This Halloween was especially frightening for Jessica Simpson.
In her upcoming memoir Open Book, the superstar reveals how October 31, 2017 made her want to get sober. At 7:30 that morning, she and husband Eric Johnson were on their way to a school assembly for daughter Maxwell Drew, now 7, and, according to an excerpt obtained by People, "I'd already had a drink."
Later in the day, she "zoned out" while her team dressed her up as Willie Nelson, Simpson writes. It was when they asked if she wanted to get her kids—she's mom to Maxi, Ace Knute, 6, and Birdie Mae, 10 months—that the fashion designer realized she wasn't able to. "I was terrified of letting them see me in that shape," Simpson, 39, writes. "I am ashamed to say that I don't know who got them into their costumes that night."
To cope that night, she took an Ambient and fell asleep. "I slept in, afraid to see them, afraid I had failed them," she continues. "I hid until they left, then drank."
As Simpson reveals for the first time in her memoir, she was sexually abused as a child, a traumatic experience that later led her to self-medicate. As she writes, "I was killing myself with all the drinking and the pill."
When her friends intervened, she decided then and there to get help. "I need to stop," she recalls telling them. "Something's got to stop. And if it's alcohol that's doing this and making things worse, then I quit." She's been proudly sober ever since.
Thanks to a strong support system and twice-weekly therapy, the 39-year-old has learned to move on from her past. Today, she's focused on living in the present.
"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," she says. "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 hits bookshelves on February 4.