UFC’s Jessica-Rose Clark is almost 3 years sober after a 5-week slip last year

jessica-rose clark
Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimate Fighting Championship flyweight Jessica-Rose Clark has been open about her history with alcohol abuse. In a recent Instagram post celebrating three years since she decided to knock alcohol out of her life, she revealed a difficult learning experience late last year, when she fell back into the addiction.

Jessica-Rose Clark details her 2020 sobriety slip

In an 11-minute post, Clark, 33, explained how despite her success in sobriety the last few years, she had missed having an occasional glass of wine with dinner or while relaxing on a day off. She had long wondered if she was now strong enough to do such a thing, and still function responsibly in her day-to-day life.

“Since I made the decision to be sober, I always wondered if I was capable of going back to drinking in moderation…If I gave myself boundaries, if I gave myself limitations, if I gave myself restrictions, if I would be able to have alcohol sometimes,” Clark says in the video.

At first, her hopes seemed possible. However, for an individual that started drinking at 19, it wasn’t long before those old powerful urges returned, and a glass of wine turned in a bottle or two.

“For the first week, it was like that [a glass at a time]. And then that feeling kicked back in,” Clark said. “I would be at home by myself, and I would just be so bored, and I’d be looking around and be like, ‘I have this to do, and I have this to do, oh, it would be so much more fun if I was drunk.'”

The wake-up call moment

Although the Australian admits she was productive while functioning under the influence, she also revealed that the problem only worsened. She went from just drinking at home in what she felt was a safe space, to getting “f*cked up” at a party. Things came to a breaking point in January, when she ended up getting into her worst argument yet with her boyfriend, Bellator talent Chris Gonzalez.

“The final night of drinking, I remember most of it. We’d been drinking all day, we went to a party, and then we came home and Chris and I got into the biggest fight we’d ever had. I was a completely different person. The person that I was that night, after drinking for a full day, was someone I don’t ever want to be again.”

That night was the moment she realized once and for all, she and alcohol will always be a bad mix. It was a personal experiment that went awry and was the final bit of clarity she needed in her sobriety journey.

“That was back in January, and I’ve been sober ever since. I haven’t been three [full] years sober, but yes it’s been the three year anniversary of making the decision to be sober. And I’ll be honest, I won’t ever drink again,” said Clark. “The thing that I think I’ve struggled with the most is feeling that sense of shame, or feeling this weakness when I think or talk about the fact that this particular substance has such power over me…I’ve done a lot of work to figure out why I would spiral as much as I did. And it’s because I had a lot of unresolved trauma from childhood, relationships, friendships, everything.”

The full video is an insightful and worthwhile watch.

Clark last competed in September, beating Sarah Alpar by technical knockout. It ended a two-fight losing streak and moved her record to 3-2 inside the UFC.

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