Mazal Tov to "Boruch" for reaching 90 days
BeChasdei Hashem Yisborach, I reached 90 full days!
On one of my older posts, I had once written that when I got a test I used to feel as if I was almost telling Hashem to get out of the way while I fought the fight.
Looking back on the last 90 days though, I now have a very different image.
I grew up in a home with TV, and I was addicted to TV from when I was a year old (my mother babysat me with TV) until I left for Beis Midrash, and with no TV my addiction disappeared (but the damage was already done -- the years of TV addiction had greatly contributed to my main addiction).
There's a frequently and variously replayed scene that comes back to me now of how the driver of a car/pilot of a plane would get injured and the guy in the passenger seat would quickly move the driver/pilot away from the wheel and take over.
I think of how I first started on these forums, of how after a week of blasting the Steps I tried out an SA group myself.
I think of how I initially went an hour away in fear of losing my anonymity, at the same time unaware that there were frum SA meetings locally.
I think of how in the SA group I was going to, the Back-to-Basics meetings got me through my first run of the 12-steps in 4 weeks instead of many years or very possibly never.
I think of how the group I went to had many years of history and they did not feel in any way threatened by my very different approach.
I think of how I told my wife about my addiction.
And then I think of the events of recent weeks...
I think of the SA phone group that I tried, and the SA email listserv with a view to exploring possibilities that may in the future be useful to others.
I think of how I had decided several times to go to the local frum group but was each time dissuaded by a member of the local groups who was concerned for me and insisted that anonymity was a big concern for my family.
I think of my call Erev Pesach to a Rav with a prominent yichus in a major Jewish population center who was at one time addicted and today, through SA has 16 years of sobriety and has helped thousands of Frum Yidden with addiction.
I think of how the Rav "gave it to me over the head" for not going to the local groups. He was concerned that it was not good for my humility to be different than anyone else and that as an extra member I could be contributing to a group that helps Frum Yidden. In the end, on a second call this past erev Shabbos, he told me that in my circumstances it was up to me where I go.
I think of how slowly and surely I am finding this Rav to be my Rav for addiction shaylos. I understood from this Rav that I should really be going to the local meetings and so I got the number of another member of the local group to get a second opinion on the anonymity issue.
I think of how this past Sunday afternoon when I still had not reached the member for his opinion the strangest thing happened. I went to a frum chapter of another 12-step fellowship for food compulsion, and at the end of the meeting I stayed to talk with 2 others. They had known each other for several months whereas this was my second meeting in this fellowship. We were discussing the steps when out of the blue one of the other 2 disclosed to us both for the first time that he had a sex addiction and was an SA member. I remained to talk with him alone and he confirmed that he was a member in the local SA group. I asked him whether there is any reason for concern in the local groups. He told me that there was a misunderstanding of the nature of the anonymity concern and I should not worry and I should definitely come to the local meetings. Later in the day I got through to the member I had originally tried to reach, and he too encouraged me to come to the local meetings.
I think of how yesterday, Monday morning, I celebrated my 90 days together with fellow frum Yidden in my first attendance at the local SA group.
I think of the chain of circumstances yesterday, Monday, following the meeting that swept me totally off my feet and lead me to finally surrender to Hashem, not only my "will" but my entire self...
And I look back and realize that 90 days ago Hashem saw how physically, emotionally and spiritually wounded I was, and so He pushed me out of the driver's seat and He took the wheel...
"Ain Od Milvado - There is no one but Him"