Mazal Tov to "Me3" upon reaching 90 Days Clean
"Me3" is a very inspiring guy who does a lot of "spirit lifting" on the forum with his upbeat attitude and great sense of humor! He spends most of the time helping others.
So I actually managed to find my own thread. Excuse me while I get rid of the dust and open some windows here.
Today I hit 90 days, and now - just as promised, poof! I have no more desire to look at inappropriate sites. Amazing!
OK fine, maybe not exactly.
So what did I accomplish?
Well, the internet hit me hard when I left yeshiva and went to work, and when I was exposed to high speed internet it was a disaster. Not at first, but as I became bored with my job and needed something to amuse myself, I fell in hard.
I've wasted countless hours destroying my soul.
I tried everything and nothing helped.
I promised myself I would improve.
I made nedarim.
I stopped going online, except to 1 or 2 sites.
And sure I stopped, like a smoker quits a thousand times.
It could even be that I stopped for 90 days in the past (I never counted).
So what's different now?
Well the story is still in progress, but here are some things I've done:
1. I installed k9 and I don't have the password. (See this page for info on how to do this).
2. I've found a solution for boredom; it's called GYE. Not only does it keep me busy and give me chizuk, it allows me an opportunity to rectify some of my past wrongdoings by helping others who are struggling.
On the way to work this morning I looked up at the grey overcast horizon, and I never saw a brighter sky in my life.
Thank you GYE!
In honor of Me3's 90 days celebration, we will bring today a few inspiring posts of his - from the past 90 days.
Exactly 3 months ago, Me3 joined us and wrote:
Well, here's Me3, giving it a shot (for the umpteenth time, but 1st time here). I'm in my 30's, married with kids & living in Brooklyn. I signed up for the 90 day chart. Nice to meet you all. Ok, so I'm clean for about 5 minutes now, do I count today as day 1 or day 0?
Daven, "Hashem I can't do this by myself, I need You to fight this for/with me. You know it is my will to do Your will, it's just this horrible addiction (the Yetzer hara) that is pushing me to fall. Please help me overcome him/it - just for today!"
Last week I had a lousy day and I would have fallen, save the fact that I couldn't break my filter; that darn K9 screen kept on popping up, B'H! Those bad days don't go away so easily but the more access you remove, the less likely you will be to fall. I know a filter is never fool proof, but it's still pretty good. I think that's the best kabala anyone starting out can make.
Here's an observation (nothing new that hasn't been said here countless times, but nevertheless, I think it's worth repeating):
There are 2 aspects to our fight, or really in any fight against the Y'H.
1. The battle not to fall.
2. The battle not to fall into depression - if we fell.
The second battle, I feel, is the more important one, because that stops us from picking ourselves up after a fall. However, I believe that a big part of winning the 2nd battle is just recognizing it for what it is. We read about certain members feeling hopeless, suicidal, unable to even put on tefillin after falling, etc... This, my friends, is plain old depression rearing its ugly head; nothing more and nothing less. This needs to be addressed, before you can get back on track with battling fight #1.
This is my take on this Elul / Yomim Noraim and I think many of us here can relate.
For several years I've come before the Ribono Shel Olam before Rosh Hashana with one kabalah:
"Ribono Shel Olam, this year I plan on being better with my Shmiras Anayim.
Both in the street & on the computer.
No Internet surfing...
No image searches...
No blog searches...
No inappropriate blog reading...
And Ribono Shel Olam, although You and I know that I made this kabalah last year and I have nothing to show for it, and I am not worthy of your mercy or of being kept alive this year. However, it was not because I wanted to go against Your will, it's because of this terrible addiction that plagues me. So Ribono Shel Olam, please forgive me for my aveiros of last year, grant me another year of life and give me the strength to do Your will this year."
This year I will be making almost the same kabalah and much of the same statements, with one important difference.
"Ribono Shel Olam, during this past year, and especially recently...
I WAS BETTER!
I MADE IMPROVEMENTS!
I GUARDED MY EYES!
I INSTALLED AN INTERNET FILTER!
I GAVE AWAY THE PASSWORD!
Now You and I know that I was far far far from perfect, and that I still have worlds to improve in this area, but please grant me a new year of life and allow me to continue to grow and improve."
The most important thing in this journey is to always bounce back and not give the Y'H a double victory.
I have B'H been on the 90-day chart for a month now and I feel like I've broken my old surfing habits, etc. I feel great and I see the difference in my life. However, I also know how easy it is to fall back, and to be honest, I'm petrified of doing so.
Another thing, I'm being extremely careful to keep myself in a positive state of mind, to keep the Y'H from getting me down, because that's the 1st step in falling.
