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A platform of recovery for Jews who find themselves struggling with addictions to pornography, masturbation or other sexual problems. Post anonymously about your struggles without fear of anyone finding out who you are. Ask questions, post answers and be inspired! Get tips and guidance from the experts who moderate this forum, as well as from fellow strugglers.
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TOPIC: check-in 1860 Views

check-in 10 Sep 2009 08:50 #17126

  • Mr. Smith
Following the advice of many, I am posting to try to keep it together.
I was just working on some really great Torah stuff.  I was enjoying it.  And all of a sudden, whango, attack of the yetzer hara. I experienced a little dip (don't know if it would count as a fall).  I made it back out.
The absurdity of having Torah open in Word and garbage open in a browser is the kind of funny it makes me want to cry.
It frustrates me that Torah is supposed to be a tavlin, and I have yet to find it very effective. I was really involved in something here! Why didn't it protect me?  That's a rhetorical question.

Smith
Last Edit: by Imtrying91.

Re: check-in 10 Sep 2009 09:03 #17127

  • Sturggle
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shkoyach for posting.
shkoyach for keeping the y"h at bay.
Last Edit: by Leopard Jew.

Re: check-in 10 Sep 2009 11:10 #17129

  • the.guard
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Hi Mr.Smith.

If it was just a Yetzer Hara issue, the Torah would protect you. Unfortunately though, once we pass a certain line, it becomes an addiction - which is a disease on multiple levels; physical, mental and spiritual. At that point, Torah can obviously "help" in the long term (like vitamins to keep us healthy), but it can't heal a disease any more than it can heal a broken leg. Please read the GYE handbook and the attitude handbook. You will learn a lot more about the nature of this insidious disease, and the tools and medicine that we need to heal from it.

Love you, Tzadik!

P.S. Of course there are multiple levels of learning Torah. If we would learn Torah today solely lisheim Shamayim with awe and fear, as the Tzadikim do, I'm sure it's effect would be much more powerful on us... But we are small... so small...

P.P.S. I'm sure Dov would have a lot to answer you about this...
Webmaster of www.guardyoureyes.org - Maintaining Moral Purity in Today's World. We’re here on a quest ; it’s really all a test. Just do your best and G-d will do the rest.
Last Edit: by Briskodesh1.

Re: check-in 10 Sep 2009 12:31 #17144

  • Cleareyes613
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I am no Reb Guard or Reb Dov, just a fellow addict. Learning torah on word? Your one click away from bad sites. I have trouble learning in the same room, let alone on the computer. If you need the material from the computer, print it out. You will even have an easier time reading it and will not be less distracted by the y"h. Or be old fashioned and use a sefer.

The Torah is a cure against the y"h. But you need to be practical. You can sit outside a beis zonah with a sefer and expect the torah to save you.
Last Edit: by startagain.

Re: check-in 10 Sep 2009 16:35 #17217

  • Efshar Letaken
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Question for Rabbeinu Guard & Reb Dov or any other expert.

Can We Explain Addiction As What Chazal Say "Hergel Naso Teva"?

E.L.
Last Edit: by Marsalis.

Re: check-in 10 Sep 2009 16:40 #17221

  • battleworn
Last Edit: 10 Sep 2009 17:15 by Tomato.

Re: check-in 10 Sep 2009 18:24 #17262

  • the.guard
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Can We Explain Addiction As What Chazal Say "Hergel Naso Teva"?


