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TOPIC: Dov Quotes 38474 Views

Re: Dov "Quotes" 10 Nov 2011 17:20 #125062

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Back on Track wrote on 10 Nov 2011 12:08:

Calling a spade a 'well defoned gardening tool' just don't cut it.

Like  ;D.
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Re: Dov "Quotes" 11 Nov 2011 15:18 #125218

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Is it lust?
dov wrote on 11 Nov 2011 06:57:

If this desire or behavior screws me or somebody else up in some way - and I want to do it anyway, then it is lust.

If it has nothing really to do with my love for the other person, then it's lust.

If it's sneaky, then it is lust.

If I can't stop taking it, then it's lust.

If it causes a fight then it's lust.

If it kills love, then it's lust.

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Re: Dov "Quotes" 17 Nov 2011 22:45 #125944

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From Today's Daily Dose: (It seems to be the theme of the day)

Don't get Complacent:


Slip = Sobriety Loses It's Priority

Someone wrote:

Although I am clean just three weeks, I feel like this whole tumah thing is a million miles away. Like it was just a bad dream. I try to imagine it and I think to myself, "what, I did such things?". So I guess I am ripe for the Yetzer Hara to catch me of guard . Please advise.

Dov replies:

It never ceases to amaze me how my entire perspective - my entire reality - can change drastically, should I lust. There is no regard for how long I may have been sober, nor for how "sober I feel"... It can all change in a shocking way.

"Slip" stands for Sobriety Loses It's Priority. The priority doesn't change just because I seem to be better.

It sounds like you do not want to be a korban on the mizbayach of "the recovered". I say, "Good for you!" I have seen enough well-meaning guys lose it all after getting smug, and I wish to have no part in it.

Practically speaking, this little guy advises: Consider working the steps with a sponsor, if that is the derech you choose. If not, then at least adhere to whatever derech you want, but for G-d's sake, do something, and do it all the way. And keep it "one-day-at-a-time.
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Re: Dov "Quotes" 18 Nov 2011 14:50 #126001

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The Groups are a Mirror (from the Daily Dose)


Ultimately, we all live with ourselves. There is no escape from ourselves - even by suicide, I believe. The discomfort we all feel being surrounded by real people in recovery (in SA groups) is just having a mirror shown to us, as the Ba'al Shem Tov taught us. We sense our own ugliness, but we "see" only theirs.

I take advantage of every opportunity I get to admit openly, in a safe environment, that I am a sexaholic, that I naturally gravitate toward using lust, that I am allergic to it, and that my disease is progressive, chronic, and guaranteed to be fatal should it progress enough c"v. Doing this frees me to let go and be free of lust's power. It gives me life, and it gave new life to my family.
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Re: Dov "Quotes" 18 Nov 2011 18:53 #126043

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On the 12 Steps and How They Work (or don't work)

dov wrote on 18 Nov 2011 17:24:

This post is probably going to sound particularly judgmental, pig-headed, closed-minded, and will not be understood at all unless the reader can stop being judgmental of me, first. Good luck:

ShemiratEinayim an Old friend wrote on 18 Nov 2011 10:12:

Sobriety is one thing, but sober-sex is impossible for me!!!

...however, for me SEX is the crux of the problem. And until i can have sober-sex, I will  not give up on this issue. My marital obligations forced me to relapse, and they denied me sobriety these last 4 months.

I cannot wait a few years without perfecting this. sorry. (Don't worry, as of now It seems to me that the 12 step attitude is the only way to solve the dilemma)


So I bolded the words that hit me the hardest in your post. Maybe I am reading too much into them. I know that I am not attacking you, or anybody - only trying my best to help by sharing what did not work for me and what does. So be"H, here goes:

What gives you (me) the idea that you (me) - a guy who fantasized and masturbated his own way into this mess - has the ability to solve this problem with any tools?

You use the words, "the 12 step attitude" - what about "working the 12 steps" in your life? When you write "attitude", it makes me think that attitude is the sole thing you need to change - and that you can do that. It makes me think that you are a really good man who is trying very hard to use your own mind to change your own attitude so that you will be fixed and your problem solved.

But this is not the program I know, at all.

It is not even the way I can see the steps being read. Seriously. The words say G-d does it, not our efforts. That either really means something, or it means nothing. The program is not like our yiddishkeit is: we go to work, but say we have bitachon that Hashem sends all the parnossah and our hishtadlus is ultimately just motions we are going through for Him to do the whole thing....just words. The party line. Empty, really.

That is not where recovery is. We do not get healed from our problem with that same old parroting.

I know the 'self-help' method (with G-d's 'help', of course ) is the program many talk of, particularly the more psychological, religious, or cerebral types. Frankly, all the recovery I have seen tells me that these folks speak this way because they simply refuse to take their personal credit and power out of the equation.

