Playboy model's urine turned to acid and ate away at her skin after downing vodka every day | The Sun
A FORMER Playboy model and actress said she downed so much vodka that her urine turned to acid and started eating away at her skin.
Jessica Landon, 37, moved to LA when she was 19 with dreams of becoming an actress and seemed to be living the dream.
Originally from Rancho Cucamonga, California, she forged a successful modelling and acting career where she appeared on Nickelodeon, NBC, Comedy Central and featured in Playboy and Perfect 10.
At the time, Jessica regularly hung out and partied at the Playboy mansion with Hugh Hefner.
But behind her glitzy lifestyle, Jessica hid a spiralling alcohol addiction, which slowly took over her life.
By the time she was 26, she was a "twenty-four hour a day vodka drinker" and would always ensure she had a water bottle filled with vodka with her.
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At rock bottom – homeless after spending time in prison – Jessica found someone who said she could sleep on their floor.
She said: “I lay on his floor and nearly drank myself to death. I was incapable of getting up to use the restroom because I was too weak and atrophied, so I laid there urinating and defecating on myself for over a month in one spot."
The acidity of Jessica's urine ate away at her skin and she was admitted to hospital in January 2014 with a blood staph infection and her failing organs.
She stayed for over a month to safely detox and has been sober since January 3, 2014, now working as a recovery coach helping people to get sober.
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Jessica also wrote a memoir, Human on Fire, detailing her life and recovery from alcoholism, and she and her partner Matthew had their first child together in December 2019.
'I had created my own prison'
Jessica says her self-destructive behaviour and alcoholism stemmed from being molested by a babysitter when she was just five years old, which lead to her to harbour "a lot of guilt and shame".
She described thinking she was living the dream while "modelling and acting and hanging out a lot at the Playboy mansion" in LA.
"However, there was always an emptiness, and now looking back I see that I was perpetually trying to fill that void with things like alcohol, love, food," Jessica recalled.
"I was an ‘in the closet’ drinker – sometimes literally – from the very start, rarely drinking in public or at parties but rather surreptitiously.
"Liquor was the magic medication I had been searching for, the only thing that could relieve me from my anxiety, panic and shame I felt on the inside."
Jessica said she ended up in her "own prison" feeling like she had no way out or anyone to speak to.
“By the time I was 26 years old I was a 24-hour-a-day vodka drinker. I’d pass out at night and wake up in a panic, shaking violently, so I kept vodka in a water bottle next to my bed to chug if I accidentally slept too long and hit withdrawals.
"I was vomiting blood on a regular basis. It became a living hell.
“At that point I knew I couldn’t continue living like this or I would die but I also knew I would die trying to come off of it alone without a medical detox.
"I had created my own prison. Nobody in my life knew how bad it was, I was afraid to get honest about the severity of my drinking so I kept it a secret for a very long time."
Jessica went through nine treatment and rehab centres and managed to cling to sobriety for eight months, but she sadly relapsed in early 2013.
She said: "I met a woman that let me stay in her attic temporarily, I stayed in the attic drinking 24 hours a day.
"I had become so weak and frail from living on strictly vodka for so long I ended up falling over the railing of a staircase and landed on my head, resulting in a massive brain haemorrhage.
“I slowly started to become paralysed on one side, my face started drooping and my speech was slurred.
"When I went to the hospital, they did a CT scan and discovered a haemorrhage the size of an oblong baseball in the centre of my brain. They needed to surgically drain it before there was permanent damage."
Jessica had to be detoxed from the alcohol before undergoing surgery and started experiencing seizures five days in.
After undergoing emergency brain surgery, she was transferred to a rehab facility and "recovered miraculously".
But just two months later, Jessica sadly relapsed again and this time her return to alcohol was even more life-threatening than before.
She’d spent a month in prison for accruing several warrants, including for driving under the influence and stealing vodka from grocery stores.
This was when she ended up almost drinking herself to death on a stranger's floor, saying: “The acid from my urine was eating away my skin on my hips and tailbone which ultimately caused a blood staph infection.
"I knew I was dying rapidly and became desperate. I called an ex and begged for help. By the grace of God he showed up the next morning with an ambulance."
'The memory of pain stayed fresh in my mind'
This was the wake up call Jessica needed to stay sober.
The recovery coach said: "It took a long time to physically recover, which I think was a blessing.
"The memory of pain stayed fresh in my mind and I did not want to go back to where I was.
“My family is just so grateful I survived and am able to impact the lives of others with my experiences."
Jessica now uses her past to help guide others through alcohol addiction and thinks that alcohol consumption shouldn’t be glamourised.
“Helping others is profoundly rewarding and it creates a sense of belonging which I think is healthy for the soul," Jessica says.
"I think sharing our stories with each other is very powerful and healing.
“Alcohol is ubiquitous and yet it kills more people annually than all other drugs combined. To me it is a true socio-cultural malignancy.
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"The way it is advertised and glorified everywhere should be banned or at least limited."
She shared a message of encouragement for people struggling with addiction: "No matter how bad it is or how low you think you are, it is always possible to turn it all around. If I can get sober anyone can.”
How to get support for alcohol addiction
Realising you have a problem with alcohol is the first big step to getting help – you may need support if:
- you often feel the need to have a drink
- you get into trouble because of your drinking
- other people warn you about how much you're drinking
- you think your drinking is causing you problems
A good place to start is with a GP. Try to be accurate and honest about how much you drink and any problems it may be causing you.
They may suggest different types of assessment and support options available you can access, such as from local community alcohol services.
You can also ask about any free local support groups and other alcohol counselling that may suit you.
Find alcohol addiction support services in your area here.
Drinkline is the national alcohol helpline. If you're worried about your own or someone else's drinking, call 0300 123 1110 for free and in complete confidence.
Lines are open from 9am to 8pm weekdays and 11am to 4pm on weekends.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a free self-help group. Its "12 step" programme involves getting sober with the help of regular support groups.
Al-Anon Family Groups offer support and understanding to the families and friends of problem drinkers, whether they're still drinking or not.
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