Tool 1 - STOP!
The tools of this handbook are not designed to motivate us to stop - we have done that a thousand times already. Deep inside there’s nothing we want more than to stop. Rather, the tools here are designed to help us KEEP STOPPED. Therefore, tool 1 is to first make a decision to STOP, just for today. The past is gone, and the future is not in our hands.
Deciding to stop does not mean that we won’t ever fall again or that we’ll succeed in staying stopped forever on our first try. However, it does mean that we are committed to trying, by being open minded to internalizing the principles and tools discussed in this program which have helped hundreds, if not thousands, break free.
Often we thought that if we would only feed the lust a little bit more and give it what it really wants, it would leave us alone. But it is exactly the opposite. Our sages have said: "There is a small organ in a man, if one feeds it - it is hungry, if one starves it - it is satiated". Although it is hard to stop and we may likely even experience withdrawal symptoms for a while, the more we successfully stay stopped in the short term, the easier it will get in the long term. Knowing this Yesod can make a huge difference.
We must realize that the Yetzer Hara/addiction wants our soul, not the pleasure. Otherwise, why is a thousand times never enough? Keep this 12-Step saying in mind: "Just once is too much, and a thousand times is never enough."
The Steipler Gaon points out in the first volume of Krayna D'igrisah that anyone who keeps away from these forbidden pleasures is promised to receive the pleasures of life from other areas instead. And it follows that those who accept upon themselves the suffering that breaking-free entails, will save themselves much suffering in other areas of life.
Once we have decided we want to STOP, just for today, we are ready to read the rest of this handbook to learn the many tools, tips and techniques that can help us STAY STOPPED.
A long time member of GYE wrote:
I want to share with you a hard-earned truth, which I fought and struggled for months to reach: In order to fully absorb the lessons taught in the GYE handbook (or the 12-Step program), you have to be sober for at least a few days. Why? Because when one's head is absorbed in the insanity, no matter how much the person might want to be clean, the filth is still tugging and affecting their perceptions. This is not just my own opinion, it is written straight out in the 12-step program; i.e. that it is advisable to be sober for at least a few days before starting the program. (Step zero of the 12-Steps is: "STOP"). And after trying both ways, clean and not clean, I GUARANTEE that no recovery program can be effective unless one is clean. It's not enough to want to diet if you're still eating chocolate cake. Your mind will NOT accept fully what it needs to accept while under the direct influence of the insanity.