Today on The SHAIR Podcast Amber Leone Murphy the founder of “Can’t Keep a Sober Girl Down” and the author of “Crushing Codependency” shares with us her incredible battle with alcoholism. Amber now 9 years sober, started drinking at 8 years old sneaking sips of beer from left over beer cans at family parties. At age 13 here grandmother dies and the heavy drinking begins. Throughout high school Amber’s parents move around a lot and with every new high school came a new set of drinking buddies she would gravitate towards.
For over 10 years, Amber’s alcoholism would gradually get worse and worse: drinking on the job, public intoxication, arrested for a DUI, and sleeping in her car. Amber finally hits rock bottom when she moves to New York and ends up in an alcoholic blackout throughout all of 9-11. When she comes out of the fog the guilt and shame lead her to recovery. Today Amber is a public speaker, an author, an artist, and an entrepreneur. It’s an amazing journey of recovery, join us now!
The only thing I enjoy more than watching people’s faces shine as they grow and change in recovery is hearing their stories from rock bottom to living a full, empowered life. Extraordinary transformations! This is why I do what I do. ~ Amber Leone Murphy
Clean Date: November 7th, 2005
Here are Amber’ SHAIR Podcast interview highlights and suggestions for the Newcomer:
What is the best suggestion you have ever received?
Amber: The best suggestion I have ever received is look for a miracle. My second sponsor said “why don’t you go down to the beach? You only live a mile away from it. When you’re having these kinds of hardships and you can’t get a hold of me, and you’re not helping another alcoholic, you need to be meditating” and I was like “I don’t know what that even means”. She said: “stop thinking and just sit and look for a miracle” and I was like “what do you mean look for a miracle”. When God is working for you she said… she said that in times of stress or worry or sometimes when she didn’t feel inside of her soul, she said that she would find a dime.
O: A dime? Oh she would find an actual dime. That’s wild.
Amber: Yes. Here’s my ten cents on the ground. She’d find a dime. I kind of thought she was nuts, but she hasn’t steered me wrong yet. She was loving me. Anything I brought to her she was hearing it and she was letting me bring it to her and so I did what she said and looked for a miracle. I would go down to the beach in Washington State and I would just sit there and look for my miracle. She’d say talk out loud, ask about the miracle too and so I’d say “God I’m looking for a miracle” and I didn’t know. I didn’t have any idea of my higher power at that time she obviously loved me enough to wake me up like that, and that I obviously had a purpose on this planet and that’s not to be wasted every single day. I’m looking for miracles and I’m about to leave the beach and all of a sudden I see three birds and thought “huh, I wonder if that’s a miracle”?
And then I go back to that same beach on a different day when I’m really stressed out or angry or not getting my way about something in my life at that opportune moment, so I’m driving down the beach and I say “I need a miracle” and I see three birds and now that’s the second time I’ve seen three birds! Now I’m starting to get excited and I’ve got these goose bumps on my arms and they’re not going away. I’m starting to believe a little bit and it’s something that’s been constant and consistent in my recovery. So when I am struggling I see three birds. What’s funny is a couple of years ago I was struggling financially, and I was really struggling, I started to see dimes.
O: You started seeing dimes?!
Amber: Everywhere, dimes in my shoe, a dime would be stuck on the bottom of my feet. I called my old boss and I was like “this is crazy. I’m not even looking for dimes” and she’s like “I wasn’t looking for them either. They just showed up”. So I believe in little things like that. I’ve seen miracles and I’ve seen people that have been devastated by the disease of alcoholism and drug addiction. Their family changed with one little word and that’s called ‘hope’ and that’s the miracle in all of this. It’s seeing that hope in people’s eyes and that transformation of life and of loved ones and the effect it had on the world.
O: No question about it. Expect a miracle.
Amber: Absolutely. Walking, talking and breathing miracle.
If you could give our listeners only one suggestion, what would it be?
SUGGESTION’S FOR THE NEWCOMER!
“I’d say to reach out and find enough curiosity and enough passion and enthusiasm to help someone as much as you would want to be helped if you had recovery.”
Amber: I’d say to reach out and find enough curiosity and enough passion and enthusiasm to help someone as much as you would want to be helped if you had recovery. Inside of that, help those who need help because maybe if you spend too much time on someone who doesn’t want the help, you might miss out on the opportunity to help several people who actually want it.
O: That whole statement was gold. That was beautiful. Man I love that. That’s what this whole program in a nut shell is all about. It’s not for people who need it. There are millions who need it. It’s for people who want it and are willing to do the work. Man this is gold. I love it. Amber this is awesome! This has been great, great.
Tell us about your recovery routine today that keeps you clean and sober.
Amber: Okay. I have a pretty good routine. I hated that word years ago. I guess it was just a couple of years ago. My life today looks a little bit different. So I guess I’ll just tell you about a regular day, which to me is very exciting. I wake up and I immediately say my prayer for the day, which is “God please let me be a conduit of your love today, please show me how to be that” and then I get a glass of water or Diet Coke and I start to write or look at different things that I’ve written and I begin my morning meditation by creating art around what I have written on different programs and then I get ready for work.
I work downtown Minneapolis so I’m always in a rush. I’m like rushing all the time because I get so caught up in my creativity. I get off work and end up going to a meeting or I go speak somewhere or I go to where I know that there are people who are looking for help, and that is a routine for me. I have this vibrant energy for living today.
O: So are you writing a book too?
Amber: Yeah “Can’t Keep A Sober Girl Down” is the book and I’m gonna keep it simple. I tried to make it complicated. I wrote it all crazy when I was in New York and I ended up taking out everything that was complex. It’s really simple and I’m very excited. I went up north for vacation over the 4th of July with my cousin and I showed her the cover for “Can’t Keep A Sober Girl Down” and she cried. I realized that I just needed to keep it simple and get it our as quickly as I could. I would love this book to be in a female’s arms and be like “this is part of who I am” and this girl gets it and we get it together, like I want that to happen.
O: I love it.
Thanks again for your SHAIR Amber!
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Disclaimer – The opinions shared on this show reflect those of the individual speaker and not of any 12 step fellowship as a whole and though we discuss 12 step recovery and the impact it has had in our lives we do not