MTV's "True Life: My Parent's Addicted to Opioids" followed two young people whose parent's drug dependency is directly affecting their lives. We had an opportunity to check in with Katelynn and Zoe to see if their situations have changed since filming wrapped. Take a look at our follow-up Q&A below:
What’s been happening between you, Chelsea, and your mom since filming stopped?
I moved out with my boyfriend and coworker and continued to work at my super-cool coffee shop job. I also started feeling the full effect of my Prozac, so I am a lot more talkative and made friends. I also cry a lot less, since that's pretty much all I did during the show [laughs]. My mom recently got arrested again, and I have had no contact with her and have no desire to do so. I am in a really good place with myself and having fun with my new friends and new house, and I don't feel the need to try to make things work with my mom. I might be heartless, but I really don't want to see her anymore, as I'm starting to remember the good times with her less and less. So there's not much to hold on to anymore.
What do you hope viewers get out of your story?
I hope people see that more times than not, a person won't change no matter how hard you try to push them to. You have to focus on yourself, or you're just letting them consume your entire life. I've got my whole adulthood ahead of me, and I am trying to not let anything hold me back anymore.
Your grandmother said the best thing you can do for a family member with an addiction is to just show them that you love them. How hard is it to keep following that advice?
I agree with her, but if they aren't willing to do anything for themselves, I do feel it is okay to let go. At what point are you going to stop giving your everything to someone who takes you and everything you do for granted? All my mom has done is make her situation worse. I refuse to see her face to face and act like everything is okay, so I feel it's best to keep my distance. Maybe I'm just trying to act like not having a mom doesn't bother me anymore. It does, but I really just need to move on for my own sake.
What’s been happening between you and your father since filming ended?
Basically, my dad and I have had minimal contact. I’ve talked to him only twice on the phone and was told he wasn't doing anything toward getting clean.
Why did you and your family decide to share this very intimate part of your lives on camera?
I was desperate to help my father and almost felt like this was the last hope, but then I realized that no matter what I do, the only way my dad is going to get clean is if he puts in the effort to do so.
At the end of the True Life, you said you were just beginning to deal with how your dad’s addiction has affected you, and that you’d always pushed away your feelings about it. How have you been dealing with those emotions?
I've been seeing a counselor every so often to find coping mechanisms and ways to properly express myself. I really feel like even though this process hasn’t helped my father much, it’s helped me tremendously. I felt like before I did the show, I was lost. But during and after filming, I feel like I had a lot of closure and realization about my father's drug addiction. I’ll always love my dad, but I can’t fight this battle for him, and I came to learn that through life experiences and Learn to Cope [a non-profit network that offers support for parents and family members coping with an addicted loved one]. I want to give a huge thank you to Learn to Cope for giving me a warm welcome and unbiased support. They are doing amazing things and are helping so many people, and I’m glad to say I have received support from them.