Springboard Blog

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Path to Healing by Josh Pogonitz

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healing graph

Often in my life, I have experienced setbacks. Especially when I feel like I am making progress, setbacks occur. These setbacks can include me being really hard on myself; sometimes I recognize that a coping mechanism is necessary, but I don't use one. Other times, I may feel like I have failed to challenge my mental illnesses, or I may have an anxiety attack. While I was at my residential program last year, every time I really began loving myself, and feeling hopeful, I would experience a setback and I would strongly believe that all of my progress disappeared. 

What I have learned is that the path to healing is not about eliminating all pain. If one does have a setback, that does not mean the progress is erased. 

serena williams quote

Let’s visualize together - imagine progress as a line graphed on a chart. Personally, without even realizing it, I perceive progress to be a constant line that only travels upwards. Throughout therapy, I have been internalizing the idea that the line is all over the chart. And it is important to remember that it is okay for progress not to be linear, it is simply what being a human is about. 

To quote Serena Williams, “A champion is defined not by their wins but by how they can recover when they fall.” Here is my interpretation of what she is saying, what matters is what happens after we fall, for we are not defined by the pain or by the fall. Our wins are not the only thing that matter, for they are just a part of the journey. In order to get to those wins, we have to get back up after falling. All we can do is move forward. Another meaningful quote is: “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.” In other words, just when we may think our progress has reached its end, we end up blooming. Just when we think our fight is over, we keep on fighting. And remember, it is okay to take moments to cry, to allow ourselves to feel the pain instead of shoving it down.

Another helpful coping technique I like to use when I have a distorted view of progress is really checking the facts of what happened. I have been constantly practicing this because I while I am certain that my thoughts, feelings, and beliefs are true about progress, this does not make them facts. For example, just because I am certain that I do not deserve to feel happy, that does not make it true that I am undeserving or unworthy. Sometimes, separating myself from this can be very challenging for me to do because these thoughts can be so strong. It can be difficult to even identify how I have progressed because my thoughts, feelings, and beliefs interfere. 

It is possible to heal. “Trust the process” - I am sure a lot of us have heard this phrase before. For so long, I hated hearing this phrase because I felt so hopeless. It was meaningless to me that therapy has helped so many people because I saw myself as the exception It was not until I truly began trusting my treatment team, began challenging my Anxiety, OCD, and Depression, and began separating  myself from my mental illnesses, that I began to see my progress. I needed to trust them and my parents that I even had OCD in the first place. I needed to challenge my OCD, even though most of the time I didn't even recognize it for what it was. I needed to stop challenging my team on the idea that something needed to be challenged. I had to trust them that they were right. I had to do this until I saw it for myself. 

We can do this! Sending my love to you all! Peace out!

#selflove #healing #hope #weareworthy #warrior #thoughtsarenotfacts #feelingsarenotfacts #youarenotalone #yougotthis #wegotthis