In an emotional interview with “Good Morning America” anchor George Stephanopoulos, “20/20” anchor Elizabeth Vargas opened up about her struggle with alcoholism and the steps she’s taken to overcome her addiction.
“I am an alcoholic,” Vargas admitted on the morning program. "It took me a long time to admit that to myself. It took me a long time to admit it to my family, but I am."
The 51-year-old described the difficulty of hiding her struggle from friends and family. "The amount of energy I expended keeping that secret and keeping this problem hidden from view was exhausting."
The journalist also shared that it was her husband and two sons who helped her realize she had a serious problem.
"I should've realized it was a problem way back when Zachary, my oldest son, was born,” explained Vargas. “And he used to call my nightly glass of wine 'mommy's juice.' You know, and I thought that was hysterical. It didn't occur to me that that was a problem.”
But the brunette beauty didn’t find it hysterical when her husband called her out for her drinking habits. "It made me really angry, really angry. But he was right," she said. "I mean, denial is huge for any alcoholic.”
Vargas & husband Marc Cohn
The anchor finally got help when she showed up to work one day “in no shape” to conduct an interview. She completed two stints in rehab last November and is now apart of Alcoholics Anonymous.
"I have a sponsor. I have great, great friends who I love and who love me."
Vargas said. "Alcohol for me is no longer an option."
And the long-time reporter is also ready to get back to work. Though she admits that stress in her career and personal life led to her turning to alcohol.
"I dealt with that anxiety, and with the stress that the anxiety brought by starting to drink. And it slowly escalated and got worse and worse," Vargas explained.
But ultimately, she’s proud of herself for entering rehab and getting her life back on track.
"It's a psychic change, I think,” Vargas said. “It's learning to accept that I'm human. That there's nothing wrong with failing, that there's nothing wrong with feeling anxiety."
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