Earlier this year, singer and entrepreneur Jessica Simpson made two big announcements. One, she had written a new book about her life. And two, that book is about a drinking and prescription pill problem she has been hiding for years. In the powerful memoir, Open Book, Jessica Simpson details her struggle with alcohol and drug addiction, dealing with childhood trauma, and her journey to sobriety. Now, sober for nearly two and a half years, she shares about the trauma that led to her using.
Childhood Trauma and Addiction
Trauma is a major driver of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and addiction. In the book and subsequent press tour, Jessica shares for the first time that she was the victim of sexual abuse as a child which was never addressed until adulthood. Furthermore, she shot to fame whilst still a minor and carried the pressures of stardom with her for her entire adult life. In order to cope with the emotional pain and the career stressors she experienced, Jessica turned to alcohol and prescription pills.
Over the years, Jessica’s addiction deepened. She found herself unable to function without alcohol, even drinking it first thing in the morning. Jessica recalls constantly carrying what she called her “Glitter Cup” which was “always filled to the rim with alcohol”.
She also claims she used stimulants to counteract the effects of the booze, diet pills to maintain an unrealistic weight in the public eye, and sleeping pills to get to bed at night.
Jessica claims she hit rock bottom at a Halloween party in 2017. Hosted at her home, she realized she had a problem when was too drunk to dress her kids for the party. “I was terrified of letting them see me in that shape,” Simpson said. “I am ashamed to say that I don’t know who got them into their costumes that night.”
The next day she recalls telling 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”. That month Jessica Simpson sought treatment for alcohol and prescription pill addiction. She went into therapy to deal with the underlying issues that had caused her to use.
Jessica told People magazine, “When I finally said I needed help, it was like I was that little girl that found her calling again in life.I found direction and that was to walk straight ahead with no fear.”
She said she realized she had to surrender and vowed to never miss another Halloween or Christmas with her children. She wants to show up and be present.
We commend Jessica Simpson for her bravery in sharing her struggle with addiction so publicly. We hope her story inspires others to seek treatment and ask for the help they need.
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