The book (at the start of Ch 5) says dependence on G-d (and not on ourselves) is what makes all the difference. It says letting go of old ideas that didn't work (like needing to perfect my sex in order to be free of the pain of lust; like being the one who can fix myself, like believing that Hashem can't love me like wild unless I am fixed, and many other mistakes) is necessary. It says that letting go absolutely (not trying like crazy) is what is needed.

And it also says that taking action (not figuring it all out clearly) is the only thing that works.

So I ask you, what behaviors have you undertaken for the sake of letting go of your sexual lust that changes a beautiful brocha (sexual deveikus - as the Torah refers to it - with your wife) into torment? What action-steps have you undertaken so far to be one with her - to love her - so that the sex will make sense?

If you already have that clear, or can get that clear, then it will also become clear that even if we take these steps, they cannot work at all unless G-d does it all for us, when all our efforts at giving up our ego and power are over.

Hakol tzafui - G-d does it all, yet v'hareshus nesunah - it's up to us (ein hadovor tolui ella bee); ubatov ha'Olam nadun - everything He does is always to do Good and he always loves and gives; yet - v'haKol l'fi rov hama'aseh - humans must take action to allow His Will to flow through and work in us (lo hamirash ha'ikkar, ella hama'aseh). As the Kotzker put it, "G-d is only found where we let Him in!"

Taking action may be to learn how to love your wife while the two of you agree to let go of sex for three or four months and learning how to enjoy holding each other and loving each other without the sex. Just to come to know in your very bodies that it is the truth. We have done this as have many. It helps tremendously. We both need to grow up quite a bit. That's recovery.

Maybe the action you need is to really work these 12 steps instead of just 'seriously thinking them through'. Too many talk about the steps, study them, and 'work on them' - but take no comprehensive and consistent written and practical action on each of them in order. I have done that a lot, and think that's a pity. Most of the 12 steps are not just attitudes, but actions. They need a few days of real work, cannot be skipped around to our convenience, and most need a sponsor to allow us to truly let go of our ego. Holding up a mirror is useless for stepwork - one friend of mine says "the most important qualification my sponsor has that makes him the most useful, is that he is not me." It is partly why meetings are so popular in 12 step fellowships.

Maybe you need therapy to take the right actions and help you grow up, as we all are in recovery.

Maybe you need medication with some of these things, simultaneously.

Maybe you already have been doing all these things!

I do not know you. I just read a few words you wrote, that's all. But please, please forgive me if I misread you. I do not look down on you or have any reason to attack you at all.

Hatzlocha,

Dov
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Re: Dov "Quotes" 22 Nov 2011 18:17 #126355

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We Have a "Living" Problem:
dov wrote on 22 Nov 2011 05:33:

Kedusha is right, of course.

And what are you doing to live better? Just 'not looking' is no plan at all. Sure, it will not work at all if we reach for our drug, but the AAs discovered long ago that 'negative sobriety' (just not drinking) does not work. It's almost like holding our breath and waiting till we screw up again, hoping against hope that it'll be a very, very long time from now....lo zu haderech. The way AA puts it (and the White Book ch 4 makes this point very clearly), if all we needed to do was stop drinking, then life would be grand as soon as we quit drinking! But as every addict will attest, life starts to get messy because we stop drinking! Our drinking (lusting, fantasy, porn use, and compulsive sex with ourselves or others) is nothing but a coping mechanism to our real problem: Life, on Life's (Hashem's) terms. That is why none of the steps is about stopping drinking, at all! They are about sanity and accepting G-d as my Trusted Leader. No mention of not needing to drink... though that's what happens!

In other words, for the addicts among us there is an uncomfortable truth that runs contrary to the call of the Gedolim on behalf of GYE, the mussar sforim on shmiras habris, and all the shmiras einayim slogans in the world: Our real problem is not lust or sex or fantasy. Our real problem is sobriety(emphasis mine) - that is, living without those things to medicate us and make life bearable for us.

Until this is admitted and faced, no non-addict can understand why a great guy, frum, with a nice loving wife, nice job, nice kids...would be sneaking tons of porn and masturbating on his knees in the bathroom so often. Just like those sneaking liquor or heroin. Stupid, no? Well, that's me! I do that. I am an addict. But I'm one of the sober ones today by Hashem's Chessed (Grace).

So you wonder how you'll handle sobriety. Well, at least you are taking it seriously!

But first of all, who says you can't do it again for the rest of your life? That kind of goofy thinking is what got people like us in trouble in the first place. One day at a time is simply reality - there is no such thing as "ever again" right now. It just doesn't exist except in fantasy-land. And that is the same exact land that all those nudes live in....

