Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

Last week Jessica Simpson posted a nearly unrecognizable picture of herself in honor of her milestone marking four years sober. People commented on her physical appearance, but what struck me immediately was her eyes. I know that look in her eyes . . . I’ve seen it before. In my own mirror.

Jessica’s eyes conveyed the heartbreak of addiction. It’s the feeling of hopelessness, the feeling of disappointment.

Addiction is the feeling of powerlessness unlike anything else because you are at war with yourself and there are no winners.

You start to disappear—you lose track of what matters and instead focus on what doesn’t.

RELATED: Dear Chrissy Teigen, Thank You For Speaking Out About Getting Sober

“I needed to stop drinking alcohol because it kept my mind and heart circling in the same direction and quite honestly, I was exhausted,” Simpson said in her Instagram post. She knew the only way to take her power back was to put down the bottle and learn how to stop getting in her own way.

Simpson started her sober journey four years ago, but for many people—especially women—the daunting realization that their alcohol consumption has reached disturbing, if not dangerous, proportions has only begun.

The challenges of motherhood, the stress of the pandemic, and the glamorization of alcohol have created the perfect storm. According to a RAND Corporation study, during the pandemic, women have increased their heavy drinking days by 41 percent as compared to before the pandemic.

Recent studies conclude that no amount of alcohol is safe, and yet it’s one of the most popular forms of self-medicating in the world. And it might be one thing if it actually worked, but alcohol is considered a depressant and is proven to increase anxiety, only making things worse.

Motherhood is consuming enough. It’s so easy to lose ourselves in our role as a mother, and sometimes asking for help feels shameful and a burden to others.

Turning to alcohol or drugs to cope isn’t just unsurprising, it’s par for the course in a world where mothers are touted as superheroes but otherwise seemingly unsupported.

We start to drink to relax but feel worse over time, so we drink more . . . perpetuating the addiction cycle.

I would know. I, too, self-medicated with alcohol to get through the challenges of motherhood. I played the game, thinking I could outsmart addiction by following self-imposed rules. Drink a glass of water between drinks. Don’t drink before 5 p.m. No hard alcohol. These fool’s rules kept me feeling in control enough to overshadow the obvious—I was constantly thinking about alcohol.

About a month and a half after Jessica Simpson declared “enough” and started her sobriety journey, I also decided it was time to get out of my own way. I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. I knew alcohol was holding me back from a truly satisfying, rich life.

RELATED: My Kids Needed Me Sober

Simpson wisely concluded in her Instagram post, “The real work that needed to be done in my life was the actually accept failure, pain, brokenness, and self-sabotage. The drinking wasn’t the issue. I was.”

When you look at the star’s unrecognizable picture, the transformation is shocking.

But what the image does not show you, and what her caption only scratches the surface of, is that the greatest transformation comes from within.

That emptiness in her eyes? That haunting pain you see in her expression? That’s what addiction can do to us. It affects our friends and family, and yet so many of us hide because of stigma and shame. I’m grateful Jessica Simpson opened her heart and shared this message of hope for the thousands who follow in her footsteps—me included.

I’ll be four years sober in a few weeks and it’s an honor to be on this sober journey with Simpson, someone willing to show the messy, scary side of addiction to help others break the cycle. May she continue to shine her light so others can see the path forward. 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Celeste Yvonne

About Celeste Yvonne: Celeste is a popular blogger and personality who writes about all things parenting. Celeste openly speaks about her struggles with alcohol, and two years ago she announced her commitment to becoming a sober mom for the sake of her health and her family. Her piece about a playdate that went sideways when another mom started serving mimosas has reached over 14 million people. Celeste lives in Reno, Nevada with her husband and two boys ages 3 and 5. Follow Celeste at or

Drinking is On the Rise Among Women—How the ‘Sober Mom Squad’ is Fighting Back

In: Living
zoom meeting moms

The sign outside a Texas restaurant reads, “In 20 years our country will be run by people homeschooled by day drinkers.” A photo of the sign went so viral, Fox News wrote a story on it. Moms have started saying it while they clutch a glass or bottle of wine in TikTok videos, and the likes and shares show just how relatable and hilarious people find it. Except for the thousands of moms who are doing everything in their power to quit drinking or stay sober. Moms like me.    I am, after all, a sober mom. I quit drinking...

Keep Reading

“What Happened to my Daughter Can Happen to Your Child.” A Mother’s Story of Loss in the Opioid Epidemic

In: Child Loss, Grief, Health
"What Happened to my Daughter Can Happen to Your Child." A Mother's Story of Loss in the Opioid Epidemic

Angela Kennecke suspected Emily had fallen in with the “wrong” crowd.  She knew her artistic, strikingly beautiful daughter had been experimenting with recreational drugs like marijuana.  She had no idea the 21-year-old had started using heroin—until it claimed her life.   Emily Groth, Angela’s eldest child, died in May after injecting a lethal dose of fentanyl, an increasingly common, incredibly powerful opioid that’s killing thousands of addicts in the United States each year.  Four months later, Angela, who is a Sioux Falls, SD news anchor at KELO-TV, is still reeling from Emily’s shocking death—but she’s taking to the airwaves with...

Keep Reading

I Was Drinking My Way Through My Children’s Firsts

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman holding daughter's hand while walking, color photo

I quit my job 37 hours before my second child was born. It was supposed to be one whole week but things didn’t go as planned. I’d been working as a program developer and mental health counselor for the local community mental health center for the last 10 years. On my last day of work, I collaborated with a school principal to develop specialty programming for the “bad kid” who was causing chaos in her school. I helped a mom and her suicidal teenager get crisis services. And, I linked a homeless man to a shelter. It was hard work...

Keep Reading

No One Knew I Had a Drinking Problem—But I’m Not Hiding it Anymore

In: Living
Woman sitting with wine bottle and glass

“I didn’t realize you had a problem . . .” I have heard this countless times since becoming openly sober, even from some of my closest family and friends. The truth is, there was only one person who knew just how bad it was—and that was me. And that reality filled me with shame, guilt, and fear. The reality was that in the midst of 2020, the chaos of life had become all too much, and I was drowning myself in wine to cope. My anxiety was out of control, and I was using alcohol as a crutch to get...

Keep Reading