Elizabeth Vargas is finally ready to open up about her addiction to alcohol that caused her to seek rehab in late 2013. In an interview with “Good Morning America,” the “20/20” newswoman makes a big revelation.
“I am. I am an alcoholic,” Vargas tells Stephanopoulos. “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.”
She continues, “The amount of energy I expended keeping that secret and keeping this problem hidden from view was exhausting. … Even to admit it to myself was admitting, I thought, that I was a failure.”
Calling her drinking a “staggering burden” to carry, 51-year-old Vargas says she’s ready to return to “20/20” on Friday, Jan. 24.
“I’m part of AA. I have a sponsor. I have great, great friends who I love and who love me,” Vargas says. “Listen, there are lots of people who feel a lot of stress. Not everybody turns to a glass of wine or three like I did, or four, like I did on some occasions. What I learned to do when I was away was to feel the feelings.”
She adds, “You know what? They’re not going to kill you. You have to experience them. I never learned that skill and [it] makes it tough some days. Alcohol for me is no longer an option.”
In announcing her rehab stint, Vargas said in a statement, “Like so many people, I am dealing with addiction. I realized I was becoming increasingly dependent on alcohol. And feel fortunate to have recognized it for the problem it was becoming. I am in treatment and am so thankful for the love and support of my family, friends and colleagues at ABC News. Like so many others, I will deal with this challenge one day at a time. If coming forward today gives one other person the courage to seek help, I’m grateful.”