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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 106870 Views

Re: From a deep pit to a tall roof 23 Jan 2014 02:12 #226818

  • Pure Daniel
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Hey Doc I feel you. I went through the same situation. When I started the 12 step program i started to fall much more than I ever did before.

I came to realise that this is because somewhere inside we feel the fear that the program might actually WORK.

We then start to feel premature withdrawal symptoms.
So we try to 'get us much as we can while we can'!!

It sounds like you are getting close to hitting rock bottom. Try and get to the feeling that you have truly had enough and then you will be ready to do 'whatever it takes' to stay sober.

I'm still waiting for your call
guardyoureyes.com/forum/46-12-Step-Workshops/245649-Links-to-the-12-Step-Workshop-Talks

Call or email and lets mechazek each other
+44(0)20 3503 0766
puredaniel613@gmail.com

Stay Pure,
Daniel UK

Re: From a deep pit to a tall roof 23 Jan 2014 18:50 #226844

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Dr.Watson wrote:

It's bothering me that with all the reading of the Big Book and listening to conferences, I was doing better before.


I identify with this a lot. After I started going to SA meetings, after each fall, i was really frustrated and resentful that here i was doing the best i could, and i was still not getting sober.

I obsessed and analysed the reasons for this for goodness knows how long.

i can only say to you from my experience is that 1. recovery does not happen overnight. For some it comes quicker than others, but the main thing is "progress not perfection". 2. the reasons are irrelevant. The main thing is that you do what you can. With HaShem's help you will one day have long tern sobriety

May HaShem grant us sobriety and sanity.

Re: From a deep pit to a tall roof 24 Jan 2014 03:33 #226868

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Dr.Watson wrote:
It's bothering me that with all the reading of the Big Book and listening to conferences, I was doing better before.


Wow, that's a valid thing to reflect on!

So many here are not addicts - and when they bombard their (normal) problem with 'recovery' talk (mostly about lusting vs not lusting - even though 11 of the 12 steps are not about the addiction!), they just get worse!

And for those here who are indeed addicts, the two things you mentioned are not very useful. They are about as useful as a splash of cool water on the face of a guy dying of thirst in the desert - they will make him feel great, will refresh him and give him hope...but he will still die of thirst unless he gets a real drink of water soon.

"Reading the Big Book and listening to conferences" or even to really good Big Book study groups, is actually not what the Big Book itself suggests we addicts do to get better, at all. It is working these steps - not truly 'understanding' them or figuring anything at all out that saves us from ourselves and our problem. Only doing them works, as it says in that same AA book (Ch 5, How It Works): "These are the steps we took." If we take them, they work - if we don't actually take them, but only study them and really admire them, they do not work.

One way to take them is:

writing out a first step inventory by hand and sharing it entirely and openly with a trusted safe person who understands; writing out who and what we have been treating as our higher powers till now that make us insane-ish and admitting and talking about it honestly with other real understanding people, then learning whether we really can trust our own G-d and how much - and admitting that, too; deciding to reach for true trust in our G-d (even though we know we never will fully do it); writing all the facts we can about ourselves and how (not why) we react to things that bother us about this life and the people that our G-d has been giving us; and coming to admit our true defects of character to ourselves and that they are the only real cause of our suffering; admitting all the true facts about our defects to another real, trusted person; becoming really ready to lose those defects - or admitting we are not; truly asking our G-d to please remove them, when we are truly ready to start learning how to live without them; admitting all the wrong we have done to others and then doing whatever we can to right our wrongs in some real way - those are the actions of recovery in the 1st nine steps. And studying about them and thinking deeply about them does nothing.

None of that is complex and any idiot can do it, with some minor assistance. It's only the smart people who have real trouble with them...like me. So it took me years and years to finally get from 'self-help', to recovery.

Hey - I love you, chaver!! I think you are a very good man, and may be an addict. But regardless, whatever you need, I hope you do the work. Then you will surely get it.

- 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!"

Re: From a deep pit to a tall roof 24 Jan 2014 18:14 #226895

  • moish u.k.
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Pure Daniel wrote:


I'm still waiting for your call


Me too. Do you still have my number?

Re: From a deep pit to a tall roof 24 Jan 2014 23:25 #226913

  • Dov
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The main thing I want to do here is elaborate on the huge insight that Pure Daniel shared above. It is near and dear to my heart!

But first, I want to caution you again against getting persuaded that you are an addict by anyone else. Particularly by anyone who seems desperate to convince you. Ans especially by anyone who seems to believe that practically anyone - especially a frum yid - who struggles with the desire to masturbate must be 'an addict'.

Maslow (a great, wise shrink) wrote, "I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail." Wow.

You may of course be an addict, Doc, and you may indeed need the 12 steps, too. And you may not. I love the 12 steps and working them has and continues to change my life - and I have emunah sheleimah that I am an addict and can explain to you why I believe it just as strongly as I believe in anything else I believe in.

But I came to that conclusion myself - based on writing out my entire 1st step inventory and seeing the facts all together through the context of my life b'skirah achas, and admitting all those facts to other safe, real people.

