Cry for Help
I first began stimulating myself long before my bar mitzvah, and certainly before I knew and understood what I was really doing. Forgetting about the aveira involved in it, when I was first motzi zera levatala, I was shocked and scared because I didn't know what my body was doing - I may have even checked the color to see if it was blood or not. Anyways, I heard a thing or two that made me curios and that gave me ideas about how I could bypass parental controls and the like to visit pornographic sites on the internet, not to mention how I woudl flip channels and seek out magazines that I could gorge over. Maybe, in the beggining it started as just an excitement about something which I knew nothing about but that I sensed the adults in my life were withholding from me as something they did not want me to know about - forbiden fruits. There may also have been a curiosity involved to understand and know everything there was to know about "the birds and the bees" and the female body.
Anyways, whether or not it started because of innocence and naivette, it developed into a burning desire to lust and explore and discover new ways to lust and fulfill my lustful desires and fantasies. I won't even elaborate on how I pursued fantasies and fetishes and brainstormed about new ways that I could feed my lust. It didn't help when I became more aware of my hormones, more educated about what all this was about, and learned that my friends were doing the same stuff. We even watched pornography together sometimes, and a friend of mine gave me a magazine to bring home, thinking that he was opening my eyes and enlightening me to the non-sheltered and beautiful life... In hindsight, this friend was not such a good friend to have had at all.
In 10th grade, I started to become more interested in growing spiritually, and I think for the first time I started to make efforts to stop masturbating, which was probably my worst problem at the time. Undoubtedly, I had some successes, but overall my efforts were not successful, and over and over again I did not follow through on my resolve. But I always knew that this was just a passing stage, and that when I grew up and went to Israel, etc., I would reform my ways and not be held back anymore from pursuing exclusively spiritual endeavors: davening, learning, working on my middos and chesed; and I would just stop all of this lusting stuff. I didn't think, I knew!
I spent a few years In Israel during which time I did have many times when I did not think at all about any of this stuff - even for months at a time, but also when I would secretly masturbate, even while I acted all day like a serious learner, davener, etc. Bottom line - at the end of the two years my lusting was still with me in one way or another. I stayed in yeshiva for years after, and at the age of 23 I am still in yeshiva, and still lusting. I had periods where I was looking at pornography and periods that I wasn't, but somehow at the end of it I seem to be addicted heavily to both pornography and masturbation. Eventually, when even after all of my own efforts and even joining the forum on GYE, I was still giving in, I signed up for chizuk emails. I still wasn't "healed," but I gained a ton from it. Especially, the daily doses of Dov meant a lot to me. I still have trouble considering myself an addict - but I did find a post or two Dov wrote about how sometimes lusting behaviors are just childish and immature things that people do because they just won't grow up. I'm sad to say but I think this is me. Now, I do want to grow up, and I don't want to ever look at pornography or masturbate again. I feel like I am late in the game, and that I am like someone who decides a book is bad for him, and then continues to finish it before he puts it back on the shelf and resolves never to read it again. Lusting never ends, but I feel like I am deciding to stop now, after I've already fulfilled basically everything I wanted to. It's sad and painful to me. For a long time, though, I was hesitant to join anything involving 90-day chart, or help groups, or speaking to someone about it. I have still not become totally open with all of these things, but if joining the 90-day chart will help, then I am willing to make the commitment and join a community of people whom I can grow with and benefit from.
In the past, I was commited to stopping, but I needed something to make it happen. When I decided to join this chart, I was not even able to hold out for three days - only when I saw that you couldn't join the chart without being clean for three days did I succeed in doing so, and even that was not on my first try. Basically, every hope that I ever had until now to be able to say that at some point I got inspired, and decided to take a definite stance, and that since that day I have held to my resolve, has failed utterly and completely.
I have no reason why I am saying that I am done with this stuff, but I feel that I have to be. Thank you to all those who helped make this website available and give their time to help people like me. Yehi Ratzon that Hashem should help me, too.