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A new experience - lust free sobriety
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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!

TOPIC: A new experience - lust free sobriety 3331 Views

Re: A new experience - lust free sobriety 27 Nov 2019 12:26 #345483

  • Hashem Help Me
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You are ahero buddy, a real hero. I cant imagine what you are going through. The profound tza'ar you are experiencing, and despite that having the presence of mind to stay clean - Wow! May Hashem help everything work out as soon as possible "al tzad ha'yoser tov" in all areas!
Feel free to contact me at michelgelner@gmail.com

My threads: Lessons Learned: guardyoureyes.com/forum/20-Important-Threads/335248-Lessons-Learned

                    My Story and G-d Bless GYE: guardyoureyes.com/forum/17-Balei-Battims-Forum/303036-My-story-and-G-d-bless-GYE

Re: A new experience - lust free sobriety 27 Nov 2019 15:12 #345489

  • Snowflake
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Hi, thanks for sharing such personal stories.
You are really inspiring!
I've been through something roughly similar. The feelings of guilt, frustration and hopelessness are very nasty triggers.
What I can suggest you is to try to cool down if you haven't.
Go do a sport or an activity you enjoy. Sleep 8 hours or more. Sports release endorphins which are powerful natural anti-depressants.
You seem to be going through so much, and it's particularly at these times we neglect self-care. And at these times it's more important than ever to take proper self-care.
אם יהיו חטאיכם כשנים, כשלג ילבינו

Re: A new experience - lust free sobriety 28 Nov 2019 12:41 #345553

  • pickamoniker
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Thanks Snowflake, "Hashem"

Day 81 - it's getting kind of exciting to watch my name climb the last few rungs up the chart. Still over a week to go, but I do believe I can make it there (and then further hopefully).

I had an episode this morning again where I thought "what's the point in all this", but it passed pretty quickly and without much effort.

Re: A new experience - lust free sobriety 03 Dec 2019 09:57 #345684

  • pickamoniker
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Hi All



Day 86, it's kinda exciting to be trundling towards day 90, which for the first time really seems within reach. I'm pretty chuffed about that!

At the same time I know that after 90 comes 91 (give me a Fields Medal!) and now I need to prepare for that. B'n I'll keep posting here past 90 to give you all updates.

The past few days haven't been too challenging tG. I am still getting urges, but they don't seem to be as "urgent" or last as long. I have been tending just to shout "stop" at them or tell them "this isn't for me" or similar and then just move on with whatever I was doing before. I suspect that some more serious urges are out there in my future somewhere and I think it's probably important to remember that even the more urgent ones don't last forever and I won't die from not giving in to them.


Day 90 is Shabbos and I'll be at home for the weekend so I'm thinking of buying something nice for the family to have, a cake or something.

On the marriage front it could be better. My wife pretty much made up her mind to get a divorce last week, but then decided she's still not 100% sure. Sometimes it feels like she's just waiting for her to get used to the idea before she commits to it, which can be a little depressing, but I suppose it will be what it will be. Either way I won't die from it.

Re: A new experience - lust free sobriety 03 Dec 2019 12:20 #345686

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We are cheering you along buddy!  Yes, you have to be prepared for day 91, when you will wake up and say "Now what?"  In reality reaching 90 brings us to the level of all normal healthy men who will iyh have urges for many years. The difference is that b'ezras Hashem we trained ourselves to have the ability to choose. We got our bechira back. So yes, there will be challenges and sometimes some really tough ones, but you know now that you can simply say "No, this is not for me. Hashem please help me pass this nisayon and stay loyal to you." Another benefit of 90, is that if at some point chas v'shalom one slips, he realizes that it is a one time thing and clean up and move on. Like a mountain climber who falls into a ditch and doesn't think for a second "it is all over, I can't continue", but rather enjoys the view while bandaging his wounds, and adjusts his climbing methods to prevent a reoccurrence, so too one who has stayed clean for an extended period of time and stumbled, at that point - yes davka at the stumbling point, he can celebrate where he is up to, figure out why he fell and fix it, and happily move on.
Celebrating 90 as you are planning to do is important. feeling proud of the accomplishment while thanking Hashem for His assistance brings a healthy frame of mind. It also cements in your mind that no yetzer hara can ever tell you again that "this project is worthless, you will never get better." It is similar to the importance of celebrating a siyum and not second guessing yourself "Do I really know the mesechta? Maybe I skipped a few lines somewhere?"
Mazel tov tzaddik. L'chaim from all of us.
Feel free to contact me at michelgelner@gmail.com

