The GuardYourEyes Program in a Nut-Shell
GuardYour Eyes uses a unique approach to help people, by recognizing that there are many different levels in the struggle for "Shmiras Ainayim" and "Shmiras Habris". We have tried to put together here - in a nut-shell, the suggestions that we feel are best for the various different levels of this struggle.
Two Important Notes:
1) The term "acting out" is used below to mean either viewing inappropriate material and/or masturbation. It also includes promiscuous behaviors (clubs, massage parlors or worse) but these behaviors should generally be treated as more severe levels of addiction.
2) Each new, more advanced level of the struggle/addiction (below) automatically includes the suggestions given for the previous levels. We only bring the NEW suggestions for each level, but highly encourage that the suggestions of the previous levels be tried as well.
The Eight Levels:
Can you find yourself below?
Level 1. I struggle with shmiras ainayim, desires and fantasies (like most normal males).
- Filters: Get a good filter for all your internet enabled devices. We can help you find what's best for you on our website, or on our filter hotline (coming soon). Be in touch with our filter Gabai at email@example.com. We highly advise having your wife, a friend or the filter Gabai hold the password/s for you.
- Daily Chizuk: Sign up to the daily 'Shmiras Ainayim' Chizuk e-mails, which offer daily tips and chizuk on dealing with today's environment, guarding our eyes, dealing with bad thoughts, struggling with the Yetzer Hara, etc.
- Read Up: The GYE website has hundreds of inspiring articles which can provide you with tips and chizuk on dealing with today's environment, guarding our eyes, dealing with bad thoughts, etc.
- Be aware: The GYE website provides articles, shiurim and video clips (coming soon) from mechanchim, Rabbanim and experts, to help you be informed and up-to-date on the spiritual dangers of today's technology.
- Join the Community: Join our "Prevention" forum (coming soon) to exchange ideas with other balabatim, parents and Mechanchim looking for the best solutions on how to deal with the nisyonos of our generation, both for ourselves and for our children.
Level 2. I have stumbled and 'acted-out' (see definition in note 1 above) on rare occasions, but I believe I can abstain 'indefinitely' if I put in some effort and remain determined.
- Reporting Software: Install Reporting Software (on top of your filter) to have lists of all questionable websites sent to a friend or Rav that you respect and would be ashamed to disappoint. We suggest either www.webchaver.com or eBlaster from Spectorsoft. Give the password/s to the filter Gabai.
- Attitude and Perspective: Read the 30 principles in Part 1 of the GYE Handbook to understand the nature of this struggle, and to learn how to use it as a spring-board for personal growth and divine service.
- Shmiras Ainayim Fences: Build up stronger fences for your eyes such as: avoiding mixed areas where possible, avoiding sites like Facebook, YouTube, triggering movies, magazines, etc. (Read tool #2 of the GYE handbook).
Level 3. I can abstain from 'acting-out' for long periods of time (more than 90 days), but somehow I keep falling into it again.
- Acceptance: Addiction means something we want to stop but can't. Accept that you may have an "Addiction". Although there are many levels of addiction, the rules of the game change once we recognize this important truth about ourselves.
- Stronger Daily Chizuk: Sign up for the 'Breaking Free' daily chizuk E-mails and get tips, advice and personal stories from the GYE community every day, on how to break free of these addictive behaviors.
- Strong Fences: Make strong fences for yourself, such as writing a list of things to do before acting-out, making kabalos, etc. (Read tool #3 of the GYE Handbook).
- The TaPHSiC Method: Study and apply the TaPHSiC Method described on our website. This is one of the best methods for frum people suffering from low-level addictions. It teaches us how to balance our "Yiras Shamayim" (which doesn't generally work very well in addictions) with "Physical discomfort", which is something that works a lot better. By wisely combining the two, we can produce a fool-proof fence to protect ourselves from the addictive behaviors.
- Stronger Shmiras Ainayim fences: Get serious about this. Recognize how easily triggered we are. We need to start avoiding all non-Jewish movies, newspapers, magazines, and even non-Jewish news websites, entertainment, etc.
- Read up: Read through the hundreds of articles on our website, such as the Tips, Q&A and Stories to learn more about beating these addictive behaviors.
- Kosher Isle: When feeling bored or weak, use our "Kosher Isle" to find Kosher activity suggestions, Kosher news sites, entertainment, shiurim and much more!
Level 4. I've tried to stop many times, but I can't generally abstain from 'acting-out' for significant periods of time (90 days or more).
