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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 1859 Views

Re: check-in 16 Sep 2009 12:59 #18322

  • kutan
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dov wrote on 10 Sep 2009 22:43:

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.



Dov,
You write  that trying to convince someone not to do something that the want to (begging) will twist my brain up, grow my price, and make me useless.
You instead try to be supportive and be there for people when they are ready to come around and listen.

It would seem that the latter is working on changing the ratzon of the person, while the former would be trying to assist the person to act against his ratzon, and come out clean in the world of ma'aasa.

Since the latter is definitely a Torah mehalech (in fact, before learning the wisdom of this site, its was 99% of the avoda I've been taught to do, throughout the decades), and the Torah definitely enjoins us to influence others even if only in their action, its clear (and you say it pretty much openly) that its not that you don't recognize the value of doing this... but rather are patur, since it will affect you as a person negatively.

Could you please explain further, how and why it will affect you? If you know something to be wrong and for the other person's ultimate detriment, why will trying to convince him out of it, 'begging', mess you up?

And, please be moichel for being blunt, if someone were to want to  hurt themselves physically, would the same apply?

While there certainly is merit at times to 'look away' and not make an issue of things... even wrong things... lose the battle to win the war.... your statement seems to be coming from a different angle, and I'd like to understand it better.

Thanks!

Kutan
Rashi, Breishis (10:25)
Last Edit: by Kashmina.

Re: check-in 16 Sep 2009 17:32 #18446

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Dear Kutan -
Thanks for your encouragement.
To answer you I'll first point out your handle, "kutan shebachaburah". Why choose such a title? Ella what, you seem to agree that maintaining a right-sized self-perception isn't just a great idea, but is essential for you. That's part of my answer, of course.
Now I agree that, as a yid, I know that acting out is wrong, that harboring hirhurim is wrong, etc., etc... But I also came to recognize that using that information as a basis for staying clean simply did not work for me. Then I met SA and changed the way I approached my whole problem. The goal was of course, staying clean - just like the Torah and s'forim I read told me I needed to be - but the approach was now based 100% on getting myself out of the driver's seat and letting Hashem do the job.
The catch seems to be that this attitude does not work if it is only used in one department of life. For it to be real and to work - not just a mind game - it needs to be the way the addict lives. This bears a lot of fruits that were essential in my and my family's  recovery as a whole:
1- Oy, all the hard work I put in to trying to change my wife to be more spiritual and/or more sexual over the years!  It all came to an end. After all, she is out of my hands, no? She's His business. This created shalom bayis, because I was really torturing her all along w/my manipulation...from what I hear, a common MO.
2- I was able to start being a better father, being emotionally able to give my kids space and respect instead of constant judgement and the resultant constant yelling that were actually very damaging to our first two children. (BTW, at the time, I was convinced it was all about kibud av voeim, etc...! And those children still have a much harder time with that mitzvah, let me tell you, having a father who was clearly an idiot.)
3- I cannot put myself into a position of telling other sexaholics what they should do. As soon as I do that I am toast, because as soon as I get self-invested and start begging someone to stay sober "for their own good", I believe I'd be turning the whole thing into my responsibility in my mind. It'd be my loss that they acted out again, too. Please forgive me, but I have noticed that one group of frum yidden who have the most impossible time getting sober are the guys who make kiruv-type activity their own issue. By the same token, l"h, I have never met a goyishe evangelical type who ever gained long term  sobriety. My heart tells me they have the same problem. Even though one is right and the other wrong, neither can get sober. We are sick. Not normal. Normal values and directions do not often work for us, even though they are "right". Yes, out of love for My G-d and love of yidden I try to pass the message and share yiddishkeit with everyone I can. But I can't afford to play the game of I need to remember that I am expendable and that Hashem - who has many sh'luchim - will save you, not I. It's the old stewardess thing: "put the oxygen mask on your own face first, then on your child's" - even if you want to give up your very life for him. For if you don't, you'llpass out and then you're both goners. The Chayecha Kodmin card. And it ends up saving other peoples' lives in the end, too!!
Being an addict, I have lost the "license" to go out there and try to change others to the better because I'm allergic to that approach. I believe I'd act out soon, should I change my approach from sharing with to "taking care of" people.
The consolation prize for me is that Hashem has apparently had much better success using me to influencing others positively in sobriety than before it, when I was "in charge"!! Hah!
4- My damaging fear and pride that are tied in tightly to that whole approach bubble up in my screwy heart when someone else's goodness becomes "my fight".

