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TOPIC: starting my battle 23928 Views

Re: starting my battle 03 Aug 2009 05:42 #10473

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Re: starting my battle 04 Aug 2009 19:39 #10725

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If you think you're generally good at resisting temptation, you're probably wrong, scientists now say.

"People are not good at anticipating the power of their urges, and those who are the most confident about their self-control are the most likely to give into temptation," said Loran Nordgren, senior lecturer of management and organizations at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, in Illinois.

The result: Many of us unwittingly expose ourselves to tempting chocolate or cigarettes, leading to a greater likelihood of indulging in addictive behaviors.

Nordgren reached the conclusion through a series of small, offbeat experiments done primarily with college students. The results may hold for the broader population, but that has not been studied.

In one experiment, more than twice as many smokers who thought they could resist temptation lit up a cigarette in a no-smoking test as those who realized they didn't have so much control.

Those who puff out their chests in the face of temptation have a deflated view of others. "They also demonize others," Nordgren told LiveScience. "They take a very dim view of other people who act impulsively, because they have this belief that they themselves wouldn't act this way."

The bottom line, Nordgren says: Avoid situations where such weaknesses thrive, and remember you're not that invincible. 


I just saw this article on livescience.com. Sounds a lot like admitting powerlessness, no?


Last Edit: by torahismyantidote.

Re: starting my battle 04 Aug 2009 20:15 #10734

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It's similiar to the concept of avoiding Nisyonos.
Just as an alcoholic needs to avoid that first sip, a lust addict needs to avoid that first slip.Slip today? No way! ;)Fall today? No way, Jose'!
Last Edit: by growingjew5770.

Re: starting my battle 04 Aug 2009 22:23 #10790

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Yes. And I'd like to add that I believe with a perfect emunah that I can sit for a hour learning Sha'arei RMCH"L, gemorah, or Bnei Yisoschar (after asking my Best Eternal Friend to help me learn right so I get better and do His Will), daven a happy and tearful mincha, and still end up acting out worse than I ever did before within an hour or less, ruining my wonderful life - if I choose to take a longer look than He arranged for me to, at an inappropriate image I pass by. It doesn't have to happen - but it can. As RMB"N says in Kedoshim, the change that overtakes a person from lust is shocking. They'd never believe it themselves, because they are really good people. And he may not even be talking about addicts...ouch.
I also totally reject the idea that the very change in my priorities and perspective that happens as a result of looking proves that I wasn't really sincere in the first place. I believe many addicts do sincerely desire to stop but simply do not know how.
I also reject the idea that my insincerity is proven by the very fact that I took that extra look. Some may disagree, but addicts are really very perplexing so I can't blame any of them for it.
I have no defence whatsoever from even the very first "drink", as an addict. I wish no schar at all for any hisgabrus over lust, as I give the entire credit to Hashem. Oy vavoy for me when I start to take credit for "beating the YH". I speak only for myself here, friends. I have discovered that i really, actually, need Hashem's help for it. I do not need "encouragement" any more than I need encouragement to breathe or to eat (nu, I'll still take some chizzuk once in a while!). I ask for His help each day for staying sober that day only, and he gives it to me so far. I can't work for sobriety tomorrow any more than I can eat or go to the restroom for tomorrow.
So yes, we generally avoid nisyonos as yidden, but for me, with lust, it is because I'm an addict and I know that the change lusting brings over me takes all my bechirah away. Very much like getting stoned. You really never know what you'll end up doing. That change makes me miserable, useless and pathetic and I do not want to go back there, cuz I'll die there. Nevertheless, I still will, by my own power and w/my very best thinking. Thank G-d for sobriety today! He must love us so much! Now I think I'll sit down and learn...
Admin put these lines here cuz he likes 'em:
"The heart needs to be broken when will-power is not enough"
"Get off the 18-Wheeler and onto a tricycle!"
"The heck with me, what can I do for you?"
"I do not particularly care exactly which "lav" suicide is. I'm not interested in it for other reasons!"
Last Edit: by jonathanshenley.

Re: starting my battle 09 Aug 2009 05:35 #11269

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I have B"H had 71 clean days. I do not have much time to post so I just wanted to update.
Last Edit: by cohenherald.

Re: starting my battle 09 Aug 2009 13:15 #11289

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Me too.Minus the 70.And the 1.
Stay strong

Uri
Last Edit: by mamishyid.

