A change was definitely happening. I at least had a suspicion that there was something wrong with me. Yes, I had only admitted it once I had no choice but now I cared to find out what had been wrong and how I can get better. Of course, all was in disarray. I had no idea what to do, but I had some advice.
The thing that perturbed me most was how something that I had loved so much became something that I hated? How was that possible. I had had a very hard time learning when I was in high school. I became determined to get out of the position of always being that "nebach" who always had to ask someone to explain the gemara to him. I had decided that I would be the pro and then others could ask ME! I had spent hours, and days and nights, and months, and seasons and years, year in year out, during the zman during bein hazmanim. All of life was one long learning cycle. Once I got into the rhythm, things seemed great. I was feeling good and I was feeling accomplished. How could this have possibly gone wrong? Hadn't I done everything perfectly? I had never heard of this happening. How could I hate something that I had loved so much? How could I hate it so much that now I can barely do it anymore?
So I started reading Tony Robbins book unlimited power. He spoke about the mind and why we do what we do. Something about the way he spoke fed my starving soul. He spoke with such simplicity about how the mind works and how we get to love one thing and hate another. I was trying to figure out the secret. How did this happen? Now I was serious. I needed to find a solution and get all this anger and fear and confusion out of my system. I was serious. I knew that if I was honest enough and strong enough, to follow Tony's prescription for joy, I could get it, so for now, I read his book very carefully. I was determined to do anything he told me to do. He was the first person I had ever read that seemed to be speaking about this issue. I was in so much pain that I decided, what choice do I have?
As the days got brighter and warmer, and we edged closer to summer, I developed a habit that I never imagined I would. Instead of participating in the pesach zman as others would, I would go to another beis medrash down the block and adamantly answer all of the questions that Tony asked. I just sat there in front of the beis medrash answering all of his questions, to the best of my ability.
I was excited but I so much hated the process. I was a sick man with years and years full of old memories, and tears, and hurts and sorrows. If I had had the support of others and the safety needed, I should have really gone into 30 days straight of therapy, but, at that time, I had never heard of therapy and I needed to get better right now, so I decided to do the best I could at answering his questions.
Some of the questions but knives in my gut, and tore out my heart because the fears and terror that he asked me to speak of were not those of the past they were very real and speaking of them and writing them down did not make them feel any better, it just brought them to the forefront of my mind and in some ways made me even more hopeless that things could ever get better because the reality they reminded me of, was as real as the sky, the earth and my body.
Of course, many of my fears stemmed from religion and the most extreme and terrifying understanding of how it played a role in my life. I had a terrifying God in my mind. I had a god that would get really angry if I did anything that wasn't Toira. I knew in the deepest way that the only chance I had in getting a cheilek in oilem haboh, would be if my soul was so pure and so full of Toira that nothing else could possibly enter my consciousness. I had been working my way into a mindset where I forced my mind to only think Toira. I was also afraid that something would go wrong, for example, I knew that if I died owing one person money, then my soul would come back here again, and I knew for sure that once I went to shamayim I did not want to come back down. My rebbe told me that the generations were getting worse and that I did not want to come back to a later generation. I was determined to make sure that once I died, there was no coming back. (Now I know that there are far easier ways to make that happen)
I spent a lot of time wondering "How could I possibly know that I have paid everyone back?" What if there is one person that I forgot? It pained me to imagine that all the efforts that I have put into becoming a talmid chacham and baal yerei shamaim would go down the drain if I just forgot to pay back one person!!!!! How do I win? Is there any way to make sure that things go OK? All I wanted was to get on top of the situation and make sure that things went well for me, but how? How can I possibly do that? It seemed so complicated to navigate the heavenly labyrinth of conditions, rules, and laws of what would make it worthwhile for them to keep me around (in heaven).
Also, of course one of my main concerns about getting to heaven was that I had read that "adam nich veh may chupasoi shel chaveiroi" a person will be embarrassed, burnt or hurt by the Torah accomplishments of another. to me that meant that, if I didn't learn torah to my greatest potential there would be an eternal scar on my soul. All would be able to see that I had not lived up to my Torah potential, so now I had my priorities straight. I knew that I wanted to be happy and proud of my Torah accomplishments, and that I should not be embarrassed. I also knew that, I needed to make sure that once I was on my last journey, I would not be coming back.
Seeing all this Sh*t on paper was, in theory, a healthy first step but in reality it was no consolation, because I was sure that all of what I believed was true. Now I was really f*cked. Not only was I going to hell for my thoughts and lack of adequacy, but I couldn't even learn. I had nothing. I had no hope. Nothing will come of me. Nothing, not in this world, not in the next. I had no hope. I never had it, I never thought it, and now I knew for sure with utmost certainty that nothing will ever come of me. There was no use going on. I had never met anyone who was as miserable and unfortunate as I was.