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Finding Hope By Josh Pogonitz

(Health and Wellness) Permanent link   All Posts

the strength within you

Throughout my life, I have been struggling with anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and depression. I’ve been seeing a therapist since fifth grade. Beginning in seventh and eighth grade, my mental illnesses became immensely painful. One of the worries that pained me the most was the thought that I rarely worked hard enough for school, sports, and being a good person. Because I considered myself not enough, I so strongly believed that I did not deserve to feel happy, to eat, or deserve love. This was a part of my OCD. When I dealt with loved ones and mental health professionals, I rejected that I even had OCD. I had been entraining in my head that all the disturbance and pain I was experiencing was my fault. Because of this disturbance and other struggles, as well, I began to self-harm and have suicidal thoughts and desires. I felt that the only solution was suicide.  

During my junior year of high school, I went to inpatient hospitalization, a day program, and then an out of state residential program. One of the first things I told my new treatment team at residential was, “I am sure you are good at your job but trust me you won’t help me. I’m a hopeless cause and everything's my fault.” Two months went by. Still, I was feeling so much pain, so much hopelessness. I thought that I would never leave the residential program. It had been so long and still nothing had changed, I thought. I just could not agree with everyone, for I was still ingraining in my head that there was no chance they were correct. I would not even consider that it may have not been.  

Then, around week number 10.5, I surrendered to everyone that maybe my struggles were not my fault. Maybe there was another way to live. Maybe I did have OCD. I rediscovered happiness and that life is worth living. I began feeling more hope.  

It all started with that first time I practiced challenging my anxiety and OCD, trying to learn more about and fighting my OCD in a whole other way. 

Fighting our demons and mental illnesses may take time, sometimes it may just be one little thing that you recognize you’ve progressed in and that makes all the difference. “Sometimes the strength within you is not a big fiery flame for all to see, it’s just a tiny spark that whispers ever so softly, ‘You’ve got this, keep moving.’” 





For so long, I was so certain that I was that exception to mental health treatment helping, I was infinity percent certain that I did not deserve to live. As I stated before, after around 10.5 weeks, I began separating myself from my mental illnesses and still today, I struggle. But that’s okay. It does not mean anything less of myself or my fight if I still do struggle, because with that whisper that I tell myself to keep going, that I recognize even if it is a small fiery flame in the moment, there is still hope, I got this. And so do all of you. 

I love you all! Peace out!  

#selflove #hope #mentalhealth #fighter #warrior #anythingispossible #youarenotalone #yougotthis #wegotthis