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Any1 can relate to me? Issue: Neighbor on my Block
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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: Any1 can relate to me? Issue: Neighbor on my Block 15444 Views

Re: Any1 can relate to me? Issue: Neighbor on my Block 18 Nov 2014 01:26 #243638

  • DuddyM
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regarding ur 1st post about the 2 ideas what u gave me, i printed it out
but still not clear 100 percent how to go about it, i guess will have to discuss it on phone or email
about ur question what i have done to help myself, i started for the last 3 weeks to learn and go-over the 12 steps slowly and clearly
and since last Thursday i started being on a live phone conference every day or 2.

pls reply

Re: Any1 can relate to me? Issue: Neighbor on my Block 18 Nov 2014 10:44 #243659

  • Dov
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Conferences are nice. But assuming you are a frum guy...we are used to going to a shmuz, getting chizzuk/inspiration, new info...and then two days later living just as we did before.



That may be acceptable for regular life, yiddishkeit, parnossah, marriage, etc...but addicts in addiction eventually have to find a way that works. We really have no choice in the matter.

The problem I see in phone conference meetings is that people usually do not identify themselves there by (even just first) name. They hide in the background and just listen...recovery does not ever happen vicariously.

Or, callers usually participate in some way - but from behind the safety and fakeness of a false name (username) rather than being themselves for various logical-sounding reasons. But all the recovery shiurim, logic, information, and figuring-out in the world, will not save an addict from failure. Surrender is not a thing to be understood - it is a thing to be done, or not done. Being around and getting to know people who are surrendering in a practcal and real way is helpful...but talking or learning about surrender is about as useful as talking about humility is..."I feel humble today, boys!"

Either way, members easily fall through the cracks on phone conferences, not realizing that the reason they chose phone conference recovery work was specifically in order to keep the freedom to disappear! To remain free and on their own. Nu. I understand that. But that doesn't make it effective, now.

Of course, people can also disappear from real, in-person meetings, too! But being a faceless person on the phone is a way to avoid any accountability at all by isolating. Just like when we walk off, hide w our porn in the bathroom, and masturbate ourselves. All alone, safe.

That having been said, if phone conferences are working for you, then great! I'd never recommend against them if they are working. But you just started! Ket this sink in and if you are clean and doing OK after a few months, then you know you are working this thing right and will be able to make a decision about what to do next.

It will work if you work it, and you already are starting that. Hatzlocha taking more and more actions of recovery, chaver. And daven for me and all the other powerless sexaholics out there, especially the ones who are still alone because they think they must be.

But more important than all of us, I still suggest you daven for whoever you lust after and do not let go of. She will need your tefilos and you will need the freedom from obsession about her. They arrive simultaneously, similar to gita v'yada bo'in 'echod.
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: Any1 can relate to me? Issue: Neighbor on my Block 21 Nov 2014 01:50 #243829

  • DuddyM
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thank you
dov
i will email u to discuss it by phone.

Thanks every1 for trying to help and care
I feel even more Powerless then Powerless can mean
A Yid - A kind fin Bashefer

Re: Any1 can relate to me? Issue: Neighbor on my Block 24 Nov 2014 22:27 #244010

  • Dov
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I am here, and surely at least as powerless as you are, chaver. Knowing that and being able to live with it is why I am sober today.
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: Any1 can relate to me? Issue: Neighbor on my Block 25 Nov 2014 02:26 #244041

  • cordnoy
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Dov,
We have discussed your level of "powerlessness" over the phone several times.
I do not have the chutzpah to write here how I understood the difference between youre and mine or someone elses.
I will state, however, that although I do understand what you mean when you write that about yourself, i think, at times, it is counterproductive to write it, for it scares us more than inspirin' us.
Yes, you will say that you wanna show how you need to keep workin' the program or meetin's or openin' up and more. I do understand that.
But the bottom line is imho that you are not as vulnerable to lust as you were 17 years ago, and that is somethin' we need to hear more of as well.

My apologies and thanks
My email: thenewme613@hotmail.com
My threads:
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.

MY POSTS ARE NOT WRITTEN AS A MODERATOR UNLESS EXPLICITLY STATED.

Re: Any1 can relate to me? Issue: Neighbor on my Block 25 Nov 2014 04:22 #244061

  • ineedchizuk
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All I know is that when I began conveniently forgetting that I'm powerless over lust, thinking instead that I have a mehalech and I don't really need to worry or ask Hashem for help with this, that's when I began to fall again.

So I will only speak for myself when I say that to me, Dov seems to be speaking דברים פשוטים ביותר.

On the other hand, come to think of it, חז"ל say אל תאמין בעצמך עד יום מותך. The simple meaning is we're powerless over the yetzer hara. And they're not even speaking about addicts!
Last Edit: 25 Nov 2014 04:23 by ineedchizuk.

