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OivedElokim-I’ll never give up
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TOPIC: OivedElokim-I’ll never give up 22030 Views

Re: OivedElokim-I’ll never give up 02 Nov 2022 11:20 #387149

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hST2cKmqv3vpV wrote on 02 Nov 2022 10:53:
I'll daven that Hashem gives you more money so you can make teshuvah
I think I calculated how much tzedaka I owe for (realistic) amount of illegal emissions I've had in order to do teshuva (based on the idea of a certain number of meals instead of fast days). It's somewhere between $2,500,000 -$3,000,000 (!!!!!!!)

Do you think Hashem actually wants that?!
Feel free to contact me at michelgelner@gmail.com

My threads: Lessons Learned: guardyoureyes.com/forum/20-Important-Threads/335248-Lessons-Learned

                    My Story and G-d Bless GYE: guardyoureyes.com/forum/17-Balei-Battims-Forum/303036-My-story-and-G-d-bless-GYE

Re: OivedElokim-I’ll never give up 15 Nov 2022 08:18 #387747

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Hey there brothers. It's been awhile and I figured I should check in although I don't have any good news to share.
It's been a rough few weeks in which I've been wallowing in feelings of depression and inadequacy, certain of the futility of life and my inability to confront it's challenges with the requisite strength and conviction, simply put-I feel like I don't have what it takes. That has driven me into an ever deepening pit of despair and hopelessness. 

I've watched porn multiple times in the past few weeks, breaking a streak of over four months. All the safeguards I have put in place failed to prevent me from that have failed miserably and I am at a loss as to how I can prevent it in the future. I am certain that my future is bleak, that my chances of entering into a loving, happy marriage are next to nil, and that I am doomed to a life of unhappiness, loneliness and gloom.  

One good thing that happened to me today was the unexpected appearance of a dear GYE friend who I've been in touch with for several months now over text. He asked me for my address last night after a long discussion in which I shared my pessimistic view of my predicament and my future. I thought nothing of it but gave it to him, only to awake in the morning to a text in which he informed me that he was on his way to meet me. He treated me to breakfast and we discussed my issues. He shared his own story of triumph over adversity, but that's not what got me. It was the fact that he took the time out of his schedule to drive over and try to knock some sense into my head. I was very touched. I went on to have the best day I had in weeks-today. I was productive and felt good at the end of the day. i hope he doesn't mind if I thank him by name-@HashemYeracheim613. You're a prince. Thank you man!

Anyways, I don't have a long term plan for success, not in the GYE areas and not in any other. All I have is but a glimmer of hope, a belief in the good of humanity, and the feeling that to some degree I have control over my destiny and that I can-with the help of G-d-turn my life around and become a source of light, hope and compassion for other floundering souls, searching for a way to discover their worth, to make a difference and live a life of meaning.

I hope to start posting more often, but I can't make any promises. I've broken too many already.
With love,
OivedElokim
For the background to my name- see Tanya פרק טו.
My old thread
My current thread 
Last Edit: 16 Nov 2022 02:38 by OivedElokim.

Re: OivedElokim-I’ll never give up 16 Nov 2022 03:49 #387784

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A lot of I in that paragraph, it's hard to release yourself from your own issues.Maybe it's time to take the next step.Or maybe like me, theres a part of you that doesnt want to let go.​I question your assertion that you don't have what it takes.​I think right now, you don't want to do what it takes, which I pass no judgment. I find myself there often as well.

Hatzlacha.
My Thread:The Road To Being Honest With Myself (and others:)

My other Thread: My Daily Inspiration

I'm not a slow learner, I'm just quick to forget" - Eli Nash

A bit of honesty and less over confidence might help me - Imperfection

Re: OivedElokim-I’ll never give up 01 Dec 2022 22:23 #388723

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Ok here goes people.
During my absence I've been watching porn several times a week and I don't see a world in which that stops in the immediate future.

But that's not going to be the subject of this post. I just wanted to get that out of the way.

Long story short, there have been many things that have caused me to doubt the veracity of our religion and way of life. It started off with smaller questions but at this point has morphed into an overarching narrative that dominates my thinking. I struggle with all the classic proofs given at the kiruv seminars and classes. I won't go into detail but let me just say I don't find any of it particularly compelling and all the answers seem to me contrived by those defending Yiddishkeit to paper over some really convincing questions. 

