Moshe wrote on the forum:
I feel like I'm hopeless. I've tried almost everything, but I am locked in a vicious cycle of good, bad and ugly days. Every time a few good days pass, I get the good feeling and forget about my effort of recovery, even though I know it won't last. The fact is, I can't stop acting out and I can't help myself.
Years ago, I thought I was the only guy in the world with this problem until I found out that many suffer with this addiction, but today I believe I'm the only guy in the world who cannot recover.
On the optimistic side, I've been actively trying to stop my 15 year addiction for more than 4 or 5 years and through the work I've done over the last few years (SA, phone conferences, GYE and therapy), I am way more in touch with my feelings. I see the very clear link between my fears of facing daily life/disconnection to life and my acting out. I clearly see that I run to porn as a drug to make myself feel better and that acting out is my drug. I am afraid of so many things that don't even make sense. A few years ago, I didn't believe any of that, I thought it was all just a yetzer hara.
I am also having some more "up time", meaning that although I act out on a regular basis, the hours of "living life" have increased dramatically, and the hours spent in isolation are decreasing slowly.
Welcome to GYE, the world of the hopeless. We can't, but He can. "Kovei Hashem YACHALIFU Koach" - we can exchange our koach with Hashem's. We just need to learn how to LET Him do it FOR US.
Harvey, one of the founders of SA, sums up the SA program as just 2 simple things:
1) Don't act out even if your tush falls off!
2) Call someone.
I'm sure you've tried nedarim in the past to no avail, but how about trying this one?
"I am mekabel upon myself bi'neder for a week, that if I act out without calling someone first I will need to give a $100 donation to GYE".
With this neder, you are free to act out. But you just need to call someone first. If you don't, it will hurt.... You'll be amazed to find how the urge to act out greatly diminishes when you know you HAVE TO call someone first ;-)
Where can you get numbers to call? From your SA groups, or from Duvid Chaim's call roster... Or you can even ask for anyone on the forum to PM you their number. I'm sure you'll get a few guys who are willing to have you call them...
When you call someone, don't expect to get any major chizuk. Just tell them the honest truth about what you feel, what your triggers are, and how powerless you feel. You'll be amazed to see that the lust fades when you bring it into the light.
There really is no other way to stay sober. We need to call someone. We need to get it out into the open. If we stay in our heads, we're toast.
"Kedusha" responds to Moshe:
Staying sober is simple, but not easy. A few "simple" tips, which you've, no doubt, heard before in one form or another:
1) What happened in the past is irrelevant. What will happen tomorrow is not your cheshbon. What does matter, and comes before ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING else, is that we stay clean TODAY. If we're clean just today, we've won the Powerball times a Googleplex. If we really believed this, none of us would fall today. This "one day at a time" rule can be modified, if we're feeling weak, to one hour at a time, or even 5 minutes at a time. Does our sobriety really come before everything? Yes. It comes before our marriages. It comes before our children. It comes before our parnasa. That's because, without our sobriety, we stand to lose all of these, and everything else, in this world and the next.
2) Because our sobriety is the most important thing in the world, we need sobriety insurance. Sobriety insurance? Why not? We insure our cars, our homes, and everything else that's important to us. Our sobriety is our home x 1,000,000,000, so we'd sure as heck better insure it. How to insure our sobriety? At the very least, we need to set up effective safeguards: an effective filter, to which we have no access to the password, and monitoring software, which reports every site we visit to a trusted third party. We need to be accountable.
3) Every fall, c"v, needs to cost us an amount we can afford, but an amount that hurts at the same time. This can be a donation to Tzedaka or some other type of k'nas, monetary or otherwise. The idea is that it needs to hurt significantly more to fall than not to fall.
4) Most important, we need to effectively reach out to others and to the RBS"O, and always be working an effective program. The GYE handbook will point us in the right direction as to what we need to be doing: If step #1 is not enough, we need to move on to step #2, and so on, until we find what works for us.