Chazal say, as Mesillas Yeshorim quotes, "kol mi sh'ein bo Dei'ah, assur l'racheim olov." Why? To me, this means that it's assur - cuz it's bad for me - to invest myself emotionally in anyone who is not willing to to integrate ideas that may work for them into themselves (da'as is integrated awareness, I think :D). It is apparently actually bad for them, too. This seems clear to me, based on the above.

You ask what about if someone was trying to jump off a bridge, would I not try to stop them? Yes I would. But I sure won't take any risk to my own life for it. On the other hand, if someone is becoming a victim of violence, I hope I'd have the bravery to exhaust every ability I have to save them, even at the risk of my life. It's not their fault. And BTW, we similarly do not use the concept that "Gam zu leTova" in these cases. The old question of "why ask Hashem for what we don't have..." There are reams of stuff to explain the philosophy here. In the end I (a bal habos) believe we just need to use the attitude that works. Like R' Simcha Bunim's "two papers in a yid's pockets" idea. Use the "bishvili nivra Olam" when you need to, and the "va'anochi ofor vo'efer" when it's what you need. What is truer is really irrelevant.
And saying that this is implies that I consider considering spiritual damage as different or less important than physical damage, is silly. Because we can't fight the addiction for someone else, only for ourselves. We don't run into a burning house for the same reason.
Love,
Dov 
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 stashnow.

Re: check-in 16 Sep 2009 18:36 #18484

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Dov,
Thanks very much.
To summarize (at the expense of loosing toichain, of course):
An addict in order to stay in recovery must remove 'control' from his tool box. Not just in the area of lusting, but in all of life.

hmm.
Could you imagine Elliot Spitzer removing control from his tool box? wow. I feel bad for him.

and doing so makes is usually anyway more effective in life, long term (and yes, i agree and find it 100% true in real life...although I need to keep improving in this....which may be why I find your posts so interesting and inspiring)

Y'know Dov, perhaps what the real chiuv of tochacha is, is to be able to 'beg'/preach without feeling any need to control, just doing it for His sake.

Not saying we are able or expected to do that (I beleive the Gemara says that we no longer are able to perform tochacha properly), but in theory, that would be it.

kutan
Rashi, Breishis (10:25)
Last Edit: by ineedhelp123.

Re: check-in 16 Sep 2009 20:31 #18517

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Sounds good to me. Thanks.
Perhaps the proof that I'd be "beg/preaching for His sake", as you put it, would be that I don't repeat myself or allow my words to get to a fever pitch. Trying harder, implies to me that I am taking it personally. Then I am in trouble.
Just a thought...
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 Nafthan12.

Re: check-in 16 Sep 2009 20:50 #18522

  • kutan
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Dov,
are you the little fellow, or the two arms?
In your avatar, I mean.
k
Rashi, Breishis (10:25)
Last Edit: by Tired Mama.

Re: check-in 16 Sep 2009 21:32 #18550

  • Dov
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kutan shel hachabura wrote on 16 Sep 2009 20:50:

Dov,
are you the little fellow, or the two arms?
In your avatar, I mean.
k
I dunno. Guard gave it to me. At least I'm not a kielbasa any more! he also gave me the printed thing under my posts, whatever that's called. He's my kind of guy!!! 8) 8) 8) 8)
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 Ira.

Re: check-in 17 Sep 2009 02:32 #18588

  • kutan
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Asking because if you are the 'two arms', then I'd be happy to be that little kid.
;D
Rashi, Breishis (10:25)
Last Edit: by Eyesyourguard.

Re: check-in 17 Sep 2009 17:03 #18748

  • Dov
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Trust me reb Kutan, I'm that little kid. But I'd be happy to sit in a circle with you and finger paint on the floor....
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 helpme923.
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