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Kedusha and Sanity
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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: Kedusha and Sanity 15373 Views

Re: Kedusha and Sanity 05 Aug 2013 20:05 #215056

  • skeptical
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I think Dov and I are essentially saying the same thing.

There are many different ways that people think and voice themselves.

"I'm an addict. I can't help myself, so I'll keep doing it." is obviously not a good approach.
Just because you're an addict doesn't mean that you can't take responsibility for your actions. There are solutions and many addicts are seeing success being clean for many years. Powerless is not the same as helpless.

"I'm not an addict. I just need to fight harder and stronger."
How many fights do we need to fight and lose before we realize we need help? Do our lives need to become completely unmanageable on account of it?

Both are excuses not to do anything real. It's kind of comfortable where we are. We like to do what we're doing. Do we really want to give it (all) up?
Last Edit: 05 Aug 2013 20:08 by skeptical.

Re: Kedusha and Sanity 05 Aug 2013 20:32 #215059

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Wait, I'm getting more and more confused. Are you saying i am an addict, i am not an addict or is it irrelevant?

Do I need 12 steps or shaarei teshuvah?

When you say help, do you mean GYE, phone conferences, live SAA meetings or talking to my Rav?

Re: Kedusha and Sanity 05 Aug 2013 20:55 #215060

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Doc, are you serious that you would take it seriously if someone told you that you were an addict? I doubt that is realistic.

I was told by Rabbi Twerski back in '92 that I was in serious trouble and could not get out of it unless I got intensive therapy and a group approach of some kind...and those were the days when the good doctor had not yet made up his mind whether lust addiction really existed, yet!

...and I did nothing real about it for five more years of hell.

People do not do what they really need to do until they themselves are convinced in their own heart of hearts that they are in serious trouble that they cannot get themselves out of using the old tricks any more, I believe. So, being told you are an addict will not help you (or anyone) a drop! Yes, you may do 'things' about it since you were 'warned'...but you will not do what you really need to do and make any real changes.

That is why so many people who are living through horrifying wreckage in their lives here on GYE, still use their fake usernames and give a paucity of real detail in what their problems (even in lust) really are. Don't get me wrong - many people here are fully open and honest! But many are 'not ready to do that'. Shame is still just too great.

So don't worry about any machlokes achronim, rishonim, or whoever. You, doc, have all it takes to make a decision and take the real actions that are needed for you, whether you are sick as I am, or not. And I believe you will do the right thing. (And I know I haven't a clue abt what that may be.)
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Re: Kedusha and Sanity 05 Aug 2013 21:44 #215070

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I don't feel like i need a label. You're right, I don't think that would help. All i want to know is what would help me. I don't know why i keep going back to porn, maybe i'm addicted or maybe i just enjoy it. Neither is a good excuse. It's not like i get withdrawal symptoms when i'm off porn. And if addiction recovery is all about what there is deep down that drove me to it, i just can't see it, I am a happy contented person.

Other than using my real name on a forum where i know that some people who are not registered are enjoying reading about our problems and speculating as to who we are, there isn't much i haven't tried. i haven't really got anyone i can speak to about it, and i don't want to tell my wife because she'd be horrified. You're not going to like me quoting anything but ''ashrei nesuy pesha kesuy chato'oh'' I just don't see why it's so vital to tell anyone about my aveirahs, it's between me and Hashem.

Or am i an addict and an addict has to tell people for recovery? But maybe I'm not an addict I just find looking at porn relaxing. Maybe i just need a more constructive relaxation technique.

Does it have to get to rock bottom before i can truly address the problem? I don't think i am at rock bottom, and i'm trying hard not to get there. I don't think i was at rock bottom when i started on this, but b''H i've made some progress. Was that wrong of me? should i have waited until it was so bad that i had to label myself as an addict?

I mean, I don't know for sure but i suspect that this aveirah is extremely common. Maybe most guys do it from time to time, or at least did it as a bochur. But once is too many and it needs to be worked on. That doesn't make all of klal yisroel addicts. Maybe that's why there's 49 members on right now and 575 guest. there are 49 addicts and 575 ba'alei ta'avoh.

Remember this thread was started to address the topic of whether looking at this from a totally torah perspective was working. You asked me a question yesterday that I can't answer fully. But I think if masturbation was not an aveirah I wouldn't be trying so hard to control it.

Let's assume for a moment that i'm not an addict at all. It's an aveirah that i do every few weeks or so, but as a frum guy that's too much for me and i want to stop even that much. How do i go about doing that? Is GYE only for addicts so there's nowhere for me to turn? Or is the fact that simply not wanting to do it isn't enough proof that i am an addict and i'm in the right place?

Put another way: since this is an aveirah, not everyone who's trying to address it is an addict, they might just be good guys who don't want to do aveirahs. What would you advise those people to do? Just because they keep doing it doesn't mean they're addicted, after all it is an easy way to get something that a man naturally has urges for. You wouldn't say someone who misses shacharis every day was addicted to sleeping in. So what would you advise these people?

