In high school, Tiffany Jenkins was cheerleading captain and student body chairman. Then she became a drug addict .
As a popular student with good grades, Jenkins was scarcely the girl people would vote “most likely to end up strung out on the floor of a jail cell.” But that’s where she ended up in 2012, at the low point of her opioid addiction.
Now five years sober, the mother of two young children has a popular blog, Juggling the Jenkins, where she mixes mom humor with narratives of craving recovery. The unlikely combo has helped her gathering more than a million Facebook adherents in less than a year.
In this video from Circa, Jenkins explains how she employs her humor videos to draw people in. “They’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, I love this daughter, she’s so funny, ‘ and then they get to my page and find out that I’m a drug addict, and they’re like, ‘Whoa, wait a minute. This is not what I think of when I think of drug addicts.'”
She employs her platform to share her story as well as tales of recovery and hope from others .
Jenkins started narcotic rehab after a 120 -day jail stint, inspired by her father who had recently entered rehab for alcoholism. Then she got pregnant.
“I had been clean for 10 months and living in a halfway house when I got pregnant with my son, ” she tells. “I already had a good foundation of recovery, but knowing that a little human was growing inside me and would depend on me from now until eternally gave me a motive and determination I didn’t know I had to keep going.”
Now a mommy of two, her children keep her focused on the life she wants to live — one that isn’t ruled by medications or alcohol.
“My children, their laughs, their tantrums, their sleepy morning eyes — I only have so much gratitude in my heart, ” she says. “I was given a second chance at life, and my children are a constant( oftentimes noisy) reminder.”
Jenkins’ willingness to share her tale has inspired thousands. And she’s opened her platform for others to share their own recovery narratives. “If more people shared their truth — even the ugly proportions, ” she tells, “so many more people would realise they aren’t alone, and the shame and guilt they have been carrying does not have to be carried alone.”
I’m gonna be honest with you, man … I’m tired.
Not in a sleepy style; in an “I feel paper thin, because I’m being…
Jenkins sets a fresh face on drug addiction recovery — and offers a refreshing perspective on what it means to be an addict.
I gratified Jenkins recently at the Mom 2.0 Summit conference, which is something we objective up at the same dinner table. Her humor flowed from her effortlessly( she really is incredibly funny ), but it was her nonchalant openness about being a recovering drug addict that was obliging.
And that’s truly the whole point of her blog: Addiction doesn’t have a stereotype.
According to the Center on Addiction, addiction and substance abuse affect more Americans than heart conditions, diabetes, or cancer. If 40 million Americans ages 12 and older have substance problems, there’s a very good chance we all know an addict.
And for those who are dealing with a loved one’s craving, hearing from people who have successfully stimulated it to the other side can feel like a vital lifeline.
What she wants people to know about addiction is real, honest, and heartfelt.
“There is a lot of anger and hatred toward addicts, ” says Jenkins, “and to be honest, it’s entirely understandable. Addiction induces us do terrible things. It turns us into liars, thieves, manipulators, and criminals. The thing is , not one single one of us created our hand on career day and said ‘I want to be an addict.’ This was never part of the plan.”
Jenkins says that compassion and coddling don’t help addicts recover. She explains: “What we need is love, emotional support, and empathy. Many junkies never come forward with the truth of their situation — a crucial step in get help for themselves — for anxiety of ridicule, hatred, and loss of familial relationships. We have to break the stigma and create an open, productive dialog. Because there is no such thing as a lost cause. Anyone currently in the midst of addiction perfectly can get clean and have a wonderful life — but they can’t do it alone.”
Thanks to Jenkins and people who share their narratives on her site, more people with addiction will know they’re not alone.