WASHINGTON (Circa) - You are scrolling through your Facebook timeline and you come across a video of a woman doing one of those online workouts that promises bikini body results.
The woman is not preaching that you could be next and she is not bragging that she got great results. In fact, her reaction is exactly what you think to yourself every day.
"If this is what it takes to have a bikini body, probably going to have to sit this summer out," said Tiffany Jenkins after completing a 13 minute workout video at home.
An hour later you will find yourself down the rabbit hole of hilarious videos that is Jenkin's Facebook page, but in between the laughs there is her honest perception of how to deal with the challenges of motherhood, dealing with anxiety and depression, how she crawled out of an active addiction and what she hopes is inspiration for other addicts.
"The videos started by accident. I had a tiny following for the blog where I was writing and my sister gave me this eye brow stamp and I thought it would be funny to make a video about it. And so I did, and it just took off and it got like 80,000 views. And I remember thinking like I was Angelina Jolie, like I was so famous at the time," said Jenkins.
"Then I realized I had a platform. I thought man, I should use this for some good. So that’s when I started talking about addiction and depression and anxiety and my past," she said.
Jenkins is a blogger and Facebook personality living in Florida with her husband and three kids.
"My life is more beautiful today than I could have ever dreamed, and I’m so grateful to have been given a second chance because I never in a million years would have thought I would be sitting here today," Jenkins said.
And the reason she thought she would not have this second chance is because Jenkins had a decade-long, active drug addiction that started in high school and ended in 2012 when she hit rock bottom on the floor of a jail cell.
"Prior to using drugs for the first time I was a great kid. I had never done a drug or smoked a cigarette, had a drink. I was captain of the cheerleader squad, I was Valentine queen. I was a great kid. And one day, I was just hanging out with the wrong people and I took a sip of alcohol and literally, like I couldn’t stop," Jenkins said.
And two months later, Jenkins said she dropped out of high school and started down the path of addiction, with her drug of choice being prescription opioids.
"When I was arrested I already knew that my life was over at that point. I wanted to die. I had no hope. When I looked toward the future, it was really dark," Jenkins said.
But it was her time in jail that made her realize she wanted to make a positive change in her life, so she went to rehab.
"I went to a sober living facility that way I could get used to living in the real world. Get used to cooking chicken and doing my taxes and holding a job while still being a little bit accountable. That was a crucial step for me. And it was in a halfway house that I got pregnant, so that’s when the crazy roller coaster of motherhood started as well," Jenkins said.
Today, Jenkins has been sober for over five years, but it was less than a year ago she became internet famous.
"I like to use my humor, like the silly mom videos, the workout videos. I like to use that to draw people in because they’re like, oh my gosh I love this girl she’s so funny, and then they get to my page and then they find out I’m a drug addict and they’re like, whoa wait a minute, this is not what I think of when I think of drug addicts," Jenkins said.
And it did not take long for her to receive fan mail from other addicts and those effected by addiction.
"I’m receiving like 50 emails a day from people thanking me for inspiring them, so I was like man, if they’re inspired by me, like imagine what a village of us could do. So I started sharing each week the story of a person who follows me who is in recovery who had a terrible life of addiction and found their way out," Jenkins said.
"Each week there is a different person, a different background, a different drug, a different story to inspire people out there, and my whole goal is just to kind of chip away at the stigma and let people know they don’t have to hide in the shadows and continue in their addiction not asking for help because they are afraid of judgment. Maybe the more faces we put out there to bravely, share our story, others will feel comfortable coming forward," she continued.
And as you are scrolling through her Facebook looking for the next funny video that is exactly what you see. The faces and stories of those like Jenkins who battled drug use and turned their life around for the better.
"It’s hard to have hope when they’re not many people coming forward sharing their truth about recovery and life after addiction, which is the whole reason I wanted to start doing this to show people that it’s possible to laugh and have a good life after a drug addiction," Jenkins said.
And Jenkin's reach has now extended past her Facebook page. She wrote a book about her experience and has been asked to speak to high school and middle school students.
"What we need to do is scare the crap out of these kids because we need to show them the truth. If you like run around chasing your kid with a pillow for them to land on or anytime things get hard, they are never going to know the truth about the world until it’s too late," Jenkins said.
"When I started using like I said I didn’t know about the withdrawals, I didn’t know about the consequences. I knew that drugs were bad but I thought they were bad because that’s what old people told you because they didn’t want you to have fun. Like I didn’t know that it would literally destroy everything I ever touched," she said.
Jenkins said she does not want to look too far into the future, but takes things day by day. What she does know, is she hopes to continue inspiring other addicts and showing them that they can have a life after an active drug addiction.
"You can feel joy again the blessings in my life today are greater than I could have ever ever dreamed of. I have a family I have children and I belly laugh and I pay my bills on time and it’s little things that I never thought I could do that are the biggest blessings to me today," Jenkins said.