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TOPIC: Hi - first off, thank you all! 151 Views

Hi - first off, thank you all! 05 Nov 2018 04:05 #336996

  • GaviF
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Hi all! 

First off, I cannot appreciate you (whoever is reading this) enough for even just spending the time to learn about someone else's struggle, someone who you have never even met. And, in advance, my gratitude extends boundlessly to those who I am sure will provide the support and guidance that I pg will receive throughout my time posting on this forum. I think I may have posted on the GYE forums years back, but I don't think I was very committed to keeping up the correspondence and continuing to seek guidance and encouragement. I pray to Hashem that my planned investment in this forum will turn out to be unbelievably beneficial and that as a result I will end these destructive patterns and thus give way for a connection and love towards Hashem, that is way beyond what I could have imagined. 

So in terms of this struggle: I have struggled with this since I was 14 and now I am nearly 23. I am quite a sensitive person (that is towards my actions) and expect highly from myself and thus having this issue impacted me tremendously. I have invested countless days in the pursuit of researching, reading, a self-development course, contemplation, thoroughly designing programs for myself, speaking to others, self-exploration, in prayer, journaling my progress and many other means, in the desire to put an end to these destructive behaviours. I have gone to extremes in the past and went through stages of self-punishment, making myself do extremely painful stuff and other immensely disgusting punishments in an effort to control myself. I did mature to realise that this behaviour was only counter intuitive and certainly causing more harm to myself than good. I sometimes look to certain and wonder how it was that they were able to overcome this (or not even have the issue in the first place) with seemingly significantly less effort than me? I suppose we each have our challenges. 

In terms of actual sexual pursuits, thank God, I have not pushed many of the boundaries that many have and my behaviours have been limited to pornography and masturbation. In the past year, thank God, I have managed to limit my pornographic pursuits immensely by ways of filters, accountability software, speaking to others and having a penalty in place where I to use explicit pornography. These strategies have worked immensely well, but I still stumble from time to time with light content. Masturbation has been a little more frequent than this but it mostly has been under control and is limited to sporadic incidents here and there.

Recently, I did have my longest streak of about 50 days clean from this stuff (with tremendous effort and dedication). So I do suppose my many hours I invest into this each week, has paid off in some way.Recently, I sat down and asked myself, ‘What kind of actions could I take that would ensure that I would never masturbate/view stuff again?’. I know it is a bold statement to make but I do find that if one asks the strongest questions, one is able to come up with the strongest responses and strategies. I came up with a list of stuff, including speaking to my Rabbi, whom I admire immensely and am very close to, about this and committing to telling him if I do use these behaviours again. Disclosing my struggles to him was possibly the most courageous action I have ever taken in my life, seeing that he has a high perception of me and I look up to him immensely. I disclosed with him a few months ago and about a week or two ago I committed to telling him if I would use these behaviours again.

Unfortunately, I did land up being lured into the traps of the internet and my compulsions and before I knew it I had acted out once again. Thus, it is on my to do list to speak to him sometime soon and discuss further.I sat down once more and asked myself the same question once again of ‘what could I do to ensure this would never happen again?’ in order to place myself in the mindset of trying my very hardest to conquer these behaviours (at least to the extent that we are able to!). I came up with a list of a couple of stuff. Some of these items on the list required formidable effort to follow through with (such as opening up to my one friend). I did follow through on a couple of them that I thought would be most appropriate. 

As I hope you can see, I truly am very committed to end this phase in my life and pg, with the support of GYE and the holy souls on this site, I believe I am so much closer to!
Last Edit: 05 Nov 2018 04:08 by GaviF.

Re: Hi - first off, thank you all! 05 Nov 2018 04:39 #336997

  • Markz
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Welcome!

Great first steps!!

Are you related to Rabbi Gav??

I also have opened somewhat to my Rabbi. My impression is that not all Rabbis are experienced in Lust solutions, so if that's what you're looking for I'd first look to see what the Gye rabbinate have to offer.

