A Change in the Undercurrent
I tend to be more logical than emotional, Litvish rather than Chasidish. I'm usually very skeptical about these messages I see often on the forum such as, "WOW, I've been clean now for a whole week and I feel like a different person! I've got so much kavannah in davening, and so much simcha all the time!"
So, I must report that I have now reached 16 clean days. I've been clean before for 16 clean days, but never while I was consciously trying to get rid of lust. And I think someone posted here, "One fall during recovery is worth more than a clean day while you're not trying to recover."
I can't say I'm jumping for joy all day long, and I can't say I feel like I'm on the moon when I'm davening. But I am starting to sense this subtle undercurrent of simcha, which I have never felt before. And I think it is a simcha that can spill into all aspects of life. I feel a bit different towards my children, towards my wife, and even towards davening. No doubt, it is due to my efforts in trying to break free of lust.
Throughout these weeks I have been telling myself over and over again, "Watch out now! Be careful not to lust! Don't lust!"
I was surprised that, even with my wife, the same message popped into my head, "don't lust!" I realize now much more than ever before, I was thinking of marital relations as the kosher outlet for lust. But now, I sense that it is really supposed to be something entirely different.