My One Thing: John Fort

“What’s the one piece of advice you would give
to someone struggling with porn addiction?”

John Fort is the former program coordinator for Pure Life Alliance & director of Pure Community for Be Broken Ministries.

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Steve: Hey guys! Steve with Belt of Truth Ministries. I’ve got John Fort on the line. John is the former program coordinator for Pure Life Alliance and now he’s the director of Pure Community for B Broken Ministries. John what’s the one piece of advice that you would give to somebody struggling with porn addiction?

John: Well the things I’ve learn myself over the years is we all start off knowing pretty well what we’re trying to move away from. I mean, there’s discoveries and that new little things that we didn’t see were part of the picture. That’s pretty easy to identify. And most people also know that we need to move towards something. If all we do is focused on what we’re trying to stop but it didn’t get anywhere. But what I found in both myself and other men that I’ve worked with is sometimes we have a hard time understanding what things that we’re trying to move toward actually helped. And what helped me a lot is to understand that with the things I was doing before whether it was porn or whatever else it was. It was doing something for me.

I was trying to meet some kind of a need. It may not had much to do with the need. It could have been isolation or loneliness or feeling insecure or not good enough. And so if I can identify what that was doing for me, it makes it a lot easier to figure out what I can do that actually meets that need. For example, it’s really really common for men to feel like I need to be feel valuable, I need to feel wanted. And we sexualize that and so that turns into the porn thing but the funny thing about it is, is that a typical guy will be, I need to feel wanted so I want to find that validation from a woman and it just doesn’t work. Because usually who we feel least good enough around or other guys not and so the need is to feel wanted or valuable or good enough.

So what am I going to do to meet that need and the move toward thing that matches up with that is to spend more time with guys that I know and that I’m very open with it. I’m sure we may have a support group we go to and that kind of thing and it may or may not connect super well with those guys. That support group is setting valuable for a safe place to just let it all out, be talking about anything and I’m not going to judge. I know that because they’re all in the same boat. But I may or may not really have a deep connection with the guys in my particular group.

We’re all thrown together because we all have the same problem but we may not really…and it just adds a lot of value on learning to relate but we got to start taking that outside of our support group at some point in time into a larger group of friends and we may found out that some people who we thought our friends near does not really willing to go there and they kind of drift aside and we find guys that we do want to spend time within a regular basis. They may meet guys in the support group, they may not. Then I’m talking with once a week.

So for example for me, one of my goals is to at least one day a week get together with another guy and talk about life. So what are we talking about? We’re talking about I’m married so I’m talking about how is my relationship with my wife going. I have a teenage children, how is that going? Stuff you don’t necessarily have time in a group to do and we may talk for a long period of time about that and they’re going to share the same kinds of things. And so we’re talking about the kinds of feelings and failures that may have done in a relationships that then may have led down to wanting to act out with pornography or something because we just have to stop those negative feelings but I can talk that out with another guy before maybe even before temptation ever gets there, I’m dealing with that stuff. And that has made a really really big difference in my life the last several years as I’ve done that. And these people become like my brothers in a true sense. We say that about support groups a lot of times but people on support groups come and go, they move, their jobs changed, they have to go to a different group or something like that.

So this is a different kind of a connection and I have two guys right now that we meet every week. It’s not a support group, it’s not reading a book, we don’t have a homework, none of that kind of stuff. But we’re just talking the same amount of time but we’re just talking through our life what’s going on, the things that are stressing us out. In addition to that, if something stressful happens, we immediately call it each other no matter what it is. So I am once a week doing this kind of life debrief but also multiple times during the week texting or calling just to check and see how we’re feeling. Again this isn’t necessarily about temptation or anything. It’s processing these things that could turn into negative feelings before they ever get to be something that’s leading into way of temptation.

So I think for me that has been not granted for a brand new guy coming in…does scary enough to talk about in the support group. They don’t want to do this anywhere else so I don’t see this is a thing that necessarily a brand new guy getting in there is going to embrace very readily but down the road that’s where we have to get at some point in time otherwise it becomes something we deal with once a week and that’s not very successful. This has to become part of our lifestyle. The support group teaches us how our rest of our lifestyle has to be in more relationships than just those guys that we see. So that’s been kind of the transformational thing to me to where in my own recovery.

Steve: Great. Yeah I totally agree. I do the same thing. I’ve got a couple of guys that I stay in close contact to it and sometimes those meetings are just talking about life like nothing really, I mean, it’s just how are you doing, what’s going on, and sometimes we show up and we’ve got something that’s been bugging us that we really need to talk about and I found that those meetings are some of the…I mean, that’s the highlight in that week in a lot of ways because I know like as long as I keep meeting with those guys and keep stuff out in the open, I’m not going to start down that road to isolation and hidden this and lying and all the stuff.

It comes along with addiction and so it’s like, yeah I totally get where you’re coming from and I would agree that it’s incredibly helpful and yeah it had taken me years to get to that point where I actually look forward to that because at first it was like…like you said it’s a little overwhelming just to show up the group let alone, have guys that you’re talking with throughout the week but yeah I’d encourage everyone to take that advice and make sure you’ve got those guys you can enact with. So cool, thanks for sharing that John. Tell people where they can find out more about what you’re doing online.

John: Well I’m working on a new website this year called Pure Community and it’s and that particular website is designed to help people find resources. So it doesn’t matter where you are in the country, it’s how to find intense which an intensive is a three-day boot camp you might say where you’re with councilors and experts and they’re leading you through in a very small group of guys recovery stuff and you kind of…I know this sounds tight until you’ve actually been there. You get a years with recovery in three days. Because the amount of hours you’re spending if you took a support group and spread it out over a year, that’s 52 hours. You’re spending that much time in one weekend.

So they’re very helpful, how to find the intensives, how to find the support groups all over the country, how to find qualified councilors because a lot of us do need counselling and the seminaries and workshops just kind of one day conference events…and so helping people find the community and then it also brings the community to us as a community voice section where people across the country who are working in this area can talk about different specific issues for men, for women, for spouses and for parents. And so this…and then there’s other books…the resources are too so it’s not…it is basically trying to connect to people who need help with the people who provide the help and getting the community together. So is the website.

Steve: Sounds cool. We’ll be sure to put a link on the show notes. So thanks again for your time John. I appreciate everything that you’re doing and keep up the good work.

John: Thanks.

Steve: Okay. See you.

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