GYE helps those struggling with inappropriate materials and related behaviors.

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Tool 20: The Very Last Resort

If all else has failed G-d forbid, and the addiction continues to ruin our lives, there are medications or shots that can reduce our sexual drive to the point of chemical castration. If the addiction is harming the lives of others, this should be done as soon as possible - before the next victim is claimed.

Tool 19: Rehab

If we’ve tried everything and still can't break free, perhaps we need some time to get away from society completely to be able to focus fully on recovery for a period of time.  The only way to break free is to be under supervision and be in a place where we simply cannot access our “drug” in anyway, for a while.

Tool 18: Medication

If our therapist determines that our addiction may be connected with underlying causes such as depression, anxiety, obsession, OCD, or even hyper-sexuality, he may send us to be evaluated by a psychiatrist for medication that can help us significantly in these areas.  The medications can truly make a difference in the long term.

Tool 17: Therapy

Very often the addiction stems from underlying issues, such as a difficult childhood, low self-esteem, anxiety, depression and so on. We used the addiction as an escape mechanism to run away from emotional pain, or as an attempt to fill a void that we felt in our lives.   An addiction therapist, preferably one who is trained in dealing with lust addiction, can help us explore the underlying causes of our addiction and discover where the root of our behaviors may stem from.

Tool 16: LIVE 12-Step Groups

Because the 12 Steps are truly a life-changing set of principles, often they can be internalized properly only through joining a live face-to-face group. But by learning to give up our will in the group, and learning how to share honestly with the group and our sponsor, we are able to learn how to give up our will and be honest with Hashem as well.

Tool 15: 12 Step Anonymous Phone Conferences

Most experts in addiction will tell you that the two most powerful methods in finding freedom from addiction are (1) Group Support: Get out of isolation and connect with others who are going through what you are - and succeeding! And (2) Work the world's most proven and powerful method of all time: the 12 Step program.

Tool 14: Helping Others

There is no better way to assure our own long term sobriety than to be in constant contact with the Guard Your Eyes community and to be helping others every day. Whether it is by being an accountability partner or sponsor for someone else who is struggling, or whether it is through posting on the forum, we are needed out there - and we need the others out there even more.

Tool 13: Talk to the Experts

If we are at a loss on how to continue our journey, or if we feel that all the steps we've taken until today still don't seem to do the trick for us, we can pick up the phone and call the GYE Expert Hotline to discuss our addiction with someone who understands us and can give us advice on how to proceed.

Tool 12: Group Support

Since one of the most powerful tools for breaking addictions is getting out of isolation, we need to increase our interaction with others in the same situation as much as possible. If a single partner or sponsor still does not give us the strength we need to completely stop acting out, there is nothing more powerful than group support to help addicts break free from addictions.

Tool 11: Accountability

If we haven't been successful yet with the tools above, it is time to bring the struggle to the next level and introduce others into the picture.  Our own strength has proved insufficient in dealing with our addiction. We need to start exploiting strength from outside ourselves to help us succeed.

Tool 10: Extra Strong Fences - TaPhSiC Method

TaPHSiC stands for “The Physical & Spiritual Combo” Method.  This tool has worked well with many Frum addicts in helping them stop these destructive behaviors completely.  For most frum addicts this method has worked wonders, and it has freed many people from the obsession.

Tool 9: A Leap of Faith- The 90 Day Journey

If slowly cutting down doesn't seem to do the trick, we need to take a more drastic "Leap of Faith" and try to cut these behaviors out of our lives completely. There was a recent scientific study that found it takes 90 days to change the neuron pathways created by addictive behaviors in the brain. It was shown that if an addict refrains from their addictive behavior for 90 days, they will find it far easier to stop the addictive thought patterns.

Principle 21: There’s always hope

There is always hope, even from what seems to be the deepest depths of sin and despair.

In Conclusion

This area has been taboo in the religious community for far too long. The very fabric of our society is at stake.  The instant availability and anonymity that the Internet provides makes this perhaps the biggest test of our generation.

Tool 8: Cutting Down

If you've tried the steps above and you still find that the addiction is controlling you and causing frequent falls, it could be helpful to apply the battle-tactic of conquering and securing one territory at a time, instead of trying to conquer everything at once. The more we cut down, and the more distance we put between ourselves and the addiction, the easier it gets.

Principle 20: Experience is built out of failures

Experience that makes a man ultimately successful is always earned through his initial failures. The difference between a successful person and a failure is not the number of times they fell, but rather the number of times they got up again.

