Ashton Pienaar made a notorious exit from Below Deck Season 7. After nearing losing his life one season prior, Ashton returned as Bosun but struggled to properly manage his team. He came off aggressively to both his deck hand Rhylee Gerber and chief stew Kate Chastain. One crew night out mixed his frustrations with copious amounts of alcohol, and resulting in a van window getting punched and a lot of yelling at the former chief stew.
It was quite a contrast to how Ashton behaved on Season 6. The boozing “Smashton” was the life of the party and the intensity was palpable, however Ashton never took it to the red zone before. He had a lot of people to answer to during the season reunion.
At the time, Ashton claimed to have started therapy and changed his way. This included starting a sobriety journey, which is now 2 years in. The former bosun recently took to Instagram to announce that he successfully completed 2 years of sobriety.
Ashton started off by explaining why he had chosen to live sober. He wrote, “My sobriety story is quite different from most. I never really had a drinking problem, in that I could go days or weeks without drinking or craving a drink. My challenge was that I had some deeper underlying issues that I had to deal with. When I did drink, I would be the life of the party 90% of the time, but the other 10% something switched in me and it wasn’t pretty.”
If you think about it, that’s how most of our lives are,” Ashton continued, “Majority of the time things are okay and we are happy, but every now and then someone or something happens and all hell breaks loose.”
Ashton then acknowledged his prior behaviors. “Most of us will blame that certain someone or something,” he wrote, “‘It was their fault, they upset me, how dare they, can you believe what they did to me?’ This is the mentality I had too. I always found something or someone to blame for my behavior but, the truth is, I was responsible.”
It seems that Ashton has done some serious work on himself since leaving Below Deck. He identified this time as the most pivotal in his life, “This has been one of the greatest lessons I have learnt over the last 2 years. We ALL carry trauma and emotional baggage and whether we like it or not, it WILL come out in our behaviors and how we treat other people.”
“For me, the greatest thing sobriety has afforded me is a clear mind to work on understand myself, my behaviors and who I truly am,” Ashton added.
The former bosun has re-branded himself as a health coach. Ashton’s Instagram is filled with workouts and meal prep ideas as well as positive affirmations. Whatever his behaviors were on the show, Ashton should be applauded for the changes he has made to his life.
Ashton concluded, “I have taken full responsibility for myself and my life and will continue to do so.”
RELATED: Below Deck Alum Laura Betancourt Defends Former Flame Ashton Pienaar; Says He Is “Regretful” For His Behavior Last Season
TELL US- WHAT ADVICE OR ENCOURAGEMENT WOULD YOU GIVE ASHTON? HAS YOUR OPINION OF HIM CHANGED SINCE HE LEFT BELOW DECK?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]