It’s been a long road, but Teen Mom 2 star Leah Messer is “ready” to be an “open book” on season 10 — and that includes talking about her addiction issues. During an exclusive interview with In Touch, she explains how she wasn’t comfortable broaching the topic in the past and what finally changed. After reaching a turning point “about a year ago,” she realized it was time to be honest.

“[I was] just taking the time out to work on my mental health and overcome things that maybe were kind of holding me back that I didn’t even realize,” Leah, 28, says. “So we’re working on that. And with the whole addiction realm, I didn’t feel like it was time yet. I just wasn’t ready. I didn’t feel like I had truly overcome my addiction completely. ‘Cause it’s not just detoxing; there’s so much more that goes into it. And so much more work that goes into … healing.”

It’s a tough subject to tackle, but she has “no regrets” about baring it all for the cameras. “I’m ready to be another voice. … I don’t care about the whole image of what others are [going to] say or think about me,” she continues. “Before, I definitely did.” When she first filmed 16 and Pregnant as a teenager, she didn’t appreciate all the “backlash” that would come with growing up, parenting and making mistakes on a national stage. Now, more than a decade later, she’s learning how to live her life without sweating the judgment.

She’s not just telling her story on MTV. You can also read all about her journey in her book, Hope, Grace & Faith. The memoir dropped in May 2020, but the series will take readers behind the scenes of the writing process. In it, Leah gets “pretty open and honest about her childhood, addiction [and] abortion.” She says she and ex-husband Jeremy Calvert had tough conversations about what’s appropriate to include and what might cross the line. Though the couple ended their marriage in 2014, they’ve stayed close over the years.

Ali Addie and Aleeah Leah Messer Is Finally Ready to Address Addiction on Teen Mom 2
Courtesy Leah Messer/Instagram

“Jeremy and I will probably always flirt,” Leah jokes. “[Or at least] the audience will think it’s flirting. But we’re really just great friends.” She “doesn’t know if that will go anywhere one day,” but for now she appreciates having his support and hearing his advice, even when she has to carve out her own path. “As of right now, I’m focused solely on my children,” she reveals. “A relationship just isn’t what I’m looking for. I’m not opposed to it, but also I’m not looking for it. … Not with Jeremy or anyone.”

Season 10 of MTV’s Teen Mom 2 premieres on MTV Tuesday, September 1 at 8 p.m. ET.

Reporting by Emma Hernandez

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