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ELIZABETH VARGAS ON SOBRIETY

Like many in recovery, Elizabeth Vargas is grateful she can help others suffering from addiction and be an inspiration to those who want to quit. Vargas told People when she wrote her memoir it was “one of the hardest and most rewarding things I’ve done. I was painfully honest about my struggles with anxiety and how I self-medicated with alcohol. I felt very alone when I was in the grip of the disease.”

*Vargas is launching a new show, A&E Investigates, and she’s glad that she spoke out honestly about her addiction and recovery. “If I’ve helped one person, I feel really great, but I hear from people daily. That makes me feel like it was worth it to be as brutally honest as I was.”

*Two years ago, Vargas wrote Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction, where she confessed she hit rock bottom in 2014. She told ABC she started out drinking socially, and recalled, “There are days when you wake up and you feel so horrible that the only way that will make you feel better is more alcohol. That’s when you’re in the death spin.”

*Vargas came from a military family where she moved around a lot and dealt with anxiety and insecure feelings since she was young. “Because I am basically so insecure and anxious and afraid I never, ever, in my life learned to reach out for help, ever.”

*Vargas especially regretted the damage her alcoholism did to her family. “I wouldn’t give a nanosecond’s worth of thought to die for my children, to kill for my children. But I couldn’t stop drinking for my children.”

*At one point Vargas wound up in the emergency room, not knowing how she got there, and she recalled, “I drank enough to be at a lethal blood alcohol level.” By 2014, she lost her marriage, and ABC threatened to fire her. When she finally decided to clean up her act, she told AARP, “It’s not like a lightning bolt. There was finally the acceptance that something has to change, and only I can change it.”