Read once, then minimize to save screen space.

Forum Overview

Post on the forum to get support, tell your story and reach out for help when feeling weak!

You will never be alone in this struggle again.

The GYE forum is anonymous platform of group support, and a life-line of chizuk for hundreds of people in exactly your situation. 

To use the forum you need to first become a member of the site, sign up here.

After signing up to the site, go to the forum, enter one of our boards and press "New Topic" to begin posting! 

Welcome, Guest

The struggles of a human
(0 viewing) 
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: The struggles of a human 2620 Views

Re: The struggles of a human 25 Oct 2020 13:48 #356656

Dear Grant

First of all I wanted to thank you for your comments. They really broaden the scope  of what I am discussing.

 I did want to address what you wrote, not in disagreement but rather as a supplement.

A) I first wanted to address the last thing you said. Perhaps I should've mentioned it in my original post. My list is not here as a substitute to fighting the good fight. When I came out with this list what I was trying to do I was try to bring out some of the things the yetzer hora tells us. This can help us realize that many times we give in even though we know it’s wrong because we rationalize. By exposing these rationalizations I find that it helps diffuse its validity and it can give us an upper hand. I agree with you that the yetzer hora is creative and has ways to find new lines to tell us (and sometimes even without telling us anything just by upping the heat of the urge), but I do think that by putting out a few common ones, we are able to see the fallacy of our thinking.

Regarding what you mentioned that this fight is also an emotional fight, I totally agree. We can know all the reasons why something is right or wrong and still do the wrong thing. We’re human beings after all. But on the other hand, we should not underestimate the power our intellect holds over our emotions. We can’t always control our emotions, but the reaction to our emotions is in our hands. (Perhaps it can take superhuman efforts when our emotion is first triggered, but we can scrutinize our reaction to the emotion afterwards and that can help us the next time our emotions are being triggered.)

[There is a very important piece by Reb Shlomo Wolbe (Alei Shur pg 144-145) on fixing our middos.  I will link a shiur of Rabbi Elefant who explains that paragraph very well (ayin shom) [url]torahdownloads.com/s-277-rabbi-yosef-elefant.html?filter_category=12 (check out shiur 10-11)]

B.) The second thing I wanted to address is #11. In truth I didn’t do that point justice by posting it as a line of the yetzer hora. It would truly have to be a question in it’s own right. Allow me to elaborate and illustrate with an example from the field of dealing with our thoughts. We all deal with unwanted thoughts. There are two possible approaches to dealing with this.

1. You try to force the thought out of your head.
The problem with this is that it just doesn’t work. If I tell you not to think about blue bananas, you’ll inevitably think about blue bananas. Even if you do manage to forget about it after a while, it might pop in your head afterwards and you’ll start getting frustrated and obsessed with the unwanted thoughts and you’ll end up thinking about it much more than you’d like to and you’ll end up repressing the thoughts in your mind. In my opinion this method is ineffective and rather counterproductive. Therefore there is an alternative:

2. You accept the thought as is. You allow it to be there. It’s ok if it’s there. And calmly without force, you just decide to focus your attention on something else. And if it crops up again afterwards, that’s ok too. Allow it to be (and you could even focus on it for a moment) and then you can decide to switch to something else. In that way you are not repressing the thought and you are breaking the cycle of obsession over it.

This brings me to my question. Assuming that you agree with the method I’ve described  above, is there a way to apply it to our fight too? Perhaps instead of fighting the urge with force and trying to repress it perhaps we could accept it and just let it pass. It doesn’t of course mean that we have to give in to it because giving in to it would only aggravate the problem. What it does mean is that we don’t obsess over it to the point that that’s all we think about, because that would be counterproductive. Instead we allow the feelings to be and we just don’t react to them. What is the right balance in this fight?

I don’t know what the right method is and that’s why I am asking. If you have any ideas I would love to hear them.

Last Edit: 25 Oct 2020 14:10 by anonymousmillenial.

Re: The struggles of a human 25 Oct 2020 20:51 #356676

Good evening guys

On day 7 here. 

Just one more night to go and I'll be past a week. 

Re: The struggles of a human 26 Oct 2020 00:51 #356685

  • Grant400
  • Current streak: 13 days
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 935
  • Karma: 97
Here's something I posted a while back. I hope you find it helpful. 

"Grant400" post=353840 date=1597612614 catid=1

I posted this originally in the balei batims forum, but I realized many don't have access so I decided to repost it here.

There is a thread that discusses this topic but when I tried to post on it it didn't work so I guess I'll start a new one.

  The question was how to continue functioning and going on with daily life even while under a lust attack. 

