On November 1, 2021, Jessica Simpson marked four years of sobriety, and she celebrated the milestone with an Instagram post showing an “unrecognizable version” of herself from 2017. In the caption, she reflected on the “internal battle” she continues to work hard to overcome and speaks candidly about the stigma around the label of being an alcoholic.
“This person in the early morning of Nov 1, 2017 is an unrecognizable version of myself,” the singer and actor wrote in the Instagram caption. “I had so much self discovery to unlock and explore. I knew in this very moment I would allow myself to take back my light, show victory over my internal battle of self respect, and brave this world with piercing clarity. Personally, to do this I needed to stop drinking alcohol because it kept my mind and heart circling in the same direction and quite honestly I was exhausted. I wanted to feel the pain so I could carry it like a badge of honor. I wanted to live as a leader does and break cycles to advance forward—never looking back with regret and remorse over any choice I have made and would make for the rest of my time here within this beautiful world.”
She continued, “I can’t believe it has been 4 yrs! It feels like maybe 2. I think that is a good thing. Ha. There is so much stigma around the word alcoholism or the label of an alcoholic. The real work that needed to be done in my life was to actually accept failure, pain, brokenness, and self sabotage.”
Simpson also opened up about how much progress she has made in those four years. “The drinking wasn’t the issue,” she wrote in her caption. “I was. I didn’t love myself. I didn’t respect my own power. Today I do. I have made nice with the fears and I have accepted the parts of my life that are just sad. I own my personal power with soulful courage. I am wildly honest and comfortably open. I am free.”
Simpson shared more details about this facet of her life in her 2020 tell-all memoir, Open Book. “I think it’s important for people to know that what I did, giving up alcohol, was seriously the easy part for me,” she told Glamour in a cover story timed to the book’s release.
“The hard part was breaking down the reasons why,” she continued. “The reasons why alcohol was my crutch. You know because people are like, ‘Are you an alcoholic?’ It’s like, No, I had a drinking problem. I don’t identify with that. I needed to slow down and I needed to, like, feel things again because there were so many moments that were passing me by. That I wasn’t, like, grasping and enjoying. When your kids are growing up, you only have it for that amount of time, and I just saw my whole life flash before my eyes.”
This story originally appeared on Glamour.
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