My threads: Lessons Learned: guardyoureyes.com/forum/20-Important-Threads/335248-Lessons-Learned

                    My Story and G-d Bless GYE: guardyoureyes.com/forum/17-Balei-Battims-Forum/303036-My-story-and-G-d-bless-GYE

Re: A new experience - lust free sobriety 09 Dec 2019 09:20 #345854

  • pickamoniker
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Day 92...

It's nice to have made it past 90 at last, and without any fantasy either - that was a significant accomplishment. Perhaps fittingly, Friday night was maybe the hardest of my life so far. My wife told me that she has decided she wants to divorce. I stayed up with her talking until 1am and then went to bed but got little to no sleep all night. My head was spinning, I was in shock and there were many and pretty strong lust urges all night desperately trying to get me to bury my pain in fantasy. I had to let go, stop and dispute those urges all night long, but in the end I got up still sober without having indulged in fantasy once.

I am still very much in shock and so incredibly sad. It seems particularly ironic that she would make that decision now when I am more sober than I have been in years. It's not that I can exactly blame her, she has really been through serious pain and trauma, multiple times. However at the same time I believe so strongly that things could be better and can hardly bear the thought of breaking up our relationship and family.

I haven't resigned myself to it actually happening. While my wife said that she is at peace with her decision, that doesn't mean it's not possible it will change, however I'll admit it doesn't look good.

I woke up today really sad and with such clarity that I don't want this to happen. I am finding it difficult to concentrate on anything right now.

Re: A new experience - lust free sobriety 09 Dec 2019 14:16 #345859

  • Dave M
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pickamoniker wrote on 09 Dec 2019 09:20:
Day 92...

It's nice to have made it past 90 at last, and without any fantasy either - that was a significant accomplishment. Perhaps fittingly, Friday night was maybe the hardest of my life so far. My wife told me that she has decided she wants to divorce. I stayed up with her talking until 1am and then went to bed but got little to no sleep all night. My head was spinning, I was in shock and there were many and pretty strong lust urges all night desperately trying to get me to bury my pain in fantasy. I had to let go, stop and dispute those urges all night long, but in the end I got up still sober without having indulged in fantasy once.

I am still very much in shock and so incredibly sad. It seems particularly ironic that she would make that decision now when I am more sober than I have been in years. It's not that I can exactly blame her, she has really been through serious pain and trauma, multiple times. However at the same time I believe so strongly that things could be better and can hardly bear the thought of breaking up our relationship and family.

I haven't resigned myself to it actually happening. While my wife said that she is at peace with her decision, that doesn't mean it's not possible it will change, however I'll admit it doesn't look good.

I woke up today really sad and with such clarity that I don't want this to happen. I am finding it difficult to concentrate on anything right now.

I'm so sorry to hear that.  I'm davaning for you....

Re: A new experience - lust free sobriety 09 Dec 2019 16:12 #345863

  • DavidT
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Let's all daven and pray for pickamonikerat this difficult moment in his life.  

Please keep strong, this is a nisayon.. Hashem is testing you and if you stay strong he'll send you're salvation in the blink of an eye!
I am here to be helped by helping others
ahavayirah@gmail.com

Re: A new experience - lust free sobriety 10 Dec 2019 04:57 #345873

  • Realestatemogul
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Wow! I just read through your thread and so many words came to mind.
  • Gibor
  • Incredible
  • Inspiring 
  • Real

Honestly, this may sound flowery, but I am honored to have heard your story. You clearly have incredible fortitude and are facing an extremely tough challenge. That fact that you can get up every morning and go through the motions of life says a ton! Some people when faced with this situation just literally curl up in a ball and hibernate for months not wanting to see daylight and face reality. It seems like you are not only dealing with your situation but actually winning a battle by conquering your greatest challenge day by day. 