Re: Kedusha and Sanity 05 Aug 2013 22:24 #215080

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I'll give it a try,

I doubt I am an addict, at least not to lust. but I wouldn't have been able to stop without GYE. it's as simple as that. I personally think that all this addict talk is superfluous, the question boils down to what have you done and has not worked?

I had tried the main stream "torah", learning and davening to no end. I had even "opened up to MendelZ about 4 years before I joined GYE. But I was no where near stopping, I couldn't. I came here and with the group and chizzuk and fun, stayed clean for 5.5 months, and fell. I needed to change, to change myself.

The 12 steps appealed to me, but I was scared by (Dov) and others "12 steps is only for addicts". After reading some stuff and especially Rabbi Dr. Twerski's "Self-Improvement? I'm Jewish" I realized that that is what I needed.

I have certainly felt a change in myself, in my way of looking and dealing with life, and I BH do not have many or big challenges, but I feel this time it's different. It's only 50 days, but it's a different 50 days.

the 12 steps leades us to a very torahdigge life, a life where "tzaddik b'emunasoh yichyeh".

Dr.Watson wrote:
I just don't see why it's so vital to tell anyone about my aveirahs, it's between me and Hashem.


First of all, everyone here will tell you that that was the beginning of their recovery, why not beleive them? they're not in it anymore, they know the ropes, not us who are still very much in the mud.

As Dov wrote, don't get mugged by the YH, the thing that he is telling us not to do is certainly the thing that is his downfall.

I think we first need to get out, afterwards the worst that will happen is that we'll ask "did I need to do that?" but why will it make a difference?

My two pence (and it's still going down )
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Re: Kedusha and Sanity 05 Aug 2013 22:39 #215082

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Pidaini wrote:

I think we first need to get out, afterwards the worst that will happen is that we'll ask "did I need to do that?" but why will it make a difference?


The risk is that it could ruin a person's marriage for no reason. It's not as simple as just telling all and assuming it will be fine.

Besides which, what would i say, I'm not addicted i just enjoy it and keep doing it even though i don't really want to deep down?

EDIT: I just don't see why my ability to control my yetzer hora is entirely dependant on telling my wife about it, like that's the make or break, nothing else counts for anything.
Last Edit: 05 Aug 2013 22:41 by Watson.

Re: Kedusha and Sanity 05 Aug 2013 22:43 #215083

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I did NOT mean telling OUR wives.

My wife does not know either. I meant telling other LIVE, REAL, people.

sorry for the misunderstanding
Yankel | My Ladder | Talking to Hashem
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Re: Kedusha and Sanity 05 Aug 2013 22:46 #215086

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well if u knew pidaini, you would know that his wife does NOT know, so it doesnt necessarily mean to ur wife. It means talking to real people in a real setting, as opposed to "hiding behind a fake name on a computer screen" in the words of dov. Pidaini and I both go to OINK meetings, and we both can testify that it has done wonders for us.
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Last Edit: 05 Aug 2013 22:46 by Lizhensk.

Re: Kedusha and Sanity 05 Aug 2013 23:06 #215089

insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results
what i saw from dov is that white knuckling is just doing the same thing over again without any changes
i personally am capable of justifying just about anything to myself. when i isolate i live in denial of reality. when i open up and talk to people, as hard as it is, i have to face myself. sitting with a group of people and being honest about what iv'e done forces ME to face MY reality. and when those people are understanding and honest there is communal strength
and i dont have to be an addict to benefit from this
i used to look back all the time saying "oh no! what have i done! Hashem help me erase the past." and i never heard a response.
finally i started looking forward saying "Hashem i'm leaving the past to you and i'm forgetting all about it. help me have a good future. help me from here and on be the person You want me to be." and that's where i realized Hashem had been waiting to help me all along

Re: Kedusha and Sanity 05 Aug 2013 23:10 #215091

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Sorry Pidaini, I misunderstood you.

I tried to get a recovery partner but I didn't get one yet. I'll look again.

Re: Kedusha and Sanity 05 Aug 2013 23:32 #215093

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Hi Doc,

I have been following this thread, and had some thoughts on the matter. Maybe I am wrong, in which case you could just ignore me. I don't claim to have all the answers.

you
Besides which, what would i say, I'm not addicted i just enjoy it and keep doing it even though i don't really want to deep down?
and

I don't think i am at rock bottom, and i'm trying hard not to get there.
and maybe some other quotes, which I can't find at the moment, or are not quite conveying mefurash of the attitude that I am reading in your "voice."

What I am hearing is that you are saying the following (please tell me if I am wrong):
"Sometimes when I come home, I raid the pantry and "steal" some potato chips crisps (sorry!). I know it's kind of unhealthy, the doctor told me at my last checkup a couple years ago that by blood pressure and cholestrol are a little high, and if I don't cut out the noshing, it may (or may not, who knows) come back to haunt me in 20-30 years. So do I know that its wrong? Yes. Do I know it could be harmful to me? Yes. Do I know it is unhealthy? The nutriition label on the back says so? Do I eat it anyway? Well, once in a while won't kill me, that's how we rationalize anyway. After all, these are Sour Cream & Onion!!!

