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Daniel's Journey (Wow)
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TOPIC: Daniel's Journey (Wow) 2462 Views

Day 70: Hashem has taken me to a good place 16 Aug 2010 19:30 #76631

All I can say my friends, is that I have never felt better.  For the first 50 or so days of my sobriety, I really was holding on for dear life.  There were days where I could not think about anything but my pain and discomfort but all I knew was that I couldn't act out.  And I couldn't see any end in sight.  When is it going to get easier?  Is it possible to live like this the rest of my life?  I remember calling someone from program and asking him "Is ir really possible to stay sober despite being in so much pain?".  The answer he gave me was yes.  So I resigned myself to just trudging away.  Besides, I saw people in program who looked happy and thought that one day I will get there too, I just hope it happens soon!  Also, I had seen some progress, but the pain was still so great.  But then, around day 50, some good stuff started to happen.  I was sitting one Shabbos and felt serenity.  The kind of serenity that is deep, like being on valium but much better and more real.  It was awesome, but it went away after a little bit.  Then it came back a few days later at a meeting.  Wow, this is great I thought, but that also went away.  It came and went like this over the next week and then about 3 days ago it came and hasn't gone away since!!! You heard it, I have been high on serenity for about 3 days straight.  It's like being on drugs only better.  My body feels light, I feel calm and tingly, and it really feels like I'm on something.  3 days straight!  I could never have dreamed of this.  I am not fazed by all of life's trivialities, I feel that as long as I'm sober I will be able to handle whatever comes my way.  All I can say is that just like a lot of us don't know where our acting out is going to lead us, ie there may be consequences that we didn't foresee Ch'V,  so too we don't know where our sobriety where lead us either.  There are surprises along the way.  Like what I'm experiencing right now.  I went to a meeting last night and i told my sponsor "I have found serenity, and if everything hits the fan right now, I don't care.  As long as I have inner serenity I will be ok."  This is a truly amazing and unexpected gift of sobriety.  And in such a short period of time!  That's not so say I don't have worries, I still do.  But it's as if they are restricted to my mind and not allowed to enter my heart that way they used to.  Oh yeah, I'm also falling in love with my wife again.  I know, it's all too crazy.

I have spent so much of my past corrupting this pure energy that Hashem has given me.  This energy is supposed to be used to connect to others.  Not just in a sexual way, but the same energy that is used for relations with our wives is also used to connect to Hashem and other people as well.  I think of it as "The Connection Energy".  When this energy becomes perverted and distorted it has far reaching consequences and effects many areas.  It distorts all our relationships and makes us unable to connect to anyone in a spiritual way.  It also separates us from Hashem.  What I feel is happening to me is that this energy is being fixed. I am becoming able to connect to Hashem again, hence the serenity.  The serenity is really just Hashem's energy flowing into me.  I am also connecting more to people, feeling love and concern towards them.  Especially my wife, who I am falling in love with all over again.  And my kids, who I really enjoy to be around.  My davening today was also amazing, I felt a rush of energy flow through me for like five minutes, with everything just tingling and feeling like a wind was blowing through me.  All of this is a result of this holy energy being put to it's proper use.  It really is a miracle.  Thank you Hashem, your reward is so much more than what I deserve!  Just pure chesed.
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Re: Daniel's Journey (Wow) 16 Aug 2010 20:14 #76639

  • bardichev


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Re: Daniel's Journey (Wow) 16 Aug 2010 20:24 #76640

  • Yosef Hatzadik
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You put many of my thoughts into words!

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Re: Daniel's Journey (Wow) 18 Aug 2010 00:16 #76756

  • zalmandovid
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you have been truly blessed. May you continue to find Hashems hand in your sobriety.
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Pain, not Suffering 19 Aug 2010 00:31 #76828

Today is 71.  I still feel serene, but not floating as much as before.  Probably because I am working really hard and feeling a little tired and stressed. But thats ok.  This is life.  In recovery, I learn that pain is innevitable, but suffering is not.  That means that noone goes through life without pain.  And even if we could, it wouldnt be a good thing. Pain is a sign of growth.  Can we think of anything awesome that we ever attained without some pain?  Nope.  When we work out, pain.  When we study, pain.  When we work hard, pain.  And yes, when we get sober, pain.  This is the nature of olam hazeh, that all growth is difficult.  Climbing up a hill is so strenuous and painful, going down is so easy.  The good news is that just because pain is inevitable doesnt mean suffering is.  Because as long as we accept the pain, there will be no suffering.  Suffering results when we fight the pain, or tell ourselves that we shouldnt be in pain.  Once we just learn to accept it then it becomes ok.  A good example of this is working out.  When we exercize we are in pain, but not suffering.  In fact, we actually enjoy the pain becuase we know the pain indicate to us that we are getting a good workout.  I often feel dissapointed at the end of an easy work out that didn't involve much pain.  So the key to a happy sobriety to is to view the pain in the same way.  It is a sign of growth.  So that's what I'm working on.  Also reminding myself to not take on too much responsibility.  I love the line "I am only responsible for my own actions".  Having grown up in a house where I was always responible for everyone else's actions I need to learn this lesson. 
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Re: Daniel's Journey (Wow) 19 Aug 2010 01:15 #76830