Re: starting my battle 09 Aug 2009 17:50 #11314

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Uri (JA) wrote on 09 Aug 2009 13:15:

Me too.Minus the 70.And the 1.
Stay strong

Uri
Very, very funny. Really. I think we are both seriously ill.... :
Admin put these lines here cuz he likes 'em:
"The heart needs to be broken when will-power is not enough"
"Get off the 18-Wheeler and onto a tricycle!"
"The heck with me, what can I do for you?"
"I do not particularly care exactly which "lav" suicide is. I'm not interested in it for other reasons!"
Last Edit: by safesw19.

Re: starting my battle 14 Aug 2009 05:35 #12289

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I must say that I have not spent much time over the past days thinking actively about my addiction. I find that I am much better off focusing on improving myself slowly with baby steps with the goal of becoming a different person; one for whom lust is not overwhelming. As Dov has written, lusting is essentially a self-centered activity. I have begun to make a concerted effort to do things solely for the sake of others. Some of these things are things that I had been doing in the past, like helping my wife, but I have tried to shift the focus from being something that I do to make my wife happier so that my life should be easier, to something that I do specifically for her sake. Once I started focusing on this, I was shocked to realize how little I do that is not self-centered. I am truly embarassed with myself.

On a more positive note, this approach of taking baby steps alleviates the pressure of any large scale goal and allows me to make myself a better person, one deed at a time. I do not say to myself "I will not be self-centered today", I just try to focus on others one moment at a time. This has been a really refreshing activity.

The one thing that I grapple with is the conention that I should not Daven for myself. I understand that it promotes a self-centered attitude, but I really do need Hashem and I feel the need to ask Him for my needs. How do I rely on Hashem without asking for His help? If someone can explain this I would be truly grateful.
Last Edit: by Wasilewicz.

Re: starting my battle 14 Aug 2009 07:31 #12300

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I must say that I have not spent much time over the past days thinking actively about my addiction. I find that I am much better off focusing on improving myself slowly with baby steps with the goal of becoming a different person; one for whom lust is not overwhelming


Thanks for sharing hoping. I have had a similar experience.  try to do "small things" that make a "big difference". 

By the way there is a great book that helps with self improvement by zelig pleskin. It is called gateway to self knowledge.  If you are really interesting in getting to know yourselves and effecting a change, that is the place to go.


On a more positive note, this approach of taking baby steps alleviates the pressure of any large scale goal and allows me to make myself a better person, one deed at a time. I do not say to myself "I will not be self-centered today", I just try to focus on others one moment at a time. This has been a really refreshing activity.

Something that helped me was not to make an all day avodah (most people are not around their wives all day, anyways). Rather, I would try to go out of my way once or twice a day to do something selfless that shows my true concern.  Also, I would find those moments of truth to help me grow.  For example. My wife calls me on the phone to ask me to pick up groceries on the way home from shul.  I reach into my pocket and notice that I left my wallet at home.  I could just tell her, "sorry, I can't. I do not have my wallet on me".  But that would be selfish.  I could tell her, "no problem.  I just do not have my wallet with me.  When I get home I will get my wallet and then run out again". But this creates two problems.  One, being that my wife cares for me the same way I care for her, she will tell me to forget about it.  And now she will end of shlepping out herself.  Two, I get to feed my selfishness as I become the hero. (apply this principle with care. I can explain another time if you want) So, I opted for plan C, which is simply to say, "no problem". period.  Then, after shul I get my wallet and go back out again.  All with a big smile of course. 
These are the simple every day examples that we can use to help us grow to become selfless.


The one thing that I grapple with is the conention that I should not Daven for myself. I understand that it promotes a self-centered attitude, but I really do need Hashem and I feel the need to ask Him for my needs. How do I rely on Hashem without asking for His help? If someone can explain this I would be truly grateful.

Firstly, don't forget there is a halacha called chayecha kodmin.  You can ask your Rav or any mentor for guidance (or speak to berdichev).  But, as far as I know there is nothing wrong for davening for your own needs.  It is important to strive to be completely selfless, but care should be taken not to pretend to be selfless when one is still holding by selfish, where most people are.  To think only of others, when one is not ready for this, can run a person down in the long run. Parenting books talk about this a lot.  If we are always thinking about our children, and never turn our attention to ourselves, one can get resentful and worn down.  So , be truthful for yourself. 

idealism is necessary for growth. Just do not forget about realism.