Re: Any1 can relate to me? Issue: Neighbor on my Block 25 Nov 2014 04:50 #244063

  • cordnoy
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R' Ineedchizuk,

What was your mehalech when you were recoverin' and then you began to think that you had it beat?
My email: thenewme613@hotmail.com
My threads:
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.

MY POSTS ARE NOT WRITTEN AS A MODERATOR UNLESS EXPLICITLY STATED.

Re: Any1 can relate to me? Issue: Neighbor on my Block 25 Nov 2014 05:07 #244064

  • ineedchizuk
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Notwithstanding that I did not have a specific program that I was consistent with, I was thankful to Hashem for every moment/ day clean, made huge progress with shmiras einayim, kept in touch more often with gye friends, and discussed the struggle, and tried to post my progress, or lack thereof, on the forum (the hardest for me).

Oh, and I davened a lot to Hashem to help me stay clean.

Re: Any1 can relate to me? Issue: Neighbor on my Block 25 Nov 2014 06:29 #244074

  • cordnoy
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While that is very commendable of you, I was referrin' to someone who worked/works a program with real people - hundreds of them, and live meetings and concrete steps with sponsors and actions every day for 17 years.
My email: thenewme613@hotmail.com
My threads:
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.

MY POSTS ARE NOT WRITTEN AS A MODERATOR UNLESS EXPLICITLY STATED.

Re: Any1 can relate to me? Issue: Neighbor on my Block 25 Nov 2014 10:36 #244081

  • Dov
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OK, let me clarify, Cordnoy/Avrohom (cuz you brought up the point). I guess there are two bechinos of "powerlessness":

One is that a person is unable to withstand the temptation and is guaranteed to succumb. For example, an alcoholic and his entire family knows, that he will definitely drink again.

The second is that whether he will drink again or not, one thing is absolutely clear: unlike normal people, this guy cannot drink well.

Sure he can drink a lot...but never well. Meaning that if he drinks, he will become a mess even if he does not become drunk. Once he resumes drinking it is just a matter of time before he runs his life and family into the ground by missing work, lying to his closest loved ones about where he is and why, wasting time and money secretly, not being present emotionally cuz he is worried about his next binge, and just generally puking his life away, because he is dependent on it.

If I consciously take in lust by intentionally viewing porn, people being sexual with each other in their car or home, reading a dirty book, or touching myself in a sexual way - I am finished. Not only will I just ejaculate before even being able to get an erection, but I will feel very crazy inside and it will rather quickly seem undeniably logical that I absolutely need erotic satisfaction and cannot live another hour without it. My entire sense of logic will change and there is no way out of that, because the truly crazy person cannot see himself as crazy...till after it will be over.

So once I start drinking, I cannot control it the way a normal person (Jew or goy) can. I cannot lst like a gentleman. I do not 'lust well' though most American's do. They watch a little porn and enjoy it - I could not 'enjoy' it at all, for it would take my mind over. Whenever I saw a movie with a little schmutz in it, my friends talked openly about the entire movie and that scene was in the discussion, too - while I was the quiet one...but that scene was all I thought about all night long!

15 years ago I could not go to my sister-in-law's high school graduation in a healthy way. I tried, but had to look away and walk out and turn my glasses upside down and my head inside out. Sex with my wife was so complicated and troubling that it made problems even when it was good. Relationships with females in my family and wife's family and my work were all filled with tension for me.

Now, I can do all those things, function and relax, w/o getting distracted by the lust, feminine power, or whatever.

In other words, if you stick a dirty image in my face I can surrender it and be fine. But if I intentionally examine it and take in the sweetness of it, I believe I will be lost. I even feel my 'engine' down there running, as described above and know I will get past that good old 'point of no return' (that is the horror of all 'partially masturbating' yeshiva boys right before we start trying to squeeze it back in, if you recall) and ejaculate, losing my sobriety.

Yet I can have normal nice sex with my wife without rushing it at all. Obviously, my sex isn't at all like erotic stealing, acting out, or porn use. And that's not simple. It requires frequent work on keeping it that way, I often stray and need an adjustment, and have used longer periods of mutually voluntary sexual abstinence to help get things back on track (wife still going to mikvah, just no sexuality) and not based on lust. Real life is not linear and not a smooth ride. It's OK. G-d helps and my friends are there for me to admit it all to - and they won;t try to convince me not to act out...they will just listen and understand. And that works! It helps me surrender when i need to.

So I believe I am even more sensitive to my own lust than before should I choose to use it - and generally not affected by other people's dirty talk, nudity, lust, schmutz, women scantily or normally clad, nor to comfortable sexuality w my wife. That is what i mean by my being powerless over lust, and actually even more powerless than ever. It's not the prospect of lusting that i am powerless over - it is active lusting. If I do that, my threshold is very, very low now. No clue why that is, but it is.

