Teen Mom: The Next Chapter star Maci Bookout opened up about how she’s learned to cope with her PTSD after witnessing a fatal gas station shooting.
As Monsters and Critics reported, Maci was pumping gas in October 2020 when she heard shots ring out and a police offer scream, “Shots fired!”
Maci, fearing for her life as she watched bullets fly through the air, locked herself in the gas station bathroom, unaware of what was happening outside.
As it turned out, a police officer was pursuing a suspect on foot when they ended up at the same gas station where Maci stopped to get gas. The perpetrator was fatally shot during the frightening ordeal, leaving Maci with mental and emotional scars.
Admittedly, Maci suffers from PTSD and has revealed that she was afraid to go to sleep following the harrowing incident.
Now, she’s opening up about how she’s found ways to cope with her flashbacks and anxiety.
Teen Mom star Maci Bookout opens up about healing from gas station shooting
“I am definitely strides ahead from where I was two years ago,” Maci told Insider.
Maci noted that she knew she needed to take charge of her mental health and coping mechanisms rather than simply wishing her symptoms would get better or go away on their own.
Offering advice to others who have experienced trauma, Maci suggested, “Don’t rush or force anything. And don’t be afraid to sit with your feelings and create a safe space within yourself.”
One way Maci copes is by allowing herself 30 minutes per day to sit with her thoughts and reflect on her feelings, adding that she feels it “[lets] some toxins out” to spend alone time with herself.
Maci also told the outlet that she feels it’s important to address kids’ mental health as well, noting that she doesn’t think “there’s a time that’s too early” to start talking to kids about the topic.
Maci ignores negativity, prioritizes her mental health
The 31-year-old mom of three said that her intent when she films for the Teen Mom franchise is to be authentic and hopefully help others experiencing similar issues. Another way she helps her mental health is by avoiding tabloids and ignoring comments on social media.
Maci added, “It’s kind of how you survive living your life for everyone to see all the time.”
You can read Maci’s interview in its entirety here.
Teen Mom: The Next Chapter airs on Tuesdays at 8/7c on MTV.More: Teen Mom 2, Teen Mom OG, Teen Mom: Family Reunion, Teen Mom: The Next Chapter