I realize this is old news, but right now I'm (surprisingly) trackin' with Teen Mom Amber so I thought I would write about it.
In an interview with ABC's Juju Chang, Portwood explained why she chose 5 years in prison over a few months of outpatient rehab. She very candidly admits that in rehab she was depressed and very lonely.
To any sane person, this choice seems absurd. Who would want to go to prison? Especially when the alternative is a cushy outpatient rehab clinic?
Someone who has zero community, that's who. For Amber, prison provides a fresh start where she won't be so lonely.
When I first read articles and watched interviews about her decision, I was super perplexed. I wasn't shocked, because, well let's be real, her actions haven't always been the most logical, but I was interested in what led her to make such a bold choice.
Then this summer happened. If I'm being real, I, like Portwood, haven't had much community at all. During the school year, my small group provided a lot of consistency, accountability, and structure and when all my girls were gone for the summer it was sad and left me in a frump! I love having a set schedule - it keeps me on track whether that's consistent time spent with the Lord or even eating (pretty) healthy. But this summer has been anything but consistent in all those areas (community, my spiritual life, and my health). And to be honest, its left me feeling pretty dehydrated as this summer comes to an end.
My heart breaks for Amber Portwood because, I believe, the heart behind her decision is crying out for community and ultimately Jesus. She's just putting an ill-fitting, drastic, and temporary band-aid over that cry by choosing prison. Her decision is a hyperbolic highlight of how we all need community - community with God and community with others.