After decades-long battle with addiction, Wadena woman celebrates Thanksgiving sober

Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 6:16 PM CST
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WADENA, M.N. (Valley News Live) - After a decades-long, on-and-off battle with both drug and alcohol addiction, a Wadena woman is celebrating Thanksgiving with her family tonight nine-months sober.

“To be here, sober today and be able to have that time with my parents, my kids, my husband is really a big blessing to me,” Amber Nelson said.

Nelson has been battling addiction since she was 15, with stints of sobriety during and after the births of her four children.

“Meth is really the devil and it will pull you in and suck you in until you have nothing,” she said. “I missed Easter, I missed Thanksgiving, Christmases because I just wanted to be in my room or be with my friends out getting high.”

Just days before Christmas of 2019, Nelson says she was wrapped up in meth and headed down a scary path when she was arrested, charged and ended up spending six months behind bars.

“I lost a lot of time with my kids. No drug, no sip of alcohol is worth any of it,” Nelson said.

However, Nelson says that was the wake-up call she needed and one that has lead her into her now ninth month of sobriety,

“I wake up and I’m like, ‘Thank you, Lord, for waking me up and giving me this second chance,’” she said.

Nelson says of course there are still tough days, but she says it’s her family and her recent graduation from treatment that keeps her motivated.

“Being an addict, it’s a struggle,” she said.

Nelson says the holidays bring extra challenges to those trying to stay sober, as alcohol is a staple for many at the table. She urges loved ones to be mindful, understanding and encouraging for those wrestling with sobriety.

“Always make sure that you’re offering them some sort of support,” Nelson said.

And for those fighting off the demons this holiday season, she says it’s important to stay strong and make sure you have a back-up plan.

“Always make sure that you have something in your hand that’s non-alcoholic because you’ll thank yourself in the long run,” she said.

Nelson says if she can get this far, anyone else can, too.

“There’s better days. Time is something you’ll never get back.”

If you know someone suffering from addiction, below are a list of a few local facilities who offer help and support:

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