I pray and hope Hashem continues to give you the strength to continue moving forward! Please keep inspiring us!

Re: A new experience - lust free sobriety 10 Dec 2019 12:51 #345874

  • pickamoniker
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Thank you everyone for your feedback, encouragement and prayers; I really appreciate them.

I was at home again last night and had another long discussion with my wife about the whole situation. She is clearly (and understandably) very fearful and untrusting that things will ever be better. She is really worried that if we tried to get back together she will end up being "suckered" in to another period where things don't improve but she doesn't have the impetus to do anything about it and the situation will just turn over for years until it all blows up again. I really empathise with that fear, and being logical, the relapse rate in this addiction is ridiculously high, and my track record is really shoddy (to put it mildly).

However at the same time I do still believe that things are and can be different. The tools that I am using now to stay sober are different to any I have before and the fact is that they have worked for three months. No that doesn't give a guarantee that I won't ever lose my sobriety, however I truly believe that the last three months have proved that sobriety is a choice I can make and long-term sobriety is achievable (although it is difficult). 

Anyway, for the meanwhile it does seem that there is at least some doubt that that is the path she will choose. In the meantime I have plenty of work to keep myself sober and carry on learning to live life without my drug. The past few days have been more difficult on the lust urges front. With all this uncertainty and turmoil my brain reaches for it's most natural and well used pathway to avoiding the pain and tells me to at least think about lust. Thank God I have not given in to the temptation to think about that stuff. I know that it is the thoughts in that area that are my real root addiction and so I simply can't use them in any way no matte how I am tempted. Each time my mind starts down that path I either:
- Tell it to stop (I tend to push an imaginary "stop" button on a desk / wall / whatever)
- Remind myself that this thought pattern is toxic and won't get me anywhere
- Remind myself that lusting is 100% not ok in my marriage
- Remind myself that the pain I am feeling is totally normal and ok to feel. I don't need to do anything about it and neither the pain, nor not lusting will kill me.
Then I get back to whatever I was doing / thinking about and if I have nothing to do find something either useful, enjoyable or distracting to do. If I am in bed then I just practice mindfulness - enjoying the experience of being without having to actually do anything. So far all of this has worked magic, so I fully intend to continue doing it.

Hope you all have a great day!

Re: A new experience - lust free sobriety 11 Dec 2019 04:59 #345891

  • Realestatemogul
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Sounds like you have some great tools and they are really working for you!!

Life is a journey not a destination, so keep on rocking the day by day!

Re: A new experience - lust free sobriety 11 Dec 2019 11:05 #345893

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Pickamoniker,
I just wanted to let you know that I'm really appreciative of your posts and they have personally helped me on more than one occasion.
It should be a zchus for you and your family.
My email address is: growinghigher613@gmail.com

Re: A new experience - lust free sobriety 12 Dec 2019 09:49 #345913

  • pickamoniker
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Hi Everyone

Thanks for reading and replying to my thread. It's really motivating for me to keep coming back and writing when I know people are actually reading this!

In terms of updates, I'm still clean and still working the same program. It is so vital for me to continue to be aware of any lust related thought and immediately deal with it and not give in to the temptation to indulge in it.

