Yossi's Story (& His Party)
My name is Yossi, I am a 19 year old Bochur, and I have been Shomer Habris for over 6 months B"H - the best 6 months of my life.
One of the main things that spurred me to stop, besides for the extreme seriousness of the sin, was the realisation of how much better life would be without this life-sucking addiction.
Before I was Shomer, I was a different person. My thoughts were perverted, my speech tainted, as were my conversations, and of course, I was naturally attracted to every second girl and woman I saw. But the main thing that was killing me, which I only realize the full extent of now, was the negative effect that masturbation had on my soul. The learning wouldn't come in, prayer wouldn't come out, and Shabbos was boring, as was everything Jewish in between. My life was a contradiction. I knew it, and as both a Jew and Yeshivah Bochur, I had to stop.
One of the ways that helped me realize I could stop was the introduction of the website 'guardyoureyes.org.' This website tremendously helped me become aware of the nature of this averiah, with its clear and thorough help. Joining the daily chizuk emails encouraged and pushed me to strive to complete 90 days clean. Reading the stories of other people helped me, and whenever I needed a source of inspiration and was struggling, I used the website as a source of new encouragement which spurred me further.
So I stopped. And since then, everything has changed.
Learning is now absolutely amazing! In fact, last z'man was the best z'man I ever had in my life. Davening, singing and dancing all comes straight from the heart, and the heilige Shabbos Kodesh is by far my favourite day of the week. IY"H may it continue.
How did I stop? I told myself before z'man starts that I must be clean, and I drummed it into myself a hundred times over. Mikveh, Mussar, and Tikun Haklali all helped, but in order to even dream of beginning such a daunting task, open internet went straight out the window - literally. And if anyone is planning on stopping while you have any form of unfiltered internet access, good luck. You've failed before you've started, and if you think you're stronger than the Yetzer Horah when he's armed with open internet, I'm afraid you're badly mistaken. I'm speaking from experience. Internet is the devil, the fiery dragon that we must slay. I smashed my i-Touch, sold my Wi-Fi phone at a loss, and the very next day was my first day clean!
Smashing and selling all my internet connections was by far the best impulse decision I've made in my life. I didn't think too hard - I just did what I knew was right, leaving no time for the Yetzer Horah to plant his evil seeds of doubt in my mind - such as: "It's not your money to waste... It's your parent's money.... It's Hashem's... it could go to charity... Ba'al Tashchis... you need it for countless other things... how can you live without it?" NO! These things you plan for afterwards - not before.
Here's how I see it: the struggle for reaching Shmiras Habris is like climbing a ladder. Rung by rung, day by day, higher and higher. Sometimes we may lose our footing and slip, but we must immediately regain our balance because we certainly don't want to hit rock bottom; no one does. We must never give up and we'll soon see that gradually, over time, it gets easier and easier, until one day we'll reach our goal of purity in this world - and eternal bliss in the next. But the ladder only starts in midair, and to reach the first rung one has to take a massive leap. But once we've taken that leap and have grasped that first rung, we're already halfway there!
That leap is getting rid of your i-Touch, your Pocket PC or anything else that has an internet connection (or installing strong filters with reporting software on devices that can be filtered). Once this is done, you're halfway there, and I promise, this will be a leap you will not regret.
It's still not over, in fact, far from it. There will always be tests, but the first few weeks are the hardest. The Yetzer Harah will continuously plague and torment you with lustful thoughts, trying to get you to finally give in. The only thing to do is to attack those thoughts while in their infancy. If you're sitting in the bathroom, standing in the shower, or laying in bed and a sick thought enters your head - don't chill with it! Shut it out immediately, shake your head, bang it, jump out of bed and pray to G-d, whatever it takes, but never ever chill with it, because a bad thought is like a poised snake ready to strike - one must shut the door immediately and leave it shut until it goes. The second you open that door, once the head is inside, it's too late; its entire body will instantly slither in and inject you with venomous poison. Don't assume you can fight the snake - you can't, it's a lot stronger than you are.