Leah Messer has been through an awful lot in her life.
Way too much, honestly.
A lot of it we've seen in her years on Teen Mom 2, and she revealed a lot more when she released her first memoir earlier this year.
But now, in a new interview, she's opening up even more ...
And we're honestly pretty shocked at what she has to say.
If you've been a Teen Mom fan for a while, then you're probably very familiar with Leah's rough years, right?
This was when she was struggling with pretty much everything, when her marriage to Jeremy Calvert was falling apart, when she actually nodded off on camera ...
She ended up going to a treatment center at this time, and while she said that her issues were with depression and anxiety, pretty much everyone thought that she was actually on drugs.
And years later, she finally admitted that drugs were her real problem back then.
Some of this she's said in interviews, some of it was in her memoir, but the story is that she had a really difficult time giving birth to her youngest daughter, Addie.
She was left in a lot of pain, so her doctors prescribed her painkillers. And when she told then she was still in pain, they threw in some Valium, too.
Such a Familiar Story
If that sounds like a recipe for disaster, it's because it was -- she developed an addiction, and when she couldn't get a prescription, she started buying them illegally.
Oh, Leah ...
She got to such a low point that she even started contemplating suicide -- in her book, she recalled one day when she got so overwhelmed with everything that she began driving fast towards a cliff, at one point going around 110 mph.
Thankfully, she pulled over instead of going through with it, and later she was contacted by a Teen Mom producer who had seen the footage of her drive from the cameras installed in her car. The producers eventually talked her into going to rehab, and she credits them with helping to save her life.
Leah says she's been clean since leaving rehab, and this year she's really been putting in a lot of work to raise awareness about opiod addiction, which has been great to see.
But even though she's shared all of that before, she offered up some new information about her struggle with addiction in a podcast this week.
And we honestly never would have expected some of the things she shared.
In the podcast, called Knockin' Down Doorz, Leah told the same story about how she started doing drugs, but this time around, she added that when she couldn't get pills, she tried other drugs.
And one of those drugs that she tried was heroin.
Thankfully, she only did heroin once, because as she explained it, "my personal experience is I didn’t feel anything from it."
“I think it was divine intervention," she said, which makes sense. "It was when you can’t find pain medication, there was the heroin. [It’s] cheaper, and an easier form."
She said that she was with her father when she tried it, which is really sad but not surprising. She's said before that her father often helped her get pills when she didn't have a prescription.
Another Sad Story
Speaking of her dad, she said that he's actually still doing drugs, and while she used to be mad at him over his drug use, she can't really feel that way anymore.
Not So Easy
She said that she thought that she could "avoid" becoming an addict like her father always had been, and that even when she was in the beginning of her own addiction “I didn’t feel dependent on the medication I was taking at the time, until it was too late and I became suicidal.”
“I was buying it off the streets," she recalled, "I was doing very illegal activities. It was a spiral downhill from there,”
“I remember it leading into smoking the pills, it led me to try heroin," she continued.
In addition to opening up more about her drug use, she also discussed her trip to rehab.
About her treatment, she said “I was in the public eye and I had to keep up with this persona, or this image and [in treatment] I had to let all of that go."
She even said that Larry, one of the producers on the show, "specifically was the biggest support system I had."
Such a Struggle
“I was in a really, really tough custody battle and being able to own that I was struggling with addiction was impossible," Leah admitted.
"I was being hair follicle drug-tested. I was going to lose custody of my children."
"That was even more shameful for me," she said. "That’s my entire world. If I lose them, I felt like I didn’t have anything to live for."
“And the executive producer was like, ‘Leah. The best thing for them is for you to go to the treatment facility and get the help that you need and deserve. That was the support system I had.”
Obviously Leah did go to rehab, and she was able to kick her addiction. She really does seem to be doing very well these days, which is so nice to see.
It's hard to hear that things were so bad for her that she did heroin, but it is something that so many opiate addicts end up doing -- that's reportedly how Ryan Edwards, another Teen Mom cast member, ended up with a heroin addiction.
Hopefully Leah keeps doing well, and hopefully she keeps finding purpose in sharing her story like this -- we imagine it really could help a lot of people.