I've been scouring the internet for answers as well as for accounts of people who have left frum Yiddishkeit for other lifestyles. Much of it cemented my impression that there are no conclusive, correct answers to these questions, and that people don't just leave Yiddishkeit because of tayvos. Some of these people were very happy in their communities but couldn't live with cognitive dissonance. I find my self relating very strongly to them.

It makes me very sad that things have come to this, and I still hope that I will find a way to believe again and that this is just a passing fad. But my heart tells me that this is just the new me. It horrifies me to think of the ramifications that will have on my familial, social and communal life. I simply don't know what to do.

This post is just an update on where I'm holding, but I will tie it back to GYE issues just because I can. After losing faith I have less reasons to fight porn and especially masturbation. I have some reasons I want to stop unrelated to Yiddishkeit but it definitely takes away a lot of my drive, and the chizuk approach just won't work anymore. But honestly P&M is the least of my problems right now. My world is caving in on itself and burying me alive. The double life is expanding to all areas of my life, to the things that matter to me way more then sexual morality/purity.

God help me!

Confused and afraid,
OivedElokim   
For the background to my name- see Tanya פרק טו.
My old thread
My current thread 
Last Edit: 01 Dec 2022 22:24 by OivedElokim.

Re: OivedElokim-I’ll never give up 01 Dec 2022 22:42 #388725

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Thank you for your very honest post. May Hashem help you out of your pain and confusion. Don't disappear. Too many people care about you buddy.
Feel free to contact me at michelgelner@gmail.com

My threads: Lessons Learned: guardyoureyes.com/forum/20-Important-Threads/335248-Lessons-Learned

                    My Story and G-d Bless GYE: guardyoureyes.com/forum/17-Balei-Battims-Forum/303036-My-story-and-G-d-bless-GYE

Re: OivedElokim-I’ll never give up 01 Dec 2022 22:46 #388726

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@HHM thank you for that short but telling post.
Honestly when I saw that you responded I was afraid that I was in for a lecture or something.
Good to see that some people simply care on a human level.
Thank you for everything, and I definitely won't leave without saying goodbye!

Love you all,
OivedElokim
For the background to my name- see Tanya פרק טו.
My old thread
My current thread 

Re: OivedElokim-I’ll never give up 01 Dec 2022 23:22 #388727

Thank you for your honesty. The first step in moving through cognitive dissonance is naming it and you have already done that. I wish for you that you find the spiritual peace that you are looking for.

Re: OivedElokim-I’ll never give up 02 Dec 2022 00:54 #388731

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Thank you for your post, OivedElokim. I am davening for your strength to keep doing what's right. Your username is very telling about who you are as a person, an OvedElokim.
As someone who didn't grow up frum and who originally explored all of the "proofs" and arguments and everything you wrote about when I was becoming frum, my advice for you is to not to be תולה your yiddishkeit on proofs. Attempts at proving the historical truth of the Torah are vulnerable to pan out false (such as the Bible codes did), which is why it's really a disservice that so much out there in the kiruv world is about "proving" the Torah. The only infallible emunah is the a priori acceptance of halacha. That is, the acceptance of halacha must be an assumption, not an object of proof.

Also, regarding the people whom you described as being "very happy" in their off the derech lives, that's exactly the world I came from, so I am in a position to comment. Of course it's imaginable that someone can find some level of satisfaction even without living a life of connection to the Creator of the world. For example, a non-frum volunteer in a soup kitchen could likely report satisfaction in doing that kindness despite doing it for purely secular reasons. But you need to realize that you cannot every truly know if someone is actually happy or actually depressed and faking happiness unless you're that person's psychiatrist and you refill his antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication every 3 months. Because of this, I don't believe any reports of reports about who says they're happy. Celebrities are purportedly happy and it is well known that in fact they are unbelievably miserable. You just can't know who's really happy and who's not, and everyone wants everyone else to think their so happy, especially after they make a decision like going off the derech and don't want to feel any guilt.
In conclusion, I feel a tremendous amount of empathy for you. I really am so sorry you are going through this turmoil, and I pray that you make it out much, much stronger than you entered.
Here for you,
5Uu80*cdwB#^
As long as you keep fantasizing, you will never be able to stop masturbating.



As
long as you keep fantasizing, you will never be able to stop masturbating.



As
long as you keep fantasizing, you will never be able to stop masturbating.



