Amber Portwood, 'Teen Mom' Star, Releases Tell-All, Opens Up About Depression, Suicide And Jail
Amber Portwood, star of 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom, has written a tell-all memoir describing her painful past of depression and addiction that eventually lead to a highly publicized year in prison.
In Never Too Late, released in August and written with Beth Roeser, Portwood writes about her turbulent childhood – the book opens with the death of her younger sister, Candace, who died of SIDS before she was one month old – and details her time in jail.
Amber Portwood Opens Up About Jail, Suicide
In 2012, Portwood made headlines when she decided to go to prison instead of a rehab facility, this after she was caught on tape hitting her ex, and the father of her child, Gary Shirley, while taping Teen Mom. Portwood’s struggle with addiction had already been documented on the MTV reality series, and in Never Too Late, the young mother describes hitting rock bottom as Teen Mom came to an end.
“By the time Teen Mom was done, I was stuffing myself with insane amounts of prescription drugs, from anxiety medications to heavy-duty painkillers. I took myself to the edge of death with the amount of pills I swallowed, and that was only after I destroyed my relationships with friends and family to the point where there was nothing left but me and my addiction,” Portwood writes.
Amber Portwood Describes Her Motivation
Portwood was released from prison in November of 2013, and she says she only had one thing on her mind: seeing her daughter Leah. Throughout Portwood’s 17-month stay behind bars, she only saw her daughter three times. Despite this huge absence, Portwood writes that the distance only made her more motivated to get better, citing Leah as her inspiration:
“I knew the worst effect my addiction had on my life was the distance I let it put between my daughter and me. So I worked my ass off to change myself in prison, to learn and grow and take control of my life so that I could get back to being a mother to my daughter.”
Portwood says she wrote the book to honor the women she met in prison, many of whom shared similar stories of addiction and broken homes. “A lot of people told me before I got out, ‘You have to help others so they don’t go through what we go through in here.’ I’m determined to do that,” she told Christian Today.
While in prison, Portwood earned her GED and says she has learned to treat her depression and anger issues.
Portwood is currently filming a new reality series for MTV that will also focus on fellow Teen Mom stars, Maci Bookout and Catelynn Lowell, and she says the new show will prove to viewers how much she has changed since her first time on the show.
“I think people are going to see a different light, this time, of all three of us. We’re at different parts of our lives, a lot of change since we’ve been off TV, and hopefully I can show my fans where I’m at today, and how I’ve changed. You get to see the kids grown up and talking…it’s great. We’re filming now,” Portwood said.