Tuesday, 31 January 2012

He Found A Way to Get Your Attention!

The joy of the challenge is gone. How do I get out of this rut?

by Dov, GYE (See all authors)

"B'ahava" asks on the forum:

I am struggling with depression and I can't pinpoint what's causing these feelings.

From an objective perspective, my life is just fine. In fact, better than ever. I'm 70 days clean! That was unimaginable for me for the past 8 years. I feel like I've figured out how to beat my biggest test. It's a big deal. I should feel proud.

But I'm not fulfilled. I just don't get it.

Maybe it's davka because I feel that this struggle is behind me. In the first 40 days, my tefilah was different. My thoughts were different. My life was dedicated to beating this yetzer harah. It was my only priority.

I guess I liked the challenge. I liked that I was finally seeing success. I liked that I could see Hashem's hand guide me through the struggle, by sending me this website, and by sending me the right friends and Rabbe'im.

But the joy of all that is gone now. Somehow, it no longer feels like an accomplishment. It feels like an expectation. It's turned into a 'been there, done that' sort of feeling.

Learning can be so good. But I haven't been to morning seder or shacharit for 3 weeks. I know it would be great if I'd go, but I just feel stuck in this rut.

Can any of you identify with my feelings? How do you deal with it?

Love always,
B'ahava

 

GYE Responded:

Dear B'ahava, what you are feeling is very common. For many years, we used the addiction helped us "escape" from our real feelings. We stopped "feeling" life, and for every "bump" in the road, we had a solution. We would "medicate" ourselves with our "drug" whenever things weren't going smooth, or whenever we felt an inner discontent.

As we remove the "drug", we start to feel again.

Now for many, the beginning isn't so hard. Like you described, there is a feeling of "triumph" over the addiction and a new found happiness and purpose in life. But as time goes on and we get used to being clean, we start to really FEEL again. And this is not always a pleasant experience.

That is where the 12-Steps come in. They help addicts learn how to deal with real life once they start to really "feel" once again. You may want to join Duvid Chaim's anonymous phone conference .

May Hashem be with you!

 

Dov Responds:

Dear B'ahava,

It's nice to be a baby again, isn't it? I mean, we are all babies here, just beginning on the path of sanity. And to finally be more sane means that in some respect I am finally beginning real avodas Hashem (as a shoteh is patur because his avoda is meaningless. A fruitcake can not do a miztva ;-).

"Pischu li sha'arei tzedek - Hashem! Please! Open the gates for me! Even if I'm a big Tzaddik already (Guard told us we are), and a ba'al teshuva already (he told us that, too) - I am still a baby just starting out and standing just outside your door, Tatty! I'm not even inside the front gate yet!

Let me in to get started at being your real servant today!"

Zeh Hashar La'Hashem - this, i.e. knowing we haven't even started, is the gate to Hashem.

... and Dovid Hamelech said that many times in many different ways over his relatively short and relatively bitter life, even knowing that he had ruach hakodesh, etc., etc. He was always starting.

Don't just think it - that doesn't work. Feel it for a minute.

Repeat the pesukim of Hallel, if you think it'd help (I do). Look for the same idea in other parts of davening, like mizmor shir chanukas habayis l'dovid, etc.

Why? Dovid hamelech answers: Zeh hasha'ar laShem! This is the attitude for success - Tzadikim yavo'u vo - even great tzadikim (like us ;-) use it over and over!! Humility is very useful.

As Golda Meir (oy vei) said, "Don't be humble, you're not that great". We have little to be "humble" about, because we have even less to be proud about.

Don't be fooled. I cannot accept that Hashem brought you through this problem just to get you out of it so you could just move on from here as though nothing happened. He could have protected you from getting into the problem in the first place then, no?

Listen closely, my sweet Yid: To quote Rav Noach Weinberg,"He found a way to get your attention", probably because he was missing you a whole lot. Just look at the beautiful posts coming out of you here on this forum! This IS your trip, not just an accident He "saved" you from.

Hatzlocha!!