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How I Stayed Clean for Four Years (So Far)

GYE Corp. Wednesday, 14 December 2011

I'm married, Torah observant, clean and sober 15 years in AA, and sexually sober for nearly four years. How did I/do I stay clean?

The first 90 days were definitely all about using what I had learned in AA, and inspiration from Chaim Kramer's book "Crossing the Narrow Bridge".

Since then, I take it "one day at a time," using my 12-steps experience, and Torah, Torah and more Torah (i.e. "the 11th step").

In my early days of AA, I used to study a lot of R' Twerski's books (i.e. A Day/A Week at a Time). Since then, I've studied a lot of Mussar books and a lot of R' Nachman, especially the works published by Chaim Kramer and his Breslov Research Institute, along with Lazer Brody's translations of Shalom Arush's books, and R Yitzchak Ginzberg's "The Mystery of Marriage". The more I've Kabbalistically understood masculine/feminine relationships and drives, and the more deeply I go into Torah and Mussar, the more I am able to 'grab the reins' whenever I start to go off course (as the Baal Shem Tov would say).

The more I know, the less I know, and I hope to figure out how best to be an active participant in recovery, stay clean, help others get and stay clean, keep getting cleaner, and keep improving my Shalom Bayis...