How to reach 250 days
 
 
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1732  
 
 
In Today's Issue
   
Video of the Day: Emuna Presentation, Part 1
Editor’s Note
Personal Stories: 250 Days Clean
Q & A: Behavior during marriage
Announcements: My Filter Blocks GYE
 
 
90 Day Journey
 
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Video of the Day
 

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Emuna Presentation, Part 1

A lack of Emunah can exacerbate addiction. When a person is missing meaning in life they tend to fill it with anything that feels like it gives them a reason to live, often resulting in unhealthy behaviors. A strong Emunah can motivate and empower us to fight addictive tendencies.

 

Watch these great talks on basic Emunah, a project of the Ani Maamin foundation.

The talks were given by  R' Avi Landa, a Mashgiach and psychotherapist in Baltimore.

Editor’s Note

Recording of Dov's Thursday Call:

"How to stick with the program I am in, 

instead of relapsing and yo-yo-ing in and out of the group?"

 

Listen to the Recording here

Personal Stories
 
250 Days Clean
 
By Hashem Help Me
 
By GYE Member

So what does it feel like to pass 250 days clean? BH super. It's not a magical number of any sort and we all know that the correct approach has to be one day at a time, but it does feel good. Are there rough times? Yes. Are they similar in severity to the challenges of the past? No. Would I still look forward and enjoy that warm cozy escape from real life called masturbation? You bet it. Do I have the resolve to say 'NO!' and stay in control? Yes. (I know some call this white knuckling and don't approve of it, but hey, it works for me.)

Recently I had to attend a simcha where I knew the tznius would be lacking and unfortunately people would be dressing in a highly provocative fashion. In general, I avoid department stores and other locations where triggers are present. However, I had no choice but to attend albeit for a few minutes. I davened to Hashem to protect me and removed my glasses. The situation was worse than I expected - some were barely clothed. I did not focus on anything I unfortunately saw and just kept on moving. Of course, I wish I would have seen nothing, but I think I can say I came out unscathed. And that is thanks to GYE and all of you.

Of course, what works for one does not necessarily work for others, but I will share what has BH so far been helpful for me. Top of the list - Speaking to people I have met from GYE. What used to be a high anxiety secret of being a hypocritical rasha and loser living a double life, is now a challenge that I see is shared by a lot of wonderful normal yidden who are trying so hard to be erlich. I finally met in person the chaver from GYE who I speak to almost daily and that really cemented that concept. As an aside, I have spoken and chatted with so many normal people that it almost appears that everyone struggles with this and that there are just two groups of people in our communities - GYE chevra on one side and masturbators/pornography viewers on the other. Of course, I know this is not true and there are many many people who are BH clean from all this - it's just the feeling you get from reading all the new posts etc. The reality, unfortunately, is that whatever the numbers and percentages are, too many fine people are suffering immensely from this inyan. Back to the point - I have who to share my struggles with, receive chizuk and advice - and I don't want to disappoint them. Through GYE I have BH been able to help others get up and onto the road to success, and I most definitely don't want to disappoint them either.

Next on the list is the constant chizuk emails GYE sends out. There is always something to read and learn. Along with that are the forums and chatrooms, also full of new ideas and opinions. They also connect me with many fellow chevra. Next is the constant updating of the 90-day chart - it keeps me focused. TaPHSiC helps remind me to "not even get started" and avoid all triggers as much as possible in the first place.

We daven every day "V'lo liyedei nisayon". Anyone who can, should switch to a simple "not smart phone". More and more people here at GYE are saying that is their best tool for avoidance. And of course, heeding the directive of Gedolei Yisroel, all computers should have the strongest filters possible. Whitelisting is the safest for those who can do that. BH I am able to have a "not smart phone" and have a whitelisted computer. Is it inconvenient? Sometimes, but it is well worth it. And the Gedolei Yisroel assure us of more brocho in our homes for listening, and that is definitely worth the sacrifice (for those who can).

Personally, I have not spent much time on the 12 steps, but through the forum and conversations, I have definitely noshed some of the concepts for better living that 12 steps provide.

I have had the opportunity to speak with The Guard and with Dov and listen in/participate in some phone conferences. Also very helpful.

Basically, I have benefitted from all of the GYE programs. As I have written in previous entries, I cannot imagine the gan eden reserved for the founder and financial backers of this organization. It is incredible that all those tools I listed above are completely free for anyone and everyone who needs.

