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MickeyMussar's journey
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Scientific studies show that it takes 90 days to break an addictive pattern in the mind. Start your own Log of your journey to 90 days! Post here to update us on your status and to give each other chizuk to stay strong!
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TOPIC: MickeyMussar's journey 1520 Views

MickeyMussar's journey 03 Jan 2012 22:59 #129955

I had been doing well for a while (about 3 weeks), but now I'm on break from school and I'm running out of things to do to occupy myself.  While I have things to do, I have been waiting for feedback from people so that I can know that I am on the right track. 

I've been working at my parents house and they have TV which makes it very easy to waste my time "waiting."  I have filters on my computer, but the TV, even when unfiltered, gets me into modes of thinking that I don't want to be in. 

P/M has been a problem for a long time.  I've been in unstructured work environments so when I didn't know what I was supposed to be doing instead of being proactive I looked at P.  I started a new program that gives me more structure but the second that the structure is removed (eg. finals and break) I end up fighting the same battles again.

I've had issues with this for ~16 yrs (out of 30) and I came here for help because I see that I just can't do it on my own.

Hopefully right now I can start a new 90 day challenge.
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Re: MickeyMussar's journey 04 Jan 2012 14:58 #129995

  • ur-a-jew
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MickeyMussar wrote on 03 Jan 2012 22:59:


P/M has been a problem for a long time.  I've been in unstructured work environments so when I didn't know what I was supposed to be doing instead of being proactive I looked at P.


I can relate to this a lot.


MickeyMussar wrote on 03 Jan 2012 22:59:


I've had issues with this for ~16 yrs (out of 30) and I came here for help because I see that I just can't do it on my own.

Hopefully right now I can start a new 90 day challenge.


Welcome MM.  If you want to make this 90 days different than the last 16 years you need a plan. It does not seem that what you've been doing for the past 16 years has helped (no shame in that I went much longer than 16 years). So what steps are you taking to make this time different?  Did you read through the handbook yet?  Much hatzlacha
Help free Sholom Rubashkin by giving him the zechus of Shemiras Eiynayim.  www.guardyoureyes.org/forum/index.php?topic=2809.0
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Re: MickeyMussar's journey 04 Jan 2012 17:10 #130020

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WELCOME MM!  Your situation is quite common.  We're glad to have you with us.  There is plenty to post and read here, so no need to ever get bored.

Here is some stuff to get you started on your journey.

Welcome to our community, you have finally come home!

GuardYourEyes (GYE) is a vibrant network and fellowship of Jews of all affiliations, struggling to purify themselves and break free of lust related behaviors. For the first time, there is somewhere to turn to for help in these areas. We're all in the same boat here. Tzuras Rabim Chatzi Nechama  .  Once you've arrived, there's no turning back. Everyone here will just grab a hold of you and pull you up with them!
 
In the last couple of years, the GYE network has helped roughly 1,000 Jews get back on a path of sanity, self-control and healing and has touched the lives of thousands more. GYE has become known throughout the Jewish world as the number one address for dealing with these challenges which have reached epidemic proportions. 

The tools of our recovery program were developed with guidance from the best experts in the field, such as Rabbi Dr. Avraham J. Twerski, and through the personal experience of hundreds of Jews who successfully broke free. We use a unique approach that recognizes that there are many different levels in these struggles.

Our network is comprised of a website, a pulsating forum, phone conferences, daily Chizuk e-mails, support hotlines, therapists, live 12-Step groups and a program of recovery for all levels of this struggle/addiction.

All our work is free of charge and we zealously protect the complete anonymity of all our members.

Here are some quick things you can do to help you jump straight into your journey:

1) See the "GYE Program in a Nutshell" (Right Click the link and press "Save Link/Target As" to save the PDF file to your computer) that can help you quickly identify at what level of the struggle you are at, and which tools and features would help you most at your particular level.

2) Install a strong filter (see this page for more info). It is hard to break free of this while having all the garbage within a mouse click away.  The filter gabai at filter.gye@gmail.com will hold the passwords for you. We also highly advise installing "Reporting Software" such as webchaver.org to give you some accountability.

3) Join the daily Chizuk e-mail lists to get fresh chizuk every day.

4) Join the 90 Day Challenge. Scientific studies have shown that it takes 90 days to change the neuron pathways created by addictive behaviors in the brain.

5) Post away on this forum, where hundreds of yidden like you exchange chizuk and post logs of their journey to recovery. You will internalize that you are not alone, and you will learn the techniques and attitude that work for so many others.

6) Join our free anonymous phone conferences, led by an experienced sponsor.

7) If you need more general guidance, write to GYE’s helpline at gye.help@gmail.com or call the hotline at 646-600-8100.