I feel weak... I'm tired and bored, not interested in doing the work in front of me. Which of course is the start of all bad things.
But you know, this is the biggest benefit I get from GYE. I'm so busy following the happenings here that I don't have time to do anything else, I don't even follow the news I'm so busy here!
Anyway just posting this helped. I think I've made it past the crisis point.
A humorous post by "Me3" before Rosh Hashana:
It has come to my attention that people have been neglecting the forum to attend to matters in the outside world.
This is not acceptable.
I understand that there are some times that you need to take care of things.
However, these things should be done quickly,
as to allow you to immediately return here to your real home.
Don't use the outside world as an escape,
to avoid your real family.
You are not required to have an outside life,
but you need to have a GYE life!
(Take Guard's example; he he sleeps right here on the forum)
That said (swallow hard), we will be closed till after Rosh Hashana.
I want everyone to be brave.
Try to be positive on Rosh Hashana,
even though you are away from home.
But please call home immediately after Yom Tov,
so as not to worry the family!
A Gut Gebencht Yur!
I think what is important in beating this thing is not surfing because you are controlling yourself, as opposed to not surfing because there is a filter blocking you. Because no filter is fool proof, and it is impossible to never again have access an unfiltered computer. Also, if you are controlling yourself you will resist "seeing if you can beat the filter" or "testing just how good the filter is", etc... and all the other clever tricks the Y'H has up his sleeve.
Me3 writes chizuk to someone who feels he is a BAD person after repeated falls:
Of course if you want, you can decide that all is lost, you're a jerk, loser, reincarnation of the Satan and stay in your bed all day moping about your sorry life, etc.
That will help a lot!
We can't stress this enough. If you were a bad person, you would not be here on this site. You would be somewhere surfing and m**ing to your hearts content right now.
Why come here?
The people who come here, come because they are good people. In fact, although I can't prove this, I think that a good percentage of the people here are respected as "better than average" members of their respective communities.
These people have a problem, a serious problem, that they want to beat more than anything else in the whole world. Granted, they may have ended up in this mess due to their own failings and shortcomings. They, however, regret their actions and desperately want to be free of this addiction.
You have a flaw that you are aware of, and you are working on correcting it and making progress. So you didn't beat it in one shot (shock of shocks!), but progress has been made.
You, my friend, are a good person (now say it 10 times!).
My yom kippur thought:
Every person on this site,
no matter how long they have been clean,
and no matter how many times they fell -
are engaged in fighting their Y'H.
They are not sitting passively.
Yes, they don't always win,
but they are fighting.
And that is exactly what Hashem wants from us.
Basically everybody here is more successful in this battle since they found this site.
And we have Guard to thank for enabling us.
Rosh Hashana was good, I focused on being Mamlich Hashem as one should.
I wasn't sure where I was going regarding Yom Kippur. I had plenty to ask forgiveness on, however I was also going in with a 45 day streak behind me B'H. I always try to bring myself to tears as one should, but I was feeling that I had already put into place the things that I planned on working on this year.
So I began davening, went through Kol Nidrei, started Maariv and I reached the words in Shemona Esrai of "Somaych Noflim - He supports those who fall"
And I thought of falls.
And I thought of GYE.
And of the feelings that come with a fall.
And then I thought of Hashem Who is Somaych Noflim.
He lifts us up after a fall,
He puts us back on the right path.
He gives us the strength to continue.
And I started crying.
How to fall
A Step by step Guide
By: The Yetzer Hara
It's his favorite tactic.
It starts with the simple, innocent Google search.
Then, after you've searched 60 pages for absolutely no reason, and even though you've already found what you wanted on page 2, you are bound to find something inappropriate.
Then it's: "Let's just click on the link to see if it's really inappropriate or just looks that way".
Then it's: "I can't believe you can find this stuff looking for such an innocent item!"
And: "look! that too!"
"Tsk, Tsk, really terrible..."
"I'm going to "X" this out in a second"
"Wow, did you see that?!"
Do I need to continue?
The Yetzer Hara is a very smart guy.
First he tells you, "it's nothing, just curiosity. I'm just looking. I have no interest in this stuff."
Then he says, "it's harmless chatting. No big deal!"
And before you know it, he has you falling so far and so fast that you don't even know what hit you!
He's an old pro.. been in the business for thousands of years!
Baruch Hashem, you've come here before you've fallen too far.
But it's imperative for you to realize that you are at the brink. And it's a long nasty way down from here.
So grab onto the lifeline GYE is throwing you.
Don't look back!
May today be the first day of the rest of your life!