I wish everyone out there to feel the peace of mind 250 days brings. Do I know for sure that I won't fall chas v'sholom? Definitely not. But these 250 days will always remain mine and iyh there will be many more. May Hashem give everyone hatzlocha and may He blow a ruach tahara across the world and help us all reach the levels of kedusha that our Nation of bnei melochim aspire to.

Q & A
 
Behavior during marriage
 
By GYE

Dear Rav,

I am male. I grew up in the US totally secular. I used to masturbate excessively. Even for a non-religious teenager with no sense of guilt, I thought it was unhealthy. This persisted through my adult life. I became Orthodox in my late 20s. I married several years later. I am now almost 50 and live in Israel with 5 wonderful children, B”H. However, I struggle with a problem that I have not seen discussed with regard to this matter. I still succumb to masturbating from time to time. 99% of the time I am thinking about my wife, and 99% of the time it occurs when she is unavailable for extended times (mostly due to niddah, but occasionally when she travels to the US to visit her family). I also used to have this happen (unfortunately) prior to her going for her ritual immersion. I would find out somehow that it was going to be that night (such as seeing her toiletries prepared), and then become extremely anxious about the approaching encounter. Some time ago, I instructed her to be meticulous in not letting me know when she was going to dip. This solved this aspect of the problem completely.

I have tried to become totally rid of this inclination, but it has been difficult. I can’t figure out why this problem occurs. Sometimes, I can go 8 months or more without the urge even entering my head, and only healthy thoughts throughout our times of intimacy as well as separation. Other times, it seems to occur more than once in the same week/month during separation. I don’t view pornography at all. I use the Internet for work, and try to guard my eyes against exposure to the risqué material. Moreover, when it happens that I do succumb to an urge, my wife is the only focus of the act. My wife is meticulous about modesty (probably more than me), so it is not a matter of her dress, appearance, or behavior.

I know that the prohibition against spilling seed does not qualify under what conditions it occurs. So, I am not expecting a heter. However, I have been dealing with this issue for so long that it seems that I have given up on totally eliminating the problem. So, I go with the flow in that if it occurs, I feel contrite, try to do heartfelt teshuvah, and move on with life.

This is the first time I have presented this issue to anyone. Am I becoming complacent about the severity of this prohibition? What can I do that I haven’t tried before? Is the idea of an overcharged libido valid, or can anyone achieve complete abstinence by working on his thoughts, actions, and environment? I feel I am at a crossroads with this matter to get clarity on how to view it. After so many years, and as I approach an older stage of life, I can’t relate to the comments of others who struggle with the same issue due to youthful angst, viewing improper images, or simply consider it healthy behavior. I would rather not have this happen at all. Finally, have you had similar questions posed before? Thank you for considering my issue.

Crossroads

Dear Crossroads,

Excellent question. It seems that overall you are working on yourself and doing well, but you are still struggling with occasional falls.

You should know that there is almost never such a thing as an "overcharged libido" by nature. Rather, our sages tell us: "There is a small limb in a man, the more it is fed, the more hungry it is. And the more we starve it, the more satiated it feels". Often people feed their desires with their wives and through masturbation (a little more than necessary), and this causes a stronger libido, which they think is just how they were born. But when we learn to say "no" to the desire and cut down, we find it gets easier to control overall. Anyone who works on themselves can achieve complete abstinence by working on their thoughts, actions, and environment, as you expressed beautifully.

We have many tools and suggestions on our website, but for your particular case, I think the TaPHSiC method would help you stop the masturbation completely.

  • Read about the TaPHSiC method here.
  • Listen to a 40-minute shiur that explains the TaPHSiC method in detail here.
  • Use this NUSACH when making the vow, to avoid any pitfalls.
Try it, and if it doesn't work for you in a few months, get back to me and we'll explore some other tools and options on our website.

Hatzlacha

Announcements
 
My Filter Blocks GYE
 
Does your filter site block GYE and you're embarrassed to ask them to open it? We have a solution for you!
 

The following GYE password protected websites have been opened for all users by the following Jewish filter companies:

  • Gentech
  • Meshimer
  • eNativ
  • NativUSA
  • NetFree
  • Netspark
  • Rimon
  • Etrog

gye.nu - Our English password protected site

gye.be - Our Hebrew password protected site

gyeyid.com - Our Yiddish site

For both sites, this is the login info to access the sites:

User: gye

Password: safe613

If you know anyone who has this issue with our site, please let them know!

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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