However, you do not need to go the other extreme.  You can still daven for others.  And go out of your way whenever davening for yourself, to find someone that has the same issue as you and daven for him as well.  This is what chazal tell us. When I daven for protection from p**n, I ask Hashem all the time to help all the yidden on GYE and the world with this.  For three months I went to the Kosel once a week to daven for our Heillige Chaburah.  I brought a list the usernames from GYE with me and recited each username.  There were times, I was zoche to real tears as I pictured the yidden drowning for help.

And besides that, if there is a close friend or family member that needs your davening, daven for them.  I try not to overwhelm myself with too many "obligations", it just simply does not last. But, I always take a few people that I know could really use that help and daven.  Whether that person is looking for a shiduch, parnassa, just general depression or confusion.  I will even daven for a particular person on GYE when they need help. 

This also helps me be in tune to other people's needs.     

So, bottom line; there is no reason to stop thinking and davening for yourself (unless a proper moreh derech has told you otherwise. ) But don't become selfish either by only thinking of yourself.  Always think of others as you think of yourself. Always look at the world, both within and without and ask where you can help.

And don't forget to daven for me.  I could really use siyata d'shmaya now in some inyanim (don't worry, not related to p**n). 
Last Edit: 14 Aug 2009 12:01 by lostbattlebutnotthewar.

Re: starting my battle 14 Aug 2009 17:27 #12376

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So, I opted for plan C, which is simply to say, "no problem". period.  Then, after shul I get my wallet and go back out again.  All with a big smile of course.  These are the simple every day examples that we can use to help us grow to become selfless


This is greatness!!

hen I daven for protection from p**n, I ask Hashem all the time to help all the yidden on GYE and the world with this.  For three months I went to the Kosel once a week to daven for our Heillige Chaburah.  I brought a list the usernames from GYE with me and recited each username.  There were times, I was zoche to real tears as I pictured the yidden drowning for hel


Thank you very very much my brother

Noorah
[b]כי שבע יפול צדיק וקם[/b] 
A Tzadik is he who continues to  bounce back after he hits bottom, even a hundred times !!!!!Rav Don Segal Shlita
Last Edit: by iwanttobreakfree.

Re: starting my battle 16 Aug 2009 17:26 #12550

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hoping wrote on 14 Aug 2009 05:35:
I must say that I have not spent much time over the past days thinking actively about my addiction....Once I started focusing on this, I was shocked to realize how little I do that is not self-centered. I am truly embarassed with myself.
Three points of feedback that may make this climb easier for you, Hoping:
First, let's all recognize that what you are doing is so beyond tremendous. This is Torah in action. This is what they mean when they say "lo hamedrash ha'ikkar, ella hama'aseh". Addicts, in particular, can learn tons of Torah (and what seems like real mussar) about chesed (means mashpiya), ratzon Hashem (rather than mine), and shiflus (my will, kovod, comfort, just isn't as important as my gut tells me it is) and still we can be amazed at the awareness we get about ourselves and the change we see in ourselves over time from simply putting it into action. This is making it real to us and a good thing to be mechavein when we say "ki heim chayeynu ve'orech yameinu".
Second, these changes take lots of time, cause they are real changes. And that makes them very precious, so it's worth the wait.
Finally, the initial self-recognition I have when doing this kind of "work", can be negative, as you describe. But it seems you were not fooled. You recognized "how little you do that is not self-centered", not that you a truly selfish person. It's natural to be self-centered, especially after years of pleasing ourselves with lust and mas++ - but now you are going up the ladder. Your direction is toward giving. That makes all the difference, really. When chazal say that it was as though klal yisroel brought the korban pesach on the 10th when they just went to collect the animals(Rashi there), they mean just this, I think. In this respect, the direction you take defines you much more than where you are coming from does. So, again, for me to worry at all about how selfish and self-centered I am is just another way to comfortably slip back into my selfish and sel-centered thinking. Yow! How tricky. But this is what makes real life so interesting .
a really refreshing activity
oh, yezz!