Oh, so then am I saying, "go ahead and act out your lust"? No. And anyhow, whether you go ahead and use porn, fantasy and sex with yourself, or not, is not my business, at all. Kol Yisrael areivim and hocheyach tochiach certainly do not apply to addicts. For addicts do not ever quit because others tell them to. This is poshut. We quit when we are ready to quit, not before. 'Inspiration' will stop us once in a while for a time, but does not save us in the long run. Only a real, personal relationship with our own G-d does that - and that is the only thing that the steps are for. It creates integrity.

But first we need to have sanity. And "forever" is just not sane, cuz it isn't even real...till it happens. And 'forever' only happens when this trip is over.

So take it easy, amigo. One day at a time is not just a slogan, or to break things into manageable pieces. It is the truth. Something we who have faked so much to ourselves for so long (fantasy) have a hard time recognizing.

We need Hashem to help us see it. Only our G-d can restore us to sanity.

So take it easy. You can live without having sex with yourself today, and that's all that matters. Today is the best day to be sober of all. Not just a slogan, but the honest, simple truth.
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Re: Dov "Quotes" 22 Nov 2011 19:30 #126366

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At the request of a couple of friends, I created a new dov quotes thread in the married section www.guardyoureyes.org/forum/index.php?topic=4796.0 .
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Re: Dov "Quotes" 22 Nov 2011 21:53 #126395

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I'm Happy Just Being Me - from today's daily dose
I'm Just Me; Hashem's Little Guy
Someone posted about his progress - and struggle - on the forum:

You'd think I'd be HAPPY that certain urges are going away and my ability to walk away from certain aveiras is strengthening. But I've realized-- er, um, I'm NOT.

Why not? Because for so long I had been wearing my challenges on my sleeve.

> As a badge of honor for how "different" I was and how "amazing" I've been for conquering so much for so long.

> As an excuse to avoid all kinds of growth in my frumkeit.

> As a convenient tool for avoiding certain flavors of emotional (not physical, emotional) intimacy with my wife.

> As a way to feel special, different, deserving of G-d's love as compensation for the challenges He gave me.

> I could go on and on.

What a bunch of ego, ego, ego mess to have to tackle. Yuck.

The bottom line is, if I'm no longer going to be able to "define myself" in terms of certain sexual orientations, preferences, fantasies, whatever... then maybe I'm scared I've lost my uniqueness, my excuses, my... ahdunno, I gotta think about it.

Just when I thought I'd have an easy time of this work for a few weeks.... Darn.
 

Dov Responds:



That post was a shocker. Not just for it's plain realness, but for how true it is for me, as well. I wrote about it to someone else, once, crassly saying that the way it felt to me years ago was that if I couldn't be recognized as the next gadol of the generation, "could I at least be a porn star?" Yeah, it's sick. But that's the way I really was before recovery: Desperate for something outside me to give me Reality. And schmutz - being my drug of choice - felt very real, and vital. Those acting-out moments seemed larger-than-life... till they almost killed me.

And like you shared, in recovery there is a temptation to remain struggling to get people's attention, to get G-d's attention, and to stick with what our gut feels is the only thing that "works". It's our comfort zone. That struggle defined my relationship with Hashem. In fact, the only way I could see myself being able to approach Hashem at all, was as a guy who just did horrific things! "Take me back! Iv'e sinned terribly! Please take me back!" Hey - what nice god could resist that?! The idea that He just loves me like crazy no matter what, and living with that all the time, was - well - crazy!

Somewhere along the way early on, an absolute need for something outside me had infected my very core like a virus.


I really needed that image, that woman, that [imagined] warm approval, that exact pleasure, or else. For some folks it's $1 mil, acid, Blue Marlins, TV, whatever. For me, it was a feeling, a trance, that I could secretly tune into using a part of my body and my imagination - whenever I wanted to. Kind of hard to run away from. Probably everyone here knows exactly what that's like, and that's why they are here. After a while it doesn't work any more, but we still feel we really need it. That's insanity and blindness.

So, Recovery held out the promise of 'self-discovery'. Of actually growing to be comfortable without anything outside me - with just being me. Even w/o "being" anything important to anybody else. Just me. Hashem's little: guy. And at first, that idea seemed like the stupidest thing I had ever heard. I didn't want it. I didn't believe it, either. And maybe that was a good thing... I shudder to think what it would have been like to actively "work" on that! It had to happen naturally for me, like most gifts of recovery, and kind of bite me on the behind. Like: "Surprise! So, you are not a useless piece of crap after all!" - that kind of subtle discovery is nice.

The way it is turning out, the self-discovery is happenning slowly. And the person I am getting to know is pretty, and ugly; impressive and pathetic. And it's kind of cool. Lust never offerred me that - it taught me I was just a desperate guy running somewhere. Either from something or to something. "That's all there is, buddy!", is what my disease would say if it could talk.

