What's the source of your strength?
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1355  
In Today's Issue
Editor’s Note
Rabbi Twerski: 12-step program is the cake
Links: Gevurah is not Strength
Text: 4 Stages of Denial of Sex Addiction
Member's Chizuk: Let your problem be your solution
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Editor’s Note

A gute voch, GYE!

Hope your Shabbos was a peaceful one.

I love recovery and the peace and serenity it brings into my day-to-day experience. GYE emails are a big part of my recovery life, too, and I love them!

Turns out, I'm not alone. A fellow recovering person wrote to us: "Thank you... this [email] just helped me tons... you guys have a huge zchus..."

My pleasure, friend! Just stay sober today!

Another member wrote recently, commenting on the sex addiction debate: "The emails about whether or not sex addiction is really an addiction did scare me because I think that I am really sick. I have to really believe it! If I start hearing otherwise it can hurt my sobriety because I'll start thinking I can do things on my own when that is totally not true."

I feel the same way. Denial of sex addiction - for me - is a dangerous proposition. It is a good fear to have. In this issue, you will find a link to Dr. Linda Hatch's opinion on those who deny sex addiction - either their own or that it even exists. If you can't access the article, email me and I will send you full version. 

With best wishes for continued recovery,


Rabbi Twerski
12-step program is the cake

R' Avraham J. Twerski, world renowned expert on addictions, author of over 50 books and a great Talmid Chacham, is one of the guiding forces for our website. His advice, experience and immense knowledge, are invaluable to us and provide direction and technique for all of those struggling with these addictions.

Rabbi Twerski holds that THE most powerful tool in breaking free of addictions are the 12-Step groups, which combine the vital aspect of group support together with the tried and proven 12-Step program of recovery. To quote his words "Psychotherapy is the frosting on the cake, but the 12 step program is the cake".

Someone recently sent us a list of concerns and questions about joining non-Jewish groups in their area. It is precisely because of many of these concerns that we started the "Jewish Healing Hot-line", an anonymous phone conference group that meets on the phone once a week with a religious counselor. However since "Live Groups" are an even more powerful tool, we forwarded this person's questions to Rabbi Twerski to hear his views on the matter. We thank Rabbi Twerski for taking the time to answer these questions and for contributing to our network. We encourage everyone to take the opportunity to see Rabbi Twerski's replies to these important questions on this page.

See also the below excerpt from this week's Modia magazine's "Seeking Solutions" by Rabbi Twerski, on the importance and effectiveness of group support.


An article about the late Mirrer Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Finkel Z"L.

Gevurah is not Strength
4 Stages of Denial of Sex Addiction
By Linda Hatch, PhD

...On a societal level, the reality of sex addiction, as with other  behavioral addictions, has come up against denial.   Hundreds of neuropsychological and neurobiological studies in recent years have shown that behaviors such as Internet use, Internet gaming, gambling, pornography use can be physically addictive through the same brain mechanisms as drugs of abuse. (See for example this review)

Despite mounting evidence, a few highly vocal sex addiction “deniers” have published studies which they loudly claim to “prove” that sex addiction and porn addiction do not exist. Regardless of the motives for their activism, it feeds on a fear: the perceived threat of a loss of sexual freedom.  The fear of repression, intolerance and regulation of sex is a powerful one but it is irrelevant in this case.  Getting help for an addiction doesn’t infringe on sexual freedom which is and should continue to be part of normal life...

Read article
Member's Chizuk
Let your problem be your solution
By Steve

The Torah says Haggar put Yishmael under a tree, walked two bow shots away so as not to see him die from thirst and sat down to cry. The malach opened her eyes and she saw a well. The pasuk says: "She walked, she filled up her water skin, and gave the boy to drink." Where was the well? I always thought it was in the middle somewhere between them, but the pasuk only says "she walked" once, before she filled the skin. After that it says right away that the boy drank. So where was the well? RIGHT NEXT TO YISHMAEL. SHE JUST DIDN'T SEE IT.

This realization floored me:

"She thought she was running away from The Problem, but she was really running away from The Solution."

I take the lesson, the message from this to be: When we have problems and challenges, they are given to us by Hashem to face and figure out how He would want us to deal with them, and act accordingly. If we do that, then we are fulfilling, through this baby step, the current part of His plan of growth for us, and we become ready for the next one. It's part of our personal Tikkun, hence, our personal Solution, in this lifetime.

However, if we run away from the challenge out of fear, and out of not accepting Hashem's Plan for us, even going as far as hiding in our addiction, we may think we are running away from a problem.

The reality is we are running away from our own Solution. We just don't see it. We need our Higher Power to reveal this to us. And that comes from accepting His Will, His Circumstances and Outcomes, and praying that He reveal to us what He wants us to do.

And then, being man enough to listen and do the tough thing.

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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