As a mom, Jessica Simpson had an extra-meaningful reason to get sober.
In her memoir Open Book, the star and mother of three, 39, recalls her dependence on alcohol and pills, and how Halloween 2017 was a turning point for her in terms of reclaiming her life and health.
Her third child, daughter Birdie Mae, will celebrate her first birthday next week. And as Simpson revealed on Tuesday’s episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show, her older kids — son Ace Knute, 6½, and daughter Maxwell “Maxi” Drew, 7½ — helped push her toward sobriety.
“Being a mother … my kids, at the time, were 5 and 4 … I was at a place where I was literally spiraling with the alcohol and I was missing out on moments with my children, and then they were seeing me and they were very confused,” Simpson told an audience member who asked what made her realize she finally “had to get sober.”
“I just wanted to be present and have clarity and be a good role model for my children,” she continued. ” ‘Cause I always wanted to be a good role model for the world, so why in the world would I be stuck in this cycle of having to wake up and have a drink before going to one of their school assemblies?”
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“It got to the point where all of my life has escalated and I couldn’t suppress it,” Simpson added. “And alcohol, it wasn’t working. It was making me completely check out.”
Addressing her new book, the singer, actress and fashion designer said her “openness” in its pages “holds [her] accountable” in how she lives her life now.
“When I decided to get sober, I stopped drinking and I just had so much clarity [and] started learning so much about myself and why I had to drink to try and escape and feel normal,” she told host Kelly Clarkson. “I thought it was helping with my anxiety and it was actually making it worse.”
“I’ve had mothers come up to me, thanking me, and [saying] they’re not afraid of therapy,” Simpson added of some of the feedback she received on her book tour.
Simpson previously opened up to PEOPLE about her journey to sobriety in a January cover story, recalling how she hit “pretty rock bottom” while on the way to one of Maxwell’s school assemblies. “It was 7:30 in the morning and I’d already had a drink,” she said.
Since getting sober, the star, who runs her billion-dollar clothing line, has found new joy in being present for husband Eric Johnson and their three kids.
“I had room for so many wonderful moments that I would have missed: sober for the first time ever in my studio and seeing Maxwell grab a guitar,” Simpson told PEOPLE. “Ace in pajamas he put on himself, proudly adding a sticker to his bedtime chart.”
“There’s just no better gift,” she added. “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.”
Open Book is available now on amazon.com.
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