Yes…that really is 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 am free.” — Jessica Simpson
When I saw this picture come up in my Facebook feed last week, I almost laughed out loud.
Not because I was laughing at the person in the picture, but I thought that whoever was trying to share it to show the dramatic change that can take place from drinking alcohol clearly was being facetious by sharing a picture of some random person next to Jessica Simpson.
As I started reading the comments on the picture and saw that no one was commenting that this wasn’t Jessica Simpson, I started to take a closer look and then did some googling on the internet.
Apparently, this picture that looked liked some rando sitting in a pink jumpsuit was, in fact, Jessica Simpson, as she had shared this picture of herself on Instagram recently with a long caption explaining where she was in her life when she took it.
“The 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 life, show victory over my internal battle of self-respect, and brave this world with piercing clarity.”
I was completely taken aback by this, as I kept staring at the picture to see any semblance of the Jessica Simpson that I knew in it and just couldn’t find it. I was absolutely floored by the picture and a number of things began to race in my mind in relation to Jessica sharing it that I thought are important to note.
We are often very self-aware of our issues
When Jessica took this picture, she had made up in her mind that this was going to be the end. This definitely wasn’t the most flattering picture that she has ever taken, so there could be no thought that this was taken with any intention of sharing it with others at that time.
You can see the shadow of the person holding the camera phone in the picture, and one had to think that she shared with this person that this was going to be the beginning of her new life and future.
This picture was taken one day after a shameful episode that Jessica shared in an interview on the Today Show, in which she said she drank all day out of a cup with her kids on Halloween and didn’t even remember what occurred that day.
“I was just dazed and confused, and I just wanted to go to sleep,” she said.
She recognized that this was a low point in her life, and she had to make a change if she was going to experience any semblance of happiness again. She said she had to give up alcohol “because it kept my mind and heart circling in the same direction and quite honestly I was exhausted.”
She took this picture knowing that she was going to give up drinking because it had taken over her life and was not allowing her to be the quality of person she desired.
I think this is similar to many people who drink occasionally but know that there is something there that makes them think their lives may be better without alcohol.
It was like this with me, and regardless of how great I thought my life was with alcohol, there was always something in the back of my head that was warning me or trying to tell me that it could be better without it.
I think many people hear this voice like Jessica did and have to decide if they are going to listen to it or not.
Documenting your journey is helpful to remember how far you’ve come
The funny thing about sobriety and becoming alcohol-consciousness is that, initially, it is going to feel amazing, as your body and brain begin to get healthy again and clear out all the damage that alcohol has done to it over the years.
However, as with anything that you experience on a consistent basis, the more your body begins to get used to this new feeling and state of soberness, the more it will become your general overall homeostasis and not feel like anything special.
This is often the time when many people make the mistake of thinking that maybe their life isn’t better without alcohol and some fall into the trap of going back to it because they are so far removed from where they were that they forget how terrible their life was with it.
This is called faded effect bias, and one of the most dangerous things as it relates to relapsing.
It is what often encourages people to return to bad relationships or any situation that was not truly positive for them in the past. As humans, we have a tendency to romanticize things from our past by only remembering the good parts of something and forgetting the negative ones.
That’s why having a journal or pictures to remind yourself of what you were like before is beneficial so you can revisit them whenever this feeling may sneak up on you to try to convince you that going back to drinking won’t be that bad.
Journaling will help you remember how you were feeling at that time and keep you honest with yourself in regards to the damage alcohol may have been doing to your psychologically and emotionally, while taking pictures similar to the one Jessica took will help you remember the physical damage that alcohol may have done as well.
Having things such as this to pull out and read or look at every now than can be a tremendous help to keep you focused on how far you’ve come and how much further you have to go.
Sharing your lows can be what helps someone else get out of theirs
I’m sure sharing this picture was not the easiest thing for Jessica Simpson to do, as the world of Hollywood and Instagram is often about putting your best foot forward, and this is definitely not that for Jessica.
However, the amount of inspiration that she has created by her courage and willingness to do has been substantial, as this picture has been shared many times over the internet this past week.
Of course, there are some who are sharing it to say, “Holy sh*t, how was that Jessica Simpson?” While, at the same time, there are many who see it and think, “Holy sh*t, if Jessica can come back from that, then so can I.”
Helping people know that you’re not perfect is a great motivator so others won’t feel so alone or ashamed of their shortcomings and can know that it’s possible to make mistakes, not have all the answers, and still eventually figure it out to be a success in the future.
Jessica Simpson’s willingness to share this truth with so many people on a platform that encourages people to only share their highlights (Instagram) is a testament to her openness and desire to help others with her story.
I’m not sure if she was thinking that would be the case when she took the original photo four years ago, but today there are so many people who look at this picture and know that alcohol can damage your life dramatically, but you can still come back from it if you desire.
Jessica’s story and this picture serve as an inspiration to many that this is possible, and your story can be the same for someone else.