Everything they do is for taiva
An 18 year old Bachur posted his story on our forum along with the tips that he uses to help him stay clean. The story is particularly inspiring due to the fact that this boy received no Jewish Chinuch from his parents, and yet he is clean already for almost a year!
If he can do it, what excuses could we possibly have - especially those who are married and received good Jewish Chinuch from day one! (I edited it for clarity)
For ba'alei teshuvah, like myself, one of the hardest things to change and to grow in is one's hashkafos; the way the one sees the world, the way one thinks, and the way one feels. My parents were always very open about 'sexuality' and the like; not wanting to 'shelter' me. I had very little, if any innocence in this regard. For years, I would sneak off for long periods of time to read my father's stash of filth magazines - this started when I was maybe 6 or 7. From the age of 10 or 11, I would masturbate at least once a day, up until I turned 17, last year. For so many years, the filth was being pumped into my head. It took a lot of siyata dishmaya to snap out of it and break the habit. I had many ups and downs, many times when I felt like going back, throwing in the towel and doing it 'just this once'. It felt so painful at first, to break myself away from that pit. My whole body was aching. I had headaches. I felt very depressed, and anxious; the chemicals in my body weren't used to such a quick riddance of the toxins created when one is aroused. In the beginning, I had stopped masturbating, after falling about 3 or 4 times after my initial decision to stop. But at that point I hadn't stopped looking at forbidden images yet - whenever I would look at them, I would get such pain, since I wasn't able to release the hormonal surges, but I had made a firm commitment to give up masturbation, and I wasn't going to break it. I made this commitment after seeing the kitzur shulchan aruch, the breslover seforim, and many others which explained how terrible it is to be pogem one's bris.
I first became frum when I was 13, baruch hashem, and I am now about to turn 18 - from when I was 14 on I knew hotza'as zera levatalah was an issur gamur, but I didn't know how bad it was, and I didn't understand what made it so bad. For me, it was like eating, literally - a fact of life that I felt was 'natural', due to my background. It took me a while to see that it was interfering with my learning, and, as the seforim say, being 'oiker daas' - I felt my cognitive abilities weakening. I was brainwashed as a child to think that only 'prudes' worry about sexual indiscretions. I heard my father's religion of immorality in my head, saying the behavior was healthy and normal, but now those thoughts make me want to spit in disgust. I then realized that I had in fact been brainwashed by society, my parents, and the media, all of my life. I had to set out on a mental journey - one I'm still on, to break these middos and make my way of thinking as close to the Torah as possible. I've been clean of pgam habris since January (11 months), and free of pornography since February (10 months) - new worlds have been opened up for me in my mind; I'm able to feel things now that I never felt before. Now, I'm proud to be a yid, I no longer look for ways of avoiding the so-called 'prudeness' of Torah like I used to, I no longer am afraid of sounding 'fanatical' - I know now that THEY are the fanatics, they, the dirty goyishe world, are fanatically anti-kedusha and anti-holiness. Everything they do is for taiva. The internet, in all its filth, was made for taiva, Hollywood, the type of clothing they make, the newspapers (even 'respectable' ones advertise pritzus), the television and music - it's all a massive campaign against kedusha and taharah. When I first saw the breslover seforim saying this, I thought it was an exaggeration, but now I see it's 100% emes! The world truly IS against us and G-d, knowingly or not, they are our enemies, and they are agents of the sitra achra.
Two inspiring things we can learn from the above:
1) Although the withdrawal symptoms are very difficult at first, it is truly possible to break free!
2) New spiritual doors are opened before those who succeed in conquering this addiction. Indeed, those who were given this struggle from above are being beckoned by Heaven to use it as a "spring board" to achieve a whole new level of spiritual awareness and closeness to Hashem, for now and all eternity!