I found an interesting way to accomplish this. There is a very popular method in therapy called CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). There is a takeoff of this called DBT (dialectical behavior therapy or something like that)  which is used to deal with things like anxiety and depression which I believe can be used just the same for lust. Personally I find it really helpful and this is my main method for dealing with desire in this issue. 

Here's how it works:

Let's say someone has a fear of driving a car because they are afraid of accidents. Every time they sit in the drivers seat their mind begins to obsessively tell them how dangerous it is. What they do to calm down is to answer the anxiety back and begin listing reasons why they shouldn't be concerned. What this does is create a circle of obsessing. Because as they try to convince themselves not to fear the fear fights back and it's an ongoing struggle which never ends. 

In DBT the patient is taught to "accept" the thought. Meaning instead of wrestling with it make a decision of what you want to do right now, and if that decision is you want to drive the car then you tell the fear when it pops up "Hey good friend! I know you! You don't want me to drive -but I want to -so even though you make me terrified and make my heart beat faster I want to continue on with my life". Now the reason to continue with life could be because I want to drive, eat, relax...whatever but you are not going to debate and convince yourself out of the fear but rather accept it and bring it along for the ride in the passenger seat...and continue with your life because that's what you want to do right now. 

This gives one the ability to function WITH the fear. This will eventually remove the fear from your mind. Because fear is the minds way of encouraging you to do an action to prevent danger. Anxiety is the same message when there isn't any danger. By ignoring it and not reacting eventually the mind gives up. Obviously this isn't what you are saying to yourself...your goal isn't to remove it from your mind but rather to live with it side by side. If it leaves then that is a beautiful side benefit. 

So in regard to lust one can use the same method. Instead of trying to resist the desire which will just cause one to continue obsessing endlessly via saying to ourselves " wrong, disgusting, not gonna happen etc. rather accept the desire and lust. Say "yes I would enjoy that, yes that woman is beautiful, yes I wish I could be with my wife now, but I'm continuing with my life and continuing with what I was doing" without trying to change the way you feel or think. We know we can't eradicate a thought (think shemona esrei ) if I tell you not to think of apples for a minute, all you will do is think of apples or think about not thinking about apples which is the same thing. By not engaging lust in a conversation it will be easier to continue your activities and and will eventually cause you to stop obsessing over it. 

                                  Grant
I can be reached at: Grant.400@yahoo.com
Last Edit: 26 Oct 2020 04:37 by Grant400.

Re: The struggles of a human 26 Oct 2020 15:18 #356705

Grant, you hit the nail on the head! Great post!

Re: The struggles of a human 26 Oct 2020 21:19 #356723

Hello everyone 

I made it. Day 8.
Thanks to all of you who have been cheering me on all this time.

Now I have to decide what my new goal is. I think I'll go for another week.

This morning I had a really strong urge and I sort of felt like I deserved to give in because I had worked so hard till now and that this could be my reward for all the hard work, just not needing to work and giving in. Of course that would be very counterproductive. It's like a smoker who decided to quit saying after a week that he'll reward himself with a cigarette. 

I really don't know how I'll survive another week.
I need to take it day by day.
Baruch Hashem I made it till here. 

It's like the Chinese proverb "A journey of a thousand miles starts with just one step."

Well, week 2 here we go.

Re: The struggles of a human 27 Oct 2020 21:47 #356763

Okay, day 9.
What can I say about day 9? 

Most of the day was fine. Although had a period where I really felt like just collapsing and giving in. Baruch Hashem it passed. 

I sometimes am just trying to observe what my yetzer hora is telling me.
Today he told me: "You're already holding far enough for someone who has just started. No one will blame you if you just give in at this point. It takes time to build your muscles."
I'm telling you, the thoughts we have to deal with.
Sometimes pure insanity.

May Hashem always give us the clarity of mind to see right from wrong.

Re: The struggles of a human 28 Oct 2020 03:02 #356783

  • Hashem Help Me
  • Current streak: 1581 days
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 2629
Beautiful thread here. Some really great posts. Agood inspiring book next to your bed would be beneficial, as well as a real live partner to share chizuk with, and share challenges with. My opinion - it is what got me through that beginning period with withdrawal, fear, doubt, and total lack of self worth.
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: The struggles of a human 28 Oct 2020 12:44 #356808

Thanks so much HHM. I really appreciate that.

Re: The struggles of a human 28 Oct 2020 12:58 #356809

Hi everyone,

Day 10. Baruch Hashem still clean.

Today I wanted to share with you another one of my ‘life experiences’. As I wrote in my first post, till a few months ago I had never dealt with masturbation and real porn. But that doesn’t mean it was my first encounter with issues in kedusha.

