. They are not even general rules, they are "details". It is like building a foundation on decorative glass.

It is important to realize that in promoting these "lists", we undermine the whole building. Because the foundation of this tower that we need to fight the yetzer hara has to be steps so simple, so basic, that you can do all 12 steps wherever you are, in any time or place, without prerequisites of any inherent spiritual levels. Steps that are such foundations that everyone gets them, even non-Jewish drunks.

And the same goes for other details mentioned in the 12 Torah steps such as; stringencies within marriage, admitting sins to a Torah scholar, not gazing at forbidden sights, Torah study, yiras shomayim and shmiras hamitzvos. Of course we should aim for kedusha (holiness), but kedushah is the top floor. It is not the foundation. Woe to those who try and use their top floor materials to build their foundation. By all means, start working on holiness right now and today, build yourself an entire building if you can, from the foundations all the way to the top floor, in one day. But whatever you do, don't use your top floor as your foundation.

Like we've said in the past, the Rash Mikinon learned all the hidden secrets of Kabbalah, but how did he daven? Like a one-day-old baby.

We should indeed aspire to reach all levels of holiness, Fear of Heaven, Love of G-d and Torah learning. But how should we come back to Hashem? Like a simple drunk, using the 12 steps of 1939.

I think that this Pasuk in Koheles 7:29 says it best: "Asher asa ha'Elokim es ho'odom yoshor, veheima bikshu cheshbonos rabbim - G-d has created man straight, yet they have sought many calculations (complications)".

The Yetzer Hara knows that once he can make it complicated he will win.

So let's keep it simple and return to what worked. Not lists of steps. Not changes to steps.

1) Encourage the way that worked and the way that still works if you do it, and that is; Group meetings, a sponsor and working the steps.

2) We need to encourage those who are not yet ready, to read core AA and SA literature. This will encourage the suffering addict to ultimately join an SA group and get the steps in the strong way, the right way and the way that works.

Daily Dose of Dov
GYE Isn't Always Enough
Dov writes to someone who keeps having repeated falls:
By Dov

Dear friend,

You may need more support than you are getting, particularly the non-virtual kind. After all, our problem isn't just "virtual"...

I am absolutely positive that, in my case, there was no substitute for biting the bullet and meeting to talk in person with other guys who were sober. Specifically other guys who were at least as bad off as I was (or worse) to start with (in fact, worse off was better, cuz it proved more to me of the power of recovery!).

All of the people in the live SA groups know exactly what it feels like to think of something that is totally self-destructive and to desire it anyway. We all know the excruciating pain of not acting out our crazy ideas - even though they are totally nuts. So we are not ashamed of admitting it to each other, thank G-d, and we can finally get - and remain - completely honest about it with somebody.

How long will the addict remain afraid to get the gruesome details - in all their shameful stupidity - out into the light? Well however long it takes, that is probably how long this stupidity will still hold sway over him. (The tzetel koton of Reb Elimech of Lizensk is similar on this - he says that we need to tell our every deed and thought to a close friend in order to break the power of the evil)...

And that is just the very first step, you know. G-d has a lot of work to do on us, cuz we can get a lot better, you know.

Stop accepting the scraps off the table. Get a big bite of the main meal!!

This virtual thing (like the GYE forum) is a giant leap in the right direction, don't get me wrong please. But if we see that we need more to make it, then how much more do we need to suffer and put our precious relationships at risk before taking the necessary painful steps?

For me, those steps were coming face-to-face with other addicts who saw right through all my BS and also knew my pain exactly - and yet they came out the other side alive. I needed meetings, a sponsor, and a LIVE and open, open, open fellowship with others like me to get better.

We are all afraid of a different life, until the one we have becomes totally unbearable, of course.

It all depends on what you want: the same, or better?

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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