If you meet 6 or more of the criteria listed below, you are an addict according to DSM-5 (I bolded six commonly met criteria) assuming porn/masturbation counts as a substance:

1. Using porn/masturbation more than intended or using it for longer than you’re meant to.

2. Trying to cut down or stop porn/masturbation but being unable to.

3. Experiencing intense cravings or urges to use porn/masturbation.

4. Needing more of porn/masturbation to get the desired effect — also called tolerance.

5. Developing withdrawal symptoms when not using porn/masturbation.

6. Spending more time getting and using porn/masturbation and recovering from porn/masturbation use.

7. Neglecting responsibilities at home, work or school because of porn/masturbation.

8. Continuing to use porn/masturbation even when it causes relationship problems.

9. Giving up important or desirable social and recreational activities due to porn/masturbation use.

10. Using porn/masturbation in risky settings that put you in danger.

11. Continuing to use porn/masturbation despite it causing problems to your physical and mental health.
Last Edit: 02 Dec 2022 01:03 by 5Uu80*cdwB#^.

Re: OivedElokim-I’ll never give up 02 Dec 2022 02:05 #388737

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Hi OivedElokim!! I admire your tenacity and courage in making this effort to think through your beliefs. I actually just heard from one of the generation's lights, lamenting the fact that parts of the system don't encourage critical thinking, in what we are learning and doing.

I digress to another point you mentioned recently, about commitment and your feelings of being incapable of keeping them. Unrelated to religious practice and thought, may I suggest you take a small commitment upon yourself, to do every day for a week? It can build you up into a much more robust and healthy person, with far reaching consequences. Simply said, start with something small, when you see you are successful for the week or two, amp it up a bit.

About your questions on faith and truth, do you feel that your other issues could possibly sway your thinking? I have been there myself at times, starting to convince myself that a certain opinion is correct because of intellectual reasons, but it was really my hormones talking.

Re: OivedElokim-I’ll never give up 02 Dec 2022 02:08 #388740

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שבע יפול צדיק וקם wrote on 01 Dec 2022 23:22:
Thank you for your honesty. The first step in moving through cognitive dissonance is naming it and you have already done that. I wish for you that you find the spiritual peace that you are looking for.

Thank you for your kind words and wishes.
All the best to you!
For the background to my name- see Tanya פרק טו.
My old thread
My current thread 

Re: OivedElokim-I’ll never give up 02 Dec 2022 02:36 #388741

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5Uu80*cdwB#^ wrote on 02 Dec 2022 00:54:
Thank you for your post, OivedElokim. I am davening for your strength to keep doing what's right. Your username is very telling about who you are as a person, an OvedElokim.
As someone who didn't grow up frum and who originally explored all of the "proofs" and arguments and everything you wrote about when I was becoming frum, my advice for you is to not to be תולה your yiddishkeit on proofs. Attempts at proving the historical truth of the Torah are vulnerable to pan out false (such as the Bible codes did), which is why it's really a disservice that so much out there in the kiruv world is about "proving" the Torah. The only infallible emunah is the a priori acceptance of halacha. That is, the acceptance of halacha must be an assumption, not an object of proof.

Also, regarding the people whom you described as being "very happy" in their off the derech lives, that's exactly the world I came from, so I am in a position to comment. Of course it's imaginable that someone can find some level of satisfaction even without living a life of connection to the Creator of the world. For example, a non-frum volunteer in a soup kitchen could likely report satisfaction in doing that kindness despite doing it for purely secular reasons. But you need to realize that you cannot every truly know if someone is actually happy or actually depressed and faking happiness unless you're that person's psychiatrist and you refill his antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication every 3 months. Because of this, I don't believe any reports of reports about who says they're happy. Celebrities are purportedly happy and it is well known that in fact they are unbelievably miserable. You just can't know who's really happy and who's not, and everyone wants everyone else to think their so happy, especially after they make a decision like going off the derech and don't want to feel any guilt.
In conclusion, I feel a tremendous amount of empathy for you. I really am so sorry you are going through this turmoil, and I pray that you make it out much, much stronger than you entered.
Here for you,
5Uu80*cdwB#^

Thank you for your thoughtful post. I will attempt to address each point you made.

First of all, I am not תולה my Yiddishkeit on proofs, but it's a big part of the equation. If I cannot justify it in my mind, I cannot continue to do it. I don't reject Yiddishkeit's claims merely because I found a logical fallacy in a specific proof. Rather, the whole thing feels wrong to me for a myriad of reasons which I do not want to specify simply because A- I don't want to make this thread about this subject-not the point of GYE and B- I don't want to damage anyone else's faith. My intuition is a very strong force in my life and my intuition tells me that it's all baloney. That coupled with lack of proof equals lack of faith.