A quote from the GYE handbook:

We may have tried to do Teshuvah many times in the past, but the standard model of Teshuva (Azivas Hachet, Charata and Kabbala al Haba) doesn’t work for us very well anymore. Addiction is a type of disease, and our Sages understood the nature of addiction as Rebbe Asi said: “The Yetzer Harah in the beginning is compared to a strand of a spider web, and in the end like a rope that is used to tie cattle”. Even more so, in this area where our Sages have said: “The more it is fed, the hungrier it gets”. Our Sages also recognized that once a person repeats a particular sin a number of times “it becomes to him as if it is permitted”. Therefore, the standard Teshuvah techniques are not usually sufficient in our case anymore. The nature of the addiction is analogous to someone standing on the railroad tracks while he watches the train bearing down on him, and yet he can’t move himself out of the way. And as Rabbi Twerski puts it in his book “Addictive Thinking”: We place our hands on the stove, get burned, and yet we feel compelled to do it again.

Therefore on GYE, instead of the standard Teshuvah model, we begin to change our entire attitude. We learn the tools and techniques of how to sidestep the Lust, instead of trying to fight it head on. And we learn how to give our disease over to Hashem and live with His help, instead of trying to use our own strengths to fight something so much stronger than us.
Webmaster of www.guardyoureyes.org - Maintaining Moral Purity in Today's World. We’re here on a quest ; it’s really all a test. Just do your best and G-d will do the rest.
Last Edit: by ravscheinberg.

Re: check-in 10 Sep 2009 19:37 #17282

  • Efshar Letaken
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Thanks!

So in short the answer to my question would be Yes? Yes?! I Guess!

I will Confess,
That is a Yes,
More is Less,
What a Ness,
Like a game of Chess,
Y"H, Don't Mess,
I don't want your Stress,
If we want Happiness,
We will change our usual way of Business.
Last Edit: by Yos01.

Re: check-in 10 Sep 2009 22:43 #17320

  • Dov
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Mr. Smith wrote on 10 Sep 2009 08:50:
Following the advice of many, I am posting to try to keep it together.
Thanks. It helps all folks in recovery to be part of another person's reaching out. We really are as sick as our secrets. I need to share very often. 
Disclaimer (ala' RAM ): R' Efshar - I am not an expert on anything, and certainly not on addiction or recovery. (I'm pretty good with wild mushrooms, though!) I am, however, able to share my experience, and am gifted with the faith that I need to share it in order to remain sober.
I feel that this is important for another reason: I am not teaching the Torah here, just sharing myself as honestly as I can. So, I am not focusing on right or wrong, good or bad. That is why I don't say moral stuff, nor tell people what they should be doing. This is also why I never participate in telling (or begging) a member not to act out. Let the rabbis do that. Addicts like me and the ones I know really believe people will do what they feel they need to do, and will come around and "hear" when they feel they need to. All we do is share, daven, and maybe - cry. I hope this is not a cop-out, but I am convinced that anything else will twist my brain up, grow my pride, and make me useless. I will soon act out, too. Am I am not going to act out to save you or anybody (chayecha kodmin, right?). This is far different from kiruv, chizzuk per se, or soul-saving, certainly very worthy endeavors, none of which I am qualified to do. When talking with sexaholics, I am mainly concerned with sanity. My sanity and their sanity. Sanity, so we can each get to (or maintain) a life that we believe is right.
For me, living together with my Creator is the only thing there really is, though I relatively rarely actually live that way...nu, He's not done with me yet!
The fruits of recovery is what brings me together with frum sexaholics at the JSS weekends and conferences. As far as recovery itself is concerned, that has nothing to do with being an eved Hashem. In that respect it's like any other terminal, progressive illness. Bladder cancer l"a, is not a jewish problem. In fact, I feel very sorry for addicted yidden who feel they can only have jewish or frum recovery mentors, only because I have seen that they do not often get long term sobriety. If it were still about Torah to me, I believe it is doubtful I ever would have grasped the depth of what was going on here. It was/is in the very foundations of sanity that I was broken, not in my yir'as Shomayim, at all. B"H!


