Jessica Simpson celebrated her four-year sober anniversary: ‘I didn’t love myself’

In January 2020, Jessica Simpson began promoting her memoir. She gave lots of interviews and one of the biggest topics of conversation was her sobriety. For years prior, Jessica had the reputation of a messy-but-happy drunk, someone who loved to go out and drink, or throw parties and get wasted, etc. During her book promotion, Jessica revealed that she hit rock-bottom in 2017, and she swore off alcohol and hasn’t touched the stuff since. As it turns out, November 1st is her Sober Anniversary, and she celebrated by posting a photo of herself on the same day in 2017, with this message:

This person in the early morning of Nov 1, 2017 is an unrecognizable version of myself. 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.

I can’t believe it has been 4yrs! 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. 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.

[From Jessica’s IG]

She’s right about the stigma of alcoholism and recovery too. It’s quite common to backslide, to make a mistake, but the point is to keep striving for sobriety, to work whatever program works for you, or to do what you need to do to protect your sober journey. I really respect Jessica for this, for posting this photo and talking about her rock bottom and how it changed her.

Photos from her family’s sober Halloween this year:



Photos courtesy of Backgrid and Instagram.

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43 Responses to “Jessica Simpson celebrated her four-year sober anniversary: ‘I didn’t love myself’”

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  1. Emma says:

    Good for her! I’m sending love to everyone battling addiction and facing their demons. 2017 was a low point for me also.

  2. Nessa says:

    Oh man, I feel this so much. It’s inspiration for me too, because I just passed my one month sober mark. Reading stories of other people who have succeeded is really helpful. For some, alcohol can be a fun thing once & a while. For me, it’s a beast that completely takes over and leaves me with little control. There’s no such thing as just having one glass of wine with dinner, as much as I try to convince myself otherwise. I was tired of living in a perpetual loop of drinking, feeling like crap for the day and hating myself for it, and drinking again to escape the feeling. It’s so destructive.

    Good for her. It’s hard to do but so worth it.

    • JDInoak says:

      Nessa – I’m coming up on 7 months – keep at it! I’m the same – I used to be jealous of folks who coud have a couple and get on with their lives. I have a couple – then it turns to a bottle (at least) – so now it’s just off the menu…I hear you on the loop. You drink, feel like crap – feel ashamed you did it againso drink more…it’s a bitch of a thing to break. I’ve tried stopping before but always had it in my mind that I would be able to start again and manage to reduce the amount, but thi time it’s cicked for me that that’s just not on the cards for me at all – I have some good books that have helped me if you’re interested.

      • kessa says:

        Congrats both! Would love the name of the books. I had a rough halloween and I think it’s time for me to stop. 🙁

      • Nessa says:

        That’s amazing, good job! Yeah, coming to the realization that you’re not the one in control and never will be was tough. It was necessary though. I would love to read the books that helped you, I’ve been downloading a bunch of audiobooks, they’ve helped a lot!

      • Stefanie says:

        Hi Kessa,
        A book that I found really helpful was Sober Curious. It is not about 100% quitting, but in the end you do? She helps explain how you can also change your life so the habits change and how that makes your life so much more fullfilling.

    • Bettyrose says:

      Nessa – congratulations! I’m on day 23 myself. It’s a thing I’ve needed to do for a long time and it helps so much to share with others on the same journey. And dayum Jessica Simpson. I suspect that physical transformation is more than just sobriety and tennis but still it’s inspiring.

      • Nessa says:

        Thank you, congratulations to you too! It’s a journey but it helps knowing I’m not he only one going through it.

    • Wednesday Addams says:

      I just passed 3 months sober. I, too, realized that I just can’t drink alcohol. I did Annie Grace’s free 30 day Alcohol Experiment and kept going.

    • JDInoak says:

      Books that helped me:
      This Naked Mind
      Quit Like a Woman
      Alcohol Explained
      Unexpected Joy of Being Sober
      The Sober Diaries

    • NCWoman says:

      Congratulations, Nessa! I stopped drinking 25 years ago. In my experience, it gets easier to not have the first drink. When I stopped, I drank every day, and I literally had to wean myself off it, I stopped drinking on Mondays, then Tuesdays, etc. until I made it to Sunday–it took me almost a year to stop completely but rehab was not an option then. That compulsion to drink alcohol like water after the first drink never goes away if you have that “gene.” So once you get used to not drinking, it’s usually easier to avoid it completely. Keep going–and find some seltzer you love!

