This is it. No more.
I would like to share with you the first post of one of our great warriors on the forum, "Ykv_schwartz". The reason I am bringing it today is because he talks about his fall - and subsequent success - from right after Pesach last year.
Today, Yaakov is doing fantastically well and is helping us inspire many other strugglers on the forum.
Hi, I am new to this forum. I have been reading some of your posts in the past few weeks as I was trying to get acquainted with the site and I have been so inspired. I am so happy to finally have a social network to reach out to and share my problems with. For years I have yearned for this. My first encounter with p-rn was at age 10, and I am now 31. (Brief bio: I learn in kollel. I have a wife and four kids. I am considered a learned individual in my community). It was at age 16 that I first set out to change my ways. I had no idea that the battle would take more than 15 years. Even as a bachur I had fears that this problem would be with me as a married man as well. But I was certain that at least when I was married I would have no desire for p-rn. But as all of us know too well, an addiction is an addiction. I would love to share my story in full at a later time as I think it would give great chizuk to all of us. The more we share our stories, the more we realize that we are not alone and we could all fight this together. Over the years, I never gave up. I always knew that I could beat my Y'H. I had many tricks which I hope to share. Most worked for some time, but eventually the Y"H would overpower me and I would be lead into a downward spiral until I hit rock bottom and bring myself back up.
Well for now, I would like to share with you a very effective method that carried me for over six months. Last year, right after Pesach (year 2008), I had a terrible 'attack' of the Y"H. I was constantly on my computer downloading all sorts of movies. I was so depressed. I am in kollel and so this is bein hazmanim and I had more time to my disposable. I wasted it all away, together with my seed. Well, when the new zman started, I decided (for the millionth time) - that's it. No more of this Y"H. So, I stood in front of the mirror, looked at myself and began telling myself over and over and over again that this is it. No more. I gave myself intense Mussar. Well, for two weeks I felt great. However, one Friday morning (may 16, 2008) I was doing work (I am a graphic designer by profession. I do my work on 'off' hours to maintain myself in kollel) and I felt the urge. My body tightened up. What am I going to do now? So I picked myself up and looked in the mirror. But this time I did not talk but yelled, "STOP IT! STOP IT! YOU ARE RUINING MY LIFE! MY WIFE! MY KIDS! GET OUT OF HERE!" I gave myself a nasty look and continued yelling at myself. I was really angry with myself. Well sure enough, my Y"H was scared out of his wits and ran for his life. (This concept of using ones anger is brought down by the R. Yonah in shaarei avodah (a rare sefer to find) and in the Gr"a on Mishlei. They both point out that we need to use our Y'H for good. And both give the example of using our middah of anger to yell at your y"h. It is known that the Chafetz Chaim and the Rav Yisroel Salenter employed this method as well.)
I then began a log and recorded the fact that the Y'H came to visit me and I WON the battle.
He decided to stay away for a while. But a few weeks later he came again. And sure enough, I did the same thing and beat him like wildfire. I was feeling so good. And all by using this method of yelling and getting angry with myself and the Y"H. It was unbelievable. And as Yom Kippur approached, I began to feel great joy and bit of nervousness. Was I going to make it until Yom Kippur? Was I going to finally - after 15 years - be able to properly confess my ways? To say vidui that I will never do again and be honest about it? Well, sure enough, Yom kippur came and I was clean now for all these months. And I had had intense battles with the Y"H and not once did he win. My tears on Yom kippur were like none other. I thanked Hashem profusely for giving me the strength. I felt so victorious. After maariv, I came into my house and began telling my kids that "WE WON! WE WON". They all asked me what happened.. With tears in my eyes, I said Hashem has granted us "mechila". Nobody knew what I was talking about. But I was crying.
Over this period of time, my relationship with my wife and kids was great. There was so much love in the air, you could feel it. I was happy man. My learning sky rocketed. My whole life was uplifted....
For the continuation of Yaakov's Story, see his thread on the forum here.