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From a deep pit to a tall roof
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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.

TOPIC: From a deep pit to a tall roof 87869 Views

Re: From a deep pit to a tall roof 19 Dec 2013 02:24 #225261

  • chesky
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Sorry to hear.

Dr.Watson wrote:
I feel like the odds were stacked against me

I learnt to accept that the odds are against me. That on my own there is NO WAY for me to stay sober.

Dr.Watson wrote:
but I'm upset over the lost opportunity to prove myself and show my love for Hashem and yiddishkeit in the greatest way available to me.

As Dov would say, if for you this is a Y"H issue, then your reaction is normal and may or may not help you in the future.

However, if lust for you is an addiction, as it is for me, then twenty plus years proved to me that no amount of love for HaShem and sincere Yiddishkeit (I think that I was trying to be genuine) was enough to prevent me from acting out.

What does it say under Dov's username?

"I don't care which lav suicide is; I have other reasons for not doing it"

May HaShem grant us a sober and sane day.
Last Edit: 19 Dec 2013 02:29 by chesky.

Re: From a deep pit to a tall roof 19 Dec 2013 02:24 #225262

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Dr.Watson wrote:
...I'm upset over the lost opportunity to prove myself...
Why do you want to "prove yourself"?

Re: From a deep pit to a tall roof 19 Dec 2013 02:35 #225263

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gibbor120 wrote:
Dr.Watson wrote:
...I'm upset over the lost opportunity to prove myself...
Why do you want to "prove yourself"?


If I can't prove myself then how do I know I even exist?

Re: From a deep pit to a tall roof 19 Dec 2013 03:20 #225268

  • gibbor120
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You seem interested in "overcoming" or "proving" which is another way of putting yourself in the center of the battle.

I find it much easier to focus on "humbly serving" G-d and "letting go" of lust, than to focus on "winning the battle" (which I am historically bad at).

Re: From a deep pit to a tall roof 23 Dec 2013 15:06 #225461

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I hear you Gibbor. But 'humbly serving G-d' is a very difficult task. Almost more difficult than quitting porn. As I understand it, this method means that everything I do should be to serve G-d. Which is 100% true. But very difficult.

Let me ask you this: if I davened shacharis with a minyan every day, would I struggle less with this addiction?

I had a very bad week last week and fell 3 times. My worst week in hmm about 5 months. I can see a clear connection between things happening to me that I have no control over and falling. I guess if I choose to fall that is something I have control over.

So I need to let go of this illusion of control. But talking about difficult tasks, that one is right up there. I mean, how can I do well at work if I don't feel in control? How can I control my urges to watch porn if I'm not in control?

I don't understand.

Yesterday someone said something that I took offence at, so I told him why I didn't like what he said. He basically just replied "truth hurts, I'm not talking to you anymore." It got me quite annoyed. What got me even more annoyed was the fact that it had got me annoyed.

I don't know the guy, I've never seen him before and may never again. Other people there probably agreed with me and even if they didn't so what. It doesn't affect me. I didn't lose any money, I wasn't physically hurt, it didn't affect any relationship I care about. Why should it bother me? What is it about me that allows myself to be bothered by such situations? How do I work on humility?

Re: From a deep pit to a tall roof 24 Dec 2013 02:09 #225497

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Dr.Watson wrote:

Let me ask you this: if I davened shacharis with a minyan every day, would I struggle less with this addiction?

Doing what YOU think HaShem wants is not necessarily His will.

The Big Book says:

At the hospital I was separated from alcohol for the last time.
There I humbly offered myself to God, as I then understood Him, to do with
me as He would. I placed myself unreservedly under His care and direction. I
admitted for the first time that of myself I was nothing; that without Him I was
lost. I ruthlessly faced my sins and became willing to have my newfound Friend
take them away, root and branch.
I was to test my thinking by the new God-consciousness within. Common
sense would thus become uncommon sense. I was to sit quietly when in doubt,
asking only for direction and strength to meet my problems as He would have
me. Never was I to pray for myself, except as my requests bore on my usefulness
to others. Then only might I expect to receive. But that would be in great
measure.


That to me is something way more basic than daavening, but I had to learn it from a bunch of alcoholics who realized that their lives depended on G-d.

And to answer your question from my experience; does a spiritual connection make it less of a struggle?

To me the answer is not necessarily, but the difference is that today I have a solution; I am able to choose, something I was unable to do before I came to SA.

