Jessica Simpson Cried After Sharing Sobriety Post: 'She Was So Moved by the Response,' Says Source

"Jessica does not want to hide anything anymore," the source tells PEOPLE

Jessica Simpson's candidness about her sobriety is being celebrated by her fans.

After she shared an "unrecognizable" throwback photo of herself from four years ago to celebrate the anniversary of her sobriety, Simpson, 41, was "moved" to tears by the response she received from fans, a friend of the singer and businesswoman tells PEOPLE.

"It was very real for her," the pal says. "She spent half the day crying. It meant so much to her to hear from people, hear their stories and know that she helped even one person."

Capturing the moment her life took a turn on Nov. 1, 2017, Simpson wrote in her post that at that moment she knew "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" by quitting alcohol.

It was that candidness in her post that drew fans — and other folks on their own sobriety journey — to commend the mother of three for her vulnerability and honesty.

"She was reflecting. Jessica does not want to hide anything anymore. She is an open book. She wants people to show that if she can post a cute photo of her family at Halloween, she also wants to show that is not all life is," the friend says, adding that Simpson was surprised by the overwhelming response. "She wants to share the truth."

After four years of being sober, Simpson is simply in "such a better place."

"She's doing really well. She's very present and she's clear and clear-minded and her family is doing great," the pal says. "It's not that she doesn't face challenges but she's learning how to be better equipped to deal with challenges and more accepting of things that have happened in her past."

After all, for Simpson, it's about making an "impact," adds the friend.

Jessica Simpson
Jessica Simpson. Amy Sussman/Getty

Simpson — who shares children Birdie Mae, Maxwell Drew and Ace Knute with husband Eric Johnson — wrote about the pivotal moment that led her to sobriety.

"Quite honestly I was exhausted. I wanted to feel the pain so I could carry it like a badge of honor," she wrote in her original post. "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."

She added, "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.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

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