The Brown family celebrated Thanksgiving along with millions of other families on Thursday, but one of the seven Alaskan Bush People siblings was noticeably missing: Matt Brown, who checked himself out of rehab earlier this year.
Bear Brown, 31, shared a family selfie late Thursday night with several members of the Brown family around a Thanksgiving dinner. Along with Bear are Billy Brown and Ami Brown along with three of their other children: Gabe, 28, Bird, 23, and Rain, 15. Missing from the family photo were Matt, 35, Bam, 33, and Noah, 26.
Bear had a lengthy Thanksgiving message for his followers along with the family photo.
"Hey everybody! Thank you for all you’re kindness! And words of encouragement!!" he wrote. "Thanks to all the fans! And film people! And to everyone who cares more about others then themselves! No matter what we are all the same! No one is more important then anyone else! I am EXTREMELY grateful to still have my parents and siblings with me!!! Have an AWESOME!!! Thanksgiving!!!"
Matt's absence is particularly noticeable given his recent stint in rehab, which he reportedly checked himself out of in October.
“Matt voluntarily checked himself out of rehab in late October and he is continuing outpatient treatment at a nearby facility,” a source close to the family at the center of the Discovery Channel series told Radar Online earlier this month. “He is doing really good right now and he is committed to his sobriety. His family is very proud of him.”
It's likely that Matt spent Thanksgiving at the outpatient treatment — which includes attending recovery meetings, working with a sober coach, and going to therapy — instead of with his family.
The Browns announced that he had returned to rehab and that his journey would be featured on the upcoming season of Alaskan Bush People. He initially entered rehab for substance abuse in 2016, something he said he struggled with after he spent time in Juneau, Alaska when his family's boat broke down. The eldest Brown said he chose to enter rehab a second time after a series of ups and downs.
"I struggle with substance abuse, and after a year of ups and downs, I decided to return to treatment,” he said in a statement. “I’m really grateful for everyone’s support and hope to have my life back on track soon.”
Father Billy Brown said that while the family "misses him terribly," they would "rather lose him from home for a little while than lose him forever."
Sources close to him said he began drinking again as a "way to deal with his mother Ami's cancer diagnosis."
The upcoming ninth season of Alaskan Bush People on Discovery Channel will focus on Brown's struggle and journey through rehab.