It frustrates me that Torah is supposed to be a tavlin, and I have yet to find it very effective. I was really involved in something here! Why didn't it protect me? That's a rhetorical question. Smith
This follows from the above. You know I alluded to this in my PMs to you, R' Smith. Rhetorical, whatever. Well, I believe that discussing the facts and reasons for why/how Torah scholars can be blazing addicts (even to sexual deviation and stuff like that) or why "Barasi Torah Tavlin" appears not to be functioning in us, is a complete waste of time. In fact, I believe it is part of the disease. It did me no good and it seems that is it usually the newbies that are acting out every week who are wrapped up in this nahrishkeit. My personal experience with my blazing out of control addiction was that the pretense of "using the Torah" was my own personal way of trying yet again (for years) to conquer this disease all by myself, even though my mouth was telling Hashem's praises. Even when I found the steps I tried to do them from a Carnes book (with all the peirushim, don't cha' know). 99% of the successful people I have met in this arena have told the same story that the successful alkies tell: "When I finally accepted the fact that I didn't have what it takes and probably never would; that I was hopelessly powerless to win this fight, I started getting better because I really reached out for my G-d and kept using His help from that point forward." 
I also feel, based on observation, that this "it's gotta be in this sefer/bible somewhere" attitude, accounts for much of the rampant failure in quitting porn, masturbation, and lust abuse among the average really nice, frum yiddin that I have met andin 12-step circles (goyim), too. People in recovery are not at all immune from picking their pride back up and experimenting with going it alone deep down inside (where it counts and nobody else can ever see)....after all, we are addicts, fer cryin' out loud!
But don't be fooled fellow eved Hashem. As your sanity grows (Smith:"what, I'm crazy?" Dov:"Nu, un voszheDen?" ;D), your latent yir'as Shomayim and ahavas hashem will start to show itself more than you ever dreamed possible. The mussar and Torah that you learned and was sterile in the past will start to bear fruit! It may take some time in sobriety for that to happen, but it is worth the wait. For me, the only other choice was a living "neshoseichem almonos ubneichem yesomim", and ultimately, a pathetic death. Not a bad deal, huh?
Have I posted anything helpful for you?
Admin put these lines here cuz he likes 'em:
"The heart needs to be broken when will-power is not enough"
"Get off the 18-Wheeler and onto a tricycle!"
"The heck with me, what can I do for you?"
"I do not particularly care exactly which "lav" suicide is. I'm not interested in it for other reasons!"
Last Edit: by bigederanusim.

Re: check-in 10 Sep 2009 22:56 #17324

  • Rage AT Machine
ok, since we're on the topic...ive been thinkin about it after i tried and failed the learnign method...why doesnt learning torah automatically fix the problem? let me ask you a halacha question (answer a question with another question, if you will): what is the purity status of one who emerses in the mikvah while holding on to a dead mouse?

youve got to let go of the rat for the water to do anything...simialry, youve got to get rid of the rat thats eating away at the wires in your sanity for the torah to do anything...
ratm

Last Edit: by Iwilldothis613.

Re: check-in 10 Sep 2009 23:05 #17326

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Efshar Letaken wrote on 10 Sep 2009 16:35:

Can We Explain Addiction As What Chazal Say "Hergel Naso Teva"?
Doesn't that mean that the way we behave becomes our reality? Once we do somthing a few times it overcomes the warning mechanism that we call "wierdness".
But no, I do not feel that this has anything to do with how I became an addict. I see that I became an addict because my inner life was too painful, and did not work for me. My drug of choice was just the one that fit the bill the best and most conveniently for me, that's all.
Oy, it's late and I'm thinking too much again!
I need action, not cheshboinos.
Cheshboinos and meforshim never got me sober, just Honesty, Openness, and Acceptance. So, what difference is there to me what that chazal really means? Aside from making me a bigger talmid chochom than I already am? Ha!  :-*
Admin put these lines here cuz he likes 'em:
"The heart needs to be broken when will-power is not enough"
"Get off the 18-Wheeler and onto a tricycle!"
"The heck with me, what can I do for you?"
"I do not particularly care exactly which "lav" suicide is. I'm not interested in it for other reasons!"
Last Edit: 10 Sep 2009 23:49 by Israeli123.

