It is possible

by GYE, Yosef Yakov (See all authors)

ShomerAiyin had a slip after 12 days and writes:

I remember saying "No" to the Yetzer Hara quite a number of times during the past 12 days, so I guess that's gotta count for something. But the fact that I've only been able to string together bunches of clean days separated by falls, and that I can't see how I can manage to live a completely clean lifestyle for the long term, is bothering me a lot.


GYE Responds:

Dear ShomerAyin,

First of all, if you would join an SA group in your area you would start to believe that it truly is possible for the long term. You would meet many people there who were even more addicted than you, and who are clean now for years. I know it feels impossible at this stage, but just read the recovery stories on our website, and look at people like Dov who were much worse off than you - and see what they have achieved today!!

Also, I strongly recommend reading through the GYE handbook carefully, from beginning to end. You will learn that there is hope - and that there are tools, no matter how far the addiction has progressed. And the Attitude handbook will give you some great perspective on this struggle.

I want to explain something. As you can see (or assume), I answer maybe 20 people a day by e-mail and on the forum. I wish I could write each person long detailed posts of Chizuk and advice, but it's impossible. That's why I spent a month, days and nights, working on these handbooks. FOR YOU!! Please, please read them if your eternity is important to you. You will find there so much more than I can offer you in my short answers on the forum. The handbooks will teach you how to approach the falls, to understand this struggle, to appreciate your progress, etc... And you will learn the tools that really work and how to beat this for the long term.

YES, YES, YES. IT IS POSSIBLE. That is what Hashem sent you down to the world for. We are not bad people trying to get good, we are ill people trying to get better. But for this to happen, we need to take the right medicine. Just like all the Chizuk in the world won't make diabetes go away, here too, we need to learn the techniques that really work in cases of addiction. Please read the handbooks and find the medicine that works for you!

Today is the first day of the "Shloshes Yimei Hagbala" in preparation for Kabalas Hatorah. Chazal learn out from the Pesukim that Hashem healed everyone before Kabalas Hatorah. "Hagbala" means "Safeguards". Let's all make the proper safeguards to protect ourselves from the Yetzer Hara - and in this merit, may Hashem heal us all, physically, spiritually and mentally, so that we can indeed receive the Torah properly.

 

Yosef Yakov (who is almost two months clean) answers ShomerAyin on the forum as well:

Dear ShomerAyin,

You have to believe that if I am doing it, anybody can do it. If there was anyone who set on himself to suck the marrow of the pleasures that this world has to offer, and if there was anyone who was completely surrendered to the Yetzer Hara, that was me.

I had tried to stop 100's of times in the past without success. This time, I did something different. First, I spent a great deal of time reading most of the information provided on the guardureyes site, especially the FAQs and Tips. Second and foremost, for the first time in my life, I became DEAD SERIOUS about my shemiras einaym. I remember several months ago reading a letter in a Jewish magazine about somebody that was annoyed upon seeing that a house kept pregnancy and diet magazines as "bathroom reading material". And I laughed to myself wondering how could anybody be triggered by seeing pictures of women in these magazines. However, while I laughed, my addiction was out of control. I realized that even if the pictures themselves were not particularly terrible, just looking at them caused subconscious damage to my neshama and this in turn fed the Yetzer Hara. The solution for me was to STOP looking at anything feminine that I don't need to know about.

Now, B'H, I will not look at any women in the street, whether she is beautiful or homely, fat or thin, old or young. I will not look at any of the pretty women pictures that are constantly bombarding us in the internet or the newspapers. I will not look at the woman at the store counter and I could not care less what she thinks. Nothing. Zipo.

And the reason this has worked for me so far, is not just because I am not being stimulated (I still have a memory and an imagination of gargantuan proportions). But there is kabbalistic concept that says: ITARUSA D'LETATA, ITARUSA D'LEILA, which means that "an awakening" (and effort) from below (i.e. from us) causes a reciprocation of "an awakening" from above (Hashem).

ShomerAyin, as the holy day of Shavuos approaches, I wish you and everybody in this forum a Kabolas haTorah - beSimcha u'bePenimyus.