Entertainment Music Jessica Simpson Celebrates 4 Years Sober with Candid Photo Showing 'Unrecognizable Version of Myself' "I knew in this very moment I would allow myself to take back my light," Simpson wrote on Instagram By Daniela Avila Daniela Avila Instagram Twitter Editorial Assistant, PEOPLE People Editorial Guidelines Published on November 1, 2021 03:45 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Jessica Simpson is honoring the day her life took a turn. On Monday, the singer shared a candid photo of herself from four years ago — her first day without alcohol — and detailed the way she felt the day she decided to begin her sobriety journey. "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," Simpson, 41, captioned the throwback photo of herself. Jessica Simpson Decided to Quit Drinking After Realizing She Couldn't Dress Her Kids for Halloween She continued, "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." For more on Jessica Simpson opening up about her sobriety and other top stories, listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day. The singer also added, "There is so much stigma around the word alcoholism or the label of an alcoholic," and she realized that "The real work that needed to be done in my life was to actually accept failure, pain, brokenness, and self-sabotage." Jessica Simpson on Nov. 1 , 2017. Jessica Simpson/Instagram Now, however, Simpson says she is "free." "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," she concluded. In January 2020, Simpson opened up to PEOPLE about her journey in a cover story interview surrounding her memoir titled Open Book. "I didn't realize all the stuff I had to say until I was actually connected to it through music and writing," Simpson told PEOPLE at the time. "So when I started to go through all the depth of the pain that I was experiencing, I realized I was pretty rock bottom." Jessica Simpson. Amy Sussman/Getty The "rock bottom" she described was Halloween 2017 — a day where she recounts "zoning out" from drinking and was unable to dress her kids. "I was terrified of letting them see me in that shape," Simpson wrote in her book. "I am ashamed to say that I don't know who got them into their costumes that night." The next day, a close circle of friends came over and she told them: "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." She also added that "it was a long, hard emotional journey" — but "there's just no better gift." RELATED VIDEO: Jessica Simpson Is 'Determined to Not Let Myself Down' as She Gets Back into Working Out In March, Simpson appeared on The Tamron Hall Show and she spoke about continuing her sobriety. "I have not thought about alcohol," Simpson said to host Tamron Hall, who asked her about the "challenging year" and what it was like "staying sober this year." "It's weird because alcohol was an easy thing for me to give up," Simpson responded. "It was holding onto how I romanticized the pain I liked to hold on to." If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.