On her sixth anniversary of sobriety, Jessica Simpson paid homage to an “unrecognizable” past self.
In an Instagram story posted Thursday, Simpson linked to a Nov. 1, 2021, post of herself four years prior to that — her first day sober.
The multi-hyphenate first developed a dependency on alcohol to soothe her nerves during her turbulent 2006 relationship with singer-songwriter John Mayer, she chronicled in her 2020 memoir "Open Book." A combination of unresolved childhood trauma and stress over her career kept her reaching for the bottle.
As she details in her memoir, she spent the day prior to the day she quit drinking preparing for a Halloween party she and husband Eric Johnson were hosting. She had had her first drink before 7:30 a.m. that day. When the former NFL tight end asked if she wanted to join him in getting their children dressed up, she realized she was in no condition to help.
“I was terrified of letting them see me in that shape,” Simpson wrote in her memoir. “I am ashamed to say that I don’t know who got them into their costumes that night.”
The next morning, Simpson gathered her close friends together and told them that she needed to change.
“I need to stop. Something’s got to stop. And if it’s the alcohol that’s doing this, and making things worse, then I quit,” she told the group. They hugged her and told her they had been gearing up for an intervention for six months.
“It didn’t break my heart that I was such a mess that they wanted to intervene. It broke my heart that they felt they had to go behind my back,” she wrote. “But they were right. I had deeper problems than alcohol, and I couldn’t resolve the problem until I threw away the crutch.”
With the support of health professionals, friends and family, she committed seriously to recovery. She also confronted what she told The Times in 2020 was the root cause of her addiction: abuse she had endured as a young girl and never learned to process.
“6 years ago,” she wrote Thursday in quiet recognition of how far she’s come. The simplicity of the statement left the sentiment of the original post from 2021 resounding clearly.
“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,” the post said. “The drinking wasn’t the issue. I was. I didn’t love myself. I didn’t respect my own power. Today I do.”
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.