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Shteeble's collection of inspiration
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If you've made progress - thank G-d, double your merit by inspiring others as well! Post the tips and advice that worked best for you in your journey to sobriety or tell us about recommendations you heard from others that work.

TOPIC: Shteeble's collection of inspiration 16400 Views

Re: Shteeble's collection of inspiration 08 Feb 2017 04:09 #305212

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eslaasos wrote on 05 Feb 2017 17:49:

Shteeble wrote on 26 Jan 2017 01:41:

eslaasos wrote on 18 Sep 2016 03:29:
Sometimes there's an epiphany, a burst of light accompanying a sudden internalization of a new self-awareness. I was blessed with this experience last night and am recording it here for want of a better place.

I noticed objectively that almost every Shabbos or Yomtov I would feel resentment to my wife and/or children that the atmosphere was not as spiritual as I wanted it to be. For years I held a "legitimate" grudge against members of my wife's family to whom the Shabbos Seudos appear to be opportunities for 4 hours of gluttony and shmoozing, invariably leading to loshson hora and divrei chol, and sometimes nivul peh or even kefirah (depending on which family members).

In the dark period of my life (hopefully over the worst of it at this point) I connected this to my wife, and that was never resolved. 
Having become slowly more self-aware over time, it culminated in a conscious and objective recognition last night of where my headspace was, which thereby enabled me to address it head-on. 
Having learnt many lessons from my GYE friends, instead of trying to reason it out, I just went straight to the conclusion that the problem was not in them, it was in me
Now I was able to force a sincere smile (sounds like a contradiction, but it's not) instead of a half-baked one that papered over a buzzing resentment, and the response was immediate.

Thank you Hashem for all your kindness to this undeserving wannabe penitent. I still have a ways to go, but I feel some hope that if I manage to keep my priorities straight, You will help me get somewhere. May it be Your will.

R' Laasos,

Could you please elaborate on the following:
"I just went straight to the conclusion that the problem was not in them, it was in me. "

It is very inspiring, and I would love to get a better understanding of it. tizku l'mitzvois.

Hi Shteeble,
Sorry for the delay, I haven't been around much.
To answer your question; I had found that most times I experienced this sense of frustration and resentment against family members, the process of working it through a step 4 resentment worksheet (or call it CBT if that floats your boat higher) helped me discover where I was at fault, and what personal middos were making me react this way that needed fixing.
This does not mean to say that I am absolving anyone else of blame for their actions, it just takes the focus away from what they need to do, to what I need to do.
Sometimes this does not resolve the situation, but it takes away my angst, and allows me to react appropriately. It's a lot less stressful.
Having had that experience (I had to work for it but people here helped) a few times, and seen how liberating it is, in the situation posted above, I didn't bother with going through the process of figuring out how and why I might be to blame, I just assumed that this level of resentment was unnatural and could only be driven by a subconscious recognition that I was somehow at fault, so I cut to the chase and focused on what I needed to do, instead of what they needed to change.
Hope this helps.

Re: Shteeble's collection of inspiration 08 Feb 2017 04:47 #305217

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gibbor120 wrote on 28 Oct 2011 14:44:
I agree that the quest for perfection is poison.  It poisoned me.  Wanting to be perfect causes stress which is a BIG trigger.  then you use your favorite escape which leads to shame, which leads to the need to escape again.  You get my drift. 

Don't try to "overcome" it.  Learn to "let go" of it.  I'm no expert on the subject, but there's lots to learn here.  Let go of the perfection thing. you'll be much happier, which by the way is the biggest antidote for all this stuff.

hatzlacha rabah!

Oh, you might want to read or listen to some of Dr Sorotzkins stuff here .  He has some great stuff on perfectionism.

