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feel like im not getting better
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feel like im not getting better 14 Sep 2022 17:53 #385707

  • abieham
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Hello everyone
I havent posted in a while. Quick summary of the past 4 years. I was 21 in yeshiva struggling (like everyone else). BH i really pulled through and got rid of the laptop and was clean. I got married and was great for 2 years. Then when covid started and also when my wife and I attend school online we brought it back in. I was pretty good. Then since last november its been really hard. As i write "its been really hard" I think how much progress I have made. I used to be on porn 3 nights a week for hours on end. Now porn is not shayach. But last november I fell on actual porn. Since then porn is unavailable but i always manage to find something to masturbate to. Whether an online magazine or dream about a sex scene or find some stories. its what i have been going to bed with for the past few months. Its like i prepare a dream to think about and act out. ITs not porn but its not what i want and i know its bad for me.
What i think about is not the sex but the foreplay. thats what interests me the most.
I have made penalties for myself like not to wear RT tefilin when i dream the night before, but what comes out is that i can go almost a whole week without wearing them. I think sonmetimes its the way i wind down from such a long day. But it has taken soo much time from me. I search and search for a loophole in the filter I can always find but its soo pathetic and I end up going to bed soo late. I hate it. MY wife asks me how come i went to bed so late. I say i was doing research. It bothers me so much. 
Although i have stopped porn but i have gotten into another addictive cycle. I have grown but i want to be truly free from lust. Please help.
I have more to write i will continue on the Married section.
Thanks
Last Edit: 14 Sep 2022 17:55 by abieham.

Re: feel like im not getting better 14 Sep 2022 18:20 #385711

  • DavidT
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Do you have anyone in real life that you can share your struggles with him?

The Pasuk in Mishlei (18:1) says: "Le'taava yevakesh nifrad - Desire seeks isolation". Being isolated causes us to go after our Taavah - our lust. The addiction wants us to withdraw into ourselves and disconnect from life. A partner in this struggle can do wonders in helping us reconnect to the world around us and ultimately break free. Going into detail with someone else about what we've done, is also known to be one of the best ways to get out the shame, guilt and remorse, and move on.

In addition to the above, simply telling over our feelings and thoughts to a friend or mentor, has tremendous power to help us break the insidious power of the addiction. As the Tzetel Katan of the great Chassidic master, R' Elimelech of Lizentzk states:

One should relate before one's teacher, who instructs him in the way of HaShem, or even before a good friend, all of one's thoughts that are contrary to the Holy Torah that the Yetzer HaRah causes to arise in his mind or heart… And one should not withhold anything because of shame. He will find that by relating these things, he will gain the power to break the strength of the Yetzer HaRah so that it will no longer be able to overcome him other times. This is in addition to the good advice that he will receive from his friend in the ways of Hashem. And this is a wonderful remedy.

We see from the above, that simply relating ones struggles to a friend or mentor has the power to break the strength of the Yetzer Hara.

Aside from the fact that the very act of talking it out already lessens the struggle, the main purpose of a partner is that it introduces the vital element of "accountability" into the equation. As Rav Yochanan Ben Zakai blessed his students, "May your fear of heaven be equal to your fear of man". And his students asked him: "Rebbe, is that all?". And he answered: "Halevai!".

The truth of Rav Yochanan Ben Zakai's blessing is pointedly illustrated by the story of Rav Amram Raban Shel Chassidim (Kidushin 81/a). We may ask, if Rav Amram had so much Fear of Heaven that he was determined enough to call out "Fire!", why couldn't he just have stopped himself? The answer is, that Rav Amram knew that unless other human beings would be introduced into the equation, he was powerless to stop himself from the power of the lust. This amazing story shows us the immense value of "human" accountability.

"If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?"
feel free to reach out @  ahavayirah@gmail.com

Re: feel like im not getting better 14 Sep 2022 19:49 #385714

  • Kavey
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David T is right of course. Related to that is how serious are you really, this time around? Because if you are please dedicate yourself 100% to this fight. You know when the yetzer hara comes of out the shadows and tries to entice you. Get ready!

