E-Mail Subject: Despite the pain, despite the excuses - there's hope!
 
 
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1828  
 
 
In Today's Issue
   
Image of the Day: It may hurt to quit...
Sayings: Hope
Editor’s Note: 10 Excuses That Will Keep You Watching Porn
Daily Dose of Dov: We Need to Make it Real
 
 
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Image of the Day
 
It may hurt to quit...
 
It may hurt to quit...
Sayings
 
HOPE stands for: Hold On, Pain Ends
 
Editor’s Note
 
10 Excuses That Will Keep You Watching Porn

This article is reprinted from Fortify.com:

Addiction teaches us to rationalize and justify. Over time we get really good at making excuses for ourselves to act out and we keep buying into our own lies. There is no end to what a porn addict can come up with in the moment; we look for any and every reason to act out. Fortifiers need to do some serious soul-searching to find out what their biggest excuses are. We aren’t telling you this to make you feel bad, we just hope that this list will help you identify some of the excuses that are holding you back.

Here are the top 10 excuses we hear most at Fortify HQ:

  • This is the last time.
    There will never be a last time as long as you keep telling yourself this. Accept that you have a problem and realize that recovery is a constant road of victories and setbacks. The sooner you realize that relying on your own strength (or “white-knuckling it” as well call it) won’t work, the closer you are to real change.
  • It could be worse.
    A lot of things could be worse, but recovery is about what can be better. Focus on your potential, not your rock bottom. If we know anything about porn addiction, it’s that it will get worse if we let it. Realize that what you’re doing is harmful and commit to getting healthy.
  • I’m not hurting anyone.
    Your addiction is actually hurting a lot of people, including yourself. If you don’t already know, studies have shown that pornography is directly tied to emotional and sexual dissatisfaction in relationships. Not to mention all of the emotional, mental and physical ramifications from addiction that you’ll end up dealing with yourself. All the problems that porn creates make it so difficult, if not impossible, to freely give all of yourself to your loved ones.
  • This type of porn isn’t as bad.
    This one can be subtle. A lot of the time we will let ourselves get close to things we know are triggers because they maybe aren’t technically pornographic, or they are “just” softcore. Sometimes we just personalize the situation to convince ourselves that some kind of porn is okay for us, telling ourselves that we are lonely or even that we “deserve it.” No porn is good or even okay. Stay away from the cliff’s edge and you’ll never be in danger of falling.
  • I need the release. I’m so stressed/worried/upset/bored.
    This is just the porn-addicted version of your brain talking, not your healthy one. Be smarter than your brain. We all need to vent at some point, so do it positively. Slipping back into harmful habits when times get tough is only going to make things tougher.
  • Everybody does it and they’re fine. It’s a natural release.
    Maybe other people watch porn and live well… but can you? If you’re reading this and you’re enlisted in the Fortify Program, odds are you can’t. Don’t compare yourself to other people. This is your life and your recovery. You know that there’s nothing healthy about your urges to watch porn and using this justification will throw you back into the endless addiction cycle.
  • I’m already screwed up, why stop now?
    Remember: YOU ARE NOT YOUR ADDICTION. This is one of the most important things you need to remind yourself, day in and day out. You’re not a bad person because you struggle with this, you’re a great person because you’re doing something to change for the better.
  • I had a setback so I might as well take advantage of it and binge.
    This one is a huge culprit for turning a moment of weakness into a massive setback in your recovery. Learning to dust yourself off and turn things around quickly is an immensely important skill for Fortifiers. Remember that setbacks are a part of recovery and that they are motivation to press on, not permission to dig yourself deeper.
  • I need it to fall asleep.
    Addiction can build seemingly normal routines into our lives that can be really hard to break. Sometimes our triggers are based on a time of day, a location, or even something as simple as a sound. It might sound crazy but there are things in our lives that inadvertently become related to our addiction. These types of triggers are powerful and can easily turn into part of our daily routines. Recognize the difference between a normal, healthy routine and one that your addiction has created.
  1. I can’t stop making excuses.
    Look around at your life to find the excuses you are using. Make a list and keep it with you. When one of these rationalizations creeps into your thoughts, you will be able to recognize and dismiss it. And remember, thinking of these things doesn’t make you perverted or bad. In fact, as we start to sift through thoughts and rely on the ones that support our recovery, we will find more trust and confidence in ourselves.
Daily Dose of Dov
 
We Need to Make it Real
 
By Dov

Dov discusses the 12-Steps with someone in his group

The thing all the 12-step-recovering addicts in the world are making such a big deal about, is different than all the steps we thought we had taken in the past that "look like" the 12-Step program. It is different because it is different! All those times we have done the steps and ended up exactly where we were before, we did it by ourselves. It was out own brains that were working it all out. A blind man leading himself. Now that's really nuts, no? We hid the full truth about ourselves - in order to get better...? Not going to work. And when we did tell it to others, it wasn't to other people who were real to us. It was usually to someone we really had nothing to do with in the rest of our real lives. Who didn't know the face we were projecting - so they wouldn't really be able to really see what big fakers we were. Hey, it's embarrassing! And if we did open up to someone who knew the 'normal' version of us, then it was usually a person who had no clue about addiction, lust struggles, insanity, whatever.

My version of recovery - what I needed - was (and is) to get together with other men who think, tell, live, and know the exact same lies I do, want the exact same things that I want, who see me with my stupid, trance-like, salivating expression that I get while I stare at the computer searching in true desperation for that perfect, sweet, image that I need - cuz they know it themselves. I get together with men like that, who are crawling out from under their own wreckage with no pride at all, and let them hug me. Goyim, Jews, whatever. I get to know these men and get together with them weekly and share myself, make relationships with them, and we get to know each other. We get better together, while we watch many of our numbers fall to the wayside. Nu. Better them than us....

So where I come from, the 1st step is done in our hearts, of course, but in order to have a better chance to actually believe it, we write out as much as we can remember of what we have done that got us into some trouble as a result of lust compulsion and desire throughout our lives. Then we review it with a sponsor and then we share the entire thing with a group of other addicts - the guys who really understand us. They may still be sick, but they are in recovery and understand us, and that's priceless. On the other hand, advice to a struggling lust addict that is not based on personal pain and success, but based on a mussar sefer or a shmooze is often dramatic and beautiful but totally useless, it seems to me. We need to do the work ourselves if it is to be real enough to actually work. I have never yet met a single person who actually got sober from 'inspiration'.

Second step - real writing and real work - not just thinking in generalities. Same for each of the other steps. We get mushy and generalize the ideas, watering them down into the same useless mush we have always watered Torah ideas down to - and that's why they do not lead to change. That's gotta stop. Writing it for ourselves - not to impress anyone else - and sharing with others, is the only way I know to make it real.

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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