Get Help, Stay Helped
 
 
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1400  
 
 
In Today's Issue
   
Image of the Day: Which is Greater?
Attitude & Perspective: Are You in Touch with Reality?
Announcements: Talks for Spouses and Couples
Practical Tips: The Science of Habit Change
Daily Dose of Dov: G-d Help, Not "Self-Help"
 
 
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Image of the Day
 
Which is Greater?
 
Which is Greater?
Attitude & Perspective
 
Are You in Touch with Reality?
 
By Allan J. Katz, LPC

Allan J. Katz is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Coach and Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT). He and his wife have helped save many marriages through GYE. To speak with Allan, call our hotline 646-600-8100, press Extension 2 for “Treatment” and then press 3 to be directed to his phone line. Allan and his wife can help you build trust back into your marriage and discover true intimacy, instead of intensity. (The initial call is free, and then you may decide to engage Allan in long-term or short-term coaching).

You can download his FREE e-book, Mask in the Mirror: Chizuk for people wanting Shmiras Eiynaim at https://guardyoureyes.com/ebooks/item/mask-in-the-mirror?category_id=150

Accepting and living in reality is the foundation of the recovery process. When we have faith in a Power greater than ourselves, we accept the fact that we are no longer in control and that what is happening for us at this time is in our Higher Power’s hands, not ours. We cannot change the future. When we worry about the future we become anxious, restless, irritable and discontent. When we relive our past we get depressed. Reality is being able to trust others and our Higher Power.

When we have both faith and trust, we are living in reality. Accepting the things we cannot change, changing the things we can. It’s also a matter of awareness. Living in reality is observing the world around us for what it is: wondrous, eclectic, sometimes cruel, and sometimes serene. We don’t judge other people, understanding that everyone has challenges. Our job is to overcome our challenges, seek what will make us fulfilled in life, and discover our life’s purpose. Why has our Higher Power allowed us to live through the pain and suffering of addiction? Some of us are lucky to be alive.

Reality is living in the present moment. Not worrying about the future and not reliving the shame messages we received from our past traumas, abuse, death or grief. What happens when we leave reality? We begin to fantasize and self medicate, then addiction sets in which ultimately causes shame, guilt, low self-esteem, and depression. The addiction cycle continues to spin around and around until we hit bottom.

My New Year’s wish for you is to discover what it means to live a fulfilled life with emotional sobriety, not just stopping obsessions and compulsions. We’ve seen from research that following the 12-step program, getting a sponsor, getting a therapist, attending group therapy is the path to emotional sobriety. Thank you for the trust you’ve given me this past year. When I can help you in any way to reach your potential toward a more fulfilling life, let me know by email or visit the website.

Announcements
 
Talks for Spouses and Couples
 

Are you a married sexaholic? Or maybe you are married to a sexaholic?

Sexaholism/Sex addiction is a family disease and both spouses can benefit from recovery experience of others.

We have put together a handful of recordings, addressing the family and marital issues of this pernicious disease, both from GYE veterans Dov and Miriam and from addiction experts Rabbis Twerski and Taub.

Practical Tips
 
The Science of Habit Change
 
Part 14/14
 
By the.guard

Click here to listen and/or download this article as a professionally recorded AUDIO BOOK (45 minutes).

The opposite of addiction is CONNECTION

A recent study has shown that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety but rather CONNECTION (watch this video for a 5 minute overview of this enlightening study). So if the suggested routines mentioned above don’t do the trick, it is likely that loneliness and isolation are the triggers and the brain is craving a “connection” reward. A porn addiction removes us from natural interactions with others and replaces it with intense, hyper stimulated responses to objectified people, giving us the illusion of connection. Recovering addicts need to re-learn how to be with real people in real, normal circumstances. Even if it feels like an enormous effort, socializing will help us regain a normal sense of people and relationships. So next time you feel triggered, get up and connect with some friends or go hug your kids and have a conversation with your wife.

On a similar note, one of the most common actions used in 12-Step groups to replace the acting-out routine is to pick up the phone to another member of the program and share our feelings. The rush of energy it takes to make the call and the connection we feel while on the call, etc. can replace the rewards that we have come to rely on by making us feel once again worthy, hopeful, alive, and most of all – connected. Experience has shown that members who have trained themselves to habitually “pick up the phone” every time they feel triggered have the highest rate of success. Instead of the illusion of connection with the images on the screen, we replace it with the real connection of another human being who understand us and reassure us that “it will be okay”. Over-time, the bad habit is simply replaced by this new routines. Instead of acting-out, we reach out.

The triggers may always remain the same, but as described in all the examples above (snack, nap, exercise, hobbies and connection) we can learn to replace the reward we crave with something else - something far more meaningful, and thus enable ourselves to change the routine.

The Group Aspect

And lastly, our odds of success go up dramatically when we commit to changing as part of a group. This is because, as explained earlier, “belief” is at the core of modifying many habit loops and plays a critical role in habit change. For change to be permanent, people must believe change is possible and that things will get better. And studies have shown that the strongest belief is born out of group support. Groups have a powerful effect on belief by providing shared experiences and opportunities for people to publicly commit to change.


To sum up this entire series:

If you want to change a habit, it usually helps to recognize the cue (“I always want to act-out when I feel stressed”), deliver the expected reward (“I feel more relaxed around friends”), but find an alternative routine (“Instead of looking at porn, I’ll go to a 12-Step meeting”). And with the belief in a higher power and the power of the group, we train ourselves to believe that change is really possible.

Daily Dose of Dov
 
G-d Help, Not "Self-Help"
 
By Dov

They say how funny it is that 12 steps is referred to as "self-improvement" or "self-help" in the bookstores. It's really the opposite of self-help - which is how we got screwed up in the first place, of course. It's about G-d-help, meaning: learning how to accept the unadorned truth about ourselves, accept His help in place of our ineptness, start to take directions, and really get better for a change.

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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