And it was that last action that made the knowledge and memories in my heart it so shockingly true and clear to me. I came to know I am an addict because I took action to look at it and see it for what it was. Just the facts - no philosophy, no religious interpretation, no psychobabble and no indoctrination. Nobody else ever tried to convince me of it, not even my sponsor.

Please make sure that it is always up to you and that you never get persuaded into anything that seems one-sided or cultish. Especially something like whether you are an addict. If it comes from you, it may actually be for real! If anyone seems to be pushing you, then it is probably fishy. Let your experience speak to you, mainly, and the experience of others. The traditional AA way of 'getting' an alkie, is just to share our own real unvarnished story with the drinker in trouble. They will hear it when they are ready.

And second, I want to caution you that some of the very same people who would try and convince you that you are an addict and that "you just need to finally admit that to yourself," are usually the ones who try to persuade the very same folks that "once an addict, always an addict," also needs to be accepted. As though it were a religious dogma of some sort.

And all the Big Book means when it relates that concept (in the story about the guy who was and addict and convinced himself that he was finally cured - and ended up getting drunk again) is that once a guy truly has come to see (admitted) that he is an addict and is sure of it himself - it does not mean that he is no longer subject to denial! We still are very subject to it! Now he may indeed be cured one day - surely we do not presume to know for sure whether or not any addict can ever become cured - but what we can be pretty sure of this: once one sees and knows that he is indeed an addict, he ought to see and know just as clearly that all these years he has been a professional liar - to others as well as to himself. So it just takes a little bit of humility to admit that just because he feels he is 'cured', proves nothing. To admit that it is quite likely that the very fact that the idea occurred to him that he is cured and can now drink like normal people, is fishy. He - of all people on G-d's Earth - ought to choose the path of humility and reserve judgement till he has a lot more evidence and time. I guess most sober addicts prudently assume we are not cured, because the only way to know if we are is to try some controlled drinking again and we simply choose not to risk it. Even though it is of course possible that we may be cured. Of course, there are other indicators that we are still ill in other ways than drinking or lusting, such as still feeling character defects pressing us, etc. But that's beyond the scope of this already long, boring megillah, thank goodness!

And in our case, how would a person - especially a frum yid - try some controlled porn use, masturbation, and lusting? Hmm, that's a toughy. Many married SA's discover the subtle power of lust in our marriages, and that is a whole new world to work on - or else we will fall again. I think it is a great question to ponder - after I am dead, maybe...

I think that's not the brainwashed way, but just the humble and realistic way. See what I mean?




OK, now finally to Pure Daniel's point about why you may have gotten worse in some respect since starting recovery work:

Woops! First I wanna just repeat the consideration that the work you have done since starting here may not have been actual 'work', as I explained above. And that is not taking anything away from you, but just accepting reality - the work is work, not thinking and figuring out. If it were just learning things, then Torah surely should work better than anything a goy (or anyone) wrote, anyway!

And it could very well be that if you have mainly (or only) been studying, listening, and discussing the steps and recovery all this while, then once you start to actually work them you will have an entirely different experience - totally different, actually.

OK. But assuming Pure Daniel is correct, and you have been in real recovery all this time, then I want to explain the idea he mentioned a little more.

In Operant Conditioning there is a thing called the 'Extinction Burst'. It happens just before a subject gives up a familiar behavior pattern and accepts a new one. Like when you and I wait for an elevator a while, then hit the button again (even though it is already lit!?), wait some more...and then just before we abandon the elevator entirely and take the stairs , we may hit the button several times in rapid succession - sort of 'just to be sure'.

Here in a guy who has taught himself to self-pleasure when things are uncomfortable, or when he is bored, or when he is very happy, or when he is under pressure, or when he just wants to...quitting it hurts. It just doesn't feel right...even though he is truly frum, his body and heart has still learned this and truly feels things are 'just not right'. And it is true. The system is certainly going out of wack...bad pun there, sorry.

When a guy feels a real change coming - not a fake change, but a real change - he may have that Burst. Old habits tend to die rather dramatically. It may express itself in more lust feelings than ever before. I think he or she needs help then, usually in the form of true loving understanding by others who have been this way before who can simply share their experience rather than tell him "not to give in," or something judgemental like that.

On the other hand, some have no trouble at all...go figure.

And in (annoying) conclusion, I just want to say that for the non-addict, there is a much simpler explanation. My wife taught it to me most clearly, many years ago, before I discovered that I'm an addict:

Take any normal guy with a yetzer hora and an 'eiver'. He will have challenges, right?

Naturally.

Now, tell him that he doesn't just have a yetzer hora and an eiver, but that he is an addict - ill. And tell him that he 'just' has to be "shomer eynayim all the time - vigilance is the key!," and that life is all a nisayon of kedusha v'taharah, and that Hashem is grading him for every little failure and every little success.

Whadaya get?

Answer: A guy who walks around all day long obsessing more than ever about his yetzer hora and his eiver, women, and whether he is lusting c"v or not.

Oh - my - G-d.

A monster is born.

Of course thinking about it more creates more of a problem.

