Nothing has helped!!!

Part 1/2 (to see other parts of the article, click on the pages at the bottom)
How Much Effort do We Need to Put Into Recovery?

by GYE, London (See all authors)

"ShomerAiyin" posted on the forum:

Sorry to burst everyone's pre-Shavuot highs, but I'm having a bit of a crisis. I don't know how to internalize everything written on this site, including the 12 steps.

- I've read the 2 handbooks, both the GYE Handbook and the Attitude Handbook.
- I am trying to be honest with myself, and I post on the forum.
- I've admitted that I have a lust addiction and can't beat this thing myself.
- I've read a lot of material about the 12 steps.
- I've read the GYE tips and even committed (bli neder) to give 200 shekel every time I fall. I've given 200 so far, need to give now another 200 (I see somebody getting rich off my sinning).
- I've tried so far unsuccessfully to attend both SA and SLAA meetings (I've called and emailed representatives of both).
- I've joined a daily accountability group within SLAA.

Nothing has helped!!! I still feel lustful, lonely and bored. I still surf the net. I still act out. I make promises every morning, only to break them way too often.

I've read over and over on the forum and on the website that it can be done, and I've seen all the great stories to this effect, but HOW? How do you take the tefillot and promises made upon waking up and internalize them/carry them out throughout the day?


GYE Responds:

Dear ShomerAyin,

Your case is typical of this insidious addiction. We all went through the same thing that you are going through now. So it's important to clarify a few things, not just for you - but for everyone here.

First of all, the GYE handbook is not supposed to help by simply "reading" through it. It doesn't contain any magic in its words. It simply gives us a framework of tools to guide us through recovery.

Although we do indeed suggest that one reads the handbook from beginning to end at first, this is only so that we learn what tools are available, and, that there is hope - no matter how far the addiction has progressed. However, reading it alone won't give us very much if we don't work the tools discussed therein, slowly but surely, with patience, thought and determination.

So now that you've indeed read it ShomerAyin, and now that you've seen all the tools available and internalized that it is possible to break free no matter how far advanced the addiction may have progressed, let's go back to tool #1 of the handbook and work it though. Then we'll move on to tool #2, etc... In other words, the handbooks only give us a framework to work with, but the tools can't do anything just by "knowing" about them if they are not USED.

We want to help you, ShomerAyin, but let's do it right this time, and let's do it systematically. You can use the power of the forum to tell us what have you done - or are doing - about each tool. Let's start with tool #1. Did it work for you, or it does it not seem to be enough on its own? Ok, so let's move on to tool #2. What can you take out of this tool in a practical sense? What parts have you tried already? What parts have you not tried yet? Do you have doubts, questions, or comments about it? Let's discuss each tool by itself, on the forum, one at a time.

You did mention (above) one aspect of tool #3 ("Making Fences"), i.e. that you tried committing to give 200 Shekel each time you fall. Well, how about the other ideas in tool #3, such as committing to taking a 10 minute walk BEFORE falling, or making a whole list of things that you commit to do BEFORE you let yourself fall? We can discuss this - and many other practical ideas - more in depth on the forum, tool by tool, step by step. And if we find that tool #3 is not enough, we will move on to tool #4...

In other words, YES, it can be done! But it takes time, careful thought, work and determination. There are no "magic" formulas. But this time, ShomerAyin, we will work together with you, and we will use the framework of the handbook to start making steady and systematic progress. Not like all the other times, that we got inspired for a week or two, maybe even a month, but then we lost it all again...

Also, about the 12-Step groups, I am sure that if you are indeed determined to join up with them, you will find a way. They will get back to you eventually. The Yetzer Hara knows that he's a goner once you join these groups, so he's doing everything he can to prevent you from joining. Daven to Hashem for help, and you will see all the barriers crumble away. Be aware that Hashem is often just testing our determination!