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Hakoras Hatov

obormottel Tuesday, 27 October 2015

A little background: since my childhood, I have always struggled with this problem and, like many, once the internet took off, my problem got out of control. I had particular trouble at work being exposed to a computer with no filters at all. Over the last 5 years, this problem had begun to get worse and worse. I had many ups and downs, and over the years the "up" periods were becoming shorter and shorter and the "down" periods longer and longer. I began to feel that my life was just going to go this way forever, and there was no way out of it.

Sometime last summer, two things happened, which I feel was certainly hashgacha that helped to me on the road to recovery. Firstly, I stumbled upon the guardyoureyes website, and I signed up for the daily emails, and I read the Attitude book and the Handbook, and I began to absorb the idea that there is hope and that breaking out of this is not impossible. The second thing that happened is that I "foolishly" (or perhaps because I was directed to by the Orchestrator of all world events) clicked on an internet link at work that I knew might not be secure and, sure enough, it infected my computer with a virus that was not letting me do anything once I would log on. I tried not to panic and immediately called our IT group, knowing full well that I may lose my job because of this. Since the IT guys would know anyway I told them what I did and asked them if they could fix it and not tell my supervisors what caused it. Fortunately, they were able to clean it up a few hours later. The reason I feel this was hashgacha is because a few months later when I became more serious about recovering, it was much easier for me to ask the IT staff to help me with filtering the internet, because they already knew about my problem. I am not sure I would have had the moral fortitude to admit my problem to them had they not known about it. Around last Elul I would say my road to recovery really began, as I had a 29 day clean period, then a stumble for a few weeks, then a 42 day clean period, then a stumble for a few weeks, and then finally the 172 day clean period that I am in now, which I hope will last ad meah v'esrim. The IT staff did not want to put a filter on for technical and other reasons but agreed to block a few particular websites that for me were the most problematic. This has made a huge difference for me because, if an urge comes over, I know that I will not be able to go to the sites I want to.

I think the main thing I have gained from guardyoureyes is that THIS CAN BE DONE if one wants it enough. Something else that I also know is true for me - I can't just give up the "real bad stuff" and still read secular newspapers and think everything will be okay. The secular newspapers have to go because little slips tend to become big falls. I have also noticed, probably like many, that my learning is much improved. Instead of secluar newspapers, I listen to Rabbi Shafier's Shmuz pod to and from work, and I am getting tremendous chizuk from that, as well. While I am quite happy about these successes, I know I still need to work on my eyes when I walk in the street. For just the last few days I have begun taking my glasses off when I get out of the subway (as my eyesight is "Baruch Hashem" quite bad) and I think this is helping as well. I pray that Hashem continues to give me the strength to fight this battle.

I owe you and everyone involved with this great organization a tremendous hakaras hatov for helping me get started.