Growing up, movies and series were a given. Everyone in my family besides my father would watch. We even went to the movies sometimes. We value Torah and Yiddishkeit but we were to a degree as some might call it ‘open-minded’. I just want to define when it comes to movies that there are three types:
1) Movies made for kids.
2) Movies that aren’t fit for kids. There is violence and more but not in a too graphic way.
3) Movies whose ideas are of a mature nature and they are also expressed on screen.
(As a yid I wouldn’t recommend any level of the 3 if not necessary but especially not level 3. If you’ve never been a watcher you can truly pat yourself on the back. If you are/were a watcher, you know what I’m talking about.)
As a kid we would stick to levels 1-2 and whenever there would be something not appropriate we would fast forward it or look away. But around when I was 14 there were days when I got bored and decided to look at the scenes we would usually skip. It wasn’t explicit but enough to trigger guilt and shame inside myself. I already felt tainted and just continued to watch bad things. I would look out for those scenes in movies. Never real porn, but for a yid, not ideal either. (To some of you reading this, you might think that there are worse things, but to me then this was really bad.) The worst of it all was the guilt. To me I was an abomination, a failure in Judaism. It was eating me up inside. I had no one to share this with. I felt I couldn’t. I felt that if I would, all would be lost. I had a reputation to keep. The reputation of a good kid. And sharing this with my parents, forget about it, because if they would find out, they would never look at me the same and I wouldn’t be able to bare that shame.

And so, I went around life for years with this burden. I felt like a two-faced guy. I felt like I was cheating the world. Like, if they only knew who I really was. Whenever someone would compliment me on something choshuv about me, I would say to myself “ Yeah right! You wouldn’t say this if you’d know the ‘real’ me.” Or even when someone would be nice to me I would feel to a certain extent that I didn’t deserve it.

I tried stopping it. Some tries were more successful than others. But the bad feelings were always there lurking in the back.

Then I finally went away from home to yeshiva. I was thrilled. No more movies and no more computer and no more guilt. I really started to shteig in yeshiva and for quiet a few years I didn’t touch movies, even bein hazmanim. But the burden was still there. Even some of my learning was motivated by the hidden guilt that was lying underneath it all, trying to cover it up. I was hoping it would all go away with time.

Then one night, in yeshiva, I had a close friend and he was sharing some his most intimate struggles with me. So a tiny crack in that bolted door of mine opened and I decided to reciprocate just a bit. It was really hard and I was shaking but for the first time in my life it got out. Although not the full burden was lifted, but some of it was. I was able to feel validated by a another person even with my mistakes and that made a huge difference. After that the underlying guilt was still there, but not as strong.

Fast forward a couple of years.
Panic attack! Anxiety! Therapy!
Painful, but at some level I was happy. Finally someone I could be open with. And so I shared this experience as well with my therapist. Again, I felt validated. Besides for that there were a few things that he told me that really shifted my perspective on the whole thing. 

Baruch Hashem today I have a much healthier outlook when it comes to these things. Yes, I struggle with masturbation, but I don't let it take over my life the way my struggles way back did.

I would like to share some of the lesson that helped me with you. Perhaps you can relate to my struggle and this might deem helpful. Some of it is also based on things I’ve gathered over the years as well. Here they are:

Eight things that helped me have a healthier outlook on struggles:

1)     No matter what you do in life, you’re always worthy. Hashem will always love you. Hashem’s love is unconditional . You heard that right: UNCONDITIONAL. You’re a tzelem elokai mimaal. Pure in its essence. All the bad stuff is just a covering, not the real you.
So when you think you’re faking because you’re hiding the ‘real’ you when you did something bad, perhaps it’s advisable to remind yourself who the real you is. (There is a book in English called ‘GPS’ based on the Nesivos Sholom that deals with this in greater length.)

2)     This bad action doesn’t define you!! There’s so much more about you that’s great. Focus on that instead!!!

3)     Do you really give yourself the amount of credit when doing mitzvos the same way you’re punching yourself in the stomach when doing aveiros? If not you’re not being fair to yourself.

4)     There is a clear distinction between guilt and regret. Guilt comes from the yetzer hora. It’s there to make you feel bad. It’s not productive in any way, it just drags you down in self-pity. Regret on the other hand is realizing the mistake you’ve made, learning from it and moving on. Proper teshuva comes from regret, not guilt.

5)     You think you’re the only one struggling with this? There are so many more people struggling with this. Perhaps it’s safe to say that almost everyone is dealing with shmiras eynayim to a certain extent. No need to feel like an abomination.

