As viewers of June Shannon’s WeTV (We TV? WE tv? WeTv?) reality show are painfully aware, fame and addiction have taken quite a toll on the 40-year-old formerly beloved matriarch.
Recently, June revealed that at her lowest point, things were so bad, she was spending $2,500 on meth every day.
June says she was aware her family hated her because of her addiction, but felt she had no hope of getting clean.
At this point, both fans and family are painfully aware of June’s pattern.
In fact, it’s one that’s familiar to the loved ones of just about any addict:
June will express a desire to get clean; she’ll make a sincere attempt to do so; she’ll genuinely feel bad about using; but then she’ll go back to using as soon as the temptation presents itself.
It can be frustrating even to watch such behavior on a reality show, much less to love someone who’s fallen into such a regrettable pattern.
But it’s important to remember: June is in the grips of a powerful disease, one that claims tens of thousands of American lives each year.
And to her credit, these days she seems to be making a sincere effort to break free from its influence.
In a new clip from this week’s episode of Mama June: Family Crisis, June opens up with surprising self-awareness about the lowest point in her struggle with substance abuse.
“I lost who I was for a while, I do believe that,” she told producers in previously unseen footage.
“But I feel like there’s a reason I’ve always felt this way.”
Yes, June’s past is on her mind these days, which is probably a good thing.
For the first time in a very long time, June is contemplating both her recent history – including her addiction and her troubled relationship with Geno Doak – as well as her upbringing.
June was pregnant at 14, and she had her first child at 15.
Shannon has dated convicted child molesters, and she’s been surrounded by the worst kind of influences ever since she was a child herself.
None of this excuses her reckless behavior of recent years, but it does provide a lens through which to explore and better understand it.
“There’s mistakes I’ve made in the past I wish I wouldn’t have done, but they’re lessons learned,” Shannon said on Family Crisis.
“And that’s the true s–t. That sounds crazy but that’s my terminology. I’ve felt that way all my life.”
In one of the show’s most poignant moments to date, Shannon admitted that she hated what she became while she was on drugs.
“I hated the person I was. And I wanted to kill that person I was, if that makes sense,” she said.
“I didn’t want to kill myself physically, but I wanted to kill that personality.”
Fortunately, it seems that at the time this week’s episode was shot, Shannon had recently turned a corner.
“I do believe that the person I wanted to kill is in the past,” she said, in response to a producer’s question.
“I hated that person I was.”
As anyone has ever loved an addict knows, June’s determination at that time is no guarantee of future sobriety.
In fact, given the severity of her addiction, an eventual relapse seems highly plausible, maybe even likely.
But the important thing is that June wants to get clean – and she has the support system to help her do it.
Watching her journey has been painful at times, hut we applaud June for sharing her struggles with the world.
Credit is also due to her long-suffering family for not giving up on her, as many in their shoes might’ve done.
Certainly they’ve been through the wringer as well.
The future, obviously, remains uncertain, as it does for us all.
But here’s hoping we’ll see one day see a season of Family Crisis that’s all about June’s life as a fully-sober and newly-healthy mom.
Check out the scene from tonight’s show below.