Re: Shteeble's collection of inspiration 14 Feb 2017 04:41 #305795

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Miracle wrote on 13 Feb 2017 23:45:
Tks for the comments. Here are some excerpts from Sorotzkin that speak to me, I've used viewing of women porn and masturbation as a soother:
 the roots of any addiction are usually traceable to suppression and avoidance of some kind of emotional pain. Addiction. is a way to escape from [a] reality. too full of sadness. or too devoid of joy. Emotional trauma in early life may be the source of most addictions. The frustrated emotional need of a vulnerable person can hijack his normal sexual drive in a desperate attempt to assuage its pain.

the child doesn't feel comfortable sharing the problem with his parents. Since he cannot address the problem interpersonally he seeks solitary solutions for self-soothing which often involve acting out in a sexual manner.

Besides the release experienced via the pleasurable experience itself, there is the additional benefit that he is not dependent on (unreliable) others for relief.

 Sexual acting out is often motivated by a (subconscious) attempt to contain and transform [painful emotions] - such as depression, anxiety, aggression, shame, and fear - by turning them into feelings of excitement and aliveness, rather than allowing them to be overwhelming and depleting. The sexual encounter [usually] takes place during periods in which the integrity of the self is threatened by some disappointment, some frustration. The aim of the sexual encounter is for both a soothing and an obtaining a compensation for what they had to put up with or what they have been through.

Re: Shteeble's collection of inspiration 22 Feb 2017 04:34 #306442

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Ihavenostrength wrote on 21 Feb 2017 20:11:
Day 11: Ever felt like you needed to release the tension that has been building within you? The longer you've been holding out the more urgent it seems? 

I used to think this was a build up of sexual tension (energy) and if you weren't going to release it through "acting out" you had to find another way to "let it out", if you wanted to stay sane. 

I now think that's a mistake. 

There's a build up of tension all right. It's a neutral tension though. It's created from your worries, your stresses and the bumps you hit in your everyday life. 

There's nothing sexual about it. 

"Acting out" just happens to be a really easy way to release it (and did I mention affordable? Ok don't shoot me, only joking). 

Why does this matter? 

Well firstly, I never so it did, so there! 

I think it does matter a bit though.

For if you feel stressed, feel like you need a release and you recognize that the uncomfortability that you are experiencing has nothing to do with refraining from acting out, it takes away alot of excuses. It shoots just one more arrow into the "I need to" illusion.

Exercising or singing for the addict (I'm not using this word in the clinical sense, just using it for someone who finds it hard not to engage in PMO) are not like soymilk to a non-lactose person. It's not like animal blood for a vampire.(Vampires prefer human blood, they also don't exist).  

Other stress releasers are just as "genuine" as acting out. They require a bit more effort but are more effective as well. 

If you managed to read all that, then you are totally awesome.

Have a great day!

Shteeble wrote on 22 Feb 2017 04:40:

I think you're on to something big here.
I always thought it WAS a buildup of sexual tension...
But you make a strong point.
Can you please continue this train of thought?

Also, I got lost on the Exercising, singing, vampire thing. What was meant in that paragraph? Thanks.

Ihavenostrength wrote on 22 Feb 2017 05:17:
Sure. I think it's a point which we all know to be true but yet aren't fully cognizant of. 

The basic idea is as follows: an alcoholic uses alcohol to deal with the stresses of day to day life. Alcohol is not necessarily the best way (a.k.a most effective method) to release stress. It's merely the method the alcoholic knows. He LEARNT it.

When he has an overwhelming urge to reach for the bottle it's not to release tension that built up as a result of not drinking.

Thr truth is that this argument is perhaps even stronger for a sex addict which a "behavioral" rather than a "substance" addiction.

By the alcoholic it can be argued that it's discomfort resulting from his dependency that he's feeling. 

Although in truth I don't think any thinking person believes that dependency is the whole story. Surely, the primary reason the alcoholic drinks is to escape the (sometimes harsh) realities of life. 

The exercise and vampire paragraph was just bringing this point home.  Vampires prefer human blood. Animal blood is a bad alternative for them. It doesn't really quench their thirst. 

I was saying that good habits and good stress releasers for the sex addict are not like the animal blood for the vampire. 