  • Ineedhelp!!
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Hey Daniel,

Your amazing post reminded me of a beatifull poem that I read today (quoted as written anonymously):

Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don't know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you're tired and weary
Because it means you've made a difference.
It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.

GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles and they
can become your blessings.

I'm thinking of printing this out and posting it next to my bed. It can really change my outlook on the day and have a great effect.

Thanks for the inspiration Daniel!

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Day 73: Plateau 19 Aug 2010 21:14 #76882

I'm at day 73 and it's definitely getting easier.  I used to have very vivid dreams about losing my sobriety and feeling deep regret and shame within the dream.  THank G-d I haven't had that in a while.  The OCD that I said was getting exacerbated by my withdrawel symptoms is not an issue anymore.  The nagging thoughts to act out are greatly diminished.  I still feel calm, but like I mentioned in the last post, not floating on serenity like before.  But i defenitely feel like I'm able to handle lifes challenges much more easily. I'm not getting swayed like an emotional rollercoaster like before.  Wow, that was crazy!  But there are still some challenges.  I thought that by now my cheshek to learn Torah would come back, but it's only come back partly, not all the way.  I still have to force myself to learn. Which is ok, but it would  be nice to have more of an inner drive.  My davening could still use some work, as I will space out for a lot of it.  The good news is, that when I am focused in davening I have been able to reach great heights.  This morning I had another rush of energy flow through me in my tefillah.  But all in all, I feel that over the last week things have not progressed as fast as they had previous to that.  And that's probably because it's also been easier over the last week.  Isnt it amazing how there is a correlation between pain and growth?  But now I am realizing that this is what sober life is.  It's not that crazy up and down life that we have when we're acting out.  Rather it's a life of continuous steady growth.  Another important thing that has been happenning to me lately is the ability to fix relationships.  Hashem is literally giving me many opportunities to heal many of these relationships that god damaged over the last few years.  Now I realize how important it is for us to have our relationships in order.  I am also finding my ability to communicate improving.  It seems the words are flowing out much more easily.  If anyone has any idea how this relates to sobriety, let me know.  I am also feeling this feeling of being free.  That the goyisha world doesn't control me anymore.  Rather, I am a yid and I answer to Hashem and that whole world out there doesnt have shlita over me.  It's interesting because I saw in a Breslov book that one of the rewards for guarding your bris is that you will become free.  I didn't know what this meant until now, and many of you reading this may not know what this means.  But if you get sober you will.  This freedom from the power of others is probably the greatest spiritual gift that I have been given in my recovery so far.  I want to thank everyone who has been leaving me their words of chizuk.  I love you all.
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Day 77: A Major Breakthrough 24 Aug 2010 01:12 #77055

Today one of the most amazing things happened to me since I started in recovery.  I came into contact with a huge character defect of mine that has plagued me for years (you'll see why that's amazing soon). I've known about this defect for a while, but when I was acting out I never really got a chance to focus in on it and see how it was destroying my serenity.  But now that I'm sober, this thing has reared it's ugly head and looks HUGE.  It looks as big as my lust did when I was acting out.  And it's threatening to destroy my serenity just like lust did.  Now, normally I hate dealing with these things.  Just give me a beer, a movie, and a bag of popcorn and let me escape.  But today, I found myself feeling so grateful to Hashem and this program for giving me the opportunity to work on this defect.    I have never felt this way before about any of my challenges.  I have heard other people talk about feeling grateful for their challenges but I thought they were just nuts or trying to make themselves feel better about their situation.  BUT I REALLY FEEL GRATEFUL!  I am grateful to the point that my eyes are welling up with tears as I write.  I feel like this is an opportunity to work on myself and thereby grow to the next level.  This program has taught me that whenever I confront pain, it's an opportunity to grow and change.  Thank you Hashem for giving me another opportunity to grow, and I know that just as you save me every day from lust, you will also save me from all my other defects.
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Day 85: Still a sexaholic 31 Aug 2010 21:25 #77483

