Amber Portwood: “I Have Worked My Butt Off to Be Sober and Happy”

Amber Portwood
Since being released from jail in November 2013, Amber Portwood has been working hard to stay sober and be there for her daughter Leah. INF Photo

Fans and Teen Mom viewers were shocked when Amber Portwood made the tough decision in May 2012 to start a five-year prison sentence instead of going to rehab, leaving her daughter Leah behind. She was released from jail in November 2013 and has since been working decidedly out of the spotlight to improve herself and her life. 

“I’ve worked [too] hard on myself and my family to still get criticism 5 years later,” she tweeted on Tuesday, Jan. 27. “I have changed and worked my butt off to be sober & happy.”

Portwood’s addiction to prescription pills and anger management issues were documented on both 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom as she continued her destructive relationship with Leah’s father Gary Shirley

Today she has reached a healthier place, spending time with her now-6-year-old, and finding ways to remain friends with Shirley, who is expecting his second child with a new girlfriend named Kristina. Portwood even retweeted the news of her ex’s big announcement earlier this month. 

In 2012, Portwood attempted to take her own life, which led to her decision to began her jail sentence. On the MTV special Being Amber, which aired in February 2014, Portwood broke down sobbing about her absence in her daughter’s life. 

"I just f—ing hate everything I did," she said. "It was all the drugs and s–t. It was all I did. All I did was get f—ed up."

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