We’ve mentioned many times before how an outlet like social media can make a huge difference in the world of recovery. And as a recent Good Morning America segment proved, that is definitely still the case. Last week, Tennessee couple Brent and Ashley Walker were featured, discussing a singular Facebook post that has given them worldwide attention.
The photo itself relates right back to addiction and, specifically, the country’s devastating opioid crisis. It is split into sections; one “Before” shot highlighting the immense physical toll their dependency had caused and one current “After” pic, showing them sober, happy and healthy.
For reference, you can see the drastic difference for yourself below..
As Brent openly shares, his low point came when a painkiller dependency turned into hardcore meth cravings. It ultimately led him to deal drugs and brought his wife Ashley into the throws of addiction.
In the post, Brent outlines the big difference that happened in the three years since the “Before” shot was taken.
“This is my wife and I in active meth addiction,” Walker wrote. “The first photo was taken around December 2016 the second one was taken in July of 2019. This December 31st will be 3 years we have been clean and sober and living for God. Looking at the photos side-by-side blows me away! I was 105 pounds in that picture and I’m 245 now. I can’t believe that I used to look like that. I’m proud that I’m out of it and I know that I’ll never go back.”
Not long after the first picture, Brent was arrested for dealing meth and evading police. It ultimately led to a two year prison stint and a true re-evaluation of his life.
Eventually, after probation and encouragement from Ashley, they both turned their lives around. Brent became an outspoken recovery advocate and credits his faith with helping his transition. Now they are both completely clean and holding down successful day jobs.
One social media tactic both Walkers have ventured into is a recovery-based Facebook fan page. Titled “Hope For Addicts In Need,” it’s building a strong base of followers and ha gotten the Walkers lots of additional media attention.
But beyond the wellness and clean lifestyle (which, of course, are the primary successes), both Brent and Ashley credit sobriety with one more important thing: saving their marriage.
“We used to fight a lot when we were high,” Brent explained to GMA. “Since we’ve been sober, two years seven months, we have not had a fight. It’s like I married my best friend. We have a blast every day.”