I Have Come Home
Thank you HaShem for bringing me to GYE, and thank you Guard for being a true Shaliach.
Here are my thoughts at 90 days. As R' Twerski put it in his beautiful article on Pesach, when one is freed spiritually, he is thankful for every second of his freedom. GYE has made me realize that the concept of Kedusha and being part of a holy nation is not just an elusive idea for "holy" people. It is within our grasp. And for this I truly have to thank HaShem for having the Zechus of having my part in His Plan.
What does liberation mean to me?
- To go to work without constantly worrying (and knowing) am I going to act out today or will I be able to control myself?
- Leaving work without feeling relieved that I made it through the day without acting out or frustration/guilt because tit happened yet again.
- That I can go to sleep after my wife without diving for the ..... to act out.
- I have learned to focus and be happy with what I have, not with what I don't.
- That I can focus positively on my Avodas HaShem without feeling hypocritical and constant paradox.
Contrast: Sometimes I think back to those grotesque images which I have not seen for 90 days and I think, could this really be what interests me?? What a contrast between what I "gave up", and what I received instead. The contrast is beyond words.
Appreciation: I cannot express my appreciation enough to everyone here at GYE for literally saving my soul. I have received so much from you; so much Insight and understanding. But most of all support and guidance, and the feeling that in the times of darkness there are some very dear people out there who care. Thank you all so much. And of course I look forward to the grand GYE kumsits with all of you, with the Shor HaBor and the Leviasan!
Privilege:It has been the most amazing experience to have contact with so many emotionally and spiritually deep people/Neshomos. It has made me feel emotionally alive. I have had the opportunity to express my emotions and feelings without feeling inhibited or childish. And I also feel spiritually alive. A special type of Avodah different to learning and davening, but what gives more meaning and amplifies to all Ruchniyos.
Yet I feel some disappointment. Here at GYE we see that everyone has their own struggles. I might be wrong but it seems that there are different levels of addicts. I feel that my own addiction was just a bad habit I could not get out of and needed to be broken. What did it take? Openness and frank confrontation with my feelings and weaknesses; getting out of isolation and realizing that there is an effective way of breaking the habit. And more than anything, a framework within which to do this and the support which I received. And that is the tragedy. Why did it have to take so long to discover something so simple? I am sure that there are so many low level addicts out there like me, that don't need therapy or SA groups, just a healthy perspective and attitude, support and communication, realization that you are not alone or the only one, and to be given the opportunity to talk from their heart. Why is the frum community continuing to deny this to themselves?
The main lesson that I learned over the last few months has been to appreciate and be happy with what I have, and not be constantly looking at what I do not. All the lust and fantasizing comes from wanting just that little bit which is out of your grasp. I learnt to stop "looking" away from myself. Yes, guarding your eyes begins in the eye of your mind. If something does not interest you, then you do not lust for it.
About a month into the journey, I would come to Mincha Erev Shabbos, the end of a week of being at my office and not acting out, and my heart was bursting with joy. I remember saying Aleinu and feeling how privileged I am to be part of Klal Yisroel. Today I feel less of that original excitement, but my main feeling is that I have come home. I was in a sewer unable to pull myself out. Now I am back home after all the years. I feel - relief, and also a big feeling of responsibility - never again will I be able to feel and say that something is beyond my control!
Finally, no words will suffice to thank R' Guard enough for being HaShem's Shliach in saving my soul. HaShem should give you the Koach to continue in you holy work, and there is no doubt that you will be in the front lines to greet Mashiach Tzidkainu!