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The 'Clean' Challenge: Couple shares powerful before and after photos of beating addiction

After battling a meth addiction, the couple says they have been clean for more than two and a half years.
Credit: Brent Walker

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Using a new internet challenge, a couple celebrated an important milestone in their lives - being sober. 

"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," Brent Walker wrote in a now-viral Facebook post.

After battling an addiction to meth, Brent says he and his wife, Ashley, have been officially clean for two years and seven months. 

Now the couple hopes to inspire others on their road to recovery. 

Brent told 10News it began at the age of 9 when he starting picking up cigarettes after seeing his parents do it. By 12, he said he was smoking weed and starting to "mess with" pain pills like Xanax.

"By the time I was 15 I was full-blown into anything and everything I could get my hands on including acid ecstasy and molly," he wrote. 

He said that's when he got the idea to start dealing drugs to his friends out of his apartment he rented with his little brother. 

He would continue selling drugs even after his girlfriend became pregnant. His brother asked him to drive him to the gas station so he could sell a "sack of weed" and he told him he had to get home to his girlfriend.

His 19-year-old brother never ended up at the store. 

"I got a call waking me up later that night that he has tried driving and wrecked and died," he wrote.

He said he blamed himself for not taking him and got into trying harder drugs. 

He and his girlfriend would eventually break up and they lost custody of their kids. 

That's when he said he tried meth for the first time.

"That’s where I knew my life was over I loved it and started staying high, day in and day out, going three to four weeks without sleep or food I started freaking out everywhere I went thinking everybody was out to get me," he wrote. 

It only got worse once his rights were officially terminated to his kids. He said he met his wife when he sold her weed and the two would continue dating as he continued to get high all the time.

"I didn’t care about anything at all except staying high as I could every day, and this went on for years and years, doing the same thing over and over again, shooting meth and pills every day," he wrote.

He said Ashley was there for him every time he would come off of a long drug binge. 

It would take him several interactions with police along with four felonies to get him to realize he needed a lifestyle change. Brent was released after serving time in Oct. 16, 2016. 

"I remember telling Ashley that I was done I wanted out of this life and I wanted a life with her sober and married and happy," he wrote.

“I’ve been waiting our whole life’s together for you to say that, I'm going where ever you go," he said she responded with.

The couple decided to smoke the rest of the weed they had and block all of their contacts on their phone and Facebook on December 31, 2016.

Both worked two jobs and started becoming regulars at a nearby church named Cornerstone Church of God.  

The two celebrated being one month sober by getting married at the same church on January 31, 2017. They finally got their own place together and bought their first car, a 2001 Honda Civic. 

"We always fed off each other. If I ever had a bad day she would talk to me and help me through my cravings and I did the same for her. We had no friends, all we did was work and spend time together and go to church every week," Brent wrote.

The couple says they have since given their lives to Christ and started to become even happier.

Brent said he would eventually go on to earn his GED and Ashley went to nursing school to better their lives.

"This is my story and I hope it can help addicts out there and show them that there is hope," Brent wrote. "You have to fully turn your life over to Christ you can straddle the fence you have to completely give yourself to the Lord and let him take over. You can not make it on your own, through Christ all things are possible."

Credit: Brent Walker

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