A Man Called "Ovadia"
"Ovadia" posted on the forum:
Hi, I am joining the forum for the first time today. I am married and we have B"H a number of children. I spent ten years in Kollel. After ten years learning, I had to leave full time learning for parnasa reasons and work in an office. The internet opened a new world for me and made all my old habits even worse. What should I say? I hate myself for it. I really try to live a spiritual life and I am acutely aware of how much spiritual damage I am doing by playing around with this shmutz, and yet I just cannot say to myself "NO!"
Since finding this amazing site about a month ago, I switch back and forth between inspiration / hope and despair. Every time I read a Chizuk email and I follow the various links, my heart warms. First of all, just knowing that amongst all the shmutz out there is an oasis of Kedusha called GYE makes me feel privileged to be part of Klal Yisroel.
The stories of all the Kedoshim on this site who have overcome the Nisayon/addiction are incredible. I read and I identify. And the more I read, the more I become aware of the dangers, the pitfalls and also of the benefits and the freedom of breaking out of this, and in my heart I want to grab on and join. But then.... as if I am possessed, as if someone else has taken control of me, as soon as I am given the tiniest opportunity to sin, I cannot resist and I fall.
I would like to tell you why I chose the username Ovadia. It is after Ovadia HaNovi who is my inspiration.
Chazal ask, "Why did Ovadia prophesies about the downfall of Esav?"
Answer: "Let Ovadia, who lived between two wicked people (Achav and Ezevel) and was not influenced by them, prophesies against Esav who lived with two righteous people (Yitschak and Rivka) and did not allow himself to be influenced by them."
R Dessler ZT"L explains that whereas we know that one is always influenced by his surroundings, however, if he succeeds in going against the tide, then the environment has the opposite effect on him.
Esav resisted the influence of Yitzchak and Rivka and became the epitome of evil. Ovadia resisted the influence of Achav and Ezevel and thereby elevated himself tremendously.
This made me think that even though being exposed to certain Yetzer Haras is dangerous and we don't want them, however, if I am confronted by them and resist, I can reach higher Madreigos, just like Ovadia.
I would like to thank everyone on the forum for being my new family. And most importantly, thanks to Guard who has taken the time to encourage me and guide me with his emails to join the forum.
I know that I have to launch my 90 days. I will start "the count" Bli Neder in a few days, on Shabbos.
Dov Responds to Ovadia:
To the man who calls himself Ovadia:
Your hero was great, but we all know that if Hashem had a choice of bringing out another Ovadia to our world - or of bringing out your gifts today, He'd pick you over Ovadia, hands down. Just ask Reb Zushya of Anippoli, he'd tell you. (Reb Zushya purportedly said that when he dies, he won't be afraid that the beis Din up there will ask him why he wasn't Avraham avinu or Moshe Rabeinu. But he is terrified that they'll ask him why he wasn't reb Zushya! Perhaps it was him who also said, that if given the choice, he would not become Moshe Rabeinu - because, "Hashem already has one of those (Moshe Rabeinu's)! What good would it do for Him to have another one?! He wants one of ME!"... Nice, no?)
Anyway, why wait until Shabbos to start? Today is as good as any day! Actually,today is all there really is. I won't get to pick a Shabbos, Yom Kippur, or first day of Pesach as "the day" for me to start flying right. Hashem wouldn't want that, I'm sure. He loves me and wants us to be together way too much to have us wait another minute for sobriety to begin.
Yup, the idea of "one day at a time" is totally indispensable to me. Nevertheless, I gotta add, that it all depends on what you want.... Do you want to live holding your breath (one day at a time, of course) until some solution comes along (perhaps), or do you want to live "one day at a time" while taking the steps necessary to live life differently; a life which really answers the problem that the schmutz serves to fill.
And, by the way, no amount of frumkeit on my part could ever give that life to me. I was plenty frum years back - and the frummer I got, the sicker I got.
I cannot ever deserve my recovery, period. It's a gift... But it comes with a big price-tag. The price is hachno'oh - ego evacuation, or whatever you wanna call it. It's what the steps are all about, to me, and to a lot of other addicts I know who are in recovery. The steps help me put that right kind of life into action. Not my brain, but through working the steps. Any idiot can do them (and plenty do!), if he needs to.
Chizuk is great - I can't live without it, but it falls way way short of a solution for me.
To live life right, we need to take action and make the uncomfortable changes needed for growth along spiritual lines. The need for 'action', rather than just study and thinking, is no more starkly obvious than to us addicts. For too long, we made a living of cheshboning, mussar, and trying to "figure this thing out"... and that's exactly what brought us to the point that we needed GYE, etc!