(Twin Cities) – If you or someone in your family has been touched by alcohol addiction, chances are you have met Amber Leone Murphy at one time or another.
The Blaine resident has worked with hundreds of recovering addicts in her home state of Minnesota, as well as other metropolitan cities, in one capacity or another over the years. She is making waves with people all over the world with the tagline that a sober life is not a boring life.
One look at her edgy website, http://cantkeepasobergirldown.com, proves Amber is not boring! Her video is engaging and will touch the hearts of many, in and out of recovery. The possibilities and ideas of her work are limitless.
“Alcohol and drug addiction affects people in so many ways. I just want to get the message out there that there is a solution. The solution does not lie in self-loathing, self-hatred or in a bottle. It lies in recovery,” she said.
Murphy’s passion for helping people struggling with addiction is fueled by her personal experiences. Alcoholism is a disease Murphy has dealt with all her life.
“Several people in my own family have battled with this disease, including me,” she said. “I took my first sip of beer when I was 8-years-old. When I was 13, my grandmother passed away and I turned to the bottle to deal with my grief. I was trying to fill the void caused by my grandmother’s loss.” Murphy’s grandmother had 20 years of sobriety when she passed away, but the young woman was unable to follow her lead.
Murphy drank so much while in mourning she blacked out, and that wasn’t the only time she lost consciousness while binge drinking. It happened frequently during high school. “I didn’t know moderation. I couldn’t drink normally. Once I started drinking I couldn’t stop,” she said. “I never thought about having a beer. I always thought about getting drunk.”
Murphy says she managed to keep her life of drinking and partying hidden from her mother and step-father for quite some time, but at the age of 15 a police officer caught her and turned her in. “I did community service at a library and tried to turn my life around,” she said.
It worked for a while, but after graduating from high school she lost control again. “I got a job as a waitress and then my alcoholism just progressed,” she said. Murphy was charged with a DUI when she was 19 and lost her license in Minnesota. She then moved to Savannah, Ga., for about six months before heading to New York City to attend acting school.
Murphy continued to drink all through college, but did manage to graduate from the acting school and secure a manager. “I was endearing, motivated, intelligent and a darn good actress, but because I continued to drink I didn’t show up at auditions. I blew a lot of opportunities,” she said.
Eventually, a bad breakup with a boyfriend convinced her to move back to Minnesota. “I was in and out of depression,” she said. “My mother was constantly worried about me. My friends were very concerned too.”
Murphy's next move was to Los Angeles in 2004, where she tells stories of how she would party with celebrities and started to think something was wrong with her though she couldn't figure out what it was. She was still in denial of a serious drinking problem. After nine months of living in L.A., she finally hit bottom in her new home on Whidbey Island in Washington State after an engagement to her now ex-husband.
“My fiancé was away and I was at a party drinking. Normally when I got drunk I would black out, but this time I was conscious the whole time. A friend tried to kiss me. I backed up and said, ‘No! I've got to go home.’ Honestly, for the first time I was present and knew that I was going to sabotage everything if I continued to live like this. I woke up the next morning and said, ‘God, please help me,’ and then it was like something was moving my feet. I felt compelled to go to the computer to find help.”
Murphy considers Nov. 7, 2005, her sober date. She hasn’t touched a drink since the day before; though she has shared her story over and over again and is passionately determined to empower others to choose a healthier lifestyle. “The only thing I know for sure that keeps people sober—me in particular—is service work, helping and serving others. You also need to have faith in a higher power and the willingness to show up in the world,” she said.
In November of 2008, Murphy was featured in Signature L.A.’s Magazine as L.A.’s Top 40 Under 40 for her mentorship and entrepreneurial efforts. Since then, she has successfully created three real estate companies and helped many with their own start-up ideas. She states that all of this would not have been possible without recovery.
She is currently working on developing a seminar series to empower women in recovery to live their best life. She is also waiting on a green light with a publishing company to have her book entitled, "Daily Letters for My Sober Sisters," published. Her current representation is through Marilyn Allen of the acclaimed Allen O'Shea Literary Agency.
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