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Increasing Our Spiritual Highs

GYE Corp. Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Since I've joined GYE b"H, I bounce back a lot quicker than I used to after a fall; I'm able to treat it as a passing glitch in the overall trend rather than the overall trend.

By nature, I'm an anxious worrying type and since joining GYE I've been much calmer and more relaxed.

I've started to accept that it is a lifelong journey of progression and I'm not going to recover from one day to the next, which in turn helps me to get back up after a fall and keep going.

My last few falls started when I was alone with nothing to occupy me, on the computer in college, driving around by myself (the streets in the summer...) or frustrated that my wife hasn't been able to go to the mikvah for a while (for technical reasons).

My therapist (who is a rabbi and was trained in addictions by Rabbi Abraham Twerski) told me about a book of Rabbi Twerski's where he says that a lot of addictions are caused by a lack of spirituality - he calls it "spirituality deficiency syndrome". My last good runs (36 & 21 clean days) were from selichos through Succos & Pesach and he reckons that I'm craving spiritual highs and turn to lust when there's a void. He suggested to think of ways to increase my 'Jewish highs'. I'm not enjoying my night seder (I'm in law school during the day) and as it's my only proper seder, it's very frustrating that its not fulfilling so I'm gonna think about changing that around. He also suggested appreciating life, taking 10 minutes a day to appreciate the sunset or trees or colors in the sky, or something to make it real - if you've got something real that you're enjoying, it keeps you further away from fantasy.

When I have a productive day I'm much calmer and in control, if I'm not productive I suppose I get restless and frustrated which makes me more susceptible.

Summary: When I'm spiritually fulfilled, productive & occupied, I'm Ok, but there are gonna be times that I'm alone, bored, depressed, frustrated, unoccupied and spiritually low and I have to think of ways to protect myself then.

Here are two ideas I came up with so far:

1) Calling someone - my wife in certain situations, but I still need to think of someone inspirational who will have time for trickier/heavier urges/times.

2) Making a list of attitude reasons why it's bad to lust and why it's great not to lust, and I will have to read it before I do anything (bad).