Although the TaPHSiC method is very powerful, finding the perfect formula is delicate and DANGEROUS business. If we vow to do something too painful, we run the risk that we’ll break our vow, which besides for the serious sin, can lead to deterioration since the person can chas veshalom feel that if he has transgressed this sin, there’s no hope for him anyway! On the other hand, if it’s not painful enough, there’s always the risk of continued falls. Feel free to send your shvuah ideas to us at eyes [dot] guard [at] gmail [dot] com before making them, for advice.
It is important to write up a list of the vows for our records, and also to enable us to review them carefully before making them each time. In addition, having a list of the vows will help us refine them as we discover the ones that worked for better or for worse, and we can then use this refined list to make the vows again for progressively longer periods of time.
It is also important to understand that the TaPHSiC method is like putting an electrified fence at the edge of a cliff. If you come close to the edge, you will be “shocked” and back away. However, it goes without saying that if someone continues to walk alongside the edge of the cliff, the repeated shocks will start becoming very painful. At some point, he may just turn the electricity in the wires off, which will lead to a fall soon after. Or at some point, even the electricity won’t help and he’ll stumble and fall through the fence.
Therefore, in conjunction with this powerful method, it is vital to put up other fences as well; fences that will keep us far away from the “edge of the cliff”. This means installing a good filter. And on top of that filter, we need to install an “Accountability system” as well, such as eBlaster or Webchaver which sends reports of our internet usage to someone we would be ashamed to disappoint. This makes the “physical repercussions” all the more real, and keeps us far from even trying to find loop-holes in our filter.
We also need to learn to keep busy and to replace our acting out with alternative fulfillment, such as finding hobbies that interest us, spiritual discovery and growth, and reconnecting with life more; with our wives, kids, family, friends and community. (See our Kosher Isle for some great ideas on hobbies, activities and spiritual growth.)
Also, for some “higher-level” addicts, the withdrawal symptoms can become excruciating. Therefore, it is advisable to have a support system in place as we try the TaPHSiC method; either a therapist or a live SA group where we can share our pain in withdrawal, or even a good friend (from the forum perhaps) who we can call and “talk it out” with when times get tough.
Also, for some addicts, living suddenly without the “drug” we have come to rely on can lead to serious depression or a deep feeling of inner void. A psychiatrist can evaluate us and subscribe temporary medication that can take “the edge” off these feelings. For example, there are SSRI medications today that have almost no side effects and can be taken for just a year or so, until we are more balanced and more used to living life without our “drug”.
The bottom line is, that although this method is like putting a strong electric fence at the edge of the cliff to stop us when all else fails, we need to continue to use the many tools of the GYE network (See “GYE in a Nutshell”) to keep ourselves safely away from the edge.