8.) Download and read the "Guard Your Eyes Handbook" (a hard copy can be purchased for cost price over here). This handbook outlines the GYE approach in detail, and makes our network much more effective and helpful for people. The handbook has two parts:

A) The first part, "The 20 Tools", detail suggested tools and techniques, in progressive order, beginning with the most basic and fundamental approaches to dealing with this addiction, and continuing down through increasingly earnest and powerful methods. No matter what level our addiction may have advanced to, we will be able to find the right tools to break free in this handbook!

The second part, "Attitude & Perspective", detail 30 basic principles to help us maintain the proper attitude and perspective on this struggle. Here are some examples: Understanding what we are up against, what it is that Hashem wants from us, how we can use this struggle for tremendous growth, how we can deal with bad thoughts, discovering how to redirect the power of our souls, understanding that every little bit counts, learning how to bounce back up after a fall, and so on and so forth…


Our souls cry inside of us, but we have accustomed ourselves to block out that cry. Today we can begin to be who we really want to be.

We are here for you.
www.GuardYourEyes.org
GYE E-Mail Helpline: gye.help@gmail.com
GYE Phone Hotline: 646-600-8100
Help us help others: Donate Here
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Re: MickeyMussar's journey 04 Jan 2012 18:42 #130034

ur-a-jew wrote on 04 Jan 2012 14:58:


So what steps are you taking to make this time different?  Did you read through the handbook yet?  Much hatzlacha


I had printed out the materials a few weeks ago but I have only looked at them once, and only read about the different levels.  I would like to start reading the handbook, but it always feels like there are so many things to do that I don't have time for it.  The worst thing is that all the stuff I have to do is unfamiliar territory and therefore overwhelming and I end up just wasting time avoiding doing it.

I will be starting school again Monday and I hope it will keep me busy, but I need to work during school to prevent falling again once I have unstructured time again (studying for finals or during the summer).  I will plan on reading the handbook, anything else people would suggest?

Thanks,
Mickey
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Re: MickeyMussar's journey 04 Jan 2012 19:03 #130037

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The handbooks and the forum are a good start.  It may take some time, but you'll find what works for you.  One important thing is to make kavua time for it, even if it's very short, every day or at least a few times a week.  It may be reading a half a page of the handbook before you fall asleep.  You must have a few minutes a day?
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Re: MickeyMussar's journey 05 Jan 2012 18:02 #130147

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Mickey,

Welcome!  I understand how too much material can be overwhelming.
When I came here I learned seven things which were key, and I've never looked back

1. I am an addict, which means I am powerless over Lust and therefore my only hope is to avoid it entirely.
2. I must guard my eyes at all times
3. I must guard my mind against lustful thoughts and fantasies at all times.
4. My goal is to give up Lust itself
5. I cannot do this without Hashem's constant help.  Only He can give me the gift of sobriety.
6. Despite 30 years of failure using only raw self-control, with this new approach, I can do this.
7. I need to take this one day at a time, one nisayon at a time, one right decision at a time.

I found my own derech using the 12 steps.  They have worked for millions of addicts of all flavors.  You can read the steps on the GYE homepage, under materials.  They express an attitude and an approach that you can start applying immediately.

Do a little (or a lot of) reading here every day.  You will absorb a new attitude.

Let's get this done!

Alex
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Re: MickeyMussar's journey 05 Jan 2012 18:04 #130149

gibbor, you posted somewhere else that you told your wife.  I told my wife about my problem a few years ago after I realized that marriage hadn't solved the issue.  She is supportive but I can't talk to her about it because she takes it personally.  She gets so hurt anytime she thinks I may have fallen that I don't want to share my struggle with her.  How does your wife deal with your struggle without feeling betrayed every time you fall?

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Re: MickeyMussar's journey 05 Jan 2012 18:16 #130151

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First of all, I didn't tell my wife, ok I guess I did... after she caught me, I had no choice.  My rav was very instrumental in helping my wife understand (as much as a woman can) that it's a normal yetzer hara that men have etc.  The thing that really made a big difference was my wife reading the GYE handbook.  She still doesn't really understand it, but we have gotten to a point where we can discuss it without one or both of us getting upset.  It took about 2 years and finding GYE for that to happen, so have some patience.

As far as falling, B"H, I have been clean since my wife caught me 2 1/2 years ago.  There have been times, though not recently B"H, that she has caught me slipping.  Taking a peek where I shouldn't.  yes this is very hurtful to her and motivation for me to stop.  (she recently told me she saw a frum mans head turn at the mall when a woman walked by.  Now that she is attuned to it, she notices it - just an aside)

I once started slipping into reading indecent material and felt I had to tell her.  She felt betrayed by my past behavior, and I felt I needed to be honest to regain her trust.  She was upset, but happy.  Upset that I was slipping, but happy that she knew she could trust me to talk to her if I was in trouble.  I do not tell my wife every time I take an inappropriate glance (b"h less and less).  I don't think that is smart.  I'm not sure where to draw the line on this one, but in general, I don't talk about minor slips, but if c'v I had a fall, I would have to be honest and tell her. (I heard s/t similar from dov)