Re: check-in 12 Sep 2009 17:06 #17450

  • Mr. Smith
I started getting better because I really reached out for my G-d and kept using His help from that point forward."


Please help me understand this.  How do I do this??? When I am caught in overwhelming lust, what do I do? "Hashem, help me out of this"? I have not found that very effective. I have instead found myself alone with the yetzer hara in a battle I have virtually no chance of winning.  How do I get G-d to step into the ring???
Last Edit: by yadaishto.

Re: check-in 13 Sep 2009 04:22 #17492

  • Dov
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Mr. Smith wrote on 12 Sep 2009 17:06:


I started getting better because I really reached out for my G-d and kept using His help from that point forward."


Please help me understand this.  How do I do this??? When I am caught in overwhelming lust, what do I do? "Hashem, help me out of this"? I have not found that very effective. I have instead found myself alone with the yetzer hara in a battle I have virtually no chance of winning.  How do I get G-d to step into the ring???
No. What was told to me was: You need to learn how to step out of the ring. And it works. But to step out of the ring I cannot be going-it alone, I need to bring other sober people into my struggle, and as often as possible in the heat of the moment. Because if I am doing it alone, I am mostlikely saying inside: "I can beat this! I have the trick now!"
There are no tricks and no easy ways out. It doesn't seem to ever work if I am really saying to Hashem: "Take it away, G-d, so I don't have to give it up"! (as the white book puts it so well). And we cannot assume that our faith in Hashem is so real that when we talk to Him it has the same emotional value to us as talking to another person does. If that were so, we'd never hide from people when acting out. We must really have a disconnect there. Face it. And the answer for me was establish real connections with people, then with my G-d. As I have posted before to someone, this is the way Hashem made us. We are created to establish human relations (parents, then friends, then a spouse, then children) all to model and develop our relationship with Hashem. Trouble is, addicts get short-circuited somewhere and remain eleven-year-olds, in their own head and still fighting their parents. Hashem becomes a ritual, to some extent. If you were G-d, you would not want to be a ritual, would you? And it (the relationship) doesn't work, either.
So How to do it? The steps spelled it out simply and clearly for me, and I worked them with my sponsor and continue to work them today with Hashem's help. And if I can, anyone can. Trust me - you may not know how screwed up I was, and how grandiose, self-centered and fearful I am, by nature. ANYONE can do this.
The trick is to stop thinking about it. Just stop. Work it in order and with another person who already did it and for whom it is still working. No deep  meforshim and cheshboinos need apply.

Admin put these lines here cuz he likes 'em:
"The heart needs to be broken when will-power is not enough"
"Get off the 18-Wheeler and onto a tricycle!"
"The heck with me, what can I do for you?"
"I do not particularly care exactly which "lav" suicide is. I'm not interested in it for other reasons!"
Last Edit: 14 Sep 2009 16:57 by Solly34.

Re: check-in 13 Sep 2009 05:06 #17494

  • Mr. Smith
So how do I get started?
And how do I get the white book?
Last Edit: by Tpbrnds.

Re: check-in 13 Sep 2009 13:18 #17526

  • the.guard
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You can join one of our 12-Step phone groups and start to work the steps into your life. You can't work the steps alone.

And you can get the White-Book here: www.gohands.com/sapub/books.cfm?id=1658

P.S. Get me a copy too :D

Mr. Smith, I suggest you read what Dov wrote to you about 5 times, slowly. Maybe you'll catch some of the depth there. I'm up to my 6th time, and I'm still seeing new things in it that blow me away  ;D
Webmaster of www.guardyoureyes.org - Maintaining Moral Purity in Today's World. We’re here on a quest ; it’s really all a test. Just do your best and G-d will do the rest.
Last Edit: 13 Sep 2009 13:21 by struggle101stop.
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