So take it easy, and consider not working on the outcomes so dang much. Or maybe not at all. Outcomes are Hashem's. (Sounds like it should be a possuk somewhere...) It does say in Mishlei, "birtzos Hashem darkei ish, gam oivav yashlim itto!" - When the ways of a man are approved-of by Hashem, then even the man's enemies make peace with him! Does the man do that? Apparently not. Hashem does it. It all works out cuz G-d makes it work out when the time is right.
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Re: Dov "Quotes" 23 Nov 2011 19:13 #126519

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How do I Grow?:dov wrote on 23 Sep 2011 16:27:

I was sleeping, why'd you wake me up? What kind of friend are you anyway? You call this.....oh....wait a minute. I was having a dream arguing with my wife there.....

OK, so instead of writing a speech about mushy stuff, I'll keep it really practical.

If you feel you are not in trouble, then why are you searching for anything at all? What are you? I only do things when I am forced to do them, for example, when I see that if I do not do something I will slip and drown, then and only then do I start doggy-paddling faster. Are you some kind of mentch, or something?

OK, so that was a big tongue-in-cheek. But seriously, I am suspicious of the entire business of being interested in "growing higher in kedusha and marital bliss", for sex and lust addicts. It so often descends into a mess of self-centered self-aggrandizement, and the payoff of kavod poisons the entire affair. It is great for normals, but if being a recovering person, I see it as something that I need to use 1st gear for. Madreigos are best left to those more qualified to handle them, just as the 12&12 describes righteous indignation.

This may be a disappointing attitude to have for some folks, because so many apparently come to GYE with great and high hopes of winning and being catapulted up to the heights of Torah and yir'as Shomayim as a result of their clean time...in fact, people have already told them that "those like you, who are attracted to this schmutz, are often deeply spiritually sensitive people and have great, great potential - and that is precisely why the YH is trying to 'get you' so badly!"

And I do not disagree with the facts of any of that stuff. It's just that they are nice selling points - but spell only trouble, in real recovery for addicts like me. Simcha shel mitzvah is the secret, as Bardy will tell you any day - and "heichereh madreigosshcaft" is not a place of simcha, for most addicts. It's lonely at the top, you know.... That's where ma'alos lead....and lo sa'aleh b'ma'alos al mizb'chi (asher, etc.,) never was better applied than to a drunk like me!

So. Back to earth. Why do you want to grow more? If what you have is working, and you are clean, why mess with it?

Are you just restless? That is not good, chabibi. Time takes time, real improvement takes patience. Keep working what you have so far and the fruits will come be"H. Just stay clean at all costs one day at a time till you die. That is good enough for me, is it good enough for you?

I mean, bishlomah, if you have thrown yourself into a program, then you have the steps to work, and that means a bit of writing, sharing and some more writing, more sharing, and more practical work, etc....till you are using those tools in your every day life and life becomes much, much easier and better.

But you are not giving yourself to any program - and that's fine!!! But then, what is the rush to do x, y, and z? You are living a full life as a frum Jew! Is there not enough real work for you to do?

On the other hand, if you feel you are stagnating and it really bothers you to no end, then work is in order. You will not like yourself and you will not like your life and you will eventually not like the people you are with,and they will eventually not like you much either, and then...you will certainly act out.

So if that is where you are, then you have work to do. Though I have no idea what to suggest, for I am not an expert, as you figured out so well, only sharing my experience.

I suggest you pick and choose what to work on from wherever you wish, try it out for a month or two with earnest, and then see what happens, reassess, and move on.

That sounds nice to me. I just do not know what else to say.
Last Edit: 23 Nov 2011 19:16 by .

Re: Dov "Quotes" 23 Nov 2011 19:14 #126520

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gibbor120 wrote on 23 Sep 2011 18:50:

dov wrote on 23 Sep 2011 16:27:

If you feel you are not in trouble, then why are you searching for anything at all? What are you? I only do things when I am forced to do them, for example, when I see that if I do not do something I will slip and drown, then and only then do I start doggy-paddling faster. Are you some kind of mentch, or something?

Just because I have been sober, doesn't mean it has been easy.  There were times that without the fear of having to fess up to my wife, I surely would've fallen.  I know all too well that one fall leads to another and it's difficult to get back up.  I'd rather not tiptoe on the edge of that cliff.  Before I came here, I was certain, that without my wife's help, I could not stay sober.  It would just be a matter of time.  Now, B"H I am meeting some people here, talking on the phone some, and even met one person (you know who you are).  I can not do it on my own.  I need people.

dov wrote on 23 Sep 2011 16:27:

I am suspicious of the entire business of being interested in "growing higher in kedusha and marital bliss", for sex and lust addicts. It so often descends into a mess of self-centered self-aggrandizement, and the payoff of kavod poisons the entire affair.

