If you're a longtime Teen Mom 2 viewer, you'll probably recall the infamous incident in which Leah Messer passed out while holding a baby.
At the time, the mother of three adamantly denied that she was struggling with a substance abuse issue.
When Leah checked into rehab later that year, she claimed she was only being treated for an emotional disorder.
It wasn't until the publication of excerpts from her first memoir earlier this week that Leah confirmed that what fans witnessed back in 2015 was indeed the result of a long and potentially deadly battle with prescription pill addiction.
“I start to realize something is really wrong with me when one of the executive producers tells me that I couldn’t keep my eyes open on camera," she writes in a new excerpt published by Us Weekly.
"The crazy thing is, I didn’t even know I was that out of it when they were filming."
While the reality TV aspect might be unique, from there, Leah describes a chain of events that's all too common in America these days.
“I’ve been taking a lot of medications, but I’m not a drug addict," Leah remembers assuring herself.
"After they botched my spinal tap when I was giving birth to my youngest daughter, the hospital discharged me with refill prescriptions for Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, and Tylenol 3, but what really knocked me out was the Diazepam."
At that point in the book, Leah describes a common nightmare brought about by the American healthcare system:
"My doctor prescribed it to calm the free-falling anxiety I experience every time I try to wrap my mind around the stack of medical bills piling up on my kitchen counter," she writes.
"With all the doctor appointments I’ve been juggling for Ali, my oldest, I never had time to schedule a follow-up appointment to figure out why I’m still in so much pain, so my dad has been hooking me up with the same medications.”
Leah says she was stuck in a vicious cycle -- she knew the pills were destroying her body in the longterm, but she needed them to keep functioning on a day-to-day basis.
“I keep taking the pills so I can get up, get the twins ready for school, look after my youngest, and face the daily reality of my oldest daughter’s diagnosis with a rare form of muscular dystrophy — without completely falling apart,” she writes.
“At first, the medications helped dull the pain in my body and my mind, but at some point, they stopped helping," Leah adds.
"I just want to feel normal, but I’m either in so much physical pain that I can barely stand, or so foggy from the pills that I look like a junkie," the mother of three continues.
"Deep down, though, I wonder if I’m so broken there’s no medication in the world that can fix me. I don’t know how I got to this place."
Leah says she would have liked nothing more than to step away from the spotlight during this difficult time, but her financial obligations left her with little choice but to continue filming.
"I don’t really have a choice anyway. I agreed to live in this fishbowl. Between the mortgage on our house, Ali’s medical bills, and the money I naively kept lending my dad to help him get back up on his feet, I need the income," she writes.
“That’s when I really knew. I was like, ‘This is not right.’ And when I would try to stop taking the medication and would physically have withdrawals, that’s when I reached out to whom I thought was the best support in that time, which was my mom and my stepdad and that didn’t work out.”
Leah credits her manager and MTV producers for finally helping her get clean.
“So [even] if I’m trying my best, but I’m not in my healthiest, I’m not thriving in my life, how am I going to be the mother that they need to be? How am I going to be the woman that I’m meant to be? So that, you know, that was 100 percent the turning point for my life.”
We commend Leah and all those who have made the difficult decision to seek treatment.
Her memoir, Hope, Grace, and Faith will be available on May 5.