They are equally legitimate. Good habits like exercising or building connections with people don't just "quiet the need" to lust.

There is no need to lust.

There IS a need not to feel like garbage or ridiculously and constantly stressed. The only way the sex addict knows to feel good or release stress is through lusting. 

He LEARNT it. So now he needs to learn new methods. 

I think this may be quite powerful for some. For if you see "acting out" as the natural way to fight stress, no wonder you'll feel triggered when things are going tough. 

There doesn't have to be a connection between stress and lust. You just taught yourself that there is one.


Hope that was somewhat clear. 
Last Edit: 22 Feb 2017 17:57 by Shteeble.

Re: Shteeble's collection of inspiration 24 Feb 2017 20:44 #306757

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Ihavenostrength wrote on 24 Feb 2017 19:16:
Day 14: Two weeks of sobriety never caused too much noticable change for me. All it meant was that I had about another two weeks till I would in all likelihood fall. For the past while it's been a cycle of a month clean followed by a fall. 

However, I think these past 2 weeks have been different. Posting everyday, reading the thoughtful responses from everyone, has been tremendous. 

I've learnt alot. Not so much on a conscious level. Not book learning.

More internalizing. It's subtle yet powerful. 

Re: Shteeble's collection of inspiration 01 Mar 2017 00:45 #307101

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Hashivalisesonyishecho wrote on 09 Jan 2015 02:32:
I think we need to honestly face the truth. You can't have it both ways. We want to be ehrlich to the torah but we also want to do business the same way that secular people do, who have no connection to the torah or guidance from the torah.

The orach Chaim in achrei mos in the parsha of arayos says that the nature of the human beast is such that if you look you lust, and the only way to control the taivoh is not to look. I think that any other guidance will not work and will leave the person feeling bad about himself thinking that he's worse than other people in the sense that they can control themselves but he can't. The truth is that he isn't worse than anybody else because everyone is the same that if you look you lust, period.

So the answer is avoid eye contact to save yourself from bad thoughts.

Anyway it really isn't disrespectful by the standards of the torah. It is actually highly respectful to treat women with dignity that they are not hefker to be looked at by men. It is only the non torah world who has made the rules seem that looking away is an act of disrespect. We don't have to buy into those standards.

I assure you this will not adversely affect your parnassa. You will certainly have more siyata dishmaya in your business if you don't chase away Hashem - velo yireh becho ervas davar veshav meacharecho.

May hashem give you much hatzlocho beruchnius ubegashmius.

Re: Shteeble's collection of inspiration 01 Mar 2017 01:00 #307107

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Hashivalisesonyishecho wrote on 09 Jan 2015 22:07:

doingtshuva wrote:

Hashivalisesonyishecho wrote:

I respect what you are saying, but do you deal with women?
Can you do business without looking on them?

2 questions

Here is the first question. The rules which are written in the various sources in the torah, are we just simply to keep them all assuming that they apply to all of us equally or is there a difference if someone is ill(with lust). The rules as they are written might seem to be too prohibitive. By the rules, if a person is in a situation which makes him sin he must remove himself from situation, even if it means finding another means of parnasa. We find about a yichud issue where is actually says in shulchan aruch in discussing a particular situation that if there is no option of having his wife present at all times at work he should find other work. Similarly any situation even if not in direct violation of yichud, if it causes transgression we must avoid it. So back to the question. If we believe that this situation wouldn't be a problem for a person who isn't ill with lust, does someone who is ill with lust have to remove himself from this situation, or should he not, but rather work on heeling himself even though in the mean time he is in a peril situation?

The second question. Is looking at women okay for anyone even if not ill with lust?

If the answer to either question is in the direction of prohibition then I would say don't waste your years struggling with a sure losing battle. Instead find yourself a way to del without looking or find another means of parnasa. It sounds like a tough deal but in the long run it might be the easier way.

cordnoy wrote on 09 Jan 2015 23:03:
'easier' way?
Who's lookin' for easy?
We lookin' for a recovery program.