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Re: Hi - first off, thank you all! 05 Nov 2018 05:47 #336999

  • gyehelp2017
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Hi Gavif, Your post shows real commitment to doing whats right,  I wish you lot's of hatzlucha. Just wanted to point out staying in touch with others here on this sight is a great experience,  so hang around and you will be able to be inspired and inspire others too. Looking forward to hear from you!
feel free to reach out to me at gyehelp2017@gmail.com
All the best!

Re: Hi - first off, thank you all! 05 Nov 2018 06:24 #337000

  • GaviF
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Nope not related as not really my surname!

Ye he was not necessarily as helpful as I would have liked. Though I still am very happy for opening up as it sure does provide an added boost of motivation, seeing that I look up to him so much. Further, I was able to clarify some halachic aspects and solidify my approach to this stuff, which also is tremendously helpful. I was like others, especially my Rabbi, to have a realistic perception of myself as well as where I am at, so ye, I def think it was the right thing to do

Re: Hi - first off, thank you all! 05 Nov 2018 07:14 #337002

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Welcome! Someone newer than me :-)
My 2 cents would be to see if you can delve into not only how not to act out, but why you do - if there is something needing chizuk that is indirectly causing an issue. Of course, an attraction is a normal and healthy part of being a guy (that's why we need walls), but acting out I can find personally also have other elements. And by the way, every effort is not in vain, the trying is YUGE and you seem to have really fought intensely. Well done. I speak as someone who also was 23 at one time, and thinks have a lot of similarities in my actions and reactions to the issue.
For example about the sensitivity thing, I think I bought this shtick from the same dude! The yetzer hara is excellent at selling a terrible idea to the perfect recipient. I at least also am very sensitive in general (though I have made a lot of improvements) and particularly on this issue. Being hard on myself is my life's theme but of course, that is about the least productive mindset when facing the matter.
B'Hatzlacha Rabba

Re: Hi - first off, thank you all! 05 Nov 2018 07:52 #337004

  • GaviF
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Ye thank you, excellent point about delving into 'why' we act out. I think I touched on some of these issues in my most recent post in the 90 days forums: guardyoureyes.com/forum/4-On-the-Way-to-90-Days/337003-Towards-90%21-Just-watch-me%21#337003 

Re: Hi - first off, thank you all! 05 Nov 2018 08:35 #337005

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Hi and good luck with your struggle.

Re: Hi - first off, thank you all! 07 Nov 2018 21:07 #337077

  • gibbor120
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Welcome!  Thank you so much for your honest post.  This is just a hunch, but do you consider yourself a perfectionist?  I would highly recommend reading Dr. Sorotzkin (link in my signature) both on perfectionism and psychological factors in acting out.  His stuff is excellent.  You may be putting too much pressure on yourself, and in your pursuit of being perfect create a lot of tension.  That tension has to be released somehow, and that can lead to using pornography and masturbation.  The same drive for "kedusha and tahara"  may be part of your problem in the first place.  Give yourself permission to be imperfect.  Love yourself as you are.  Stay out of isolation.  Develop good friendships.  People  who you feel comfortable venting to, perhaps even sharing your struggles with.

I wish you much hatzlacha! I've been there done that.  I'm B"H clean for 9+ years.  NEVER EVER GIVE UP! 
Last Edit: 07 Nov 2018 21:08 by gibbor120.

Re: Hi - first off, thank you all! 07 Nov 2018 23:06 #337081

  • GaviF
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Ye spot on. I am a perfectionist. You also aren't the first to notice. Wow! I briefly looked at that Sorotzkin site and it looks incredible - can't wait to explore it more and to read the articles and listen to the recordings! I really am fascinated by my perfectionist tendencies and it is something that I view as pivotal to my self-development and thus also to this struggle in particular. I tried beforehand to research more on perfectionism but nothing seems to compare to what is available on that site, especially seeing it is portrayed through 'Torah-lens'. Thank you! Great advice  
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