Principle 9: Why religion alone isn’t always enough

Although all truths can be found in the Torah, we had lost our vision. Even though we may have been learning Torah and Mussar, we were wearing “broken eye glasses.” And so, before we can turn once again to the Torah for guidance, we need to first learn what it means to be a human being.

Principle 19: We don’t lose past gains after a fall

If we were trying to stay clean and had a fall, we must realize that we haven’t lost anything that we gained until now. We simply have to get up and continue from where we left off.

Principle 8: Overhauling our character traits

The addiction is often a sign that we are missing some of the most basic principles of what it means to be a human being, created in the image of Hashem.

Tool 7: Making Fences

The addiction is more powerful than us, and if we try to fight it head on we will almost always lose. Once we are standing at the edge of the cliff, we are very vulnerable to falling off of it. Instead, we must stay as far away from the edge of the cliff as possible. Therefore, one of the most powerful tools in this struggle is making good fences.

Principle 18: Guilt vs. Shame

Hashem doesn’t make defective goods. There is never room for despair or shame. Healthy “guilt” is important.  The guilty feelings we have are a gift from Hashem that come from the inherent good inside every Jew.

Principle 7: Giving the fight over to Hashem

Ultimately, only Hashem can overcome the addiction for us. As Chazal say: “If Hashem doesn’t help him, he cannot overcome him” (the Yetzer Hara).

Tool 6: Physical Activity

When we talk about recovery and emotional health, our physical body is a critical factor in the equation. Getting enough sleep, good nutrition and especially exercise, add a whole lot more to our "spiritual centeredness and emotional well being" than most people give it credit for. As the Pasuk says, "Venishmartem Me'od Li’nafshoseichem -and you shall vigilantly guard your wellbeing".

Principle 17: Don’t dwell on the past

Although the spiritual damage we cause by acting out is very great, we must accept that Hashem brought us into this situation and that it is not all our fault. Let us never dwell on how it happened, or on past falls.

Tool 5: Alternative Fulfillment

We frequently focus on breaking the addiction by avoiding triggers and running away from the Yetzer Hara. But often the best way to deal with an addiction, is to remove the underlying "needs" that the addiction is trying to fill by proactively engaging inalternative fulfilling pursuits.

Principle 16: Getting back up after a fall

If we experience a fall, we must never let it get us down.  Getting depressed is exactly what the Yetzer Hara wants, and it leads to a vicious cycle of continued falls.  This is the truest test of an eved Hashem.

Principle 6: One day at a time

Take the struggle only “one day at a time.” Try never to focus on the future or wonder how we will manage. We must learn to live in the present only, focusing on staying "clean" or "sober" right NOW.

Tool 4: Daily Chizuk

To succeed in this struggle, it is important for us to get fresh perspective and Chizuk each day.  Chazal say that the Yetzer Hara renews his attack on us every day.  Our network provides daily Chizuk e-mails with antidotes, tips, articles, and quotes from our sages, therapists, and fellow strugglers, to help us break free of this addiction.

Principle 15: Hashem looks at our efforts, not the results

Hashem doesn’t seek great successes and big achievements from us. Whether we succeed in a big way or not, is ultimately His business. All He asks from us is that we try to get a little stronger every day and do what we can at this point in time.

Tool 3: Guard Your Eyes

It is not for nothing that our network is called "Guard Your Eyes". The most obvious practical step to conquering lust addiction is learning to guard our eyes. This is the cornerstone of breaking free, and it's obvious why: We can't lust for that which we don't see!

Principle 5: Breaking the Cycle

We must recognize how insidious the addiction is, how it continues to tell us lies, getting us to act out again and again. Each time we act out, we make it harder to heal from the addiction in the long term.

Principle 14: It’s never all or nothing

The notion that we must always succeed actually turns us into easy prey for our Yetzer Hara.  When an army goes out to battle, do they always win?  Are there never casualties?  People injured?

Principle 4: Hitting bottom while still on top

Often a person is not truly ready to admit they have a problem, seek help and be willing to make real changes in their lives unless they have “hit bottom” first.  One of the goals of the GYE community is to help people “Hit bottom while still on top.

Tool 2: Attitude & Perspective

Having the proper perspective and attitude on this struggle can make all the difference. Often people write to us saying that had they only known the proper perspective and attitude guidelines that we discuss on our network when they were younger, they would have never fallen into the addiction in the first place!

Principle 13: Every Little Bit Counts

We must believe that coin after coin are added to our “spiritual bank” every time we say “no” to the Yetzer Hara, no matter how insignificant it may seem to us at the time.

