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Image / Living / Culture

‘I was killing myself’: Jessica Simpson celebrates four years of sobriety


By Sarah Finnan
02nd Nov 2021
‘I was killing myself’: Jessica Simpson celebrates four years of sobriety

Jessica Simpson is celebrating being “wildly honest and comfortably open” as she marks four years of sobriety.

Mum, singer, actress, author, designer; Jessica Simpson is known for being many things. Coming to prominence as a teen idol in the late 90s, it wasn’t long before she had landed her own MTV reality show with then-husband Nick Lachey, starred in a string of different movies and TV shows (The Dukes of Hazzard, Employee of The Month, That 70s Show) and was designing her own self-titled fashion collection. 

20 years after she first signed with Columbia Records at the age of 17, Simpson found herself facing a very difficult battle though. Overwhelmed by the pressures of fame, she had been using drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism. Opening up about what was clearly a very difficult time in her life, the singer first wrote about that period of her life in her 2020 memoir, Open Book. 

Detailing how she had been abused by a close family friend when she was just six years old, Simpson said it was the trauma of that coupled with the stress of her career that led her to rely on other substances for support. Reflecting back on the day that she knew everything had to change for the better, she shared a photo of herself from the morning of November 1st 2017, writing that the person she sees in the image is an “unrecognisable version of [herself]”. 

“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,” she admitted. “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 honour. 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.”

Now celebrating four years of sobriety, Simpson joked that it really feels more like two – “I think that is a good thing,” she laughed. “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.”

“I was killing myself with all the drinking and pills,” she wrote in her book last year. “Giving up the alcohol was easy. I was mad at that bottle. At how it allowed me to stay complacent and numb.” 

Getting real with followers about what the root of the problem really was, the actress/singer-turned-author said that everything stemmed from within her. “The drinking wasn’t the issue. 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,” she finished.

Thousands of supportive messages from friends, family and fans have since flooded the comments section, all of them praising the singer for her “wildly honest” and “powerful” words.