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What I Learned From My Last Fall

This was posted by Noorah when he was 4 months clean. Today he is clean over a full year:

GYE Corp. Monday, 23 January 2012

Dearest Brothers in Arms,

Permit me to share what I learned from my last fall. I was clean for months and months at the time. This was prior to having found the GYE network and I was not counting days, nor did I have a sobriety date. Why should I be counting days? A choshver yid such as myself is not an addict! I though that I was permanently cured and that my previous falls were a thing of the past, a bad dream.

How wrong I was!!!

At the time, I had just completed a major project at work and was on a tremendous HIGH from it, both from a spiritual aspect and a professional aspect.

My davenings were with a feeling of real connection with Hashem, all my tefilos were with a minyan, I was keeping my sedorim, etc.. Then all of a sudden WHAM BAM,the baal duver was back with such an awesome ferociousness, I didn't know what hit me. (Each subsequent fall gets worse in intensity and duration). All of a sudden, an ice coldness in my yiddishkiet overtook me, like I just completely and utterly shut down spiritually (akin to a computer virus that completely shuts down the whole system).

Of course, I had to go through the motions for the sake of my wife and children, it was sheer torture. Imagine having to conduct a purim seudah or pesach seder or even a shabbos seudah in such a situation, when the wife and kids are looking to me to set the ruach/spirit of the day and I'm just coming off a spectacular month long visit to the Yetzer Hara's finest p**n sites. I wanted to run, but had nowhere to hide.

Right before Pesach of this year, the Almight-y in his infinite kindness and love, let me "stumble" on this holy website and the chizuk emails, and things started to get a little better, the ice in my heart began thawing a bit.

One of the greatest insights that I had, or shall we say, lessons that I learned from this last fall was as follows:

1) There is no greater danger then complacency, i.e. the thought that battle is won. The menuvel has all the time in this world (pun intended!) just waiting for me, the great tzadik, to think that I licked him. Then out of nowhere it's WHAM BAM and I'm down for the count.

While this may be elementary to many on this forum, to me this lesson came with a great price tag.

2) There is nothing in the world that incites the Yetzer Hara more than arrogance, and underestimating his power. As soon as I think that "I" beat him, or that "I'm" a big tzadik, he will just tear me to pieces.

This secret is from the gemorah in kiddushin where R' Akiva and R' Meir, the holy tanaim would mock those who sinned, with the thinking (according to Rash"i ) that the Yetzer Hara is easy to overcome. Consequently, the Yetzer Hara appeared to them and tempted them with such a strong lust that Reb Akiva began to climb up the tree to satisfy his lust. When R' Akiva was halfway up the tree, the Satan said to him "were it not that in Heaven they proclaim "beware of R' Akiva and his Torah" I would have utterly destroyed you".

I too, underestimated the menuve l in the biggest way. I was asleep to the menuvel and he was busy rubbing his hands in glee waiting for me.

I don't even remember the precise thing that made me fall anymore, and I'm not even sure how important it is right now to recovery.

The lesson that I take from this last fall is, I hope and daven never to forget, that until my last breath, the great menuvel will lie in ambush waiting for me to forget that he is ... lying in ambush!!