Elizabeth Vargas recently finished a stint in rehab for alcohol addiction, and the 20/20 anchor went on Good Morning America to talk about getting past denial and how she’s recovering.
On the show, anchor George Stephanopoulos had a frank conversation with Vargas about her struggle. “I am an alcoholic,” Vargas says. “It’s a staggering burden to walk around with, and you become so isolated with the secret, and so lonely.”
Vargas says she spent most of her childhood having panic attacks daily, and that continued into her adulthood, which caused her to turn to alcohol to cope. She says she realized she needed help after arriving for a Saturday 20/20 shoot and thought, “what am I doing?” After that, she sought treatment for trauma. Now, “alcohol is not an option” for when the anchor gets stressed.
“This isn’t what I want to be known for,” Vargas says, “but I’m really proud of what I did.” Watch the whole interview here.