Are you self-centered? Is it working?
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1731  
In Today's Issue
Announcements: GYE's New Shmiras Einayim Broadcast Group (Whatsapp and Email)
Daily Dose of Dov: The Failure of Self-Centeredness in Making Life Work
Announcements: A site for teens by teens
Q & A: What about Disclosure during Shidduchim?
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GYE's New Shmiras Einayim Broadcast Group (Whatsapp and Email)

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Daily Dose of Dov
The Failure of Self-Centeredness in Making Life Work
Part 2/2
Dov replies to someone who claims the 'religious approach' is not for him:
By Dov

While I was busy keeping my self comfortable and managing everything around me to serve that holy end, I was unconsciously building myself up as the center of my universe... and things got screwier and screwier in my life! To be honest, I was shocked about this! After all, I was such a nice guy to everyone and did real great favors for some people, seemed quite selfless at times, learned quite a bit, and was very religious - but it was still all about the experience (even Torah/serving Hashem). It was about "the feeling". The "d'veikus". I was at the center of it all! Not G-d, nor His Will. Sorry that I can't explain it any better.

Now, I could have gone on that way forever, I guess. Perhaps many do. Maybe it's really OK for them. It's not that it was wrong, immoral, or whatever. But as it turned out, Self-Preservation, as I saw it, steamrolled all those nice considerations - no more! Here's how:

I was turning to my drug in progressive ways, and lying like crazy to cover it up. I knew I was not the man my wife, children, co-workers or friends saw, at all. If you suggest that it was all just religious guilt, I say no way. The things I had to do were in no way compatible with a faithful lifestyle as a husband and father. I'd never do any of those things with real people I knew watching. I discovered the hard way that porn, unbridled self-pleasuring with lust and animal-like sexuality are simply not compatible with any kind of normal life at all.

Now if you propose that it's all society's fault, I say maybe you could go off to a place where they live that way and see how it goes. Really. The communes of the 60's tried it; many societies tried it. The biggest problem - and this is what "ruined it all" for me - is that it's all based on self-centeredness. Wills were eventually again at war... the "acceptance" and "free love" of others that they tried to use as a defense to the self-will problem eventually gave way. There is no escape from that fact that every real person has their own, differing will. Disunity breeds strife, and there is apparently no fascism for sex... I tried it. The petite dictator himself! It turned out that you really do get more with honey (giving) than you do with vinegar (demanding), and no addict I know has real honey. Cash is a poor honey substitute, if you know what I mean. We all went through this failure process, in some small way. That's what brings many people to recovery. Looking for a life that works. And that is precisely why the focus on G-d and on people other than myself is the answer to me and to so many other addicts of all kinds. It has much less to do with religion, and more to do with the abject failure of self-centeredness in making life work. Without working the steps in my real life, there is no ego deflation for me, just more quiet desperation. I ain't goin back there, ever.

If you want your life to be yet another experiment in getting the self-centered approach to work, I say: go for it. But if it has been working pretty well till now, then why are you here? Why are you displeased? Were you really happy before, and came to Recovery just for more kicks? If your angst is really about "staying clean" for the sake of "staying clean", I have no answers for you. I tried that approach and got nowhere but deeper into hell.

A site for teens by teens
Q & A
What about Disclosure during Shidduchim?
By GYE Member

Disclosure – the only choice for an addict.

Someone wrote to GYE:

I have been sober for almost ten months, Baruch Hashem, and I have been attending SA meetings for almost a year. I got permission from my addiction therapist to begin dating at six months of sobriety, and I began a few months ago, right after Succos. On my fourth girl, it got to a point where I needed to disclose, as per instructions from rabbis and therapist. The girl ended up rejecting me because of this.

Obviously, this isn’t the girl who I’m supposed to marry, but moving forward, I wanted to know if you could help me get in touch with other bachurim or rabbanim who have experience in this unique issue of disclosing. I am surely going to disclose because I want to continue going to meetings after marriage, so NOT DISCLOSING IS NOT AN OPTION FOR ME. But, if there's someone out there who could help me in how and when and to suggest an approach in how to present this delicate issue, I would appreciate it.


After giving him some advice and guidance by phone he wrote back about a month later:

Thank you for your help. I ended up disclosing and, im yirtzah hashem, I will be engaged to this girl in a couple of weeks. Baruch Hashem! I’ve been in SA for over a year; and I picked my 11 month sobriety chip over the weekend. If there's anyway I could be of service to anyone as a sponsor or in a similar vein, please let me know and I’d love to help.

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 to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit (Hebrew: / Yiddish:

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 to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit

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