The following post contains excerpts from Week 8 of the Fortify Program. To find more useful tips to aid you in recovery, check out the full program.


For many Fortifiers, it can feel like they’ve been on this journey to freedom for an incredibly long time, with no light at the end of the tunnel. Some people think that this will always be the case—that you’ll always struggle with pornography. Do you believe that? We don’t! With a smart, focused effort, you can get to a place where you no longer struggle and eventually feel completely free from your addiction.

The Future Is Promising

Amazingly, the brain is capable of healing itself and erasing those years of damage, thanks to a fascinating characteristic called neuroplasticityNeuroplasticity (“neuro” meaning brain, and “plasticity” meaning changeability) refers to your brain’s ability to change with each thing you do. Like a never ending game of Tetris, the brain is constantly putting down new layers and pathways based on the choices we make. Over a long period of time, for instance, pornography use can start to literally rewire the brain, making it more and more difficult for any one of us resist using. But the opposite is also true! As we begin to live differently, we forge new pathways in the brain. As we leave negative habits behind, these old pathways get grown over like a boring hiking trail no one uses anymore.

Related: How To Change Your Brain

If the actual physiological patterns in our brain can change, what does that mean about other patterns in our behavior, thoughts, and even our desires? You got it—they can also change and evolve over time. Although you may still have more vulnerability to pornography than someone else, over time, the weight of a destructive habit can eventually get lighter and lighter to the point where you don’t even feel its presence in your life.

How To Get Started

If you’re serious about pursuing this deeper level of change and freedom, then it’s time to take this to the next level of the fight. What exactly do we mean? Rather than hacking at the branches of this problem, let’s dive deeper, getting at the roots of your challenge in a way that will help you move out of this trap for good.

Think about the last time you were in a dark room. If you wanted that to change, what did you do? Did you try “turning off” the darkness? No, of course not.

Obviously, it makes no sense to attempt to make physical darkness go away by shutting it off—and yet we often assume this will work with emotional and mental darkness. Rather than trying to “turn off” the darkness in a room, the answer is turning on a light. In the laws of the universe, light governs darkness—once light comes, darkness has to leave. You see, darkness cannot exist where light is. In fact, darkness, by definition, is the absence of light.

Simply put, if we want to really get away from pornography or other unwanted sexual behaviors, we can’t focus all our energies on battling the “darkness” itself. We have to focus some energy, not only on turning away from porn, but also on turning toward something else. What if you started filling up your life with other things—activities and habits that begin to fulfill you—and start to form the life you always wanted to live? Could moving this direction actually mean the habit eventually has to leave—each step strangling and choking its power?

Take It Slow And Steady

You may not even feel like you can leave pornography behind forever quite yet. But how about dedicating some extra care to how well you sleep or what you eat? What about your level of exercise? Or improving the relationships in your life? Even if you can’t walk away from pornography yet, you can walk toward other changes in your life that can strengthen you. In a sense, every moment becomes a chance to move toward or away from this habit.

If you can begin to make these adjustments and you’re serious about them, your days of pornography use may be numbered because it can’t withstand a truly healthy, vibrant life. Pornography habits only survive in emotional darkness and emptiness. As you fill your life up with good stuff, the pornography habit doesn’t have a chance!

Related: What Sleep, Food, And Exercise Have To Do With Recovery

From uplifting books, music, movies, hobbies, and activities to more connection with friends and family and renewed spiritual practices, you have lots of options for positive and healthy ways to focus your time and energy. Filling your life with this kind of light will mean the darkness will have far less opportunity to bully you. Ultimately, this is about building a life that’s so good that pornography becomes a nuisance rather than a temptation.

Bottom line: rather than simply trying to resist pornography, creating healthy habits and embracing a life that is even better is the one of the real deeps secret to recovery and freedom