I am a frum internet addict.
I got arrested.
I lost my family.
I lost my home.
I lost my medical license.
And now I have my life back.
If you are struggling as well, please know that there is a solution.
I am a frum internet addict. More accurately, I am a frum doctor who has recovered from internet addiction. I experienced devastating consequences from my internet addiction. I got hooked on the internet early on when it was beginning to take hold in our society. At first I was able to limit to some extent the content and duration of my internet viewing habit. With time I became progressively more captivated by the internet, viewing inappropriate content and getting caught in its trance for countless hours at a time. I did not appreciate the seriousness of my problem because I was able to swear off going on the net sometimes for several months at a time.
After 15 years of going on the internet and viewing inappropriate content in a compulsive manner I lost sight of my moral compass. The healthy boundaries that guide a Torah Jew through life became blurred with the false reality created in the fantasy world of the internet. My behaviors became unacceptable and one day my world came crashing down when I was arrested. I lost my medical license and with it my livelihood. My reputation in the community was ruined and my family was decimated culminating in a bitter and acrimonious divorce.
I became despondent believing that my life was essentially over. Fortunately, Hashem placed before me a program of recovery that works. Miraculously, I was able to piece my life together again and embrace a life free from addiction. Life has not been easy. Tragically, I lost a child and a grandchild and have endured difficult medical challenges, all the while maintaining focus on the goals of recovery. I have been free from my addiction for nine years and count myself as a productive member of the kehilla. Two years ago I remarried to a wonderful frum woman. The program really works!
Addiction is a cruel and heartless taskmaster that completely overtakes its victim. The addict’s family also suffers by losing its vitality and resources as it tries to navigate around the addict’s erratic sensitivities and behaviors. Fortunately, today there is a solution. Therapy is geared toward the internal changes that need to occur for the addict to successfully combat the vice grip of internet addiction. Therapy integrates the principles of the 12 steps and Torah values while helping the addict work through his internal struggles. The therapeutic approach is non judgmental at its core allowing the addict to break the cycle of guilt and shame that keeps him trapped in resorting to his ‘drug’ to make himself feel better to deal with his struggles.
Today therapists are trained and certified in treating internet and related addictions. Anyone who struggles with the internet whether or not they meet the criteria for a full blown addiction can be helped with the combination therapy approach described above. Today there is much hope and ample resources available for anyone struggling with internet addiction.
If you or someone you know is suffering with this kind of problem I understand the issue and I am here to help. I have been in that dark place and now have 9 years of recovery.
When I came home from Eretz Yisroel to New York my parents were hoping to start the process of shiduchim. I told them I wasn’t ready but my mother who is a professional could tell something was wrong. I finally confided in her my struggle with [inappropriate images online]. How could I even consider marriage when my mind was absorbed in shmutz? She referred me to Dr. Sholom. He was amazing. He was able to define my problem and determine a course of action. Within 3 months not only was I no longer watching [inappropriate images online] but I don’t feel it has a pull on me any longer. I have returned to Eretz Yisroel and hope to meet my life’s partner there.
A yeshiva bochur
I am a Rov of a kehilla outside the USA and I am also a mechanech of Yeshiva bochurim. For some time I struggled with looking at forbidden images and videos of a particular genre. Because of the closed nature of my community and my position in the kehilla I needed to find help from an outside source. I could not risk anyone close to home finding out about me. That would have destroyed my parnasah and created Sholom Bayis issues that I may not have been able to overcome. Fortunately, Hashem guided me to Reb Sholom and we worked together on Skype. He understood very well the nature of my struggles and was able to help me overcome the nisoyon. Unfortunately, I now have a new struggle and that is with alcohol. Apparently, I have not resolved issues from long ago and so I am substituting my original route of escape with a new drug. Reb Sholom feels that if I am willing to do the work that needs to be done that eventually I will be able to overcome my need to substitute one drug of escape with another. Reb Sholom you have a tremendous zchus in what you do for Klall Yisroel.
I was always considered a good Yeshiva Bochur but what people did not know was that I was also struggling with the pull of viewing inappropriate content on the Internet. I struggled with this battle from the time I was in high school until I was married for 13 years! I tried everything to stop but I was not successful for more than a couple months at a time until I found the 12 step program and Reb Shalom! I was very happy to learn that the 12 step program is very much in line with yiddishkiet (especially Chasidus!). Not only has the program helped me stay sober from my addiction (for two years, five months and eight days!) but it has also been a great benefit to my general Avodas Hashem. If you are struggling as well, please know, that you do not have to live a dark, double life, a life of serenity, light and happiness is very much in your reach. Make an appointment with Sholom today, you deserve it.
A very grateful Bal Habayis
Sholom, MD provides pastoral therapy and has completed his course work leading to certification for internet and related addictions (CSAT). He has offices in New Jersey and New York and does Skype sessions as well. His therapeutic approach is Rabinically endorsed by the The Sassov Rebbe from Monsey as well as others. He can be reached at (973) 476-7816 for a free phone consultation or by email at SholomMD613@gmail.com.