The tragic real-life story of Alaskan Bush People's Matt Brown

Matt Brown hasn't appeared on Discovery Channel's Alaskan Bush People since Season 8 in 2018, leaving his six other siblings and parents, Ami and Billy Brown, to continue the show one family member down. Although there has been some speculation that this decision wasn't by choice, others believe Matt left fame and reality TV for the sake of his well-being. This theory makes sense when you consider Matt has faced plenty of hardships in his life, which we'll review in a bit.

Before we get to the nitty-gritty details, let's recap what Matt's life is like today. It appears the former Alaska resident lives in California as of this writing, and he reportedly has a new girlfriend. He also has an Instagram account and YouTube channel, where he regularly shares updates about his wellness journey. 

Although it's great to see Matt doing so well, we can't help but remember his tragic real-life story.

Matt Brown struggled with addiction issues

Matt Brown has been candid about his sobriety struggle, opening up about his issues to People. "I've always been able to handle city life, no problem," he explained to People, revealing that his downfall began in 2016. "But I started hanging out with people who drank. They didn't have a problem with it so while I was around them, I started drinking."

He continued, "I started drinking lightly and then it got to be more and more. That's when I saw the problem around the corner, and I didn't want to be one of those guys." 

Matt admitted that he felt "shame" about his situation, and hesitated to tell his family. However, he eventually told his parents, who were very supportive. He then entered an in-patient rehab center, and received treatment again in September 2018, per Radar Online.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like Matt's recovery journey has helped him return to Alaskan Bush People. "Billy knows how much Matt needed to work and relied on the family's show for income, just as the rest of his siblings did, and Billy still cut him out," a source alleged to Radar Online in May 2019.

Matt Brown was badly injured in an accident

Matt Brown nearly died in May 2017, when he decided to store "a mason jar with gunpowder and cannon fuse" in his home refrigerator, according to TMZ. The mason jar ended up exploding (shocker), subsequently blowing the fridge door off of its "hinges." During the explosion, Matt suffered a serious head injury that put him in intensive care. Doctors had to use nine staples to close his scalp, according to People. Yikes.

Matt had a curious explanation for the accident, claiming the concoction was actually bear repellent, adding that he had taken things too far. "I remember bits and flashes like right afterward grabbing a towel and the tape. I remember taping it to my face as blood ran down my face," he said on an episode of Alaskan Bush People (via People). "Bits and pieces of the paramedics. It was more like a nightmare. Essentially what happened is I got careless. I was alone on my island and there were bears around."

Unfortunately, Ami Brown was battling cancer during this whole mess.

Matt Brown felt shame about his appearance

In September 2019, Matt Brown got real about what has embarrassed him most in his life. "I was always self-conscious about my smile," he said in a YouTube video, noting how the issue bothered him enough to seek out oral surgery. However, Matt struggled to find the funds to fix his smile, and so he had to put off the surgery longer than he wanted to.

Matt eventually got enough cash to get the cosmetic work done, and although we don't know what he had completed, he did talk about having his pearly whites "resized."

It's unfortunate Matt felt insecure and embarrassed about his teeth for a long time. The upside? He's now rocking newfound confidence, and fans seem to love his new look. 

"I have always loved your smile," one fan commented on the YouTube vid. "I'm happy for you, that you have taken steps to improve your confidence in yourself." Someone else said, "I'm glad you got a smile you've always wanted."

Matt Brown is living a quieter life these days

While Alaskan Bush People's Matt Brown may have finally found a sense of serenity, the same can't be said for the celebrity's younger brother, Solomon "Bear" Brown, whose ex-fiancee Raiven Adams filed for a domestic violence protective order against him in early 2020.

Sadly, Alaskan court papers first published by The Blast indicate allegations made on the part of Adams surmise that the purported abuse she suffered while in a relationship with Bear was fueled by addiction — the same disease Matt has been in recovery for — which, according to Adams, led to "erratic" and "abusive" behavior.

As per Adams, Bear's distressing behavior included threats to kick her out of their home, "[withholding] food and money," and taunts that "gun laws didn't apply" to Bear. She cited cocaine as instrumental to several of the episodes, though, as the Sun noted, Bear has since denied claims of cocaine abuse.

While Bear may or may not be in the throes of addiction, his older brother's life has taken a much more tranquil turn. As the Sun pointed out, Matt's social media presence has shifted towards the meditative, posting photos of scenes of nature and other parochial vistas. Among the pics are ruminations on sobriety and particulars about his own sense of spirituality. And lest you think that's all he's doing, think again — Matt has even started his own YouTube channel

Here's hoping that the ABP star's new lease on life sticks.