Principle 3: Believing that we CAN be helped

Some people think that if they are unmarried and have no outlet, they cannot possibly remain clean indefinitely. This is patently false.  Some people today are under the misconception that these behaviors are healthy or even necessary for the body. This is completely untrue.

Principle 12: Catching ourselves as we slip

Even if we started to slip, we can achieve the greatest levels of Kedusha by stopping ourselves from sliding further.

Principle 2: Accepting that we need help

The first key to recovery is “acceptance.” We need to accept that we have a problem and that we need help. Otherwise, we will read through the Guard Your Eyes website and Handbook and say: “they aren’t talking about me.”

Principle 11: Dealing with thoughts and fantasies

Everyone has these fantasies. Some people more, some people less. We are human beings and not angels.  If it bothers you that you struggle with these thoughts, that is already something to be proud of.  The moment we start to look at ourselves in a positive light, we will see that the fantasies will come much less often.

Principle 10: Redirecting the power in our souls

We have often discovered that we were trying to fight only the Yetzer Hara, rather than building and changing ourselves. For true long term success, we must learn to fight the cause of the bad behaviors and not just the symptoms.

Principle 9: Learning to love Hashem through this struggle

This struggle is the fertile soil that our “true” selves will grow out of. And through it, we learn how to give our hearts over to Hashem. And hopefully we will be able to look back one day and say that it was all worth it.

Principle 8: “With cunning make your battle” (Mishlei 24:6)

We are unlikely to succeed if we try to fight the Yetzer Hara head on.  Just like terrorists are often successful because they don’t try to fight a big army head on, we must also learn to apply guerilla warfare and pre-empt the Yetzer Hara.

The GuardYourEyes Program in a Nutshell

GuardYourEyes uses a unique approach to help people, by recognizing that there are many different levels in the struggle for “Shmiras Ainayim” and “Shmiras Habris”. Use the “Nutshell” to find what level you identify with most, and what recommendations would be most appropriate for your level.

Principle 7: True fulfillment vs. false fulfillment

The Yetzer Hara's job and goal is to cause us damage, and to do this he was given permission to use pleasure and "Sipuk" (fulfillment) as a bluff to be able to harm us. But we must understand that his seductions are like a terrorist offering us a piece of cake to ensnare us.

Principle 6: Making it a top priority

Nothing worthwhile comes without hard work.  One of the greatest obstacles stopping a person from changing is the notion that it can be done without a lot of investment.  We tend to forget that our whole purpose on this world is to grow and improve.

Principle 5: No pain no gain

By nature, we go to what feels good and try to avoid pain.  Pleasure and suffering are both part of life. But we get to choose which pleasures we want and which suffering we want.

Principle 1: Understanding what we are up against

If we find that we keep falling into inappropriate behaviors that go against our conscience and better judgment, and we have tried countless times to stop in the past but always seem to fall back to them in the end, then we are probably struggling with an addiction.

Principle 4: Determination is completely up to us

The biggest obstacle to succeeding is not believing you can succeed. The first impediment to overcoming this struggle is not in your genes, your childhood or your environment. If you believe you can succeed and are willing to make the effort, you will find the way out.  Absolutely NOTHING stands in the way of a true RATZON.

Principle 3: You are not alone

Almost everyone struggles with lust on some level, and a high percentage have stumbled in these areas as well.  In the GYE community, you will find thousands of religious Jews like yourself, struggling in these areas.

Principle 2: Fear of Heaven can’t always stop us, but it can PUSH us

Often we are aware of how serious these sins are, yet our “Fear of Heaven” alone isn’t always enough to stop us when faced with an attack of lust. It’s not that we don’t fear Hashem, but will power alone is often not sufficient when dealing with these extremely addictive behaviors.

Tool 1 - STOP!

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.

Introduction

When a newcomer first comes to the GYE network, they can easily be overwhelmed and feel lost. It is often hard for the newcomer to pinpoint exactly how "addicted" they really are, and what kind of steps are the most appropriate for them to try. In the GYE Program, we have attempted to put together a guide of the practical tools that we in the Guard Your Eyes community have found useful, in progressive order.

Principle 1: Fixing the foundations of ourselves & of the world

The struggle with lust is a struggle with the deepest human emotions. And therefore, fixing these emotions fixes a person deeper than anything else.  The foundation of a building is underground and no one sees it, but it holds up the entire building.  If the foundation of a Jew is weak, his whole spiritual structure is fragile and in grave danger of collapse.