When individuals struggling with same-sex attraction first get the idea that they want to work through those issues, they have a certain amount of hope. They may have heard about therapy from a trusted source, or maybe they saw something in the media or found something on the web. At that point they may begin trying things they think will help, or start looking for resources like a therapist or group. This is the beginning of what might be called “the hope window.” If all goes well, they find effective resources and begin to experience a lifting of their burdens and a shift in sexual feelings. Their hope grows, sustaining them through the entire process of growth.
But if the person can’t find any resources, finds ineffective resources, or tries methods on their own that don’t help, they eventually find their hope fading. They may keep looking for help or trying different things, maybe even for years. They may pray harder or make bargains with God. But eventually, if they don’t find true help, their hope window begins to close. At some point, they may hear themselves say something like, “I’m done!” That is often the point at which very destructive choices are made.
Understanding where a person is in this hope window can be important, and can often be determined by simply asking how hopeful they feel about their situation.