Answer to a Higher Authority
Sholom to all my brothers-in-arms!
I would like to share some stuff: you know, it helps just to know people in the same boat as me read my stuff. So thank you ahead of time - this comradery helps us grow. It helped me 6 years ago and it helps me now.
We have to have patience with the process. If posting helps, then post. If meetings help, then attend meetings. If writing on the wall with a crayon helps, well, you know what I mean. But, as long as we're doing things, whether it be reading books, attending meetings, meditating – whatever - but we're still falling and failing, we should not give up! It's a process, and it takes time - depending on the severity and the length of time that we are suffering from the addiction.
It's painful. I know someone who quit smoking after 40 years of smoking, and it took him 6 months - pretty fast, if you ask me. So people who are struggling and failing - and expressing frustration with themselves - of course, we are frustrated that we seem to be powerless over this. I think not to be frustrated shows lack of concern. On the other hand, it also pulls us in further. At least, this is what happens to ME. So the answer is to have the RIGHT amount of frustration - the middle road. Enough to let us know that our addiction is really harmful to us, but not too much to drag us down into depression. Be patient with the process, but keep working. And be patient with ourselves. Breathe and slow down, the addiction wants us to be absorbed into ourselves. I am working on this very thing now. It's not easy. But with guys like you listening to me, I have more of a chance of succeeding than if I weren't here.
The 90 days is a good start - it teaches us lessons that we'll need. But it's only a start.
Another thing I’ve noticed in my 6 or so years around GYE (my first clean day in 38 years was Sept 3 2008) is that, for me, no reason is enough to stay clean - let me explain. The following 'reasons' to stay clean don't work for me:
1 - I have a wife
2 - I just learned all night on Shvuos
3 - G-d is watching me
4 - The Torah says not to do it
5 - I just read krias shma that says 'lo sosuru'
6 - I'm about to daven shachris
If any of these reasons were enough, there would be no need for this site. Everyone on here is a talmid chacham. But we addicts have a very strong magnet that is pulling us toward shmutz that other people don't experience. We're not bad (from the handbook), and we're not purposeful hypocrites. Nor are we purposeful liars. And we're not going against the Torah, chas v’shalom, on purpose. Everyone here feels bad that they are caught in this addiction. I believe that Hashem sees that and knows that. So, if no reason works, how can we stay clean?
Answer - for no reason. Just because we're submitting ourselves to something higher than ourselves that we believe in. We trust that He is not out for Himself but is out for our own good - even though we don't know why, we're listening. Hopefully one day we'll be able to see and understand the reason. But for now, we just have to submit ourselves to this Higher Will and not give reasons. Let the other people - those people who do not suffer from this - let them give themselves reasons for staying clean. I don't have an addiction to drugs - so I give myself a reason not to start - it's bad. But someone who IS addicted to drugs - no reason is going to help. They have to surrender, admit defeat, and submit themselves to a Higher Ideal.
In my opinion, of course.
I wish everyone here hatzlacha from the bottom of my heart, and yasher koach to all of you for coming to this forum. You are true warriors.