Former 'Octomom' Natalie Suleman Talks Overcoming Xanax Addiction

By McCarton Ackerman 09/16/16

“I'd rather be homeless with 14 kids living in my van than allow any of my girls, my daughters to go down the path I had gone down.”

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Former 'Octomom' Natalie Suleman Talks Overcoming Xanax Addiction
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The woman formerly known as "Octomom" said she had to kill the "character” she despised in order to overcome an addiction to Xanax and to save her life.

Natalie Suleman (formerly known as Nadya Suleman) made headlines in 2009 after giving birth to octuplets. It was later revealed that she had her embryos implanted in her uterus, despite already having six children and being both unemployed and dependent on government assistance.

Desperate to provide for her 14 children, she took fast-cash jobs that included appearances as a “celebrity” stripper and starring in a solo sex tape. She said the anxiety centered around her life choices and appearing in the public eye led to daily Xanax use that turned into addiction. She entered rehab in 2012 to address the issue.

“I descended down a very dark and destructive path. The consequence of exploiting myself was deep toxic shame and self-disgust," Suleman told the Daily Mail in a new interview. "To continue, I had to numb and that’s when I started with the prescription drugs. I wasn’t able to exploit myself and do what I was doing without it, which became a problem. It wasn’t healthy.”

But once she got well, she was forced to address the alcoholism of her father, who she had put in rehab eight times over the last five years. Suleman attempted to care for him at home, but after a family member smuggled him alcohol, he fell down the stairs and broke his spine. He is now a quadriplegic and can’t speak, walk or breathe on his own.

Despite this, Suleman, now 41, has slowly regained control of her life. She has taken a day job working as a counselor and family therapist, with many of her clients in recovery for drug and alcohol addiction. She still receives a small amount of food stamps, but is largely self-dependent and determined to be fully off public assistance in the future. Most importantly, she’s still sober and determined to not revisit her Octomom past.

“I want that horrible, despicable character Octomom to be an example of what not to be. No one hates the Octomom as much as me,” Suleman told the Daily Mail.

“I'd rather be homeless with 14 kids living in my van than allow any of my girls, my daughters to go down the path I had gone down,” said Suleman. “If I had stayed in that life, I might be dead right now.”
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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.

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