Tuesday, 11 May 2021

The Silent Battle

The long-short story of an old-time GYE member
The Silent Battle

Hi all, just wanted to drop by and say hello. With a lot of help from God, I've been sober for about 4.5 years. And I'm sober today, thank G-d, which makes my life so much better. I'm enjoying life so much more than I ever did while acting out.

Here's my story in a nutshell:

When I got married, I didn't fully disclose my addiction to my wife. My therapist had advised me to disclose, but my rebbe, not realizing how sick I am, recommended I not disclose.

I told her I was on GYE, but was vague about the issues.

I had a really rough shana rishona, and if I posted on GYE and left the browser open, my wife would be worried, and go on the attack. So I started going on GYE less and less. I know, kinda counter-intuitive - giving away my support system when I need it most.

Long story short, had a baby, things got even rougher in my marriage, I was in a tremendous amount of pain, and not taking the steps I needed to improve my situation in a healthy way. I started escaping more and more - first to online games, then to fantasy, browsing online, chatting with women online, developing what I imagined were relationships with women online... and then taking those relationships offline, as well. This went on for a number of years.

Eventually my wife found out, causing tremendous destruction and pain. I called my rebbe back, who sent me back to the same therapist, who in turn recommended SA at that point. I joined, and it's been really helpful.

I wasn't particularly focused on the 12 steps back in the day, but if I need SA to keep me sober, then clearly that's what Hashem wants for me. There's a part of me that wants to make sure I can understand how every part of the 12-step program fits with torah hashkafa, but then I take a deep breath and accept that for today, I don't need to understand everything. I can accept that this is my medicine, and this is what Hashem wants me to do today. I still can and do enjoy bringing Hashem and Torah into the picture, but I also enjoy the other messages that Hashem sends me from other sources, and I'm just so grateful to be sober today.

I have so many wonderful things in my life today that I would never have without my sobriety and recovery, and therefore I need to place a high value on sobriety.

I was talking to another SA member today, and commented that although "SA does not have any dues or fees," we tend to pay our own entrance fee - we pay it in money and shame and pain, and we keep paying until we decide the price is high enough, and then we come into recovery and start taking the steps we need to take because we simply cannot afford to act out anymore.