The Tennessee couple have been sober for over two years.
When Brent Walker of Cleveland, Tennessee made a Facebook post on July 26 with the hashtag #CleanChallenge, he wanted to showcase the transformation that he and his wife, Ashley, had made since they quit using methamphetamine more then two-and-a-half years ago.
He never expected that the Facebook post would go viral, but when it did he was glad to share the couple’s story of addiction and recovery in hopes of helping others.
“Don’t give up, it gets easier. It’s really hard. We had a really hard time, just because we didn’t have nobody to talk to,” Walker told Knox News. “But if you don’t give up… the grass is greener on the other side. It’s been a blessing. It really has.”
In the post, Walker shared two photos of himself and Ashley: one when they were actively using, and a more recent photo from when they were well-established in recovery.
“This is my wife and I in active meth addiction the first photo was taken around December 2016 the second one was taken in July of 2019,” Walker wrote. “This December 31st will be 3 years we have been clean and sober and living for God. I hope that my transformation can encourage a addict somewhere! It is possible to recover!!”
Walker said that just before the first photo, he had been in jail for two years on meth-related charges. At first he continued to get high once he was out, but he realized that a positive drug test while on probation could send him back to jail. He decided it wasn’t worth the risk. Then, he asked Ashley, who was his girlfriend at the time, if she was willing to get sober with him.
“I asked her if she’d quit with me and she said ‘yes, I go wherever you go,’” he recalled.
Early Recovery & Nuptials
One month into sobriety, the pair got married. After two months they were able to get their own place, and after four months they bought a car. Along the way they changed their phone numbers and cut ties with anyone who they used to do meth with.
Today, Walker has obtained his GED and works two jobs, one in steelwork and one in HVAC. Ashley is a patient care technician. Walker said that he never expected to be one of the success stories of sobriety.
“I’ve done drugs my entire life,” he said. “I remember telling people all the time that I could literally never be sober. It would be a boring lifestyle.”
Today, however, he is happy that he and Ashley made the change together.