Re: From a deep pit to a tall roof 25 Dec 2013 00:47 #225547

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Dr.Watson wrote:
I hear you Gibbor. But 'humbly serving G-d' is a very difficult task. Almost more difficult than quitting porn. As I understand it, this method means that everything I do should be to serve G-d. Which is 100% true. But very difficult.
True, kind of. It's not all or nothing. When I joined Dov's phone calls a while back, I was able to let go and "let" Hashem direct my life to a small (very small) extent. Even that little bit, made a big difference. Don't make it all or nothing. It's a recipe for failure. Remember "progressive victory over lust" NOT "total victory over lust".

Re: From a deep pit to a tall roof 26 Dec 2013 09:52 #225639

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Hi Doc,

One option here is the one I and many others have taken. Gibor alluded to it, I think, but I am suggesting breaking things into smaller pieces. It may sound not as frum, but I don;t think it is:

Long before trying to focus on 'humbly serving G-d', make humility a goal in itself - G-d-service or no G-d-service. There is a lot on that in the 12 step literature, like in AA, the 12 and 12 on steps 3 and 7, and elsewhere. A drop of humility really makes life less heavy, less tense, and a lot more fun for ourselves and for all those around us.

But even before that, i have to do something first:

Accept G-d's Will for me. And that has nothing directly to do with being frum. It's more about accepting the Torah - not yet the mitzvos, for actually, the majority of the Torah is not about mitzvos!

"Istakloh b'oraiso ubara almoh" means that for everything that happens in this world, in your life, there is a remez in the Torah. It's somewhere in there, as the GR"A and many others spend time explaining. How fat you are, how much money you have, make or don't make today is in there. How much money you have made till now, how your wife has treated you, whether you are married yet, how many children you have, you health, your wife's health, how the guy next to you drives this evening on his way to work, how his wife treats him that affects his mood and the way he will drive and the traffic jam it will cause affecting the lives of 2-3 thousand people w/you on the freeway this morning, how your hair looks if you have any, what rebbi and teachers your kids have and their moods today, and whether your boss is nice to you or not, etc, etc... today and every day forever...they are all tailored expressions of His Will for you.

I'd estimate there are 10,000 variables at the very least (maybe more like 100,000) and are the ways His Will specified for you will be expressed today. Now, how many mitzvos and halachos really come your way on a given day? 200-300 or so, at most?

With mitzvos, we frummies consider whether to accept His will, meaning whether to keep it - to do it - or not to do it. But at it's core, the 3rd step is not about that! Its is about accepting His Will for us. Not doing it, but just accepting that His Will is at work through the day throughout our lives, on all those myriad factors that make up our real lives: How we look, what happens to us, what we've got, have't got, etc...

Most of those things we see and know, but do not accept. This stuff is very basic and deceptively obvious. But as Mesilas Yeshorim points out, to the extent that it is obvious, people ignore it. There are amputees who know they are missing a leg, wear a prosthesis to hide it, and cry over their disfigured body every now and then - they may know they are amputees, but do not accept it yet. So they suffer terribly...maybe forever.

But there are many amputees who readily admit it. If they ever see a person who has recently lost their leg, these are the folks who will go over and say, "Hi, I'm Sammy, and I'm an amputee, too. It's OK. My life is just fine," and start up a candid discussion with the unaccepting one. It changes lives. All because they accept the facts about themselves.

But to do that, an amputee needs to lose the shame of having a leg missing. Some people (you will see it here) deal with it by shunning labels and say, "I wouldn't ever say 'I am an amputee' - because that is not what I am at my core." Gibberish. Being an amputee does not define me as a person. It's just a true thing about me. And also, it is not disgusting, either - even if you, him, and most people in this room might think that it is! I do not accept that, and know that it is not disgusting. Acceptance means coming to peace with it, with the facts.

And BTW, it's the same with 'addict'. I am an addict. A sex and lust addict. If i know it but do not accept it, then I will be trying to run from myself. Here on GYE we call that, "struggling". And I will fail. But if I accept it, then I am accepting G-d's Will for me. I am a Jew, a father, a husband, a xyz shul member, am short, fat, a kolel man, a sex addict, and lots of other things. Now that I truly and fully accept it - I can start to learn what addicts do to live right. But not before.

Sorry I strayed to addiction. My main point is that before accepting avodas Hashem, how about spending a few months just trying to accept the Will of Hashem for you? Your life circumstances, your limitations, your people. As they all are. Just for a while. Not knowing them, but accepting them.

If you are already doing that, I contend that you would not be falling. Lust would not find a foothold in your mind. You'd be too busy living life rather than trying to outsmart it. I am not accusing you of being a bad guy - just normal.

It may be the first way you will really start to learn about G-d in your life. Works for me...

Just a thought to consider. Not changing from davening or anything else, but just a change on focus for a good while.

