Monday, June 25, 2012

The Day the Cameras Came.

If anyone would have told me that my addiction would be the reason I got on national TV, I would have guessed the program would be COPS, not ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer.  Never in a million years did I think I have anything interesting enough to say about myself that they would want me.  I know it isn't only my story, but the story of a lot of women like me.  But here I am.

I answered a media request from Hazelden (the treatment center that saved, and continues to save me) not thinking it was a big deal.  I didn't think they would even get back to me.  The request was about Adderall addiction.  I thought "that happened to me" (I ended up on meth)  so I answered them.  I was very surprised that they thought my story was interesting enough.  I guess I thought this happened to everyone.  Doesn't it?

They put me in touch with the producer, a very cool woman named Susan.  From that point there was a lot of back and forth, a lot of plan changes, and a lot of anxiety on my part.  I was thankful that the newly prescribed Zoloft was starting to finally kick in.

I don't entertain people.  I don't have people over at my house.  I HATE when people stop in because I am always embarrassed.  My house is almost ALWAYS a mess.  I live with 5 poorly trained people, and because I can't do it all perfectly, I often don't do it at all.  So if I don't want YOU to drop in and say "hello," imagine how I felt that all of America was going to be in my living room.  I felt very overwhelmed.  To hear "they are coming on Tuesday" and "nope, they changed it to two weeks" to "can they come tomorrow?" was almost more than I could handle.  And more than my family could handle.  But we survived.

The camera crew (camera guy and a sound guy) did finally showed up at 7 a.m., on May 31st, to film me getting the kids off to school.  It was strange for the kids to wake up, and eat, with a camera in their faces.  Reality TV stars, we are not.

After the kids got off to school, we waited for reporter Dan Harris to show up.  He was flying in from NYC to do the interview in my living room.  Until he arrived they just filmed me doing the dishes, folding the laundry, dusting, sweeping, wiping the table, I swear I never worked so hard at cleaning.  AND MY HOUSE WAS ALREADY CLEAN!!  It really was exhausting.

Dan (we are tight enough now to be on a first name basis) showed up around 11:30 a.m.  We sat in my living room and he asked me a bunch of questions, all of which I have completely forgotten.  I have no idea what I said.  All I know is that I was terribly nervous, despite his kindness.  We will see what I said tomorrow night.

I didn't get one photo with him.  Bob wouldn't think to pick up a camera if he needed it to solve a crime. I was too busy being terrified to think of it.

After the interview, Dan took me, Bob, Pete and the sound guy (I am a boob and forgot his name) out to lunch at Manitou Station.  That was my favorite part of the whole day.  We picked Dan's brain on his interviews and celebrities and all of the places he has been.  He is a super nice guy.  Very normal and not pretentious.  He was a fan of the Minnesota music scene like The Replacements and Hüsker Dü.  Not so much of Prince (whateves.) We are exactly the same age.  What different lives we lead.  I was pretty impressed with him.

I am not saying I would want his life.  I don't think the guy ever gets a day off.  He works really, really hard.  That is no joke.  I was surprised by how much his job was his entire life.  But he appears to love it, so that is what it's all about.

We said goodbye to Dan after lunch.  The camera crew stayed until about 5:00 p.m. Being that my daughter's birthday was the following day,  I had bring her to the mall to buy her an outfit,  after they left.  I don't remember EVER being that exhausted.  Well, maybe crashing from a  two-week meth binge.  But I honestly, felt like I had given birth or something.

I guess the freedom part of this day is that I can go in front of a camera, tell the horrible things I have done, think about the consequences this brings to those who love me, face the shame, and know that it is absolutely the right thing to do.  In my 12 step program it is my job to help those who still struggle.  When called to do that, I am supposed to say "yes."  So that I might help someone who is going through the same hell.  Or wants to make safe decisions for her family.  I have something to say.  Something to share.  I will take the bad and make it good.  Because that is my purpose now.  Recovery is possible and worth everything.

Not to mention, and let's face it, mama likes attention.  So I am the girl to do it.

It is supposed to air tomorrow, Tuesday, June 26 on the ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer.  We shall see.


  1. I can't wait to see it! I'm proud to know you, and cannot think of a better person to represent the hope that recovery brings. Hugs, Lorrie

  2. Hi Betsey! I am going to tivo it since we leave for vacation today. I'm looking forward to it though. I'm proud of you and I'm sure your family is too. Hang in there and enjoy the spotlight on helping others. Deep breath! Lisa a

  3. Great job!! You looked awesome and healthy. Only the strong can step out from the shadows and bare all.