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Josh L

Skyland Trail alumni Josh L

Over the summer of 2018, I started struggling with depression and anxiety to the point where I didn’t leave the house. I had applied to colleges near my hometown. I didn’t get into any of them. That was really a hit to my self-esteem. I was basically living in my room and leaving to get food. That’s what my life was. So I finally asked my Mom for help, and she brought me here to Skyland.

At first, I really didn’t want to be here. I think my second day I ran around this giant campus and tired myself out asking different people how I could leave. I gave it a week, and I had convinced myself I was all good. Then I started making friends and started realizing Skyland wasn’t as scary as I thought it was. I think the social aspect really helped—meeting people with similar issues. After that I really started embracing it. I’m only 19 years old, but this is the best thing I’ve done in my life.

When I got here, I didn’t know I was diabetic until I went to the clinic and got my blood taken. When I found out about that I was really scared. I started going to healthy challenge and eating the food here.

I was on the CBT track and that was very helpful for me. I was able to process my issues and learn ways to re-frame my thinking. One of my biggest problems was my low self-esteem. I was really needing to take my negative thoughts and turn them positive. CBT really helped me, and also exercising. I just felt really proud of myself when I finished healthy challenge.

I’m starting college in August. Hopefully I can get the same sense of community there that I have had here.