Unfortunately, so much of the GYE chevra see lust as all about 'sin', the 'yetzer hora' and about women in the street that are so big and scary and 'grab your kedusha away from you if you don't watch out!'. Gevalt. As though lust is really 'out there' and gets you if you are not careful!

....well, I do not believe it is. It's right in here, 'beficho ubilvov'cho'!! And seeing a pretty woman isn't lust - it just turns lust on if we take her image in and try to use it as though we were normal people and can enjoy such things as normal people may. They can do that and get away with it, but we addicts cannot. We cannot lust well, just as alkies cannot drink well. When we try to, we start isolating, self-pitying, OCDing about kedusha and tahara, lying and faking (and using fake names in chat, phone, etc.), and Nobody ever grabbed our hands and forced us to masturbate and nobody ever forced us to lust and fantasize.

Does that make sense yet? It's very late and I am very sleepy, so forgive me if this was unclear.

- Dov

And as far as the first bechinah of powerlessness, I am sometimes afraid I wont be sober by next week...but it's not because of a specific temptation. Today I have the keilim to surrender that, be"H and G-d is really Good to us addicts.
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: Any1 can relate to me? Issue: Neighbor on my Block 25 Nov 2014 11:02 #244082

  • cordnoy
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thank you
and yes, this is what you told me on the phone several times
I can't write it at all like you
but this point is pretty important for many of us lust addicts
we admit we are powerless
you admit you are powerless
but we know that this cannot be
this confuses us
I again cannot speak for other people as to what their conclusions are, but my assumption, and from hearin' from them, it is not so good

this clarification is fantastic!
and you have said it and written it before

when you write next time that you are powerless over lust, put an asterisk, and have gibbor, gevurah, zemmy or skep send the link to this post.

now, you don't need to take my advice, for ver bin ich? I am a lust addict who has not recovered in any significant way yet; I have made some strides, and I am sober for the moment....and you certainly know much more than I do.

I am just statin' my feelin's.
That's why I spoke to you on the phone regardin' this subject twice.
One time you may remember it was in context with a hotel room and the television and other stuff.

I thank you again.

Your post, although long, was worth every word!

thanks
My email: thenewme613@hotmail.com
My threads:
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.

MY POSTS ARE NOT WRITTEN AS A MODERATOR UNLESS EXPLICITLY STATED.

Re: Any1 can relate to me? Issue: Neighbor on my Block 25 Nov 2014 11:39 #244085

  • serenity
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Thank you, Dov, for these insights and for your willingness to share so openly. I can relate to everything you are saying and it all makes sense to me. One point that is particularly grabbing my attention right now is how people get all bent out of shape when they lust and start looking at outside causes of their desires. The Torah tells us not to pursue the desires of our hearts and the lust of our eyes. We will have these lusts and that is not a sin. To pursue them is the sin. Thoughts that tell us otherwise originate in ego. And with addicts, I understand you to say and I believe to be true, that we even have something beyond that. I do not need to see promiscuity to act out. The thought of engaging my addiction can enter my head upon waking in the morning, in the middle of a day at work, after leaving shul, 5 min after a 3 day yomtif, after shachris on a fast day etc. Once I have the thought to act out, then I start considering what the stimulus would be. I think this is very different for an addict than for a non-addict. When I am in recovery and I see something I like, I can turn my thoughts from it. Sometimes it's harder than others, but I can do it. Maybe I will have to call a chaver or my AA sponsor or anyone just to ground myself, but I can do it. When I am not in recovery, I will see a trigger and think to myself, I can't pass up this opportunity, this will be a thrill (and it's more of a full body emotion and pull that a lust.) I become insane and my thinking is insane. Or, I will get the feeling that I need to act out then I will seek out the trigger.
Much Hatzlacha!

My Threads:
Glad to be here
Don't slip it hurts
Lions & Tigers & Internet, Oh My!

--"ולא המדרש עיקר, אלא המעשה"
--"To promise not to do a thing is the surest way in the world to make a body want to go and do that very thing." Mark Twain
--"If, when you honestly want to, you find you cannot quit entirely, or if when drinking (or lusting), you have little control over the amount you take, you are probably alcoholic (or sexaholic)." AA Big Book P. 45. Parenthesis added.
--You hit rock bottom when you decide to stop digging.

Re: Any1 can relate to me? Issue: Neighbor on my Block 25 Nov 2014 21:22 #244099

  • gibbor120
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Here's the link to the "dov quote". I haven't added one in quite a while.

guardyoureyes.com/forum/4-On-the-Way-to-90-Days/124072-Dov?limit=15&start=150#244098

Re: Any1 can relate to me? Issue: Neighbor on my Block 25 Nov 2014 22:33 #244103

  • DuddyM
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hello again,
any1?

