A SECOND CHANCE
Justin Weatherbee was born on a warm September day in 1989.
"I feel like I've just been in a constant battle with death ever since," Weatherbee said.
After battling drug abuse and addictive habits for 20 years, he has spent the last four years sober.
"I'm not going to lie to you, I love doing drugs, but that's the problem... I love doing drugs so much that when I'm using them I'm willing to give up anything and everything around me in order to get ahold of them," Weatherbee said.
Weatherbee was often left unattended throughout his childhood which gave him the freedom to do as pleased. He was merely 16 years old when he was introduced to methamphetamines and his curiosity led him to continue using various drugs as he grew older.
Weatherbee with his mother and father at age 3.
Weatherbee at age 2 playing with his father's car keys.
“The pain of childhood, I do think it plays a part of it. I resented my mother, my father, and my stepfather,” Weatherbee said.
At 22, Weatherbee began injecting a combination of heroin and methamphetamines.
“The worst part of it all though was lying to Christina,” Weatherbee said.
Weatherbee and his fiancé, Christina Scott, have been together for eight years. The couple was together for over two years before Scott found out about Weatherbee’s battle with addiction.
“I just remember noticing little things and just not wanting to believe that it was true,” Scott said. “It was so painful to see him go through that and I couldn’t stop it.”
In May 2016, Scott was attending class when she suddenly felt a sinking feeling.
“I just knew something was wrong with Justin after he wouldn’t respond to my texts so I immediately contacted the police to ask them to do a welfare check,” Scott said. “I called them back a few minutes later to cancel it because I thought I was overreacting.”
Soon after, Scott chose to call back and inform the police that she would like to continue with the welfare check, just in case. She and her father drove to the apartment to meet the police and found Weatherbee in a car outside.
Police arrested Weatherbee after he was found outside and he was transported to the hospital.
“His arrest was on the news that night,” Scott said. “I was getting calls from everyone I knew, even though I didn’t want anyone in my life to know.”
While in the hospital, Weatherbee’s heart stopped, and his heart had to be rescuscitated.
“After his heart stopped, I was terrified,” Scott said. “I was diagnosed with PTSD after the incident and would just constantly have nightmares and not want to let go of him.”
In January 2018, Weatherbee overdosed for a second time.
“When he relapsed it was hell,” Scott said.
After detoxing in jail, Weatherbee was sent to Liberty Ranch, an addiction treatment facility in Kings Mountain, Kentucky.
“I fought it really hard for seven days, and on that seventh day I said, ‘I’m done’ and I’ve not missed a day or a night of prayer since that day of asking God to keep me clean and sober,” Weatherbee said.
Weatherbee has been sober since February 2018 and continues to strengthen his relationship with Scott despite the past.
“The strength that we have as a couple is honestly remarkable,” Weatherbee said. “There’s still stuff we’re working on but that’s just part of it.”
The couple has individual therapists while they also regularly attend couple’s therapy.
“He’s the love of my life,” Scott said. “I feel like I’ve always been very selfish in my life, especially when it comes to being with other people, but I’ve completely learned what unconditional love is. He’s the best person I know when he’s sober.”
Weatherbee and Scott perform cool down stretches during their weekly Crossfit meeting. The couple has been involved with Crossfit since 2019 and continues to attend four times weekly.
Scott checks on Weatherbee after an hour-long workout at Crossfit Old School. Crossfit has become an integral part of Scott and Weatherbee's weekly routine as Weatherbee overcomes his battle with addiction. "It's just really good to see our Crossfit family throughout the week and, of course, good for Justin because structure is so helpful for him,” Scott said. “Working out helps both of us release our stress."