I hope this helps.  Everyone has a different life and different marriage.  This is just my take on things in my situation.
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Re: MickeyMussar's journey 05 Jan 2012 18:46 #130157

Thank you for the reply.  It gives me something to think about.
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Re: MickeyMussar's journey 13 Jan 2012 04:53 #130754

Day 8

I'm back in school and so busy that I don't have time to look at P, but I worry that it is just masking it until I have free time again.  I still find myself coming up with inappropriate thoughts throughout the day about things I have seen or read in the past.  It doesn't help that I am surrounded at school by hundreds of 20-something goyim who live pritzus and girls that dress specifically to give men the kinds of thoughts that I am trying to avoid.  At this point I can ignore it by focusing on the numerous things I need to get done each day but I wonder if it is really changing me fundamentally or just kicking the can down the road.

I would appreciate any thoughts on how to make the most of this situation or any comments about my worry that it won't help as much as a 90-day uphill battle.
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Re: MickeyMussar's journey 13 Jan 2012 15:20 #130788

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Here's a good dov quote about davening for women who are potentially triggering for us.

www.guardyoureyes.org/forum/index.php?topic=4695.msg129547#msg129547
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Re: MickeyMussar's journey 16 Jan 2012 14:17 #130903

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first of all nothing wrong with just kicking the can down the road
its a start
one day at a time

But ultimately you do need to fill your spiritual void with positivity

Try spending time while at school learning something ( even secular) that you are really interested in but is totally kosher outside of class - the more you focus your energies and prevent down time the better off - if It can be learning especially mussar related all the better
teach someone on campus less observant about mitvot - small hevruta

do some chesed for someone else

you be surprised how helpful focusing on other and their needs is

good lcuk
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Re: MickeyMussar's journey 17 Feb 2012 17:09 #133275

Today is a new day 1

Yesterday went badly.  I've been so tired lately and I feel so overwhelmed at school.  I sit down to work and I don't have the energy, or the task seems to big to even start and I end up looking at "humor" sites which I know will have inappropriate images and ideas.  Seeing those propels me to worse and then I fall.  I want to just cut that stuff out of my life but I haven't found good ways to deal with being tired and having to work on difficult projects.  I tried to cut my large projects into small chunks and was somewhat successful but I still ended up looking at P.
These "humor" sites also give me trouble because I don't think of them as P even though they have the same effect on me and put me in the same mental state.
I'm trying to work today to catch up but it's hard working on my ability to sit and work and fighting against the Y"H at the same time.
Just needed to vent, but if anybody has suggestions or tips I would appreciate it.

I'm just trying to make sure my fall doesn't turn into a wallow.  Trying to use an image of falling in the mud to make today the first day of a new streak.  If I fell into a mud puddle I wouldn't say "well I'm already muddy might as well start rolling around," so just because I fell yesterday doesn't mean I should give up and waste today as well.
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Re: MickeyMussar's journey 17 Feb 2012 18:02 #133280

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You have basically summed up the notion that the problem is not acting out, the problem is life.  Acting out is the "solution" (albeit a bad one) not the "problem".  Recovery is about learning how to live.  When we leard how to live, everything else falls into place.

Have a good shabbos!
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Re: MickeyMussar's journey 18 May 2012 05:50 #137717

I was clean 59 days on the wall but I think that was a lie to keep me from M. (you're already at day XX don't mess it up) I had been falling recently, looking up words with google on unfiltered computers at school that I knew would produce some inappropriate results, watching TV at my parents house and finding my way to shows that I knew had inappropriate content at which point I decided to just stop watching TV (Apr 31). This has helped for the last couple weeks but now I am working from my parents house and they went out of town today and within a couple hours I was not only watching TV but looking at the worst it had to offer (P mamash). I managed to not engage in M but I think that was just an excuse to continue watching and not feel like I had "fallen." I am planning to work from home tomorrow to prevent it from happening again (my wife will be home) but I don't know what I'm going to do long term.
I definitely plan on trying to stick to the no TV rule as TV definitely has led me down the wrong path before. I'm also trying to be more engaged in my work but I am trying to write and it doesn't flow so I have been trying to take naps or reading breaks instead of watching TV or looking at P, and it worked until today.
I have listened to recordings about the big book, and have been listening to the recordings of the shmiras einayim phone calls in the car. It helps but I haven't worked the steps and there is still this tremendous struggle to not be pulled in by TV and today the YH switched to P once my parents left. As the recordings have been emphasizing, "Ain apotropus L'arayos" making gedarim is all well and good but when it comes down to it when I'm in the ring with the YH I am going to lose. It just seems so difficult to stay out of the ring sometimes.
This was a little rambly but I needed to get this out. Hopefully the fact that I expressed my geder of staying away from TV will allow me to stick to it better.
I want to talk to my rav about this but I am ashamed and embarassed, any chizuk or positive experiences would be appreciated.
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