And by the way, God didn't take your neshamah anywhere; He does take it at night, but He returns it every mornin' the same way you gave it to Him; he makes no mistakes; He didn't give yours to someone else, and He didn't give someone else's to you; so, if you want your neshamah back, or if you want your neshamah to look like it was when God gave it to you in the first place, what are you gonna do about it?

Hashivalisesonyishecho wrote on 09 Jan 2015 23:06:
In response to Cordnoy


Have a wonderful Shabbos.

Re: Shteeble's collection of inspiration 06 Mar 2017 04:53 #307541

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Ihavenostrength wrote on 15 Feb 2017 04:57:
Thanks. Btw here is something I read today. It's from a book called "10% happier" by Dan Harris. He's writing about his addiction to cocaine. Reading this gave me an expanded definition of withdrawal symptoms. It's not only the discomfort from prolonged abstinence from the "drug", but also the low that follows it's usage. I presume that this is what you and singularity were referring to when you said I was experiencing "normal and expected withdrawal symptoms". 

"Sadly, the pain of the comedown was proportional to the power of the high. Reality reentered the scene with a pickax. The lesson for the neophyte drug taker was that there is no free lunch, neurologically speaking. On the day after ecstasy, my serotonin stores would be utterly depleted. I often found myself overwhelmed by a soul-sucking sense of emptiness, a hollowed-out husk of a man." 

Re: Shteeble's collection of inspiration 22 Mar 2017 14:22 #308827

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Ihavenostrength wrote on 21 Mar 2017 18:54:

Day 39: Getting a bit better at not chasing perfection. Not worrying that my practice, learning, exercise or whatever wasn't perfect. Nothing in life is perfect. I'm satisfied that I'm making an effort and trying to be productive. 

I don't want to act out ever again. It's so disheartening to read about how people have very long stretches of sobriety and then fall.

Logically, people say it's not so bad, it's like a business doing well, and then having one bad day.

It's just that for me, when I act out it feels like I've lost my entire savings. Perhaps it's just a feeling and it's not reflective of the truth... However, in no other area do I feel like one bad day brings me down so much and messes up past gains.

There's definitely something especially horrible about this behavior. 

Hashem Help Me wrote on 22 Mar 2017 01:35:
Congratulations on where you are up to. Amazing to watch your progress. Great that you are not being hard on yourself about the exercise, learning, etc. Sometimes we take our addictive tendencies and become obsessed with recovery. Super that you have not fallen into this trap.

I hope you realize that it's the yetzer hora that makes one feels "they lost their entire savings". We need to focus on all those days, all those minutes, that we were omeid b'nisayon and remain proud of that accomplishment come what may. We have to internalize that we remained clean for a long stretch and we can do it again if necessary. A psychologist here in Brooklyn told me that m**** makes people feel dirty (besides the physical getting dirty) and that's why we get down so much from it. But we cannot allow "one bad day to bring us down so much and mess up past gains".

You are BH doing great and b'ezras Hashem will continue doing so. You have a strong support team here and Hashem is celebrating with you every minute.
Last Edit: 22 Mar 2017 14:24 by Shteeble.

Re: Shteeble's collection of inspiration 30 Jun 2017 17:42 #316505

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Ihavestrength wrote on 30 Jun 2017 08:45:
Day 4: Kicking butt at talking less today B"H. 

Separately, I think constantly reading things which remind you of the right perspective is really important. It puts you in the right mindset without being in your own head so much, which being a closed system, is prone to decay.

Another thing I just realized is important in this struggle is to not pay to much attention to what is happening in your mind or body. If you do your mind and body will screw with you majorly. 

Lastly, I think it's important to not be scared of falling. You must know that it'll be ok if you fall. You can pick yourself up and try again. Your job on this earth isn't to be a perfect snowflake. Your job is to be taking steps towards your ideal self, which by the way, you will never arrive at. 