And a few months after that you can start to talk about focusing on serving G-d humbly, and actually get some traction there. And pray for me please.
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: 26 Dec 2013 10:03 by Dov.

Re: From a deep pit to a tall roof 28 Dec 2013 00:06 #225726

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Thanks dov, you expressed the idea I was refferring to, only you said it much better.

This idea was one of the most (maybe the most) important for my recovery.

Thanks for reminding me!

An instant classic dov quote .
Last Edit: 28 Dec 2013 00:08 by gibbor120.

Re: From a deep pit to a tall roof 29 Dec 2013 02:48 #225733

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With your permission as יהודה ועוד לקרא I would like to share with you some of my experience, what worked for me and some of my thoughts about this discussion.

I struggled with lust for years and I tried every possible means I had to stop acting out. Either way, my life revolved around my struggle with lust; if I acted out, I expected to be punished and if I had a bad day, I was happy and relieved; if I did not act out, I expected to have a good day. If I acted out and things went well, then I would be edgy because I was sure that something had gone wrong. The point is, that lust was the barometer of my life.

Five years ago I found GYE. It was like being handed a plank of wood to stop me drowning. I was very excited. Finally I had found the real answer to my problems. I was sure that GYE was the answer. And for a while things were good. I started to post on the forum, I kept a record on the chart and I reached ninety days and beyond. But at some point that small slip or fall had to happen and I stared to act out again.

After a number of more attempts using the tools on GYE I admitted defeat. Largely with the help and guidance of Dov (and with the constant encouragement of someone else here who prefers not to be mentioned), I today go regularly to SA meetings; and it is certainly thanks to Dov that since I am in SA I have any measure of sobriety.

I don’t want to sound judgmental or critical but I feel that I can speak because I was in the same situation as you are, and I know today that if I would have continued doing the same thing, then nothing would have changed for me. I may have been lucky and “scored” some sobriety but the fall was always inevitable.

Doc or whatever your name is, your ideas are all good and genuine, you clearly are really trying your best, but as long as these remain ideas, at least for me it would not have made any difference, (except for making me feel good, and that was NEVER a good idea).

In contrast, Dov does not “express” ideas. Dov shares his experience which he gained through taking the action he was told to do and by which he is sober today.

I pray to our loving Abba for another day of sobriety and sanity for all of us.
Last Edit: 29 Dec 2013 02:50 by chesky.

Re: From a deep pit to a tall roof 29 Dec 2013 06:12 #225738

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Dov wrote in part of a superb post:

"With mitzvos, we frummies consider whether to accept His will, meaning whether to keep it - to do it - or not to do it. But at it's core, the 3rd step is not about that! Its is about accepting His Will for us. Not doing it, but just accepting that His Will is at work through the day throughout our lives, on all those myriad factors that make up our real lives: How we look, what happens to us, what we've got, have't got, etc...

The Chazon Ish in Emunah UBitachon explains the above concept beautifully based on a Gemara in Yuma 38a.

Re: From a deep pit to a tall roof 29 Dec 2013 06:16 #225739

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Hi SIB!

A lot of us here on GYE are not as learned as you are. Can you please share full ideas instead of pointing in the right direction?

Thanks!

Re: From a deep pit to a tall roof 29 Dec 2013 06:59 #225744

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The Chazon Ish pointed out that the Talmud points out in Yuma 38s each of us have a distinctive personality that was decreed by HaShem, that requires the maximum effort from us in a healthy positive way, as opposed to the Baalei Musar who emphaize Bitachon, and minimize the Midah of Hisgtadlus

Re: From a deep pit to a tall roof 31 Dec 2013 09:29 #225842

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With all due respect to Chesky, I would like to say here that it seems to me that many of the ideas that Doc has posted about are based on his experience in trying them out.
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!"

Re: From a deep pit to a tall roof 31 Dec 2013 15:32 #225851

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Thank you Dov for your post about accepting Hashem's will. I'm trying to figure out what I should do in practice. All I have right now is to try and be conscious of it and learn seforim about bitochon.

I'm not sure what I should do right now. There are a lot of things happening to me in my life that are not pleasant and I can't control. There is nothing I can do about it. and I can feel myself being pushed towards porn for comfort.

I know that it's happening and I'm struggling to control myself but I don't know what I can do about it. For the first time in over a year I fell yesterday and didn't even feel guilty afterwards. I just feel like I can't deal with everything at the same time.

so everything I've learnt went out the window yesterday because in spite of it all I just wanted to do it. I didn't want to fight it. But I don't want to not want to fight it.

I think that in this situation the only thing that I can do is work on bitochon and accepting Hashem's will. I really don't feel great about the situation I'm in.


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