Amber Portwood admits that even after learning her lesson with a 17-month prison sentence, staying sober has been a tough internal fight in the months since.
The Teen Mom star, whose book Never Too Late comes out next week, battled her addiction to prescription drugs while locked up, and the battle continues.
“I didn’t realize when I did get out that I would have even more temptation out here than I would in there,” she says. “I had to prepare myself for that.”
It's true. By definition, freedom to make your own decisions - good or bad - greatly increases on the outside, as she learned the first DAY she got out.
“The first day I was out ... whenever things are overwhelming for me, or any sort of emotion - sadness, depression, anything - it is very easy to go back."
Drugs sound good, she says, because "you don’t want to feel that way ... you just have to stay strong and remember what you’re doing and move forward.”
Amber Portwood said she prepped herself for the struggle ahead, no matter how strong the temptations are, and she is bent on making this work.
“I did 500 hours of rehab classes in prison,” the single mom said.
“I was well aware of what was going to happen when I got out. It wasn’t a shock to me. It does bother me on an almost everyday basis but it is starting to get easier.”
“And I never thought that would happen,” Portwood continued.
“If you asked me that question, probably last month, I would’ve told you no. But the way life is going now and how it's moving forward, I just feel so much more comfortable.”
“I don’t go out really,” she adds. “I stay with friends and family. I moved 20 minutes away, to a small town, and here, I’m just trying to do everything right.”
“A lot of times it just depends on what I’m feeling, if I’m depressed or I’m sad or I’m bored, I have to learn to cope with it and I have to learn to do things."
“If I’m bored, I’ll call somebody or go do something or take a drive.”
Given her medical diagnosis of depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder, it's harder than it would be for a recovering addict to stay off recreational drugs.
“I’m not on any kind of medication,” she admitted. “I’m kind of scared to go to a doctor. I don’t feel I would be strong enough to go to a doctor. I’m just afraid.”
“The one thing about an addict is that there’s so many temptations and if you know your temptations, you stay away from it. I’m not about to put myself in that position right now."
We give her all the credit in the world for such honesty, self-awareness and determination, because what she's going through is anything but easy.