So I'm at day 85 and I'm still a sexaholic.  And something tells me that I will be a sexaholic at day 90, 100, 150, 365, etc...  Basically, as long as I have a yetzer harrah, I will be nudged in one direction or another to do something self destructive, like act out.  And it might not always be lust, it may be some other challenge like gaivah or greed, but I will always have something.  And I have accepted that.  Actually, I like that.  I don't want life to get boring and I don't want to stay at the same spiritual level my whole life.  It is through my challenges that I grow, and I am learning to embrace them.  I had a crazy nightmare last night where I dreamt that I lost my sobriety.  In the dream I felt horrible.  It was so realistic that I even woke up in my dream and thought "oh man, it wasn't just a dream, I really lost my sobriety".  All the feelings of shame, defeat, feeling horrible and helpless came back.  I have felt those feelings so many times in real life.  Maybe thousands of times.  That's a lot of negative energy implanted in my psyche.  Maybe the dreams are my brains way of healing some of the pain.  Of releasing some of the negative energy and horrible memories of acting out.  In my sobriety, I can look back and ask "Is there anything so nightmarish than the feelings I used to feel after I just acted out?"  The biggest blessing of sobriety is that I don't have to feel those feelings anymore.  I think I would rather feel anything except for those feelings.  I read something, I think from the Rambam, where he asks "How can one know if he has done full teshuva?  When the thought of the aveira is like the thought of putting his hand into a fire".  I can say that while I don't think I've done full teshuva, I can relate very much to this idea that acting out is like putting my hand into a fire.  And the insane part about all this is that there is still a part of me, the addict part, that wants to put his hand into the fire!! That is the insanity of this disease.  I fear nothing more than going back into my addiction, and at the same time there is this little voice that nags me and tells me it's a good idea to act out.  It's as if this voice live completely independent from the rest of my being.  That is powerlessness.  That is why I need Hashem.  I am powerless over this voice, only Hashem can save me from being misled by it.  And it is only one day at a time.  My success over the past 85 days doesn't guarantee me any sobriety today.  Today the addict has renewed his attacks on me and he could care less how much sobriety I've had.  This is the meaning of the term I hear so often in recovery "It's only one day at a time".  My sobriety is totally contingent on my willingness to let G-d into my life right now.  It has nothing to do with yesterday or tomorrow.  I let G-d on in by taking spiritual actions and reaching out to Him and others.  By having the humility to realize I cant do this on my own.  If I do that today then hopefully I will be sober.  But if I let me EGO take control (read: Gaiva) then I am doomed.  The good news is that while I am powerless over many things, I am not powerless over my actions.  And while my EGO may tell me that I can care of this addiction on my own (what do I need these people for? What do they know anyways, they are no better than me!) or that I'm not really an addict (You're not so bad, you've only fallen thousands of times.  When you fall millions, then you're a real addict, but until then , don't worry), the good news is that I can take CONTRARY ACTION.  Contrary action is when I do something that I'm not in the mood to do.  Like make a phone call, or help my wife, or anything else which gets me outside of myself and humbles me.  I can always take contrary action, and this helps me stay sober.
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DAY 91, THANK YOU HASHEM 06 Sep 2010 19:50 #77943

Thank you Hashem for helping me so far.  I know that I have a long way to go.  Please continue to be with me and help me.  Thank you to all the Chevra in SA and on Duvid Chaim's group and GYE for all your help and support. I am nothing without the help my brothers and Hashem.  I am here for all you guys.  Please email me at workingmyprogram@gmail.com if you need any advice or chizuk.  I LOVE YOU!!
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Re: Daniel's Journey (Wow) 06 Sep 2010 20:36 #77945

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85! Woa, I didn't know it was posible for a human to go so far
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Re: Daniel's Journey (Wow) 06 Sep 2010 20:57 #77947

  • bardichev
I didn't think it was humanly possible

when i jhoined the forum (a year and a half ago)

I saw that Jack hit 90!!

what 90???

nisht meech!!

my goal ws 40

i was sooooooo jealous of ykv schwartz who hit 40

hello it works you can do it!!!!!!!!!!

by the way her is jacks niggun

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Re: Daniel's Journey (Wow) 06 Sep 2010 21:27 #77951

  • 14
I indeed hope to take on the chalenge soon, thanx for the push.
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Re: Daniel's Journey (Wow) 06 Sep 2010 21:30 #77952

  • bardichev

its not a challenge

its only TODAY!!!!!!!

today you not fall!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: Daniel's Journey (Wow) 15 Nov 2010 15:26 #84928

  • David712
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How are you doing????
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