- Meaningful Activities: Try to find alternate fulfillment in your life, such as chesed projects, jobs, hobbies and activities that can help you feel inner satisfaction, keep you connected to the real world and out of isolation. (See tool #6 in the GYE Handbook).
- Cutting Down: "The more you feed it the more you need it". Start cutting down over time by making red lines for yourself. Slowly wean yourself of these behaviors by pushing the battle lines back further and further. (See tool #7 in the GYE Handbook).
- The 90-Day Journey: Take the "90 Day" leap of faith and stay clean for a full 90 days to break the addictive pattern in the mind. Use our 90-Day chart system to appreciate your progress and get encouraging e-mails as you advance to new levels. (See tool #8 in the GYE Handbook).
Level 5. I've tried everything in levels 1-4 and I still can't stay stopped.
Anonymous 'Virtual' Support - Reach out to OTHERS:
- Forums: Join the forum to get support from the rest of the GYE community. Tell your story, post a log of your journey, reach out for help when feeling weak - and strengthen each other. The forum is a life-line of chizuk and support for hundreds of people in exactly your situation.
- Chat-Rooms: Chat with others in the GYE chat-rooms (coming soon).
- Social Network: Cultivate a group of "Friends" to stay in touch with through GYE's cutting edge "social-network" system (coming soon).
- A Partner: Get a partner through GYE's partner/sponsor system. Be in touch by e-mail/chat daily. Learn honesty, integrity and get accountability. Strengthen each other.
Level 6. I've tried everything in levels 1-5 and I still can't stay stopped.
Anonymous 'Phone' Support - Reach out to people you can hear and talk with:
- The GYE Hotline: Call our hotlines / experts for advice. (Coming soon: the new 'one-number' GYE international hotline - 24/7!)
- The 12-Steps: Study / Work the 12-Steps. Learn the secrets behind this world-renowned program that has helped millions of people around the world break free of all types of addictive behaviors. (See tool #14 in the GYE Handbook).
- 12-Step Phone Conferences: Join GYE's multiple 12-Step phone conferences throughout the week. Work the powerful 12-Step program along with another group of people in your situation, with guidance from an experienced moderator. GYE has phone conferences almost every day of the week - morning, noon and night!
- A Sponsor: Get a sponsor through GYE's partner/sponsor system. A sponsor is someone clean for over 90 days, who can guide you and share what works for him.
- Phone Partner: Get a partner to be in touch with by phone as often as possible (through GYE's partner/sponsor system).
- Build a Personal Phone Group: Have a group of friends to call when feeling weak. PM friends on the forum and ask them for their telephone numbers, or join Duvid Chaim's phone group to get access to his phone-roster (currently with over 50 people).
- The GYE Phone community: Join the 'GYE Phone community' (coming soon) and get access to hundreds of numbers of people like you who want a community to reach out to.
Level 7. I've tried everything in levels 1-6 and I still can't stay stopped.
'Live' Support - Reach out to others face-to-face:
- Therapy: See GYE's therapist referral pages to find a therapist / psychologist who is trained in addictions. Open up fully to another human being, face to face. Discover the root causes. Learn cognitive methods to beat addictive thinking and behaviors.
- Live 12-Step SA Groups / GYE Groups: Get the power of live-group support. Find an SA group in your area, or apply to join a live GYE group in your community (coming soon). Let go of the shame and open up to others. Find that you're not alone, at all. Use the power of the group to help you fight this disease, which is often much stronger than we are. Work the steps with the group.
- A Sponsor: Work the 12-Steps with an experienced sponsor. Let go of the need to be "in charge" and listen to another human being. Let your sponsor guide you, and be ready to listen to whatever he tells you. Change from being a 'self-centered' person to a 'G-d centered' person.
Level 8. I've tried everything in levels 1-7 and I still can't stay stopped. It seems that inner change is not possible with me!
- Psychiatrist/Medication: A psychiatrist may be able to prescribe medications to help take the "edge" off the underlying symptoms that may be causing the addiction, such as OCD, depression, low self-esteem and other common mental conditions that can be facilitating the addictive behaviors. (See tool #16 of the GYE Handbook).
- Rehab: GYE has a list of rehab options with both inpatient and outpatient care for addictive behaviors. A complete change of environment, professional help and a regimen of intense workshops and therapy may be what it takes to finally break free (See tool #17 of the GYE Handbook).
- Last Resort: For those who are in danger of harming others, there are chemical castration methods that are safe, have few side-effects and are not permanent. (See tool #18 of the GYE Handbook).