And that is why 11 of the 12 steps make not a single mention of drinking, lusting, drugging, etc. Recovery is not about 'not drinking', but about growing up. When we make it about not drinking, we drink again. If we focus on growing up and into real life, we will end up staying sober in the long run. The steps do not get us sober and are not designed to get us sober. They are for enabling us to remain sober if we want to.

I think that is why guys who see this as being really all about Teshuvah, kedusha, tahara, or shmiras haBris, will have a much harder time succeeding. Naturally, since porn is a sin and taking a drink of beer is not, that attitude is very tempting, sure. But once we see it as that, then it is so very easy to believe that staying clean is what it is all about! Shmiras haBris is indeed so very precious - even I know that!! But for the addict, it never had anything to do with sinning in the first place! It's a drug and he is an addict, period. Just like a the inner city dope addict or drunk, no difference in the problem, and no difference in the solution.

And the guy who is doing it for shmiras haBris and Tahara may play lip service to the steps, cheshbon hanefesh, and tikkun hamidos. But he may have difficulty because he might really believe in his heart of hearts that the mission is just not sinning. Counting the days. The chart.

So the steps will remain just parpera'os l'chochma.

Oy...me went on too long again...
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 09 Feb 2014 02:58 #227505

  • Watson
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Last Edit: 09 Feb 2014 03:17 by Watson.

Re: From a deep pit to a tall roof 09 Feb 2014 08:34 #227512

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It's good to see you Doc.

KIT!!!
Yankel | My Ladder | Talking to Hashem
I'm just a dude, another guy on this bus.
Have a great day, unless, of course, you made other plans. ~ obbormottel
"Nothing changes as long as everything stays the same" ~ Dov

Re: From a deep pit to a tall roof 10 Feb 2014 21:31 #227568

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Last Edit: 10 Feb 2014 21:38 by Watson.

Re: From a deep pit to a tall roof 10 Feb 2014 23:33 #227571

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I think you've got something going!!! I'm very happy for you!!

And I'm inspired.......greatly inspired!!

KIT!!

KUTGW!!
Yankel | My Ladder | Talking to Hashem
I'm just a dude, another guy on this bus.
Have a great day, unless, of course, you made other plans. ~ obbormottel
"Nothing changes as long as everything stays the same" ~ Dov

Re: From a deep pit to a tall roof 11 Feb 2014 08:29 #227586

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I also have similar problems, I made a neder and it has been working wonders for me.
I am happy to speak on the phone. Please email me at dms1234ongye@gmail.com

My name is Daniel, I go to face to face meetings and I work the 12 steps with a sponsor. 

Re: From a deep pit to a tall roof 12 Feb 2014 00:58 #227604

  • Watson
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I had a bad day. Mountains of pointless red tape from the government to get through only to be told that it wasn't going to help at all. To cut a long story very short.

I've felt quite flat since then but I was determined not to turn to porn for comfort. One. Day. At. A. Time. I still feel uneasy, but it's nearly bedtime. Hope tomorrow's a better day.

Re: From a deep pit to a tall roof 12 Feb 2014 04:05 #227606

  • Watson
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I don't have the tools to deal with anger, resentment or frustration in a healthy way.

Re: From a deep pit to a tall roof 12 Feb 2014 06:03 #227611

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What is anger, resentment and frustration?

They are all signs of not trusting in Hashem.

Everything that happens in this world is Hashem's doing and everything Hashem does is good. We think we know how things should be. Hashem knows how things should be. We have just one piece of a jigsaw puzzle, Hashem sees the whole picture. Everything is being orchestrated precisely for our own good.

This is why anger is likened to serving idols. If we would trust Hashem properly, we would never have reason to get angry. Instead, we would relax knowing that we are being taken care of.

If Hashem wants something to happen, not even a mountain of bureaucracy would be enough to get in His way.

Re: From a deep pit to a tall roof 12 Feb 2014 10:55 #227624

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That's really beautiful skep, B'emet.

It's just that I knew that really really well while I was a bachur, I mean really well. After all it is in all the chassidishe seforim everywhere. BUT, I still didn't live it, and that is actually what frustrated me the most.

So, the big question is, how do we live it, how do we make that mindset change?
Yankel | My Ladder | Talking to Hashem
I'm just a dude, another guy on this bus.
Have a great day, unless, of course, you made other plans. ~ obbormottel
"Nothing changes as long as everything stays the same" ~ Dov

Re: From a deep pit to a tall roof 12 Feb 2014 19:06 #227635

  • cordnoy
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not that it helps any, but it is in the Litvishe seforim as well.
My email: thenewme613@hotmail.com
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GYE Handbook | Gibbor's Insights | GYE FAQ - Thanks Skep and DMS123456789 White Book | Big Book (Alcoholics Anonymous)

If one gives up at the first sign of a struggle, he is really not ready to be successful."
"Tryin' and doin' are two different thin's - tryin' is hopin'; doin' is succeedin'.
"The right thin' to do and the hard thin' to do are usually the same."


Disclaimer: I am not a cheerleader; B"H, there are many on the site. I am here to change myself, and with God's help, by some mistake, I might even help change others.

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