The one thing that I grapple with is the conention that I should not Daven for myself. I understand that it promotes a self-centered attitude, but I really do need Hashem and I feel the need to ask Him for my needs. How do I rely on Hashem without asking for His help? If someone can explain this I would be truly grateful.
This is a langeh arichus (my middle name, perhaps!). But here goes, be"H:
It's not that the etzem davening for myself is bad for me, but that it is an exercise of the wrong muscle. it is still a good thing, just not what I really need most. I need to be outward focused. As Reb Yaakov wrote, it needs to be tempered in a realistic way. Practically speaking, this attitude explaines a chazal that is, I believe, addressing the basic outward tefillah attitude, but of course, for average people (I tweak these things for an addict like me and need a lot of syata dishmaya to do that!): We all know "One who davens for his friend (first), will be answered first." What does Hashem want from us? To daven for our friends first so that we are answered ealier? To "use" our friends' tzores for quicker service? That can't be what is going on here. It seems to me that they are just telling us like it is. People, even really great people, tend to be rather selfishly motivated. It is even OK sometimes, as was said above: "Chayecha kodmin". For an addict, though, this is not so simple. Per all tikkun hamiddos hadracha in the seforim, we need to go a bit toward the self-less extreme in order to get better. I feel this is obvious, though admit it's difficult to apply. Chazal are showing us that Hashem wants us to use our very selfishness to work on our selfishness! It's actually genius. It's the way to start. The next "stage" is truly being focused on my fellows' needs, and "if I'm answered first, so be it, that's Hashem's business, not mine".
As far as not asking Hashem for my needs at all, well, I admit it's rather extreme. I ask Hashem for my needs all the time, but I ask Him for them so I can be a better father, husband, yid for him, to help others, not make a chillul Shemo c"v, etc. But the key is to really try and be honest about it. If we can't ask for our needs for these reasons, the honest thing to do (which is really just as good, I think) is to ask for our needs and ask hashem to help us want to ask for them for a giving goal, one day. Nu. It's the direction you are going that matters most, not where you are nor where you are coming from....
And you are obviously going UP!

Admin put these lines here cuz he likes 'em:
"The heart needs to be broken when will-power is not enough"
"Get off the 18-Wheeler and onto a tricycle!"
"The heck with me, what can I do for you?"
"I do not particularly care exactly which "lav" suicide is. I'm not interested in it for other reasons!"
Last Edit: by akiva5743.

Re: starting my battle 16 Aug 2009 20:21 #12565

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Thank you Yakov and Dov for your responses. They were very insightful.

What has been particularly enlightening for me is the different ways I can approach 'selfless' acts. I have always been considered (by others and by myself) to be a caring person. I would never have been called selfish by others. That is why it was such a shock to me when I realized (thank you,Dov!) that acting out is essentially a selfish activity. I could not understand my own underlying nature. I decided to try a proactive approach to focusing on others. Instead of offering help to someone when I felt it was needed (which is reactive), I consciously decide to think about one individual and find something that I can do solely for that individual's benefit. It is through this activity that I realized that all of my reactive selflessness is ultimately geared towards fulfilling my personal feeling that I should care about others. While I do not think that it is bad to do this, it ultimately turns all of my outward activity inward. My new proactive approach is less selfish on a much more honest level. This is what I meant when i wrote that I had been doing hardly anything for completely selfless reasons.
The reactive nature leaves me feeling resentful when I  force myself to do too much for others, whereas the proactive approach has been much more refreshing. I am only at the tip of the iceberg and none of this activity comes to me naturally, but I hope that eventually my mind will follow my actions.

With regard to Tefilla, I can't afford to take away any motivation that I have for Davening at this time. Tefilla is one area where I am particularly inconsistent and my personal needs are a big motivator. I think that for the time being I will just add a Tefeilla that I should be Zoche to reach a point when others' needs are more important to me than my own.
Last Edit: by moshe8797803.

Re: starting my battle 17 Aug 2009 20:21 #12810

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I feel that I must say how excited I am about the explosion of activity on the forum. Brov Am Hadras Melech. For the past few months I have been hoping that more people would hear about this wonderful Makom Kadosh and I am truly thrilled to be joined by so many others.

Now if only we could get the message out in public.....
Last Edit: by Jbinn1717.

Re: starting my battle 17 Aug 2009 23:10 #12858

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...now if that isn't thinking about others, I don't know what is!
Admin put these lines here cuz he likes 'em:
"The heart needs to be broken when will-power is not enough"
"Get off the 18-Wheeler and onto a tricycle!"
"The heck with me, what can I do for you?"
"I do not particularly care exactly which "lav" suicide is. I'm not interested in it for other reasons!"
Last Edit: by 1DayMore.

Re: starting my battle 18 Aug 2009 10:11 #12973

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How about some of the silent eavesdroppers hiding in the corners coming forward and joining us in honor of Elul?
Hashem is addicted to you! Feel His hugs!"Sheva yipol tzaddik VKUM"
Last Edit: by MevaksheiPanecha.
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