A new season of Teen Mom 2 is upon us, and like students returning to school after summer break, the cast members are eager to show fans what they’ve been up to these past few months.
That analogy doesn’t work very well in world of social-distance learning, but you know what we mean.
This year’s candidate for Mom Who’s Changed the Most is none other than Leah Messer.
If you’re a longtime fan of the show, you know that Leah has experienced some considerable obstacles during her time in the spotlight, but she now feels that the worst is behind her.
After years of denying it, Messer now admits that she was addicted to opioids during much of her time on the show.
Leah says she used the drugs to numb the pain of an abusive childhood and painful adolescence, and now that she’s sober, viewers will see “a side of me that they’ve probably never seen before.”
The mother of three recently told Bustle that she’s focused on the future and “open to whatever is meant for our little family.”
She says that for the first time in her adult life, she’s contentedly single and has no intention of entering any sort of romantic relationship anytime soon.
“My only focus is my career and my daughters,” she explains.
“I’m just content and doing my thing … My girls are happy, I’m happy and that is all that matters.”
Leah says she’s experienced intense public pressure to reconcile with ex-husband Jeremy Calvert.
And while she’s not completely closing the door on that possibility, she says that for the time being, her main interest is preserving her co-parenting relationship with Calvert, which she describes as near-perfect.
“I have the best relationship with Jeremy,” she explains.
“And I would never want anything to hinder the bond that we have now, being the best parents to Addie.”
The most recent episode of TM2 featured an ugly fight between Calvert and Corey Simms, Leah’s first husband.
But while stress in her personal life has caused Leah to turn to drugs in the past, she says that these days she’s developed coping mechanisms to help her rise above the drama.
Though she admits that she wishes she had learned these techniques earlier.
“I’ve been called an incompetent mother, druggie, drug addict, you name it, but not one damn person offered me helpful resources until it was almost too late,” Messer recently told UK tabloid The Sun.
“A lot of that period of my life is just a blackout to me,” she wrote.
“Even though people will tell me I did things. I don’t remember, or I’ll watch footage of myself on the show and have no memory of it.”
These days, Leah says her “vision is more clear than ever,” and her newfound optimism is reflected in the memoir Messer recently published, in which she opens up for the first time about many of the challenges she’s faced.
“You can call me a lady on a mission,” she says of her desire to make sure that her daughters don’t repeat her mistakes.
We’re sure the girls will learn from and be inspired by Leah’s example.
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