You may know her as the comedic personality behind Juggling the Jenkins Blog, but Tiffany Jenkins is a whole lot more than your average funny mommy.
With over 2.5 million followers on Facebook, it’s safe to say that moms across the internet can’t get enough of her clever wit, and all-too-relatable comedy about life, laundry, and the pursuit of SLEEP!
But Tiffany’s life hasn’t always been so funny. She didn’t always have kids to clean up after or mouths to feed, but rather a need for drugs that would not easily be battled.
In a new video called, “I Decided,” Tiffany opens up about her journey towards recovery, and reminds us all that there IS life after addiction.
Cheerleader, Dropout, Addict, Inmate, Fighter, Wife, Mother, Survivor, Activist. Tiffany Jenkins is living proof that life after addiction IS possible.
In honor of #nationalrecoverymonth, Tiffany is sharing her story in our first episode of I Decided. See more of Tiffany at Juggling The Jenkins Blog
Posted by LittleThings on Friday, September 7, 2018
Growing up, Tiffany says she was a “dream kid,” who made the “right choices.”
But that all changed with just one wrong choice at a friends house after a football game. On this particular night. someone offered her a sip of alcohol for the first time, and that was all it took.
ONE sip of alcohol.
“The minute that I took that first sip, it was like something that was dark inside of me had been awakened, and from that moment on, I was chasing the feeling.”
Just two months after that first sip, Tiffany dropped completely out of school. Alcohol was just the catalyst because it wasn’t long before she began to experiment with other things.
At 20 years old, Tiffany began toying around with drugs. She learned very early on what it physically felt like to be dependent on her drug of choice. She stopped taking the pills for “fun,” and instead started taking them in order to feel like she “wasn’t dying.”
Two years passed before Tiffany decided to seek help.
“I went to rehab because I thought I needed to, not because I wanted to,” she explains. “And there’s a difference.”
A few months after getting out of rehab, Tiffany began dating a police officer. For her, it was the ideal situation, because you can’t do drugs if you’re with a police officer.
“Fun fact,” she chuckles, “Addiction doesn’t care who you’re dating.”
And so began Tiffany’s double life.
“Every single day, I woke up and I put on this mask,” she explains. “I’m an upstanding citizen, I’ve got my stuff together, life is good. But inside I was dying.”
She started pawning things for drugs.
“Nothing sounded like a bad idea by this point in my life.”
The more she pawned, the deeper she got. And then her drug dealer made her an offer she couldn’t refuse. He wanted guns, and she wanted drugs. She had access to guns, and he had the drugs.
Tiffany stole some of her boyfriend’s guns and sold them for drugs.
“Like, I put them into the hands of a drug dealer.”
Two days later she was arrested out of her bed. Because addiction doesn’t care who you’re dating.
Jail was not a comforting place to be as an addict suffering major withdrawals.
“Every time a door slammed, every time a girl screamed, every time somebody yelled at me to get up and get in line for food, was a reminder that I did not know how to live life like a normal human being.”
On her third day behind bars, Tiffany made the decision that she was going to end her life. She explains that she didn’t want to die, she just could not see how it was humanly possible to live.
After everyone went to sleep, she used the sheet from her bed to hang herself.
But it didn’t work, and instead, she was moved and put on suicide watch.
“I detoxed on the floor of a fishbowl, naked and blind, while deputies and everybody walked by pointing at me like I was a zoo animal.”
Tiffany says this humiliation and utter hell that she went through in being forced to actually FEEL everything as she detoxed, is the reason she’s still sober today.
As part of her prison release, Tiffany was given the option to go to rehab, and she took it. Upon graduating from rehab, she made another decision that would change the trajectory of things when she decided to go live in a halfway house.
“I knew that I was ready for the real world, but I needed accountability.”
The Start of Something BIG
After being 10 months clean, Tiffany’s world was completely rocked when she started dating Tim.
And after just two months of living in the halfway house, this former addict found out she was pregnant.
“I’m just learning how to be a productive member of society myself, and now there’s a little human person inside my stomach that I’m in charge of.”
Tiffany says this pregnancy was just the first of an outpouring of blessings.
“In a span of two years, I went from being a single bachelorette living in a halfway house, to being a married mother of three.”
The experience was “incredible,” Tiffany says, because every time one of her kids would laugh or do something cute, she would think back to that night in jail when she tried to end it all.
“I would have missed this,” she says. “I would have missed all of this.”
Out of a desire to share her experience with others, Tiffany started a blog. It wasn’t your typical mommy blog though. Tiffany was raw, and real and honest. She was open about her addiction, and met a whole new set of mothers right where they were at in the midst of their own recovery.
“The more raw truths that I shared, the more people gravitated towards me.”
So she started making videos in an effort to share a message of hope with those on the other side of the screen who desperately needed something to cling onto.
It also doesn’t hurt that the girl is flippin’ hilarious!
Tiffany says her videos aren’t just her griping about her kids and complaining about tiny humans. It’s her joking about her kids, knowing that another mom has lived it too, and that there’s comradery to be found in those shared experiences.
She uses her vlogs to advocate for mental health, addiction, hope, and some honest truth.
“I feel like if more of us told our truth, there wouldn’t be so much shame associated with all of the things that aren’t perfect about us.”