Following her arrest last year, a woman’s mugshots were posted online, revealing her horrific descent into meth addition, and subsequent recovery. Those images went viral online and were dubbed as “the faces of the progression of meth.”
Now, after maintaining sobriety for 16 months, the woman behind the photos is opening up about the events that led to her decline.
The woman pictured is 41-year-old Misty Loman, of Bowling Green, Kentucky, who has been in and out of the justice system many times. While the pictures paint a poignant image, Misty says they don’t tell the entire story.
“I’ve been out of jail probably 15 times,” she told ABC.
During one of her incarcerations, Misty tragically lost a child in a stillbirth. She said the experience broke her.
In an interview with WBKO, she explained that she was released from jail for two weeks to bury her son, after which she suffered through two more years of incarceration and grieving.
“It triggered my diagnosis,” she said, explaining that she developed a type of lupus that “started attacking my skin on my face, arms, scalp.
“I had so much fear that I wasn’t going to make it out that I was going to die in there.”
However, tragedy was not finished with her. Not long afterward, Misty lost twin boys, one who died in the womb, and another who made it to full term only to pass away at 28 days old.
“These were not drug-related,” Misty pointed out. “[It] stemmed from my sickness.”
Misty was traumatized and consumed with grief, and her drug use spiraled out of control.
“I was broken, mind, body, and spirit. Seeing no way out, I didn’t want to wake up. I lost everything. I was homeless, I lost my kids, I literally lost my mind, and I didn’t think I’d ever snap back.”
As though the grief wasn’t enough, Misty was simultaneously battling lupus, panniculitis, and scleroderma.
She lost the will to live.
“I was going to get high until I died,” she said. “The doctors didn’t give me much time to live.”
Misty said she knew there were recovery programs out there, but for a long time, she didn’t seek help.
She added, “I never wanted to apply. I couldn’t get my mind right, I was so disturbed.”
However, she said her biggest fear was that she would die and leave her two living sons behind. She said that her boys, Corey, now 23, and Jacob, now 16, begged her to seek help.
Through prayer and the support of a support group, Sisters in Sobriety, as well as the local community, Misty was able to start down the road to recovery.
A kind woman, Tonia McCurty, even created a support page for Misty on Facebook, called Prayer Warriors for Misty Loman. The page garnered astonishing support, with over 7,000 members praying for and supporting her.
Treasa Dunning, Misty’s sister, also set up a GoFundMe to help collect money for chemotherapy, wigs, dentures, and other expenses needed so she could get back to a more stable footing.
Due to the outpouring of support, Misty says her life is completely different now.
“Today I love myself again, love the new me sober and clean. I have my kids & family & true friends back in my life which is where my heart is,” Misty said, calling her recovery a “miracle from God.”
“Some of us don’t recover,” said Haylea Allen, a member of Sisters in Sobriety. “Some of us don’t make it, but if she can go through the things she went through and be where she’s at today, then any of us can get it if we just grasp it.”
Now, Misty encourages people to reach out to her on Facebook if they are struggling with sobriety. She points out how much prayer helped her and encourages people to try it.
Adds Misty, “If you are struggling and you see no way out, and your mind, body, and spirit is broken, just ask God. Prayers really work, they really do. I’m living proof of it.”