Friday, January 18, 2013
Read: Update on Amber
I have not been around for a while but I would like to give everyone who cares an update on Amber. If you do not care then the "X" is at the top right of your screen.
I have been keeping up with my sister on Jpay, which allows us to talk to each other through email regularly. She has had a lot of negative press in the past, which portrayed her as a very hateful individual. And she was for a while. She did not know how to control her anger or even shut up when she needed to. But now I am happy to say that I absolutely believe that it is all behind her now.
After Amber was sent to prison she had a lot to think about and a lot to change about herself. She had to first realize what was important to her, which was her health and most importantly, Leah. I put them in that order because if she were to remain unhealthy then Leah's importance would be non-existent. In one of our first letters to each other, Amber wrote and said, "I just hope you guys understand that I chose prison to help me, and pretty much save me from myself." She told me that she cried often because she misses her family, and her Booboo, which is what she calls Leah. Amber felt like she had no other option but to go to prison because she did not have the strength to survive on her own and to stay clean. Many may question that and say, "Well, how can you just leave your daughter?" Apparently those individuals have never been addicted to drugs, and do not know what impact they may have on your life. In 2007 over 23 million individuals needed treatment for drug abuse. Of them, over 20 million did not receive any treatment. Amber's age group (18-25) makes up nearly 20% of the individuals who need treatment for drugs. In addition, the form of drugs that Amber used kills 20,000 Americans each year. So it is a no-brainer why Amber agreed to be incarcerated.
In prison Amber has access to resources that were not effective on the "outside." One of the first things Amber did when she arrived at prison was get into the CLIFF program, which is a drug rehabilitation program. It is a program that has multiple stages, and Amber is now in the third and final stage. She has also been asked to seek employment and lead the CLIFF program because of her outstanding progress. Amber also completed an anger management program. That is the one difference that I see in her most. She does not get nearly as angry as she used to. In addition, she nearly never curses, and when she does it is not that vulgar. In a letter Amber sent she said, "I make sure I laugh or smile everyday here. I feel emotions, happiness, anger, and sadness but that is still better than before when all I felt was high." These programs have helped her immensely and changed her thought process, which is something she told me needed to be changed.
Another program that Amber is excited about is the GED program. She is fully aware that to get far in life you have to have an education. She told me that as soon as she is done with the CLIFF program she will be able to take the GED exam. In addition, she has learned a lot about work ethic while in prison, which is something you do not really need when filming, and what Amber lacked as far as what could be seen on the show. Amber holds a job in the facility and is currently a supervisor. She told me that she supervises a few other girls, and that they work very well together. "Right now I'm just thinking about a career and what I am going to do while I am in here and when I get out", Amber said. She is focused on her goal, which is to better herself and be a role model to Leah.
Amber tells me that she calls Leah every night, and that she loves hearing her voice. Every chance I get, I send Amber pictures of Leah that I have taken or ones that are on Gary's Twitter page. She loves getting them, tells me often that they make her cry. Amber told me that her inspirations to better herself are Leah and our father, who at one point only had six months to live. That was 9 years ago and since then he has battled liver disease and cancer. Still in his weakened state he is fighting, and fighting to get a new liver. Amber knows that she has a lot to live for and I feel comfortable saying that Amber will have a better life after all of this is done. By completing the CLIFF program, getting her GED, and being good, Amber can be out of prison and well on her way to a new life in a few months.
Some of you may not like Amber. Some may post hateful messages on here. But know that Amber is a human, and as humans we all make mistakes. She is paying for her mistakes right now, and that is not by being in jail but being away from those she loves the most. She has taken the steps to better herself, which is more than what many would do. It is not often that you hear about someone who has their whole life ahead of them agree to do something like what Amber did, which is agree to a prison term. If you are religious then say a pray for her. If you are hateful then say a prayer for yourself. But keep in mind that all of the negative things that you say will eventually come back to you. The world is full of hate, which is why it can be so dysfunctional. Think!