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Addiction Recovery Research Center

Fralin Biomedical Research Institute

2 Riverside Circle

Roanoke, VA  24016

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Phone: 540-315-0205

Email: iqrr@vtc.vt.edu

Media Inquiries:

John Pastor, FBRI Director of Communications

Phone: 540-526-2222

Email: jdpastor@vt.edu

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Holly'S Story 

“Five years ago I was a homeless, hopeless junkie that was fighting a 14 year meth addiction as well as alcoholism, pills, cocaine, and whatever I could use to get high. I was a single mother dragging my son from hotel to hotel, from living at the dealer’s house to living on the streets. Often I would go to casino’s and try to get us out of the cold to sleep in the stairwells while stealing the leftover food left on the room service trays so that we could eat.  I was out of control; absolutely lost.

From the time I was old enough to remember I was living in a home that was full of physical and mental abuse. I know that many people have the same story that I do. I know that not everyone comes from a great home. I know this first hand and that is one reason that I believe that I am so passionate about reaching out to others that have let the hurt, depression, hate and the feeling of being so lost and alone take over their lives. Eventually it seems as though you are on a self destructive path and you can’t seem to find a way out. The feeling is one that is impossible to put into words.

I married my high school sweetheart. He joined the Marine Corp. and we moved out to California. It was there that within a month I was introduced to methamphetamine. I was instantly hooked. I had always been a drinker as far back as the sneaking pint jars of liquor to school when I was in the 7th grade.  It did not take long for the drugs and the alcohol to ruin my marriage.

Within a few months of my divorce I met my son’s father. We were together long enough to get pregnant and split up. Both of us were active drug abusers. I checked myself into rehab so many times I would not even honestly count them. They actually would have done me some good if I would have stayed. For the love of my child I could not sober up, trips in and out of jail still did not sober me up. My 34 year old boyfriend, the absolute love of my life, dying from a drug induced heart attack did not sober me up; God sobered me up.

Three times in my life I attempted suicide, the first time was the summer of my 7th grade year. The last time was in February 1997. I was dead when they found me. My body had already completely shut down. I was in a coma for 12 days. God knew even then that He had better plans for me. Still I didn’t trust Him, still I lived a recklace life destroying all of the greatness God intended for me.

I went to jail again in September of 2006. In November I gave my life to Christ, sitting right there in a jail cell. I got out in December 2006. I swore I wasn’t going to touch the drugs ever again, and I maintained for about 3 days. This time it was different. This time I felt the true conviction of my Lord and Savior. I got high for about 2 weeks until God spoke to my heart so loud telling me this was not his plan for me.  January 2007 I decided to go to rehab one more time. I was homeless, again, my son was living with his Dad since I had gone to jail. I called so many places trying to get into rehab.  I was broke, homeless, and hopeless. I called Green Oak Ranch, a Faith based rehab in Southern California. They told me there was a 6 month waiting list. I told her in 6 months without help I would be dead. She told me to call every day to keep my name on the list. If I missed one day I would be removed. I borrowed people’s cell phones walking down the street, I used a store’s phone that would allowed me to make a call. I was desperate and knew now was the turning point. 4 days later when I called they told me to come in. That second I knew that God had not left me, He had opened that door for me and that if I was faithful to trust in him, then He is faithful to never leave me.

My clean date is January 17, 2007. For that I am so grateful. My live is so blessed more than I ever could imagine. I moved to Arkansas with my son in September 2007 to be close to family. Since then we have joined a church, held down a state job for nearly 4 years, started college and I am currently a junior with a 3.8 GPA. My son is proud of his mom and I love being a mother. I have recently bought a home and am solely supporting my family. I am proud, yet very humble.

I have been blessed to go to Peru the past 3 years on short term mission trips. I yearn to tell people my story but most of all the story of how Christ saved me. My son and I went on a 2 week mission trip to Africa, where again, I shared my story. God opened my heart even more there.  October 25, 2010 I found out that I was hepatitis C positive. I cried, was mad, confused and felt so sorry for myself. I cried out to God “why now God, I have been clean for nearly 4 years,  I’ve been living my life for You , I have been good,  to just now found out I have Hepatitis C, why now?!?!” And even in that moment I felt God comforting me. If I had found out when I was still in my addiction, my thoughts would have been. ..well I’m going die anyway. God has showed me that through all things we can bring him glory. When I went to Africa, I spoke at a youth conference. God told me not to be ashamed but to share with them, my whole life. The AIDS disease is so prevalent there that it was important to talk to them about abstinence and the fact that yes, once you are a Christian, God forgives and wipes your sins away. However; there are all too often consequences to the actions and choices you make before giving your life to God. I believe I touched many of them through allowing God to use me to communicate to them.

I absolutely love my life now. I love the beauty that God created out of the destructive life that I was living. When I speak to the youth and young adults I tell them that the verse that helped changed my life forever was Psalms 18:4-6. Those were the first verses that God revealed to me that I understood. No matter where I was or how filthy and worthless I allowed my life to become. God found me worthy. I now live my life for him and want everyone to know that my life is new, the changes came from God and the strength that He gave me, and without Him…….I am nothing!”