“I was rock bottom”: Jess Simpson’s in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction

Posted in Family Health.

Singer and much beloved mum-of-three Jessica Simpson has just done a very candid and personal interview detailing her recent battle with drug and alcohol addiction.

“I was pretty rock bottom”

Jess is mum to a 7-year-old daughter named Maxie, a 6-year-old son named Ace and baby girl Birdie who is 10 months.

On the back of her new memoir — called Open Book – Jess has spoken more about how unwell she had been feeling before her pregnancy with Birdie, and how deep in the grasp of habitual substance abuse she really was.

“I thought I was too young to write a memoir,” Jess told People magazine. “When I started to go through all the depth of the pain that I was experiencing, I realized I was pretty rock bottom.”

She’s not kidding when she says she was a mess. Jess made a particularly memorable appearance on the Ellen show during this period, where she seemed incoherent and basically not herself.

It was hard to know why her management and the program’s production team even allowed her to do her segment, to be honest, but they did and the video tells the story.

At the time Jess was insisting she was not going to have any more babies, but circumstances shifted and not only did she get sober, she got pregnant too. We love a positive plot twist.

Breakfast drinking

It was a combination of this infamous interview and some difficult realisations about her role as a mum that prompted Jess to turn her life around.

“It was 7:30 in the morning and I’d already had a drink,” she writes of her turning point detailing one particular school run on Halloween with her hubby Eric Johnson and kids. (Jess was not driving).

After drop-off they headed home where Jess said she zoned out, kept drinking and was in no condition to be the fun Halloween mum she so wanted to be that evening.

“I was terrified of letting them see me in that shape,” Simpson writes. “I am ashamed to say that I don’t know who got them into their costumes that night.”

“I need to stop”

Jess says she then took a sleeping pill and went to bed. The next morning she “slept in, afraid to see them, afraid I had failed them. I hid until they left, then drank.”

Later that day she told her friends “I need to stop. Something’s got to stop. And if it’s alcohol that’s doing this and making things worse, then I quit.”

Jess’s parents, friends and a team of professionals supported her recovery and Jess went from strength-to-strength.

The mum-of-three now reveals her addiction stemmed from her struggle to come to terms with childhood sexual abuse. Using drugs and alcohol helped to numb some really difficult feelings, feeling she is now working through with very regular therapy.

“This feeling of being alone and scared in the dark was one I’d had since I was abused as a child,” Jess writes in her new book.

“It was a long, hard emotional journey,” she admits.

“No better gift”

That may be so, but it’s clear that all that hard work has paid off beautifully and Jess looks like she’s never been happier.

“I had room for so many wonderful moments that I would have missed,” she says of her new life.

“Sober for the first time ever in my studio and seeing Maxwell grab a guitar. Ace in pajamas he put on himself, proudly adding a sticker to his bedtime chart.”

“There’s just no better gift. There’s no better gift I can give my kids, there’s no better gift I can give my husband. More importantly, there’s no better gift I can give myself.”

Jess’s battle is one that other parents may be struggling with, and it’s brave of her to speak out and share her experience.

If you find yourself drinking more than you’d like to or relying on medication in ways that make you feel uncomfortable, please chat to your GP about getting some support.

There are lots of reasons people begin to use alcohol and drugs to ‘take the edge off’ life. Know that you’re not alone and that help is available if your own usage feels like it’s getting out of hand.


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