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How Do I Stop?

I'm a college student and I have a problem with occasional masturbation at night. What should I do to avoid the sin completely?

GYE Corp. Sunday, 22 January 2012

Elya, moderator of the Thursday night phone conference, responds:

This is a disease of isolation. We are desperately looking for connection with Hashem and/or another human being to fill up the hole in our soul, which causes us to numb out with fantasy. Then we feel bad and to feel better again, numb out again.

You cannot avoid the sin completely. Koheles (King Solomon) said, "There is no man who has not sinned." There will always be triggers, anger, isolation, loneliness, sadness. It's what we do with these when they occur that makes all the difference. You cannot just avoid the world and live in a cave the rest of your life. Well, you can, but there are probably no caves where you live.

Figure out what is making you want to escape into fantasy land. Usually it is one of the character traits above. Fear, loneliness, anger, resentment. Eliminate these from your heart and you'll be free.

How? Join a 12 step group on the phone, or in person in your city. Read the materials on the site - the GYE Handbook and the Attitude handbook. Get a sponsor or a friend to talk to. The more SPECIFIC you are when you share with them, the more you release the shame and guilt from your body and you'll be free.

Read recovery books and materials before you go to bed.

Make an accounting of your day before you go to bed. Were you angry, short tempered? Is there someone you need to apologize to? Did you spend your day helping someone else, or were you isolated and self absorbed?Get up in the morning and pray to Hashem to help you.

That's a start. Write me back and let me know when you've started at least 3 of these. Remember, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is INSANITY. It's your choice: SERENITY OR INSANITY.