Rainsville, AL

Megan: I have 80 first cousins and we're in the center of Meth Mountain. My mom's a lawyer and it keeps her in business. 

BW: Why do you think the meth problem  is so bad here?

Megan: It's very easily obtained. Back in the bootlegging days, you taught the tricks of the trade to your kids. It's like all they know. And there's not a lot of businesses around here. We had the sock mill but they went out of business. It's almost like they're just trying to survive. 

My dad was in and out of jail up until I was 12 years old. He manufactured meth and they sold it. It wouldn't be a big thing if he would come in and say, "We gotta go. Somebody is after us!" He always felt like somebody was after him. He was on meth and was very paranoid. He drank a lot too. 

He would go off for a week or two at a time. He had two brothers that died because of it, both suicide. 

The thing that made him stop was when my grandpa was in the hospital, and I told on him. He was at home with us. We never saw him do it or anything, but I told my mom when she come back home from the hospital that dad had been outside and they got into it. He exploded on her and beat her pretty bad. He went to jail and he said that when he was in jail he heard this big voice. He said it was so loud that it sounded like a train coming through. He said that he felt like God spoke directly to him.

Ever since then (17 years ago) it's been his mission to [help addicts]. They'll tell him, "You don't know what I've done" and he'll say, "No, you don't know what I've done. If I can get over it, you can get over it." Some of the churches around here are hypocritical. They're almost like, "You're bad so we don't want you at church" and he's like, "you're bad so you need to be in church." You don't send a well person to the hospital, you take a sick person to the hospital.  

I've never had a problem with meth but I have a very addictive personality. I went through postpartum depression with my  kids and ended up self medicating and had to go through intensive out patient therapy. 

BW: What was your thing?

Megan: Alcohol.

BW: What's postpartum depression like?

Megan: You hear about it on the news with people wanting to drown their babies and stuff. It was never like that for me. With my first child, I had a form that was on the other end of the spectrum. I was really obsessed with if I was doing things wrong. We went for four months where I would not leave the house and put him in the car, because I just knew someone was going to hit us. I felt like if I told anybody how I felt, they would think I was  bad mom, and they would take him away. 

I have another child that will be a year old Thursday. After having her, I had to go back to work after two weeks. I had a C-section. It was the off season for my husband and I didn't have insurance and I didn't have any paid time off. I still had staples in my stomach. I got really depressed and I got into a wreck. I didn't care if I lived or died. I think the worst part was the guilt. 

BW: Do you feel like the depression came from childhood stuff? 

Megan: With my dad and all that we saw, we never got counseling. That was not a thing around here. Now that I'm finishing up with my psychology degree, I can see that there was a lot of emotional baggage that I was carrying that just spiraled. 

BW: What are you going to do when you're done with your degree? 

Megan: I'm going to do maternal mental health and dual diagnosis. All these people are so quick to say that someone is a bad mom and put them on probation or drug court. They don't help them. They just say, "you're in trouble." I want to show them that they aren't bad people. Even people with substance abuse problems.

BW: What's your relationship like with your dad now? 

Megan: We're best friends. We go to meetings together. My dad's a great dad.