Re: Any1 can relate to me? Issue: Neighbor on my Block 26 Nov 2014 07:59 #244132

  • Dov
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This is what you get for saying that a long post is worth it!

One related thought for Cordnoy:

You seem to be saying that some people here care about the quality of my sobriety or about me staying sober and that it may be demoralizing to some if I really screwed up badly after all these years (really not that many), or if they saw the holes in my sobriety, etc.



So I will just say that I expect not a single person to lose their sobriety if I threw in the towel today. And if I lost my sobriety today c"v, I would not hide it for a minute from GYE's forum. I'd rather have honesty than sobriety, anyway! For sobriety alone can still allow a person to descend and get sicker - until they lose it of course. But honesty and realness are always the key to getting better.

When my first sponsor (for 15 years) disappeared from meetings and stopped returning my calls, my sobriety took no 'hit' whatsoever. Sure, my growth was harder for a while till I found a new sponsor...but discouragement? No way. I never even thought, "How could it happen?!", so it never shook my faith in recovery. I had been through too much already and come too far - as so many here also have.

None of you really need anybody else on this forum. Sure, they help...but you'd all find someone else. Patton (a colossal jerk but great soldier) said everyone is expendable, especially himself. Ok, a little weird, but he had a point.

Another mentor of mine decided to leave SA recovery altogether (after about 15+ years sober) at the age of 75 and was fully honest with me about it. He was an important AA and SA member, a wise man, and I really looked up to him a lot. Calling him opening up about stuff that I was going through 'in the field' (sometimes daily) helped me a great deal in my early years in SA and we had grown to be recovery buddies. But he dropped sobriety about 8 years ago and decided to engage in behaviors that he previously considered very ill. It didn't shake anything for me or affect me in any bad way. I know he is free to do what he pleases...the great law of the universe (RMB"M writes Hashem/His Torah definitely allows us to sin, to be reshoi'm, etc. That's what bechira is - but there are consequences for denying the truth, that's all. People get confused when they say "You're not allowed to do that," for of course we are! That's why He says not to do it - for He allows us to and asks us to choose not to!).

In the same way, some here have had rebbis who sexually molested them, R"l. Sadly, they were very weak people and it destroyed their faith - who can blame them? But it really shouldn't shake ours to hear about it! Rebbis screw up, too! Why give them so much power to destroy our faith?? One such rebbi I knew very well, and worshipped him when I was 18-22 years old in yeshiva (brought him toast for breakfast, was his water-boy, etc). He never tried to mess around with me, bH and I had no clue about that chicanery. Since he was exposed by gedolim and others, I felt shaken, sure...but instead of losing my yiddishkeit (as some indeed did), I learned a very important thing: People are just people, they try the best they can.

Even my parents fit into this category! There were things I could not forgive them for, from my childhood...till I was asked by a therapist to consider that just maybe, they tried as best they could with the limited understanding and skill-set they possessed. When I considered that, it became obvious that they were the same as I am now! 99% of us people are trying the best we can - when we truly know better, we do better. Now I rarely blame, I mostly just pray for people who get on my nerves or look for an act of love by which I might actually help them grow instead of hate or belittle them. It is very rare that I ever beep at anyone for their screwy driving. Beeping and yelling will not teach them anything - it will just make them angrier, and will definitely make me angrier. My son and I smile at each other when someone honks and hollers at us for a driving mistake I make - we know they are just hurting themselves (and that I need to learn to drive a little better!). AA's told me that "raging at someone is like taking poison and expecting it to kill the guy you are angry at!" Real irony.

And finally (at some risk of controversy), I will share here that I am friends with Lubavitchers who nearly lost their faith in Torah and Chassidus when the Rebbe zt"l died. They felt absolutely certain that he was moshiach and that he would do whatever moshiach is really supposed to do and the world would finally be OK. When he was niftar, they freaked out. Like any faith crisis, it led the addicts among their ranks to act out even more.

I trust the tzaddikim and learn their Torah with complete trust that they have it more right than i could ever figure out. But people are...well, people. They make mistakes and can change their minds, die, grow, and fail. I do choose to guide my life by chachmei haTorah, emulate them as best i can, and hope I'd always be willing to even lay down my life for the chachomim and the tzaddikim of any dor - even ours - if (R"l) necessary. But living with people has taught me that sanity and basic maturity accept only Hashem as perfect.

Ultimately, that is humility. For the attractive fantasy of pretending there is true perfection in other people stems from pride. For it means that the club of which I am a member (the human race) can be 'gods'. For me, that's just a way to pretend I myself am indeed close to perfection.

And I do not believe any of this is at variance with R' Akiva's chiddush that "ess" is l'rabos talmidei chachomim, nor against Emunas Chachomim. If I am wrong, educate me please.

Whew...hope none of that stepped on anybody's toes!
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!"
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