In regards to whether OTD people are generally happy-I honestly don't know, although I would assume that some are and some aren't, like in everything. Sweeping generalizations are very unhelpful and generally inaccurate. 

I don't remember why the question of their happiness came up, but these are my thoughts on the subject:
Yes, a believer in and follower of frum Yiddishkeit can potentially have a lot of meaning, purpose and drive to live.
If you have a neat belief system that helps you cope with misfortune and challenge and allows you to feel like a good person simply by following its dictates-you will probably by very fulfilled.
However: I know of many frum people who live very dull, depressing and meaningless lives. At the moment I count myself amongst them.
This can happen for many different reasons, which are maybe beyond the scope of our discussion, certainly this post.

So happiness isn't automatic, whether you're frum or not or Catholic or atheist. No religion or philosophy has made everyone who adhered to it happy. So ultimately the question of whether frum people are happier then non-frum ones is irrelevant. It's possible to be miserable or happy in both of those lifestyles.

My issue however, is that frum life and belief cannot provide meaning and purpose to my life because I don't buy it anymore.
If there was a magic way to regain my faith and put this genie back in the bottle, I would do it in a heartbeat.
But it doesn't look like I'll have that opportunity, and it's absolutely devastating.

Thank you again for sharing your thoughts and experience.

I hope that the mods are ok with the content of this post. If not I can delete it. If you want to discuss these issues with me directly feel free to PM me.

With a heavy heart,
OivedElokim
For the background to my name- see Tanya פרק טו.
My old thread
My current thread 
Last Edit: 02 Dec 2022 02:36 by OivedElokim.

Re: OivedElokim-I’ll never give up 02 Dec 2022 02:48 #388742

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frank.lee wrote on 02 Dec 2022 02:05:
Hi OivedElokim!! I admire your tenacity and courage in making this effort to think through your beliefs. I actually just heard from one of the generation's lights, lamenting the fact that parts of the system don't encourage critical thinking, in what we are learning and doing.

I digress to another point you mentioned recently, about commitment and your feelings of being incapable of keeping them. Unrelated to religious practice and thought, may I suggest you take a small commitment upon yourself, to do every day for a week? It can build you up into a much more robust and healthy person, with far reaching consequences. Simply said, start with something small, when you see you are successful for the week or two, amp it up a bit.

About your questions on faith and truth, do you feel that your other issues could possibly sway your thinking? I have been there myself at times, starting to convince myself that a certain opinion is correct because of intellectual reasons, but it was really my hormones talking.

Thank you for your gracious words. It means a lot to me.

Regarding learning to keep commitments-
I've read about that method before, have tried to put it into practice with little success. But my main response to your comment on the subject is that I don't have the headspace to work on myself in that way right now. I'm too consumed with considering my current state of mind and weighing my options of how to move forward. It's a deeply painful and stressful place to be in. I don't wish it on anyone. So the self-help hacks will have to wait for now...

Regarding the possible motivations behind my doubts: I actually discussed this with my therapist today and have thought a lot about it on my own.
The basic conclusion I've reached is that almost no position anyone takes comes from a purely intellectual place. We always have emotional reasons for our intellectual positions. That doesn't invalidate my questions though. I am positive that they come from a place of ruthless intellectual honesty. I don't mean to brag-just to describe myself. I am a horrible liar both to others and to myself, and have a very acute awareness of myself. My emotional issues with the frum lifestyle and that of the specific community I am a part of definitely play some role here, but they aren't the primary driver. I am very happy to accept all the restrictions of this lifestyle if I am 100% convinced that it is the right way to live. I don't know if that answers your question or not. Let me know what you think.

Thank you again for engaging with me. Wishing you all the best!
OivedElokim
For the background to my name- see Tanya פרק טו.
My old thread
My current thread 
Last Edit: 03 Dec 2022 23:12 by OivedElokim.

Re: OivedElokim-I’ll never give up 02 Dec 2022 02:49 #388743

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Hey Oived!

First of all, you are awesome!!! I got chizzuk just from seeing your honesty on an all Jewish forum. Kudos to you! 

The reality is that we are here to support each other no matter what! You could be completely irreligious and WE ALL would still want to help you have a normal and healthy life. 

I want to share one thing personal that you may find interesting. In matter of fact, I only realized this changed because of your post! 

