Dov is an addict with many years of recovery whose story appears later in this book. He writes:
I see little difference between being preoccupied with fighting an urge to do an aveirah and doing the aveirah. For me, they inexorably lead to the same thing.
My job in recovery (after working my steps) is to focus on Hashem and being useful to Him. Anything else is a distraction, including acting out. That’s all. And I can’t get distracted by these urges, of all things, because if I do, I won’t be able to control it. So, I can’t struggle with the urge any more than I can use it.
Recovery, in my experience so far, is about a different focus that the one I used to espouse. And that is why the “yetzer hara model” is useless to me and many other frum addicts who are sober today.
Rabbi Twerski Responds
I think that Dov’s statement that one needs to focus primarily on being with Hashem and doing what Hashem wants, and to stop preoccupation with the yetzer hara, is valid. The Kotzker Rebbe said, “An aveirah is like mud. Whichever way you handle the mud, you get dirty.”