    • Jodi says:

      2 years for me! keep going! it’s so worth it!

  3. Merricat says:

    Congratulations to her! She’s right, that brokenness is important to examine; alcohol is the symptom that becomes the cause.

  4. Sara says:

    I’m so happy for Jessica. I recently started outpatient alcohol abuse counseling for the first time ever after I asked my husband to drive me to the hospital. I couldnt do it another day longer but wanted a monitored start to sobriety. I was using it to go to sleep every night. I couldn’t have started recovery otherwise I don’t think – I needed professional help. I wasn’t back to rock bottom like I’ve been in the past but I was struggling badly. I feel very relieved and free from the trap of alcoholism because I’m finally talking about it in the open to my husband, my mom and my sister: the 3 people who mean the most to me in this world. I am beyond humbled and thankful with how they are being so supportive as I make this journey. I didn’t want to isolate myself from them anymore because of this disorder. I didn’t want to hurt them anymore. I am 3 weeks sober today.

    • MC2 says:

      Congratulations Sara!!! I am four & a half years sober & feel your post in my bones. It does get easier- the shame dissipates & life is comfortable to live. Happy that you are free from that trap- freedom is a priceless gift 🙂

  5. Hillbo Baggins says:

    Her book was surpringly great. Very candid and open without being gossipy. Proud of her for taking control and becoming a happier and healthy person.

  6. lucy2 says:

    What a powerful post. I wish her all the best.
    I have to really recommend her memoir – it totally changed the way I thought about her, and her career.

  7. Margot says:

    The podcast “You’re Wrong About” had a great 3-4 series on Jessica. It was so interesting and really shone a light on all she’d been through. Congratulations to her on this accomplishment!

    • molly says:

      This podcast was fantastic, and it really changed my opinion of Jessica. I did not like her AT ALL during the early 00s, but I never really had a reason. Oh yeah: internalized misogyny.
      Shame on me.

      Good for her for getting the help she needs, and I hope she’s sober and healthy for the rest of her life.

  8. Stef says:

    I liked her book a lot. It was insightful, fairly well written, and told her story in a captivating and candid way. Good on her for being so open about her sober journey as it can only open the dialogue and help others who may feel alone.

  9. Ann says:

    I’m fresh out of rehab for alcoholism and unmanaged bipolar. 43 days sober. It was a rough road to get to rehab but I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to go. It was life changing and life affirming.

    Jessica makes me proud. Addiction is such a horrible burden. We need more honest representation of what it does to people to lessen the stigma.

  10. ShazBot says:

    Her memoir was really great, and having been around the same age as her, I remember her whole rise to fame really well – I loved her debut album! It was so interesting to read her real perspective on everything.
    When I read the parts where she talked about Halloween 2017, I went back through her Instagram to see the pics and even though I’d seen them before and thought nothing of them, knowing what she was going through, you can see it in her eyes.
    I’m happy for her success, her confidence, and her honesty, she’s definitely going to help other people.

  11. Andrew’s Nemesis says:

    I’m wondering how much of a longterm effect John Mayer’s cruelty and gaslighting had on her – he really did a number on her, and humiliated her by revealing information regarding her sexual prowess which was so demeaning to her. I’m so glad she’s taken control of her life and is happy, sober and thriving.
    I only wish my covert narcissist father would give up the alcohol which has wrecked so much of my life. I used to be terrified of drinking lest I was like, or became like him. I drink very rarely, and still have that underlying fear, even though I don’t have his compulsion to drink. It’s such a minefield.

    • AmyB says:

      Yes, hearing Jessica talk about that part of her life was really eye-opening. The only thing she said at the time (when Mayer gave that asshole, ego-driven interview to Playboy about her being “sexual napalm”) was that she was disappointed in him, and that was private information. Good on her. I think between that gaslighting relationship (Mayer making her feel inferior to him), the whole fat shaming criticism she got (which is fucking ridiculous to consider looking at it from the lens of 2021), and the persona she was so stupid, and really only a sex symbol (see her Newlywed show with then husband Nick) – was just plain cruel. She obviously, is none of those things. I applaud her, as many do, coming forward about her journey, and finding her healing through sobriety, therapy, and loving herself. I think it really shows now. Congratulations Jessica! I always really had a soft spot for her xo

    • Abby says:

      After reading her recount her experience with him, I have no desire to listen to his music anymore. He was awful to her and exploited her kind heart.

