ABC journalist Elizabeth Vargas made her return to television on Friday, January 24. The 51-year old journalist and TV host discussed her alcoholism, recovery and restarting her career in a pre-taped interview with Good Morning America’s George Stephanopoulos. It’s the first time Vargas has publicly discussed the issue.
Vargas made her return to television with an interview to explain the situation.
"It took me a long time to admit that to myself," she explained. "It took me a long time to admit it to my family, but I am." Vargas admitted that she was seeking treatment for alcohol abuse back in November. Two weeks later, she tweeted that she was out of rehab: tweeting: "Hello everyone! I am home, and so grateful for all your support and well wishes. I am so much better and taking it one day at a time."
The 20/20 host recalled the first time she realized it was a problem and how her drinking dates back a long time. She revealed that her addiction had started out as just a nightcap.
Vargas is recovering with the support of her family.
"At night I... that was a ritual," she said. "I should've realized it was a problem way back when Zachary, my oldest son, was born. 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."
Like many others, Vargas’ triggers for drinking are stress and anxiety, she revealed in the interview. "That's exhausting, to live like that," she explained. "And it becomes very easy to think 'I deserve this glass of wine. I'm so stressed out . . .'"
Following her rehab stint, Vargas is now in the AA programme and taking life “one day at a time. "I'm part of AA," she said. "I have a sponsor. I have great, great friends who I love and who love me."
Vargas' husband was the first one to notice her problem.