Trick the trickster
Here are some excerpts from a discussion on our forum that's just packed with great tips and chizuk! (Some slight editing was done to make it easier to read).
I came across this site today, and I felt compelled to make some comments here. I won't say that I am very far along with controlling my own addiction - far from it. I just want to share some thoughts that help me with this challenge, and hopefully will help someone else too. I was raised in a conventional frum environment - right wing yeshiva, top-level high school, night college with learning half a day. I *never* was able to control myself in this area. I won't go through the details of my cycles of guilt before Rosh Hashana & Yom Kippur, and the inevitable slipping immediately after. We've all been there.
When I am tempted (which I am every day), I try to think of how I will feel after wasting *countless* hours masturbating to Internet porn. How well will I do my job the next day? Just recently, I was on a business trip. I was exhausted when I arrived, but I still spent 3-4 hours online in my hotel room. Imagine how it was to wake up the next morning! This has happened to me many times!
Also, try adding up all the hours you spent, and think about something you could have learnt or done in that time. And I'm not even talking about Torah learning, although that would be great. You could have learnt to play the guitar, a new language, some area of your work that you could study in more detail, or read something on a totally different field that might make you a more interesting person. Just do something more useful!
I welcome your feedback!
Shalom Frumthinker, I think it is great that you are here, and the first thing you should know is that we are all here for one reason. We want it to be different! We have decided that in spite of the daily trials, we want to change. We are tired of throwing in the towel. We realize that to change is not a simple matter, therefore we are all here to support one another.
As far your points. I believe that all of us have considered how much time we have wasted over the years. Thousands of hours completely wasted on nothingness. And in the end, we got nothing in return, except the heartache, exhaustion, poor family relationships. But I think that you will agree that thinking about the waste of time has NOT helped you with this struggle. Why? Because as soon as Mr.yetzer comes back for another round, there is only one thing that you need at that moment, and this is your daily fix. The thought of wasting time when you are under his spell will have NO effect. I think that you will agree with me. Please don't forget one thing. The yetzer is so smart that he will let all of us here think about "why did I do this, why did I waste so much time, why, why, why?" In fact, through his trickery, he is really fooling us into believing that through our remorse, and introspection, we are actually doing something about our problem. So, he let us feel good by thinking that we really are in fact tending to this disease. But he has his limits. Just as long as we don't DO anything about it. Yes, he will let us think as much as we wish about how we want to change, and how we are really not satisfied with our actions...just as long as we don't make concrete changes.
Frumthinker, if you want to even have a chance to change, to finally go up, and make things different, then you will need to pull a fast one on the yetzer. The next time "he" starts telling you how you need to change, and he will say to you "we have to look for ways to get out of this, just look at what it does to our marriage etc, etc, and look how much time we waste each day on nonsense, you are so intelligent, how can you possibly allow yourself to waste countless hours on this trivial tumah. You are much much smarter than this!" But when he finishes talking to you, pull the fast one on him, and remove your access to porn. Yes, trick the trickster and do what he says before he starts to change his tune. Don't think about it, there is NO time to think and reconsider. You have been thinking all of your life. And this is indeed what an intelligent person does, BUT, with the yetzer harah (who also knows how to think), we must STOP thinking and start DOING. There is no time to waste. Use your wisdom, and consider ways to cut yourself off from porn. This is the only way. NO porn = no masturbation = no wasted time = no.....etc !
"Elya K" writes:
Welcome, Frumthinker. It's easy to tell you what to do, but until you experience sobriety for awhile you will never get to feel the joy of serenity. I've told many people on and off this forum to get blocks for their computer. They cry to me that they have to stop and ask me "what can I do?". But when I recommend they put a block on their computer their answer is "No, I'm not ready for that".
There are chemical imbalances in the brain caused by watching porn on the internet. If you don't believe it, explain to me why it is so hard to stop. And why are there are withdrawal symptoms where you actually shake and sweat? But psychologically, when you know you don't have access, you forget about it eventually. I'm not saying you will never think about it, but the block is a great tool... an essential tool... to help you heal and get better.
The proven twelve step approach is actually a quest for spirituality. This is a disease of "lack of spirituality". You're constantly looking outside of yourself for validation, acceptance, companionship... for intimacy. But true intimacy is sharing everything, not hiding it from those you love. How long do you want to continue living a lie, to keep covering up everything you do so your wife won't find out? Eventually she will and then it will be too late. Get some counseling and your counselor or a sponsor/friend will help you and let you know when it is safe to tell your wife. Once you do that, it will release your mind and jet you on the way to recovery.