I was talking with a friend last night, he was saying something like he's not sure whether he can take some lust and is only floored by big things or whether it is any lust at all that would get him. I cam up with an analogy of a sailor who is adrift at sea with no fresh water. He is surrounded by water, but knows that it will only dehydrate him further (Water, water everywhere, / Nor any drop to drink). Now it is possible that this sailor is going to be rescued tomorrow. If that is the case then technically he can drink one or two cups of seawater and still be alive when he gets rescued. But that is totally besides the point. He is thirsty to drink, but no matter how thirsty he is, the water he sees and his brain yells at him to drink will not quench his thirst. It will only make it worse! however much he wants to drink it now, if he indulge that desire we can be certain that the desire will be harder, not easier to overcome. He may yet be able to overcome it, but if he is seriously considering doing it when the desire is this bad, what chances does he have when it is worse after he drinks. Why would he even do that to himself, surely it is better to fight the desire now when it is (relatively) easy to overcome. If it is not easy then that should only make him more scared of giving in which will make it worse.

I feel very much in the same position with lust. When I am triggered to look at a girl on the street or to fantasise, I need to immediately use a tool on that thought. If the temptation is low then I should use the tool to avoid it getting worse. If the temptation is great that itself should only motivate me to work harder, not to give in.

I know that in practice a lot of this thinking can too easily go out the window in a moment, and that is why I need to continue to work on my recovery even when I am not triggered. Keeping up motivation to continue, finding meaning, balance, fulfilment and self worth in my life and continuing to pray, examine my feelings etc. are all super important. I pray that they keep working in the future as they have over the past few months.

Re: A new experience - lust free sobriety 12 Dec 2019 12:34 #345914

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Everyone on the site is following your inspiring and passionate posts with the sincere hope that your home situation gets solved and it become one of happiness, trust, and serenity. Please allow me to go over the line of social acceptability and share a feeling I have.  Somehow it appears that maybe part of Hashem's plan in all this was to help you unleash incredible kochos you may not have known you had and develop into a greater person than you already are. You will be able to lead so many people out of this mess, as well as counsel others with different issues which also cause mental anguish. I believe we are watching the birth of a true hero in klal Yisroel. Hatzlocha on all fronts. (Maybe share this post with your wife.....)
Feel free to contact me at michelgelner@gmail.com

My threads: Lessons Learned: guardyoureyes.com/forum/20-Important-Threads/335248-Lessons-Learned

                    My Story and G-d Bless GYE: guardyoureyes.com/forum/17-Balei-Battims-Forum/303036-My-story-and-G-d-bless-GYE

Re: A new experience - lust free sobriety 12 Dec 2019 14:00 #345917

  • Dave M
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pickamoniker wrote on 12 Dec 2019 09:49:

I was talking with a friend last night, he was saying something like he's not sure whether he can take some lust and is only floored by big things or whether it is any lust at all that would get him. I cam up with an analogy of a sailor who is adrift at sea with no fresh water. He is surrounded by water, but knows that it will only dehydrate him further (Water, water everywhere, / Nor any drop to drink). Now it is possible that this sailor is going to be rescued tomorrow. If that is the case then technically he can drink one or two cups of seawater and still be alive when he gets rescued. But that is totally besides the point. He is thirsty to drink, but no matter how thirsty he is, the water he sees and his brain yells at him to drink will not quench his thirst. It will only make it worse! however much he wants to drink it now, if he indulge that desire we can be certain that the desire will be harder, not easier to overcome. He may yet be able to overcome it, but if he is seriously considering doing it when the desire is this bad, what chances does he have when it is worse after he drinks. Why would he even do that to himself, surely it is better to fight the desire now when it is (relatively) easy to overcome. If it is not easy then that should only make him more scared of giving in which will make it worse.

I feel very much in the same position with lust. When I am triggered to look at a girl on the street or to fantasise, I need to immediately use a tool on that thought. If the temptation is low then I should use the tool to avoid it getting worse. If the temptation is great that itself should only motivate me to work harder, not to give in.

I know that in practice a lot of this thinking can too easily go out the window in a moment, and that is why I need to continue to work on my recovery even when I am not triggered. Keeping up motivation to continue, finding meaning, balance, fulfilment and self worth in my life and continuing to pray, examine my feelings etc. are all super important. I pray that they keep working in the future as they have over the past few months.

What a great analogy! 
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