"been there, done that". Just never realized it, until I came here.

dov wrote on 23 Sep 2011 16:27:

in real recovery for addicts like me. Simcha shel mitzvah is the secret, as Bardy will tell you any day - and "heichereh madreigosshcaft" is not a place of simcha, for most addicts.

(nodding my head).  Here's a good example of an idea, but how is it done lemaaseh?  It's not just going to happen by itself.

dov wrote on 23 Sep 2011 16:27:

So. Back to earth. Why do you want to grow more? If what you have is working, and you are clean, why mess with it?

I think I answered above.

dov wrote on 23 Sep 2011 16:27:

I mean, bishlomah, if you have thrown yourself into a program, then you have the steps to work, and that means a bit of writing, sharing and some more writing, more sharing, and more practical work, etc....till you are using those tools in your every day life and life becomes much, much easier and better.

Here is where I think I can gain, but wish there was a way to do that without SA meetings.  Not because I'm afraid to face people.  It's hard, but I can do it.  I just don't think I need the whole 12 step package.  Maybe I just want something that doesn't exist.  I don't mind meeting people, writing, sharing, working etc., but again, I need a plan lemaaseh.  I can't beleive that all the 12 step tools are useless outside the context of a full blown program.

dov wrote on 23 Sep 2011 16:27:

I suggest you pick and choose what to work on from wherever you wish, try it out for a month or two with earnest, and then see what happens, reassess, and move on.

That sounds nice to me. I just do not know what else to say.

You've said quite a bit. Thanks!

I think I need to make recovery more concrete.  Not just hearing great ideas.  How can I implement them?

Here's a try.
1) Speak on the phone to someone from GYE at least once a week.  Even if it's just a hello.  Staying connected to someone (or someones) that I can share my feelings with without fear of being judged will help a great deal.

Maybe that's where I should leave it for now.  Any other idea that I think of, smacks of what you said above...
dov wrote on 23 Sep 2011 16:27:

It so often descends into a mess of self-centered self-aggrandizement, and the payoff of kavod poisons the entire affair.

Great quote!

Thanks again!

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Re: Dov "Quotes" 23 Nov 2011 19:15 #126521

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dov wrote on 23 Sep 2011 21:42:

gibbor120 wrote on 23 Sep 2011 18:50:

Here is where I think I can gain, but wish there was a way to do that without SA meetings.  Not because I'm afraid to face people.  It's hard, but I can do it.  I just don't think I need the whole 12 step package. Maybe I just want something that doesn't exist.  I don't mind meeting people, writing, sharing, working etc., but again, I need a plan lemaaseh.  I can't beleive that all the 12 step tools are useless outside the context of a full blown program.


Is there such a thing? Yeah. It's called real friendship, and we humans have been using it successfully for thousands of years. It's where GYE needs to lead (for addicts), or I think it's all a joke. Yeah, there will be plenty fellows who will not need it, and the chizuk is enough. You are apparently setting yourself into the category for whom the chatting is not enough, who need more, for one reason or another. I salute you! (salute)

GYE has PM system just for this purpose. Lots of guys get to know eachother better that way, without pesky noseybodies like me posting all over their threads. They even trade phone #s, and I know more than a handful who have taken the plunge and actually met each other! You may know one or two yourself .

Yes, your plan sounds great. Agreeing to daven for each other every day is another thing that helps, and yes, written journaling and written and unwritten stepwork will help you a lot, too. SA has a text called "Stepping into Action" which is sort of a workbook on the steps. Stay away from long, mushy checklists that shrinks and the folks who are dying to be in every addictions 12 step group there is love. Keep it simple, in writing, and share it with your friend. Make it doable and regular. Oh, and none of it really gets as far unless we keep our zippers up, except when needed for health care functions. (details, details... )

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Re: Dov "Quotes" 25 Nov 2011 14:29 #126759

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Don't Ever Get Complacent!
dov wrote on 24 Nov 2011 04:02:

Megillah Alert Warning Will Robinson:  :

Along those lines, a famous story:

There was a poor man. he was so destitute and suffered for so long until he had a turn in business and got a decent job. One thing led to another and to the joy of his wife and children he became a partner in a growing business. Life was a lot better and no longer were the kids going to bed hungry, wondering how much worse the morning stomach ache would be.

His business was thriving and after a few years he was a wealthy man!

But every year on the day he got that first job, he celebrated with a se'udas hoda'ah and dressed funny for the occasion: he wore the last threadbare shmatess that covered his body that first week on the job. He dressed completely as a pauper in the comfort of his own home at the table with his family and friends, and ate.

They asked him, "mai hai? Why the old clothes?"