    • AmyB says:

      @Abby I feel the same way! What a gaslighting, narcissist. Horrible!

  12. Sue says:

    The stigma needs to go away just like it does for general mental illness. It is a mental illness too. Think about the amount of people who need help but don’t because of this stupid stigma. I’m glad that Jessica is so honest and public about her sober journey. I hope it’s helping others to get the help they likely really want but haven’t gotten because of fear of judgment.

  13. JustMe says:

    I quit drinking almost 6 years ago…not because I was an alcoholic but because I was tired of it…tired of spending money on booze, tired of feeling Shitty after drinking, tired of feeling the need to overcome my social anxiety with booze.

    I had a LOT of fun in my 20s and 30s and yes we drank and I loved the social part of it.

    But then it wasn’t fun anymore. It became a few glasses of wine at home instead of going out, it became oh I can’t go out cause i already had a few drinks. It wasn’t fun.

    So I made the choice to stop. I didn’t have a problem stopping…i just did. But sooo many times since I’ve had people say Oh just have one…cmon have a drink.

    Just stop doing that. Just because you want one doesn’t mean everyone does. People have lots of different reasons for saying No and it’s their business

    Respect that No

  14. Zantasia says:

    Her words made me cry. I’m happy for her and I wish her well.

    Congrats to all of you who have chosen yourselves and who continue to each day!

  15. Singhsong says:

    I’m so happy and proud to see all these comments from Bitchies on the journey to alcohol free lives. I celebrated my first soberversary in September and it’s probably the single best decision I’ve made for myself. I don’t work a particular program but read “This Naked Mind” by Annie Grace and I’m part of a Reddit community (of all things) and that’s really helpful too. We’ve got this!

  16. Margo says:

    I listened to a podcast about Jessica Simpson’s book on the podcast is called ‘You’re Wrong About’. It is a discussion of revelations she made in her book. There is A LOT about this woman that I didn’t know. It was fascinating to hear her story. Jessica is an amazing woman and this latest post, showing what she was like before she began to love herself again, is so revealing. In the photo, she looks so lost. I love her so much and I look forward to continuing to watch her evolve.


    My dad recently finished his first rehab intervention (he tried almost two decades ago but left the program early). Watching him deteriorate over Covid was so heart wrenching, especially because he lives far away from the whole family. I don’t think he would have gotten help if his health didn’t begin to suffer to such a great degree- liver, kidneys, nerves. I think he is on the right path but I worry.

    My younger sister has been drinking excessively to cope with my dad’s situation as well as stress in her own life. I say excessively based on medical definitions. She’s aware of the risk in our family but it’s not an easy thing to untangle. So she drinks, hates herself for drinking, drinks to relieve anxiety in social situations, then drinks to get over that. It’s a vicious cycle.

  18. girl_ninja says:

    I really enjoyed her autobiography. She’s been through so much and really poured her heart out.

    I still cannot stand John Mayer for how he mistreated her and used her. It’s clear he was so insecure and made her feel like she was less than.

    She seems to have found peace and happiness.

  19. ncboudicca says:

    Wow, reading that post definitely made me tear up. My husband is 4.5 yrs sober and basically had to give up his entire immediate social circle to do that for himself. All of you who’ve made that change are so strong and I wish everyone the best.

  20. Abby says:

    I’m so so proud of her for taking this step for herself and her loved ones. I really loved her memoir and learned so much about her that I never knew, even as a fan. I hope she’s full of happiness and continues to thrive.

  21. Hello Kitty says:

    1) I stan Jessica Simpson forever and always will.
    2) both Nick and John were unworthy of her.
    3) I’ve been effectively sober since getting pregnant with my first child in Aug. 2019. Looking back at my life before then, was I an alcoholic? No. Was I a binge drinker who relied on alcohol emotionally and socially? Yes. Am I glad motherhood has effectively made me sober? Hell yes. Do I plan on ever going back to that precious lifestyle? Nope nope nope.

  22. Monica says:

    Jessica has helped a lot of people with her openness and honesty. All of you on the sobriety journey, I am cheering you on. There’s a lot of addiction in my family background and I know how hard it can be to overcome.