Is that where you are? Only you could really answer that question.

Nobody can push you into thinking that your life is unmanageable. If a little p*** and m******** here and there is just noshing on potato chips, then I imagine that the 12 steps will not help you, even though the saturated fat is real to you, but it is just saturated fat, not rat poison. I am not sure if Shaarei Teshuva will help for that either. Maybe it will if you are a big yerai shamayim.

I am not wishing "rock bottom" on you. I hope you are able to quit satuarated fat because saturated fat is unhealthy.

Was this relevant?
"ויעזור ויגן ויושיע לכל החוסים בו ונאמר אמן" -- ArtScroll Gabbai's Handbook

Re: Kedusha and Sanity 05 Aug 2013 23:46 #215095

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tryingtoshteig wrote:

Was this relevant?

other than calling it chips and going for Mesquite BBQ instead of Sour Cream & Onion it is totally relevant to me. thanks Tryingtoshteig.
and thanks Doc for the discussion
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Re: Kedusha and Sanity 05 Aug 2013 23:53 #215099

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Yes it was relevant, everything I'm told on GYE is relevant and I take it all seriously. After all, it's not often one gets direct advice from a group of tzaddikim such as yourselves.

I'm not surprised my posts are difficult to understand, I don't really understand them either. I'm really not sure about myself at the moment.

Using your analogy I think it's like I used to eat cheesecake and deep-fried lard every day, and the doctor told me I have cholesterol problems. So i've cut out those foods but i still nosh on chocolate every so often. Not because i think it's OK, but because I'm feeling stressed or down and I find chocolate soothing.

I used to watch porn videos and masturbate every day. Now I look at naked pictures sometimes and masturbate every few weeks or so. That was the situation when i joined GYE, but i joined because even that is unacceptable to me. I don't want to masturbate or look at any form of porn ever again.

But I still do and I don't know why. I guess i find looking at these pictures relaxing, and looking leads to masturbation sometimes. So my avodah is to stop looking at all, but i find it hard because it is so relaxing and i'm so busy with work that i use it as a quick way to relax. Maybe that's all it is, maybe there's more to it that i haven't recognised.

My life is not unmanageable like this. To follow the analogy, my chocolate habit is giving my heartburn, not a heart attack r''l. The only reason I'm not happy with where i am is because Hashem says not to. Hashem understands me and the fact that i get stressed and that naked pictures relax me, and i use that to justify it a bit, but Hashem says no. So it's got to be a no, end of story. But i still do it and i'm ashamed of that fact. i want to stop but I'm finding it hard.

Re: Kedusha and Sanity 06 Aug 2013 00:00 #215102

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fascinating discussion
im no expert so I cant help much
I could add like some did already that telling people does help
I told a professional therapist all the gory yuchy details
told a rabbi in email in general (the rabbi was done anonymously; he does know me though), and I told frum woman in neighborhood, which helped me immensely...that's one that I wouldn't suggest...it has to be a perfect arrangement.

additionally, you mentioned 'rock bottom.' that might be a key. seven weeks ago sunday, I hit rock bottom. anyone wanna know gory details..if it will help you..just email me, and I will let you know. the next day (coincidentally?) is when I began my recovery. I did have a 60 day stint prior, but not as rigorous.

lastly, I have mentioned here many times...I have cried to God many tefillos (not as many as I should have), felt terrible about the aveirah, researched it in depth (even had some questions on the exact issur, especially if one has children and grandchildren); but bottom line, I am stopping because ITS NOT A LIFE PERIOD. Who wants to live like this? touching myself under desk; bringin phone into bathroom and viewing a two inch screen, getting legs all sticky while thinkin in bed, etc. etc. I was being hijacked by this addiction (used loosely, or whatever da #$%@&* it is), and I wanted no more part of it; so I say: GOOD RIDDANCE. And although I didn't understand Dov in the beginning, and I still don't understand him all the time (though his last 5 or 6 posts I felt very good that I had a basic understanding), I think this is what he was sayin: we gotta wanna stop cuz we are sick and unable to stop by ourself; then we have a chance.

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Re: Kedusha and Sanity 06 Aug 2013 00:07 #215104

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Research has shown, according to my trusty sources, that eating carrot sticks can be just as relaxing as eating chocolate, perhaps even more so, and has even has health benefits for the heart (fiber and such [I don't know, you are the Doc around here, not me]). Do you have any carrot sticks that you can relax with, good fun "batalah" that is kosher, cholov yisroel, pas yisroel, yoshon, fat-free, cholestrol-free, no artificial flavours, colours, or preservatiuves?
"ויעזור ויגן ויושיע לכל החוסים בו ונאמר אמן" -- ArtScroll Gabbai's Handbook
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