“You Can Do This, But You Can’t Do It On Your Own”: Holly’s Recovery Story

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Above: Holly, a person we support in our Philipsburg Psych Rehab program, tells her mental health recovery story. 


Facebook will make me look like I have my life together.

I used to have everything—good health, healthy kids, a healthy husband, a business. But if you don’t take care of yourself; don’t put yourself first—if you don’t put that seatbelt on when you’re in the airplane, or that mask to give yourself oxygen so you can help your kids—none of that means anything.

Before Skills, I was afraid to leave my house. I’d been taking prescribed hydrocodone for over ten years. I was angry at everything. And then COVID hit, and I got stuck with people I wasn’t used to being with every single day. My husband and kids got to see the worst of me.

Life is worth living. You can do this. But you can’t do it on your own.

As soon as I thought it was safe [to be in a hospital during the pandemic], I went inpatient at Mount Nittany. When I was there, they told me about different programs, and Skills just felt like the right fit.

When I got here, it was like everybody knew what to do. It was amazing. It was a wonderful, inviting feeling. There’s support, and I don’t feel alone. I feel like I’m intelligent for once; like I could do anything, and I have the support here to get me the resources that I need.

For the first time, I feel like I can be myself. And myself, right now, is hurt. It feels like I’m still a little ten year old, back all those years ago, trying to figure myself out, and trying to get strong again.

My life has changed since being here. I’ve learned lessons on how to help my anger, I’ve learned who I am, more and more every day, and I have not had pain medication for over three months.

I’m working on me, so that I can someday be a better grandmother than I was a mom, be there for my kids when they need me, and be a better all-around person. To do that, I need to know myself—not just as a mother of two, but as an individual. I need to learn what I like, not what everybody else likes.

After I get to know myself a little better, I want to continue my education that I put aside for my kids. It’s an exciting but extremely scary next step, but I’m going to do it, and I have enough resources here at Skills to get me there.

I’ve only been at Skills for three months, and I can’t believe the change I have been going through. I’m excited to see what’s to come.

I’m really glad I found Skills.

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