A Big Mazal Tov to Eye.nonymous for reaching 90 days clean
Today is day 90.
I appreciate everyone who attended the kumzitz last night. ImTrying25, Sturggle, Battleworn, and Dov M. from DC's group. It was a really intense evening and I feel honored for hosting it. Also, I thank MOMO and Loi-Misyeish for calling in, that was very much appreciated. And, it was an especially great honor to have a call-in from Guard.
I said a few words about the last 90 days, and I thought it would be nice to write them here, too. It was something like this:
90 days isn't really so much time, but on the other hand it feels like a long time. One of the major benefits from staying clean for 90 days is that it really uncovers the lies of the Yeitzer Hara.
"I'm angry - I need to act out!"
"I'm frustrated - I need to act out!"
"I feel that URGE - I need to act out!"
"I just fought with my wife - I need to act out!"
90 days is long enough for all these things to have happened (at least once). And-I DIDN'T ACT OUT! I didn't explode. I'm still doing fine. The Yeiter Hara REALLY is just telling a bunch of lies.
I would also say that it has taken me 7 months (since joining GYE) to reach 90 days! And without each of the previous falls (during the 7 months), I would never have been able to stay clean for this long now. There's more to it than just counting days. After each fall I really analyzed - "WHY DID I FALL?" and tried to correct that mistake. I might have made another mistake the next time I fell, but hopefully not the same mistake twice.
I found that I wasn't being driven to act out because of such a huge desire to act out. Rather, it was usually a stretch of depressing thoughts before hand, that caused it. I learned to ward them off when they started to come. And, I've been working on pulling out positive thoughts as "preventative medicine".
One incident that was especially frightening was one day that I was just sitting in the Beis Medrash in front of a Gemara. I felt the URGE. I wasn't having a difficult time or anything, and I wasn't feeling depressed about anything. I sent out a distress call as soon as I could get to my computer. The basic advice I got was "change your situation." I couldn't, but I did put on some music and relax. I changed my mood. Then I realized that the underlying problem was something much more subtle; an undercurrent of "tension". I was driving myself a bit too much. I needed to relax. Not to be lazy, but to be more easy going and flexible about things.
I was surprised that after conquering the more obvious causes for acting out, I was starting to notice more subtle triggers - and baruch Hashem, eliminate them.
It was at that point that I stopped feeling so much like a dry drunk, and I felt that I had really changed. I felt that I hit on something that would really carry me a long way.
I would say that another problem with this addiction is that we expect that life is SUPPOSED to be always happy and easy. So when it's not, we run to our addiction for comfort.
Another realization I had (particularly from some Chassidic seforim) is that VAY'HI EREV, VAY'HI BOKER... And it was evening, and it was morning. HASHEM CREATED THE WORLD so that there's DARKNESS and then there's LIGHT. Over and over and over again. DARKNESS and difficulties in life, is a normal part of living. It's nothing to be surprised or disappointed about. The BEST way to deal with the difficulties in reality is just to face them. They're a normal part of reality. AND sometimes, the best we can do is just wait it out. Morning will eventually come, even if we don't DO anything.
Another point I would like to add is that while I was merely posting chizuk to others, I felt that GYE was artificial help. Messages from invisible people. But when I sent out my distress call and got immediate chizzuk, I started to feel, "Wow, people are really out there who care about me! We're struggling together!"
I thank ImTrying25 for initiating the GYE kumzitz. Meeting some other GYE members face-to-face really helped me finally feel: THIS IS REAL!!! It helped me feel a far greater responsibility in this struggle, and it has given me a lot of chizzuk.
I would also like to thank Battleworn for introducing me to the incredible Sefer of Rav Tzadok of Lublin, "Tzidkus HaTzakik".
I would also like to thank 7UP and Bardichev, among several others, who promptly answered me during times of distress.
I would like to thank GUARD for all his amazing work. I have been struggling with this problem since my Bar mitzvah (or even before). I have come so much further in the past 7 months with the GYE community than I have come in the previous 22 years!
When my wife left the house before the Kumzitz last night, she wrote a couple of notes for me to read:
Dear Eye.nonymous (yes, that's what she wrote)! I'm so proud of you, and your hard introspection, your soul-searching, and your growth. May you go M'chayil L'chayil.
Mazel Tov! I appreciate your constant efforts. Congrats on your milestone.
I'll just end from a word from Guard. He reminded me when he called in that With Hashem we can do it! Without Him, we can't!
Thank you everyone for your support.
With a heart overflowing with gratitude,