In late 2016, Brent and Ashley Walker were young and in love — but their relationship was complicated by both drug addiction and jail time. The Tennessee couple was on a “roller-coaster,” as Ashley described it to News 4 Jax. But at the time, Brent wasn’t interested in getting clean.
“I remember telling my friends that I will never live the sober life — it was so boring,” the now-30-year-old told the news station. “I couldn’t see how people could live sober.”
Brent had started dealing drugs and doing meth at the age of 18, soon after his brother was killed while driving under the influence. Around that time, Brent met Ashley and they dated on and off for years. The relationship was turbulent, with Ashley stepping in repeatedly to bail Brent out of jail.
“I always told him I see something different in him, and I want to have that long-lasting relationship with him,” Ashley told the news station. “I always wanted to be sober with him, have a family, have a life with him. I knew we would be able to do it. We just couldn’t get past the drugs.”
Finally, in December 2016, Brent was ready to begin the journey to sobriety.
“Just making small goals is how we started,” Ashley said.
Their first goal was to get married after their first 30 days of sobriety. They made it — and went on to overhaul their entire life.
In a recent Facebook post with the hashtag #Cleanchallenge, Brent put together side-by-side before and after photos of the couple. On the left is a photo of Brent and Ashley in late 2016, before they kicked their addictions. On the right is a photo of the pair from July 2019, two and a half years sober and visibly healthier and happier than they are in the “before” picture.
In his caption, Brent expressed the hope that the couple’s remarkable transformation from addiction to recovery would inspire others who may be battling their own demons.
“I hope that my transformation can encourage a addict somewhere!” Brent wrote. “It is possible to recover!!”
So far, the social media post has about 18,000 comments and 141,000 shares.
Since dedicating themselves to living a clean life, Ashley has reconnected with her family and Brent has earned his GED. The couple also enjoyed some beach time on a recent Florida vacation.
Here’s hoping this beautiful success story will inspire those who are struggling with addiction to also seek help and find their way to a brighter future.