He said that he knew in his gut that would he ever forget where he came from, he'd start to believe that he is intrinsically a wealthy person. That he deserves to be rich - that somehow, his being rich is one of the things that is 'right' with the universe.

But none of that would be reality. We are all blank slates without Hashem's Will that we be wealthy (or poor) at this very moment. Nobody must be rich. Just as easily as he is wealthy now, he really could be that same poor guy again.

We are not G-d.

He understood that gratitude isn't just 'being nice' or 'good middos' - it's just plain sanity.

My sponsor told me that no matter how long I have been sober or how long it has been that a fantasy has crossed my mind, I ought not ever say, "when I used to act out, I did thus-and-so..." Rather, he suggested that when sharing my sexual acting out history to help another addict open up, I should always say, "when I act out, I do thus-and-so..." Pretending that I am immune and fixed now, is prideful and irresponsible. It may be true - but I am no one to judge that. Sadly, too many good people like us have been 'surprised' and lost it all after years and years of sobriety and recovery.

And here is another interesting an application of this idea: When I see a pretty woman and become aware that I could feel the real desire to stare and take her into me deeply (like mountain air) and use her in my mind...some would whine, "Gevalt that's so tomei, it's evidence that I am a shkotz. How could I still be having those thoughts?! It's the first day of Pesach and the seder was so uplifting! Yet here I am with this trash?" But I do not do that, cuz my sponsor taught me by example. He reacts to the deep disappointment he is tempted to feel over a stray desire (no matter how vivid), with this: "Well, what do you expect from a sex drunk, and addict?! From a guy who lied to everyone for decades, desperate for sex with himself or others whenever he could, for years and years? Nu. It's amazing that I am still sober, at all! Boruch Hashem!" ...and to let the lust and regret over the lusting all go. Drop it humbly. Who am I to be prideful now and cause myself to become sad, c"v. Madreigah pride is terrible for addicts. Walking humbly with my G-d as someone who doesn't deserve to be counted, at all - now that works for me.
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Re: Dov "Quotes" 25 Nov 2011 15:34 #126775

  • gibbor120
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GET OUT OF ISOLATION!
dov wrote on 25 Nov 2011 14:36:

This is a bit harsh, and I hope you know that I have no ulterior motive in this - I purely wish to help and want the best for you cuz i respect your openness and your honesty, see your pain, and know the frustration you write of very well. So I will try to share with you exactly what I need to be aware of, OK?

Here goes, be"H:


You find it therapeutic to speak to anyone....you feel trapped...you find yourself alone again and again...

From your post, and those of SSBT, one thing rings truest to me:

you both make being as isolated as possible your #1 priority.

Sure, when the pain gets bad enough from self-loathing, you reach out a bit - to a rebbi (who is not free of a masturbation habit because as far as you know he doesn't have one to begin with) or you 'reach out' virtually, here on this faceless forum.

Staying as isolated as possible is so important? Why not really reach out? Why not study in a library or with another person? Why not meet face to face with other guys who masturbation problem as you do and are trying to give it up, too?

Nope, gotta use charts on my wall with 'x's that only I know what they mean, reading my old journals to understand myself better, chizzuk to remember who I really am,
just need to dive back into a pool of emunah. but i feel like there's a layer of ice preventing me from doing so.

trying to find myself again by reading my old attitudes
. To hell with you and finding yourself. Instead of jumping into a pool of emunah, I think you need to jump into a pool of real live people. Any people. As long as they are not you, it's good. If you are anything like me, right at this moment you seem to be your own worst poison.
 
I am full of shame, full of gayvoh, and full of lust for self-awareness and self-esteem. It gets me nowhere, so I have something else to fix me. It's called "my G-d". I was taught how to use it by addicts.

Rav Twerski told me 5 years ealier to go to them to learn how to use this thing (G-d)...but I was too afraid and too ahsamed. Five years of suffering for me that I can't describe to a non-addict. Five years of suffering by my wife that I can never fully understand. Nu. Finally, in 1997, I came to the addicts to teach me recovery and my life, our life, my relationship with my G-d (Hashem) is completely on a different footing. Life is good.

So I ask you: What are you so ashamed of? Of meeting yet another man who admits that he likes unzipping his pants and masturbating to porn so much that he eventually does it again - and again? Why the fear? G-d is already watching you full in the face while you are sneaking the looks at the sweet porn (and it is very, very sweet and he knows that, too); He is in your zipper when you pull it down; He hears your thoughts as if they were being spoken out loud mamesh, always - He always has and always will. So? He has not struck you dead, has He? He pardoned Kayin who murdered his own brother with rocks till he bled to death - you are worse? No matter what the sforim say, you have not murdered your own brother. You are a tzaddik'l trying to be good, and He knows it and loves you enough to create an entire world just for your sake. Even while you are on your knees masturbating He feels this way, for sure. So he wants yo to have the good life, not the trash of self-loathing and porn slop.