Some ideas
- Read up on the forums for inspiration for your personal mehalech (I know you're a veteran here but still). Also other resources like BOTG, The Fight etc.
- Consider doing  F2F
- Consider mentorship
- Really think about outlets like exercise etc.
- To me most important is getting comfortable with the notion of long term sobriety (i.e. till 120 iyh)

Your other posts make it sound like life is overwhelming. Please allow yourself to focus on this even if it's at the expense of other areas.

Re: feel like im not getting better 05 Dec 2022 03:49 #388923

  • abieham
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I have been falling quite a lot of times. 3 times in 3 weeks. Its very frustrating for me because i no porn will not give me anything. i masturbate and then fall into a abyss of sadness. its a continuos cycle. the first year of marriage i was clean for over a year. then covid came and i fell once, then again lately its been hard.
Relationship with wife is a disaster. i dont think its because of this directly. shes mean to me and she picks on my faults. she claims i judge her and dont love her. she then gets upset and is mean. i intimacy could be better but trutfhully i am an addict and i cant expect a bais yaakov girl to be more flexible. life has been getting REAL. full day everyday BH in kollel and in night school. My wife is exhausted from working taking care of the kids and school work. we try to work on the relationship but the past seperates me so much.
its a real struggle for me
i really honestly hate porn. maybe the kick i get out of it is bypassing the filter and finding the crack. i have an appt at tag tomorrow to be extra strict. i hope it works.
will this battle ever end? marriage has made it worse because i fall knowing that this is absolutely nothing to compare with real intimacy. its not even comparable. but yet i still fall. why?

Re: feel like im not getting better 05 Dec 2022 14:49 #388959

  • Vehkam
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abieham wrote on 05 Dec 2022 03:49:
I have been falling quite a lot of times. 3 times in 3 weeks. Its very frustrating for me because i no porn will not give me anything. i masturbate and then fall into a abyss of sadness. its a continuos cycle. the first year of marriage i was clean for over a year. then covid came and i fell once, then again lately its been hard.
Relationship with wife is a disaster. i dont think its because of this directly. shes mean to me and she picks on my faults. she claims i judge her and dont love her. she then gets upset and is mean. i intimacy could be better but trutfhully i am an addict and i cant expect a bais yaakov girl to be more flexible. life has been getting REAL. full day everyday BH in kollel and in night school. My wife is exhausted from working taking care of the kids and school work. we try to work on the relationship but the past seperates me so much.
its a real struggle for me
i really honestly hate porn. maybe the kick i get out of it is bypassing the filter and finding the crack. i have an appt at tag tomorrow to be extra strict. i hope it works.
will this battle ever end? marriage has made it worse because i fall knowing that this is absolutely nothing to compare with real intimacy. its not even comparable. but yet i still fall. why?

wow. there is so much in your post.  i am sorry for your pain and struggles.

You mention that your wife gets upset and becomes mean.  There are many wonderful relationship books that may help you understand her language. what makes her feel safe and loved.  If she is reacting in a negative way, it is important that you learn to relate and talk to her in a way that is reassuring to her.   chances are that she will respond in kind.  

It is difficult to work on a relationship with someone else when you are confused with your relationship with yourself.  I am not suggesting that any marital issues are "your fault", just saying that you are at a big disadvantage in trying to work on that relationship.
The purpose of filters is to remove the immediate availability of inappropriate material.  Filters will not change you.  If you get a thrill out of bypassing filters and consider yourself an addict etc.. then the filters will serve a limited (but still useful) purpose.  In my opinion you would benefit tremendously from focusing on internal change. You married a bais yaakov girl.  you learn in kollel.  If she was "more flexible" would that help you become the person you want to be?  

Ask yourself these questions -
What type of person do I want to be? How do I develop a strong desire to become that person?  How do I maintain that desire even in the face of challenges?   There are many tools (and people!) on this site to help you along.  Please continue to stay engaged here and iyh you will see tremendous success.

best wishes
vehkam
vehkam7@gmail.com

guardyoureyes.com/forum/4-On-the-Way-to-90-Days/375452-Work-in-progress

The Battle of the Generation by Hillel S. has been a huge help for me.  Message me to find out how you can receive a free copy.



some of the experiences I write about may make it easier to identify me.  This is ok.  I trust that if anyone discovers my identity they will keep it to themselves.  If you do realize that you  know me, I am completely comfortable and welcome you acknowledging me and my struggle in person.

