Fight for something
 
 
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1516  
 
 
In Today's Issue
   
Image of the Day
12 Step Attitude: Free Will vs. Powerlessness
Practical Tips: Preventing Keri (Nocturnal Emission)
Daily Dose of Dov: How Do You Define an "Addict"?
 
 
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Image of the Day
 
12 Step Attitude
 
Free Will vs. Powerlessness
 
By GYE

Question: You say that only Hashem can give us ultimate victory over lust. Then, where does human willpower and bechira come into play?

Here are a few good resources that can help us understand this sticky topic:

1) This PDF booklet discusses the issue in depth.

2) A great article on the topic: When He removes His help, we fall.

3) Principle 17 - Don't Dwell on the Past

4) An amazing take on the story of Yosef and the wife of Potifar

Practical Tips
 
 
Preventing Keri (Nocturnal Emission)
 
Daily Dose of Dov
 
How Do You Define an "Addict"?
 
By Dov

The label "addict" does not have to mean "one who has done really bad stuff" - or at least "stuff worse than I have". It doesn't mean one has to actually voyeur, expose himself, or be oiver (transgress on) gilui arayos (ie. with another person - masturbation doesn't seem to 'count' for some reason ??) in order to really be "an addict".

As a matter of fact, I know of plenty folks who have been oiver on gilui arayos and are most likely not addicts. I doubt that the yidden in the midbar who were oiver with the shiksas at sheettim where addicts. I doubt that most men and women who have affairs are addicts - per some surveys, almost 30% of Americans have, and the idea that all of them are addicts is just plain silly, in my opinion. Of course, it may comfort us to point a finger and say "Oh, he's that horrible? He must be an addict."... but since when is being an addict an insult? Is it, do you think?

You may feel that, as yidden, we are held to a higher standard and maybe we qualify as "out of control" with less bad behavior than non-Jews. Perhaps masturbation is horrible enough... Rabbi Akiva may even tell us so (though he might feel the exact same shock about 150 other things we do nowadays). But I digress.

My point is, that I do not believe that "badness" is what defines how sick we are. I believe that it has very little to do with whether we are "addicts". Not being an expert on addiction, of course, all I can suggest is for you to read the First Step of the Big Book of AA. The realizations that brought us here, were:

1- that our formerly trusted and depended upon behavior (using lust, alcohol, gambling, heroin, whatever) actually makes our lives unmanageable - it screws up our lives and the lives of those around us, and...

2- that we came to the conclusion that we cannot successfully stop. We do not have to prove that we cannot stop (how do you prove something that hasn't happened yet?), rather, to me, it is just as Rav Noach zt"l would define beginner's Emunah/Belief in Hashem: "I have enough evidence to honestly accept that there really is a G-d." Then begins the lifelong mitzva of Yidias haBorei, yisborach Sh'mo.

In the same way, every recovering addict I know, has come to believe that he or she is an addict by weight of the evidence that they are not able to get better by their own power - after all, it was your/my very best thinking and efforts that got us exactly in this deep trouble, right? Wasn't it? If not, I suggest you just "try harder" and then we'll talk again.

So to sum up, the definition of "addict" is exactly these 2 things, per my own experience. The behavior may have been "mild" like schmutzy magazines or internet, masturbation, or more. It's not the behavior that matters - it's what it does to your life that is the issue, to me. The pivotal point here boils down to pure (enlightened) self-interest, not morality nor even Hashem's Will. This is plain to me, though others twist themselves into a religiomoralistic pretzel over it.

"Can I take it any more?" If I perceive that I can, and perhaps will be able to just stop tomorrow, then I will keep using my drug. Period. And that's what I call an addict. Like me.

So, what it all comes down to is either humility....or humiliation.

To sum up Dov's words: Once we have determined that (1) our former "friend" is making our lives unmanageable and that (2) we cannot stop on our own, we have the humility to admit we're addicts, and only then will we really reach out for the help we need to stop.

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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