Friday, 04 May 2012

Better to suffer embarrassment in this world than in the next

by GYE (See all authors)

The Gemara in Kidushin 81/a tells a story:

Some women who had been taken captive were redeemed and brought to Nehardai. They were kept in the attic of Rav Amram the Chasid and the ladder was removed. At night, a beam of light reflected off one of the women, revealing her beauty. Rav Amram was seized with lust and he moved the ladder (which normally needs 10 people to move it) to ascend. As he was halfway up, he screamed "There is a fire in Rav Amram's house!" and the Rabanan flocked to his house. After they saw that there was no fire they said to him "You embarrassed us (with your behavior)!", answered Rav Amram: "It is better to suffer embarrassment in this world than in the next".

Now that's an inspiring story!

One of the deepest problems with the addiction, is the aspect of secrecy that surrounds it. As long as a person says to themselves "no one knows anyway", it is very hard to even begin the journey to recovery. We need to open up to someone and tell them about our struggles. We need to shout "There's a fire!! a fire in my heart!! help me put it out!" ... Once people know, we can find the strength like Rav Amram, to stop ourselves from falling even with the most difficult tests. And remember, i t is better to suffer embarrassment in this world than in the next.

And that is why group support is so important. Firstly, in group support we receive the support from others that we so desperately need. Secondly, we get to see how there are others even worse off than we are, and we can actually give them support (which in turn, strengthens us). And thirdly, we get to see how people, who were exactly in our situation - or even worse, have achieved sobriety and are well on their way to recovery! These are all very important features of group support. But perhaps the most important aspect of group support is that by opening up to others and staying in touch with them while we heal, we begin to finally feel accountability! Internalize this. It is the secrecy and hiding and lying that we've been doing for years that makes it so hard for us to begin the journey to recovery.

So dear Yidden, join the Jewish Healing Group today! - It's a revolution in healing for religious people.

If you can't join the group (or even if you can), it is also very helpful to have someone close to you - or someone you respect, that you will be totally open with about this on a steady basis . No secrets, only the real truth. This is a very powerful tool - and a necessary one - for anyone serious about breaking free. The person you choose can be your wife, your Rabbi or a close friend who understands you.

And if that's still too hard for you at this stage, at least get a sponsor through our forum to keep in touch with someone - anyone - about your struggles. You might say you don't feel on the level yet to be someone's partner or sponsor, or you're afraid you won't have what to answer your partner when he's struggling. It does not matter! The mere fact that you are totally open with someone about your struggles will already make it much easier for you both to break free of the addiction!

May Hashem be with us all on our journey!

Note: Even when you do open up to someone and don't withhold any secrets, there is still no need to supply them with all the gory details... Just saying something like "I am struggling with an addiction of looking at improper things on the internet" is enough. The person will understand. After all, most people struggle with these things on some level. If not on-line, then in the street. But it is vital to tell them the full truth of where you are holding and how difficult it is for you, and to keep in touch with them on a steady basis.