Contrary to the nevi'ei shekker of your comfortable isolation tell you, you have no evidence at all that He is actually disgusted with you. For all you know, He still loves you like crazy. So?

What is this shame? Why the preservation of the isolation?

I can suggest an answer, but only for those who really want to hear one. I can keep a secret, in the meantime...
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Re: Dov "Quotes" 25 Nov 2011 16:47 #126789

  • gibbor120
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Truth & Humility: (from yesterday's chizzuk email)



To Thine Own Self Be True 

Rabbi Twerski shared with GYE today:

Every so often there is a news item that research shows promise of a drug that can cure alcohol or drug addiction. Thus far, nothing like a cure has materialized. The possibility of a drug that will cure behavioral addictions such as compulsive gambling or sex addiction is even more remote.

But I have come across something that holds promise for all addictions, and it is surprisingly simple: TRUTH! I believe that if an addict commits to absolute truthfulness and adheres to this, and will not lie under any circumstances, not a white lie nor a lie of any color, he can beat the addiction. No rationalization can justify a lie, and one must be willing to be truthful even if it hurts. One must know that any lie constitutes a relapse.

Lying is an integral component of addiction, just as coughing is to pneumonia. Unfortunately, lying in addiction is so habitual that the addict may not be aware that he is lying, and it requires great alertness and total honesty to live up to the commitment. Of course, one cannot lie to G-d or to oneself. I have found that it may be more difficult for an addict to abstain from lying than from his addiction.
       
Because of the propensity to lie, addicts cannot have sincere relationships. The latter require trust, and there can be no trust in absence of truth.

I would like this to be put to the test. I have high hopes that it can work.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We responded to Rabbi Twerski:

Thank you for this insightful advice.

I just want to point out, that even if the addict decides to tell only the truth from now on, he will probably find it almost impossible to stop lying to HIMSELF without group support and working the steps. I think that what the Rav wrote should be incorporated into the 12-Steps groups (and in many cases, it is). They tell you that every time you feel like acting-out you should pick up the phone and call someone. In the same way, every time an addict feels he's about to lie, he should pick up the phone and call someone (or his sponsor). And if he catches himself having told a lie, he should tell his sponsor as well.

If he works on his integrity in the context of the group and in conjunction with working the program, this can increase his chances of success in a big way.

Dov (who is sober for 14 years in SA) once said that sobriety really all boils down to integrity. First with others, then with one's self. As they say "To thine own self be true."

Thank you for sharing this.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Rabbi Twerski responded to the above with two words: "I agree".

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 



Daily Dose of Dov

Integrity Yes, Beating it No.

Dov responds to Rabbi Twerski's idea above:

Thanks, the Rav's words are so yesodiosdig to me, too. So thanks for reminding me how important it is for me to tell the truth to myself and everyone else today!

But there is something I want to share with you and the Rav.

At the very beginning of Ch 5 of AA Bill wrote that the only way out of this disease is self-honesty. Period. He posits that the only reason people fail this program is that they are not honest with themselves. Period. So the Rav is saying what Bill wrote at the beginning.

But it seems to me that Bill would not have written it the way the Rav did. The phraseology the Rav chooses here implies personal victory: "I believe that if an addict commits to absolute truthfulness and adheres to this, and will not lie under any circumstances, not a white lie nor a lie of any color, he can beat the addiction."

This "beating" thing - it is not written anywhere in the "Promises" after the 9th step. Sure, it is attractive to the newbie - promises of grandeur, being in the winners circle one day... but there's gotta be a reason that it's not the attitude of the AAs I know. "Beating it" is exactly what the newbies all over GYE love to hear, but I feel it does not serve the average newly recovering addict well.

It is attractive lingo to a despondent, still-masturbating frum yid - the promise that he will finally be able to flex his bechirah-muscles again! He'll be a bit of a tzaddik - finally! Hey, and how many times have people with this problem called me a tzaddik so far? (If I had a nickle for every time...)

They do not know, or believe, that us drunks are just trying to live, period. For the non-addict it is so much easier just to live. They need s'forim and Rabbonim's fiery shmuessin to motivate them not to just live, but to strive for higher madreigos! And it's funny how many of them see an alkie's not drinking as 'a madreigo'. I figure they just do not know what it means to be thoroughly beaten. And by the same token, it is not 'brave' for a drunk to finally, finally admit that he is a drunk - his drinking lifestyle has beaten him to a pulp and now he has no choice but to face the music! Like by giving Haman the ring, G-d did for us what we could not do for ourselves. And He does this right in the drinking. He hides the bottle and starts to beat our ego right out of us right from there. A funny example of z'donos na'asim zachuyos!

