Break through

Dearest ….

I am taking this opportunity to express some of my thoughts in writing, it may also be a more comfortable way to make some important point.

Before I start let me mention just one introduction, that the only point I hold that I have an advantage over you is that I'm a few days older and have been through the stages you are going through, and accompanied very many bochurim through it. It is only because I'm those few days older that I allow myself to put pen to paper, and not that I feel in any way bigger than you or greater than you or anything like that.

I understand that you had some things on your mind, and that some of the things on your mind are causing you to despair.

Very many boys your age 13-21 go through some challenges during their adolescent [maturing and growing up] years. They may vary in nature, here are just a few examples:

1. Parents that don't appreciate that you are already a young adult, and they still treat you like a little child.
2. Roommates that are inconsiderate.
3. Chavrusos which are domineering and make you feel bad and little.
4. Peer pressure, that your friends all seem to be "making it" and "shtayging away" but you feel left behind [little do you know what they feel inside].
5. Not being able to make a decision regarding your future.
6. Feeling a failure at failed sheifos and expectations.
7. Feeling "shame" at not having met your own or your parent or teachers expectations.
8. As you know that these years are accompanied by emotional, hormonal, physical and spiritual changes, each coming with their own challenges. Seeming failing [and even more so, if they are real failings] can cause you to feel down or bad.
9. The streets are not what they used to be and shmiras einayim can be an issue to a lot of bochurim.
10. Technological advancements have taken a large toll on todays youth, and this includes:
a. major time wasting,
b. ones head in all the unimportant thing of the world,
c. and often even in the shmutz of the world.
d. Being overly exposed to the tumah of the net, which is a huge compromise on kedushah.
11. Many of the above points could cause you to feel a void in your heart, and this void is prone to filling itself up with other distractions and gratifications which could be negative in their own right.
12. Feelings of void could cause a bochur to drift into areas that he deeply regrets ever have gone there, and this comes with a terrible feeling of regret shame guilt, and often despair. [These areas could include nefilos in the area of shmiras einayim, oznayim, peh,yodayim, and more].

First and foremost, I don't know if you identify with any of these points [and there are many more, but those are the ones that have come to mind]. If you do identify with any of them, I should say "welcome to the club" you are in very good company, with very many of the boys you look up to, all going through some form of similar experience. In the same way as the people round you wouldn't dream what could be bothering you, nor can you know what's going on in their lives.

I have been hearing and listening to enough bochurim in over a decade, to know this to be true.

Little secret: The kotzker Rebbe once said that one of the biggest nisim of the creation is that one can spend 70 years constantly falling and not hit the bottom. He was obviously bemoaning the power of the yetzer horah, but he was also giving us chizuk, no-one has ever hit rock bottom. There is never a situation of "no return".

let me give you a small bit of chizuk, and it’s the whole truth about you and your situation - whatever it might be - You have a bright future ahead of you, you have a geshmak in tefilla, in learning, in chesed, and much more.

Yes, you may have seen and done things which you regret, and find hard to put behind you, let me tell you, that you are not "lost" and it's never too late. However, don't attempt the challenge on your own, Chazal tell us that you cannot pull yourself out, rather you need to find someone more knowledgable, and a few steps further down the road, who can get to know you and show you the way out of your mess.

Thanks to the impossible situation all you bochurim find yourselves in, Hashem has granted your generation with a lot of kind compassionate non judgmental people with the tools to help you.

Not all people are good for all types of issues, but you can surely find someone who can help you out of your specific problem, whatever it may be.

Hold on tight, help is at hand, and you will soon be stronger than ever before, and who knows if the reason you are going through whatever you are, is in order that the next generation should have people who can understand them and help them out.

I'm not suggesting that you should fill me in in the details of what you are going through, but do yourself the favor and get the help you need.

Btw: you can thank Hashem for giving you the hisorerus to pull yourself together while you are still a bochur, thereby giving your chances of building a really good healthy and strong marriage an even bigger chance of success.

If your issue fits into any of the above, I have someone very good, and I'm happy to give you his details. If you prefer that I speak to him first I can do that. [he doesn't charge].

With lots of trust and love