Wednesday, 25 April 2012

The critical error

by Boruch (See all authors)

Here are excerpts from an inspiring post by "Boruch" on the forum (edited a bit for clarity):

Until recently, deep down, I believed that I was really in control and if only I wanted to enough... But that was the critical error. Because what I thought was my single greatest strength, "if only I wanted to enough", was my single greatest weakness. Because I indeed could only do things if I really wanted them enough, and that was why, much as I tried, I was so out of control.

At that moment, and I speak here not of theories and hypotheses but of deep and searing personal experience, I realized that I had gotten so out of control and had sunk to such depths, that that Monday night 12 days ago, when it was time for a certain publicly observed mitzvah that was extremely important to me, much as I wanted to break free and much as I had every incentive and enjoyment to be involved in that mitzvah, I was imprisoned, hiding in isolation, viewing forbidden material, unbeknown to anyone, my accountability partner included, and much as I tried to break away, the mitzvah came and went and I was unable to do anything about it.

So what did I do? Well, I have many faults, but wallowing in self-doubt and despair is not my problem, Baruch Hashem. So I did the one thing that I knew I needed to do. I knew that I needed to do teshuva. Not the motions of teshuva. Not, what for me, with my personality and background, would be a half-baked, temporary let's see how it goes, baby steps teshuva. But a teshuva that proclaimed from the depths of my soul: "horeisa derech teshuva l'amcho Yisroel - you have taught the path of teshuvah to your nation, Israel". You, Hashem, have showed us the way to Teshuva in your Torah. The words of your Holy Torah are Eternal and can be applied ABSOLUTELY AND LITERALLY IN EVERY GENERATION, if only we do teshuva as you have told us to, Hashem, "bechol levovcho uvchol nafshecho - with all your heart and all your soul".

I said, somewhere deep down in my heart, Hashem, you have taught us through your Chossid, Rabbenu Yonah, that for frequent and addicted sinners, after a fall, there is no time and no place for "charotto - regret", and that the absolute total focus is to first do a complete "Azivas Hachet - to abandon the sin" with all one's heart, for life, once and for all, right here and right now.

I cannot explain it, other than to say "HaBo LeTaher Messayin Osso min Hashomayim - He who comes to be purified is helped from Heaven", how I even got such feelings. Obviously, years of mussar and inspiration do not really ever go down any drainage system. But thanks to Hashem, deep within me I heard the stirrings of a lifetime commitment with no relapses at all. Of course, I knew that in implementation, it would be not just "one day at a time" but sometimes as little as "one second at a time", but deep down I felt that I was developing a commitment for life.

And so I went out there and did everything that would come to mind. I confessed to my accountability partner. I signed up on the forum. I divulged my addiction to the therapist I was seeing for ADD treatment. I built up a fearful array of filters and accountability software which I have further, extended and fortified in these last 11 days. And I put everything I had into the enterprise.

And in the past days, I have been building and growing my commitment and building and growing my sobriety, and I really became convinced that with Hashem's Kindness I would be able to follow through on my internal notions of a lifetime commitment.