6)     No one is perfect. Yes, even you aren’t. And guess what, you’ll never be perfect (in this life at least) otherwise you wouldn’t be here on earth. All we can do is strive for perfection, knowing that we’ll never reach it. So don’t be too hard on yourself. Learn to accept yourself as you are with all your imperfections.

7)     Find some way to reach out to someone with whom you can share your struggles with. This is one of the things that most people in my opinion find the hardest. And yet it’s so important. But I also feel that a forum like this is a great way of sharing, getting chizuk and feeling validated and I would therefore consider this an option of sharing as well.

8)     Last but not least. Your self-value shouldn’t come from others. It should come from yourself. If you have a challenge that to others might seem like nothing, but you know that it took strength from your part, allow yourself to be proud of yourself. You grew. No one knows, but all that matters is that you know. If all we care about is the validation from others, so some days we might get it and some days we might not. It’s fickle and not stable. Work on validating yourself. Be your best friend. See yourself in a good light. Yeah, there is always something we can work on, but realize that mostly there is much more good than bad. The problem is we just don’t allow ourselves to see it.

So that’s that. (There are probably a few more, but can’t think of them now.)
I wish I would’ve known these things at the beginning of my falls. And even though I knew some of these things on an intellectual level, I wouldn’t feel them on an emotional level. I can't say that I've fully integrated these concepts, but to some extent I have. Baruch Hashem, my confidence has gone up, my self-esteem has gone up. Is it always great? No. But that’s life. We all have better days and worse ones. At the end of the day, I realized that these struggles and falls are what made me grow.

These things take time to sink in, so it’s worthwhile going over them on a constant basis. For me, these ideas really helped. So I’m sharing this with you because maybe you can benefit from this too.

Have a great one.

AM

Last Edit: 28 Oct 2020 15:51 by anonymousmillenial.

Re: The struggles of a human 29 Oct 2020 04:41 #356847

  • Hashem Help Me
  • Current streak: 1581 days
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 2629
Hey buddy, you are going to make one good mentor/mashpia one day, and iyh a great tatty too!
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: The struggles of a human 29 Oct 2020 21:33 #356882

Day 11

Day 11 and Baruch Hashem still clean. 

I still feel the urges and sometimes it's still strong, but I feel less compelled to give in. It's like I am a tiny bit used to feel the urge and just being 'comfortable' having 'his' presence around, knowing that I don't need to react to 'him'. 

Don't get me wrong, I sometimes would love to give in and sometimes I dread I will, but I need to remind myself what the consequences are and that the pleasure of giving in is just not worth it.

The fact that I am holding on day 11 doesn't mean that I have to stop being vigilant.

Re: The struggles of a human 29 Oct 2020 22:36 #356884

  • Grant400
  • Current streak: 13 days
  • OFFLINE
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 935
  • Karma: 97
anonymousmillenial wrote on 29 Oct 2020 21:33:
Day 11

Day 11 and Baruch Hashem still clean. 

I still feel the urges and sometimes it's still strong, but I feel less compelled to give in. It's like I am a tiny bit used to feel the urge and just being 'comfortable' having 'his' presence around, knowing that I don't need to react to 'him'. 

Don't get me wrong, I sometimes would love to give in and sometimes I dread I will, but I need to remind myself what the consequences are and that the pleasure of giving in is just not worth it.

The fact that I am holding on day 11 doesn't mean that I have to stop being vigilant.

GOLD! Read this every day. Seriously.  We all should.
I can be reached at: Grant.400@yahoo.com
Last Edit: 29 Oct 2020 22:41 by Grant400.

Re: The struggles of a human 30 Oct 2020 14:44 #356905

Day 12

Still clean.

A great and clean Shabbos to all.
Last Edit: 30 Oct 2020 14:52 by anonymousmillenial.

Re: The struggles of a human 31 Oct 2020 21:50 #356928

A gutte voch on day 13.

Re: The struggles of a human 01 Nov 2020 21:32 #356963

Hi there.
Day 14.
A bit more to go and I'll be past two weeks. 

Honestly, I don't have much to say.
Yeah, I have the urges. I mean, kinda boring, no?
Yeah, I have moments where I just wanna give up because I just don't care anymore. But don't we all?

So, what's my point? 
My point is that even though I have absolutely nothing to say and absolutely no big chidushim to add, I am still writing here because just the writing is enough to keep me accountable. I don't need to say much. Just 'hi, had a great day' or 'hi, rather had a rough day'. It doesn't really matter. As long as I check in every day, I know and I feel that what I do makes a difference.
And that's what matters.
Last Edit: 01 Nov 2020 21:35 by anonymousmillenial.
Time to create page: 0.61 seconds

Are you sure?

Yes