Re: feel like im not getting better 05 Dec 2022 16:12 #388960

I dont know if the Shalom Bayis and porn are seperate. this illness is very much a egotistical one, focusing on yourself, which is sure to influence your relationship. 
on another note, 3 times in three weeks in my opinion is very good so no shame there.
i very much identify with your struggle, how life packs a punch etc.
we are all in it together.

Re: feel like im not getting better 05 Dec 2022 20:16 #388969

  • Eerie
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Hi abieham! I feel your pain, I know I can't imagine the tremendous tzar you are going through, in your personal life and in your married life. But please keep on posting, talk to us, we want to hear from you, we are all here to be mechazeik each other. You have a whole community of friends here. Keep us posted

Re: feel like im not getting better 08 Dec 2022 03:18 #389144

  • abieham
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Thank you guys for listening,
Baruch Hashem i have my ups and downs. I wish it was only ups but i get extremely frustrated from a down. i had a thought a few days ago. imagine writing a letter to one's 12 year old self stating that if you go on the path of porn you will suffer for the next 14 years. I always imagined the guys in school/yeshiva that even if theyre not the best not the smartest not the biggest masmidim, but they look pure. they look as if they never saw something like porn etc. imagine how much time and suffering i would have saved if i didnt get started with this nonsense. 
but baruch hashem, this is part of my tafkid, and everyone else. one of the things that gets my wife crazy is my negativity. she claims i come home with a sad/sour face. i must be happy. i spoke with a life coach (much better than all the therapists i have been to in my life) and its something i must work on for my relationship with wife and self. Seeing the positive in the situations i am in will be the best tool for recovery and sanity.lol  
our job is to see life's stresses and to grow from them.
Sheva yipol tzadik VEKAM

Re: feel like im not getting better 08 Dec 2022 05:15 #389147

  • Emes-a-Yid
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abieham, incredible on speaking up although it's anonymous It is very big of you to continue speaking out in detail. I personally got help when speaking up and seeing your posts after posts which can affect a person si be thinking of a strategy or be there for one another. It's usually a win win so keep it up. I am also in ways of utter silence to see you expressing yourself on your past experiences, it's real chizuk not that seeing the downs rather the shakla vtaryah and constant storyline to improve yourself which is beyond clear what you plan doing to try and break through
so Wish you Hatzlacha!! 
I sent you a message if you can take a look 
-emesayid
To my dear friend reading this:
You are an incredible yid for just being on this site, I am breath taken after each post or new person that comes on and shares a bit about himself, keep it up. You guys are mamash matzlichim in your own ways of growth and Hashem is proud of each one of you! (that includes me too) lol.

KEEP UP YOUR TREMENDOUS UPLIFTING IN THE AVODAH OF EMES!!

Thanks for reading! Stay shtark, I am also being challenged, just build your confidence, never quit no matter what, you are your strongest enemy and yet you are your strongest savior so you choose, I am not saying it's easy but am saying it's possible just takes effort and work!!
-from Emes-A-Yid
Last Edit: 08 Dec 2022 05:17 by Emes-a-Yid.

Re: feel like im not getting better 12 Dec 2022 05:42 #389303

  • abieham
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I was thinking about my progress. i made a big mistake in my calculations. for a long time i have gotten into fantasizing before bed. i cannot masturbate without a video or picture BH. but i used to get hard etc and picture these scenes. this has been going on and off for maybe over a year. i realized last week that i havent done that since Elul. i made up 2 weeks before RH that enough is enough, its literally crazy, getting excited about NOTHING. so that makes it almost 3 months. i have slipped once or twice but the was 0 geshmak in it and it lasted maybe 30 seconds. BH it was a big win for me. 

Re: feel like im not getting better 12 Dec 2022 12:28 #389310

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That is a major success. Changing a ritual or bedtime script takes courage and emotional strength. Very inspiring. Stopping myself from fantasizing was probably the hardest thing to change. After a long day i just wanted to drift off and escape to that "safe" and inviting world. "And what's so terrible about some creative imagination? I won't be "doing" anything..." Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, it may have been sweet, but it was sweet poison.
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