Whenever we begin something new—whether it’s a new school semester, a new job, or a new relationship—it’s easy to feel excited and gung ho.
Then life happens! As time passes, feelings of newness naturally go away, excitement can settle, and other feelings can arise—including feelings we don’t always like. School can start to get hard or boring, a new job can start to feel dull, and a relationship can get challenging as two people figure out how (and whether) to love each other when the initial excitement starts to fade.
Something similar can happen while moving through your own change process. By now, you may have spent some real time making progress as part of the Fortify community—assuming you haven’t been rushing too fast! Maybe you felt some excitement as you started Fortify.
As you’ve learned new things about the brain, tried out new practices and strategies and created your own Freedom Plan, we’ve also talked repeatedly about the many reasons for hope in what lies ahead for you. But what do you think? Is any of this stuff really going to matter and make a longer-term difference? It’s worth talking about. As the newness of what you’ve heard dies away, what will all of this mean—really mean—for your life?
Let’s talk about that a little: the messy, frustrating, up-and-down parts of this journey we’re on together. After years of this struggle, someone might look at Fortify and think, “Do these people know how incredibly hard it is just to start turning away from this stuff? Do they realize I still can hardly go a week—even a day—without using?”
Maybe you’ve tried STAR or Urge Surfing and haven’t quite been able to get them down. And you’re still having a tough time. If that’s where you’re at, then listen up: we—the people behind Fortify—know what you’re going through. We know what this is like for you; not only from reading books, but also from our own lives.
What this means is we are not naive about how hard this can be for you. We absolutely realize how difficult it can be to move even just a few steps in the right direction! That’s why we’re not saying, “Just try harder and this will all go away,” or “Just finish Fortify and your life will be changed instantly!” We understand that freedom takes time.
Remember that celebration at the beginning as you started Fortify for the first time? Those celebrations need to continue each time you take even a small step forward. And when you fall back? Well the very next moment can be different – a whole new moment. The real celebration will come a year from now, three years from now, and ten years from now, when you will see the results of all your smaller steps now.
If your desire to stop viewing porn is small and inconsistent today, don’t worry. It can grow. If you’re streaks of victory are erratic, keep your chin up. That’s how we all start. And that’s why we’re doing this together. Trust the practices and ideas we’re exploring together. And trust the process.
It sounds cliché, but don’t try to fight tomorrow’s battles today. Take it one moment at a time.