Most of my life, I had very rough times in my life and I would ponder whether I would be happer not to be alive. I don't think I was every anywhere remotely near suicidal, but I still wondered about the "easy solution." The interesting thing was that every time I considered that possibility, I always decided I could just go off the derech and then I would probably be happy to be alive. #MINDBLOW

Anyway, fast forward and have been clean like over 700 days or s/t BH!!! Well, guess what I haven't had those thoughts in a while at all! 

I'm just asking you to think carefully, about what really is telling you it would be happier on the other side. And I completely respsect your decision, but either way I recommend not watching porn - it is quite destructive....

Keep up the great work and don't be a stranger! ))

Re: OivedElokim-I’ll never give up 02 Dec 2022 02:56 #388744

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Realestatemogul wrote on 02 Dec 2022 02:49:
Hey Oived!

First of all, you are awesome!!! I got chizzuk just from seeing your honesty on an all Jewish forum. Kudos to you! 

The reality is that we are here to support each other no matter what! You could be completely irreligious and WE ALL would still want to help you have a normal and healthy life. 

I want to share one thing personal that you may find interesting. In matter of fact, I only realized this changed because of your post! 

Most of my life, I had very rough times in my life and I would ponder whether I would be happer not to be alive. I don't think I was every anywhere remotely near suicidal, but I still wondered about the "easy solution." The interesting thing was that every time I considered that possibility, I always decided I could just go off the derech and then I would probably be happy to be alive. #MINDBLOW

Anyway, fast forward and have been clean like over 700 days or s/t BH!!! Well, guess what I haven't had those thoughts in a while at all! 

I'm just asking you to think carefully, about what really is telling you it would be happier on the other side. And I completely respsect your decision, but either way I recommend not watching porn - it is quite destructive....

Keep up the great work and don't be a stranger! ))

Thank you for your kind words and for sharing your experience.

It's funny that you mention suicide, as it has crossed my mind as a possible "solution" to this issue. I am not suicidal right now although I've been close to it in the past.

I don't think I'll be happy whether I remain frum or not. I will either force myself to live a double life-אחד בפה ואחד בלב.
My other option is leaving behind my family, friends and community and everything I've known and loved to assimilate into a world I do not know and will probably never fully feel comfortable in. It's a lose lose situation.

In regard to not watching porn for secular reasons-I agree in principle that it is destructive regardless, but it take away the urgency of the matter in a big way. So I'm not planning on continuing forever, I just don't feel the need to stop right now.

In terms of my ultimate decision-I'm not making any rash moves. I have and will continue to carefully examine my thoughts and feelings, and my potential options going forward. I'm not doing anything impulsively at all.
For the background to my name- see Tanya פרק טו.
My old thread
My current thread 
Last Edit: 02 Dec 2022 03:00 by OivedElokim.

Re: OivedElokim-I’ll never give up 02 Dec 2022 09:39 #388755

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I am sure you are searching for the truth, but maybe reading online material by those who think they are very smart but are not erudite or unbiased is not the best way to go.

Ask a real talmid chacham. In Judaism, we are open to probing questions on all issues. Not always can this work in a school setting, and not everyone has the knowledge, but you are always free to ask.

Send me any questions you have, happy to see if I can clear anything up for you. There are so many seforim, starting from the Gemara, which take apart and question any possible contradiction. There are so many great questions which I, or any real talmid chacham much greater than me, can easily answer you.

What you need to do first is wrote out exactly what is your benchmark. Do you need ALL your questions answered, otherwise you feel you should leave it all? Is it enough for proof beyond reasonable doubt? What if you find/feel that you are convinced that 80% chance it is correct? What if you see intellectual proof but still do not feel emotionally ok with yiddishkeit?

You can also check out the videos of Tuvia Singer. I know many people who became Jewish because of his intellectual proofs and clarity on all parts. He also is an emotional person who can understand what you are going through.

Sometimes when you work out other issues, suddenly you have no questions anymore, and vice versa. There was a fine fellow who one day publicly dropped his religious observance. Maybe he decided that he had great questions on everything. But he also just happened to spend some quality time with a fun non-jewish person of the opposite gender and apparently a failure with his taivos.

Think about it - our nation was blessed with great thinkers who kept the Torah and Halacha. Did they not think of your brilliant questions (or those on these blogs) or did they ignore their gnawing doubts, or did they knowingly live a life of fraud?

Keep seeking the truth! May you find peace and the truth and may you find all the answers/questions.
Last Edit: 02 Dec 2022 09:53 by frank.lee. Reason: mobile was not typing normally
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