I don't mean that a person should look where they shouldn't and tempt themselves intentionally. All I'm saying is that an insistence on perfection is the first step towards self-deterioration. 
Last Edit: 06 Mar 2019 13:02 by Shteeble.

Re: Shteeble's collection of inspiration 06 Mar 2019 13:01 #339421

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bego wrote on 06 Mar 2019 09:59:
It is indeed a powerful and compelling question.

I entirely agree that what we saw when we were teenagers has put us at a disadvantage. My parents were blissfully ignorant that I, also in the early 90s, was talking with women in chat rooms and looking at porn. The internet was just starting and most people didn't recognise its risks.

However, we can change the routes of our minds. By working hard we can achieve a new way of looking at the world. its not easy. its like doing well at exams, losing weight or any of the other thousands of things that people have to work hard for (I'm not good at any of those for the record!!!!!).

There is also another point. Many people have taken on the approach of the Baal Shem that all Nisyonos are hand picked for us. With a careful reading of the Rishonim, it appears that they had a different approach. Their approach leaves me with a little for space as I feel that these Nisyonos are generic. They exist because Hashem made the world in this way and the same way that I chose originally to be involved, I can change and choose not to. Its not easy. its really not. We have built up the instant gratification side of us and now we need to tame it. Good luck to you and my Hashem help us all!!  
Last Edit: 06 Mar 2019 13:04 by Shteeble.

Shteeble's collection of inspiration 23 Apr 2021 12:37 #367334

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Aaron613 wrote on 23 Apr 2021 11:12:
what has worked for me is really writing down the reasons and scenarios that cause me to fall and try to eliminate them. Wars require detailed strategy. 
Last Edit: 23 Apr 2021 12:38 by Shteeble.

Re: Shteeble's collection of inspiration 06 May 2021 14:28 #368059

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DavidT wrote on 06 May 2021 14:22:
Your situation is very common (as you can see in many forum posts here), and at the same time it's very common to get healed and start to have lust-free life with the help of Hashem.

Here are some important points: 
Desire is aroused and the 'dimyonos' and the fantasies begin... They get bigger and bigger, seeming to be so real and enticing. But we've learned how it's all just in your mind... It's imagination. The fantasies are always exaggerations of the truth. As chazal teach us (Shabbos 152): אשה חמה מלא צואה ופיה מלאה דם והכל רצין אחריה. - (Shabbos 152a): "A woman('s body) is a barrel of excrement and her "mouth" is full of blood and yet all run after her". Rav Dessler and others describe how chasing desire is like chasing the elusive mirage in the desert.

The key to winning this battle is avoiding triggering situations and putting up the necessary fences to help protect yourself from falling.

You must also remember that you fell out of weakness, not rebellion. We might sometimes be overpowered by strong desires, but deep down, we want to be good. There will be times when we make mistakes. That is normal, because we are human. We must also be sure that our sins don’t destroy us by making us feel ashamed of ourselves. Instead, we must get back up, dust ourselves off, and continue to chase our aspirations.

A plan involving gradual change is often the best way to attain self-control. A person should start by focusing on one area of his battle against desire. He should firmly commit himself to keep a certain halacha or aspect of self-control. Alternatively, he can decide to exert self-control in one particular common situation.

It is important to stay motivated. One way to do this is to celebrate your successes. Take small steps toward change, and celebrate each time you get it right. Also, spend time thinking about the emotions you felt when you decided to change. Think about what you want to change, and exactly how you want to act when you face particular challenges. Then close your eyes and visualize yourself making those choices.

Re: Shteeble's collection of inspiration 11 May 2021 13:07 #368355

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Hashem Help Me wrote on 11 May 2021 11:31:
...It sounds like you do not have a kedusha issue. ... . What you do seem to have is a stress issue. So many of us trained ourselves to use masturbation as a self soothing pacifier. It became our default activity to calm ourselves down. For years, if anything tense came my way, i would masturbate with a vengeance, or better said, with desperation. i knew of no other way to self regulate and calm down. I had no other tools. ...
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