Is Being “California Sober” Really Being In Recovery?
The idea of somebody who is in recovery from addiction and describes...
Not even the best and the brightest of us are immune to addiction. It’s a disease that doesn’t discriminate, which the world was reminded of recently when accomplished singer, actress, fashion designer Jessica Simpson publicly celebrated the fourth anniversary of her sobriety by releasing a cover and music video of the song “Particle,” originally by Nothing But Thieves.
While the original version of the song was more rock based, Simpson has transformed the track into a stripped down piano ballad, giving a stunning performance as she belts her heart out at a microphone.
The song’s lyrics describe someone who is in the midst of an addiction that is driving their partner away. They admit to being self-destructive, self-medicating, feeling like a “shadow of a ghost” and begging their doctor for something that will just get them through the night. But, despite their pain, they make a promise to rearrange their “particles” so that they will not lose their partner’s affections.
In a recent Instagram post, Simpson reflected on the redemptive experience of recording the song, saying:
“The whole idea of music heals is an honest truth to me. This song saved a broken piece of me.”
Released on 11/11, the cover closely follows the anniversary of her sobriety on November 1st. In another Instagram post, the star reflected:
“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.”
This is the singer’s first music release in 11 years, besides six songs that accompanied the audiobook version of her 2020 memoir, Open Book, in which she also reflected on her addiction. Along with alcohol, which she drank out of vodka-and-Perrier “glitter cups” constantly, she also struggled with prescription drugs, flying high on stimulants and then using Ambien to dial back down at day’s end.
Spurred by childhood sexual abuse, the pressures of fame, and a complex relationship with her family, the situation had spun so far out of control that she felt that she was “killing myself with all the drinking and pills,” before she committed to sobriety after reaching a rock bottom of not being able to dress her own children on Halloween of 2017.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Simpson spoke about how, along with her children, music was one of her major motivations for getting sober. She had gotten to a place where she needed to numb herself to deal with the emotions she felt while writing even alone in her own studio, but hated how complacent she had become.
“I was mad at that bottle,” she describes.
And that anger helped fuel her to find a new direction and learn to walk “straight ahead with no fear.”
“Honesty, it is hard, but it’s the most rewarding thing we have. And getting to the other side of fear is beautiful,” she reflected.
“I had room for so many wonderful moments that I would have missed…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.”
She now feels that her triumph over her struggles has given her “a light and a calling to use my voice to help others,” and it looks like she’s already off to a great start! Role models like Simpson prove that, though sobriety isn’t always easy, it is always possible, and always worth it.
At Reco Intensive, we’re here to kick start that sobriety with our top notch professional treatment program, which will help you get to the root of your underlying issues and to deal with any comorbid mental health problems. To learn more, call (561) 464-6533 anytime or contact us online anytime here. There’s no time like the present to start walking back towards your own brighter future.
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