And the addicts who keep referring to it as a "battle" and to the sober drunks as "tzaddikim" have missed the boat. And it is no wonder when they don't get sober.

The recovering addicts I know, are beaten - they do not beat. Sober no matter how many years, they are drunks - drunks who do not drink. And it is a daily reprieve by G-d, allowed by the drunk - if he recognizes that he is beaten today, too. That is the way it works for me and others I know. Of course, to a non-alcoholic/sexaholic person, that attitude does not seem to 'shtim' with self-esteem, and it is not very attractive.

To the layman, a drunk or a pervert living thirty-five years and dying a sober man is called "beating the addiction". It sure seems beaten, no? I understand that - it's really the way the scorecard reads, of course. But it seems to me that the reason the Alkies do not talk of 'winning' or 'beating' is that it re-invites the ego. And letting go of my ego was what the entire journey was all about! We may as well drink a l'Chayim to celebrate thirty-five years sober! The premature l'Chayim is the most dangerous thing I see people do, and it happens over and over. As Chuck C the alkie joked, "the only thing worse for an alkie than bad fortune, is good fortune!" Making the difficult calls to people and to G-d (that Guard referred to above) and really opening up to another, working these steps faithfully, learning to really depend on my G-d rather than just being 'religious' - they are all a diminution rather than a feeding of the ego. At least this is the program I have absorbed from my sponsor and friends.   

I have not yet met a recovering member of SA who said "I used to act out." The victory feels like it is Hashem's, not mine. Sure, if I am zoche to die a sober man, it will technically be in the 'win column'. But I cannot see it as my win, at all. All I do is suffer enough to allow him into the room, as the Kotzker would have put it. 

If I get there sober after 120 and they hoist me up as a victor in Shomayim, I hope and pray that I hop right off the pedestal onto the floor and just bow low to Hashem...and stay there.

Respectfully,

Dov
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Re: Dov "Quotes" 25 Nov 2011 18:25 #126812

  • gibbor120
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12 Steps as Derech Eretz Which is Kadma Latorah:
(from today's daily dose)


Perhaps the 'problem' inherent in the 12 steps for frummeh yidden is the fact that the steps imply that one can have complete success with living even though he believes in a false god. I believe that is the real reason that the 12 steps are placed outside the framework of Torah by many frum yidden.

I deferred using them many times over the 15 years of progressive acting out, too.

To me, the sad thing about that is that many of us very same frummeh yidden defer the 12 steps while we are serving a false god, ourselves! We are completely given over to the image and awesome power of young, attractive females with perfect, beautiful bodies. It is more than a desire - it proves itself as a 'need' by our track record of cyclical, repetitive use. In our bodies and minds we feel the tremendous power these images and women have, and perform - for the sake and in the service of our lust - many of the things our religion demands:

Tomid - regular cyclical service; 'lishkod al dalsosai, yom yom'...

D'chilu uR'chimu - we all know how our hands tremble and hearts race in excited anticipation of a juicy, really dirty schmutz site, the fruits of our desperate searching. The dryness of the mouth doesn't lie. It proves a powerful devotion that we have to it and obviously comes from our intense love and desire (r'chimu) plus our awe of and fear of losing (d'chilu) the precious, hard-won images and very real lust pleasures;

Tzniyus - very private porn use and sex with themselves (masturbation);

Kavonoh and Yichud haMa'aseh - there is no focus like the single-mindedness of our trance in search and use of our lust objects;

Emunah - faith in it actually working for us even though it may have failed many times before - we keep on trying and never give up;

Mesiras Nefesh - the money spent, embarrassment taken, the tolerance of excruciating pain of our own hypocrisy and physical discomfort. Many of us remember these things endured in the desperate search for our fix;

These values, bastardizations as they are, are no less 'Torah' values than are the 12 Principles of recovery. They are the values - not the Rules of Torah, and are forever independent of the Mitzvos. They are the property of all people, not just yidden. I call that Derech Eretz. Derech Eretz includes the tools for keeping the Torah successfully. That is why these values must at least be accepted 'kodmah laTorah'. And every lust addict I have ever met has excelled at living by these very same values - for their lust.

We already have demonstrated that we have the values. Recovery is called 'recovery' precisely because we are recovering the ability to use the values we already have to live real life, not the fake one. We are being restored to the sanity we once had... maybe as children.

That is why I agree with R' Twerski that the 12 steps are a great tool to use for living. It's just that I have not seen many non-addicts have the motivation to actually use these principles. Frum perverts-in-recovery like myself are a strange lot: the lowest form of human life in disease - and yet the very luckiest people in the whole world in recovery. (Reminds me of Chazal on "k'chochvei haShomayim  - vs - chachol asher al s'fas hayam" - the extremes of Klal Yisroel.)
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