• NUWAY Annual Picnic 2019Hazelden Renewal Center

Amber’s Story

first person testimony

I haven’t always been known as a person in recovery, as a matter of fact a label that many knew me as is would be addict, meth-head, felon, thief, liar, and many more. I spent 14 long years loyal to a drug that should have killed me. Yet, I stand.

My Life Then

By the time I was 19-years-old, I had two children by two different fathers, was in college pursuing a degree, all the while working at 3M as an intern hoping that I would one day become an employee. I had always dreamed of working for such a wonderful company. Little did I know, that the day I chose meth, my life and the lives of others around me would be changed forever.

Throughout my addiction I was given numerous opportunities to change but I didn’t; from spending time in jails/prison, to being a part of the drug court system, through several inpatient treatment programs and even outpatient ones. But none helped me because I wasn’t ready.

I spent 14 years using drugs and committing crimes which involved countless victims. The destructive lifestyle that I led became my priority; despite the pain or hurt I caused my victims, children, or anyone else around me. My past was nothing short of self-seeking and damaging. I never once took into consideration how my actions would impact those in my path.

My Life Now

In 2010, I entered a long-term program that wound up being the catalyst to change in my life. Today, I am over 10 years clean and an advocate in the recovery community. I have been sought out to speak at many events to share my experience, strength and hope. It has taken me years to repair my past and the relationships that I have broken. I wish I could say that once I got sober life has been 100 percent great; this is far from the truth. However, I know now that I am the one in charge of my choices; I am in charge of my future.

In December 2018, I went in front of the Minnesota Board of Pardons asking them to forgive my past crimes. That day will forever be an imprint in my life as it has been a pivotal point in my life where another change happened: I was granted a pardon from the State of Minnesota. What an intense day that was! I have been forgiven of my past; my slate wiped clean.

Recovery is a daily choice for me. I look at the people I love and think to myself, “there’s no way I could ever let them down.” I am no longer a victim of my circumstances like I once believed I was.

Today, I am a professional working woman.

Today, I choose to live.

Today, I choose recovery.


Do you have a testimony of hope and encouragement from your journey of recovery? We’d love to hear from you. Please send your story to phoenix@thephoenixspirit.com. We’ll connect with you if we choose to publish your piece in a future issue. Thank you.

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